Gerhard Monastery and Garni Temple

Gerhard Monastery lies at the end of the road which goes to Garni Temple. Built in the 13th century, it is quiet ancient and a definite must see in Armenia. This church is visited by a large number of people, most of them tend to be Armenians. Many come for Sunday mass which means it is very crowded, but you also get a chance to see Sunday Mass (which everyone is filming all at once). The monastery lies somewhat in caves, and is quite ancient to an eerie degree. There is running water in the main sanctuary which is supposed to keep your skin young.

Garni Temple is an old Roman Temple built in the 1st century. Located 3 km away from Gerhard, it is a busy tourist destination. The temple still stands today mainly due to soviet restoration work, the church next door did not have a similar fate, it sits as an empty ruin to its side. After paying the entry you can walk around the small site and listen to the creepy music they play around the area. Don’t bother eating at the restaurant there, service is terrible and the food isn’t worth bragging about.

The easiest way other than taxi is a Marschrutka. Yerevan Central Bus Station has several busses going to Garni, but you can convince the driver to take you up to Gerhard, which will make more sense when going back to Garni. We didn’t see any taxi drivers outside of the Temple so either way you will have to hitchhike, at least from Gerhard it will be one way.

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