08 November 2013

Cavorting in the Caucasus: Garni Temple

One of the essential things one should see in Armenia is the Garni Temple. This is a pagan temple located in Kotayk Province, about 32 kilometers away from Yerevan. Together with the Geghard Monastery, a group of other friends and I visited this by sharing a taxi for the day.

As you can see, it somehow reminds me of the Acropolis and other structures that one can see in Ancient Greece. Perhaps it is no surprise that this is a pagan structure. The columns are definitely not Christian, and even though Armenia is the first Christian country in the world, there are still pagan structures that remain in the country, like this temple.

You can also see how dramatic the location of this temple is. You can see from my two pictures above the canyons, plateaus, mountains, and other geological formations that are so abundant in this country. I just love it.

We took a little bit of time exploring the structure. It is not large. From the outside, it looks huge, but the inside is rather small, and the altar is not even expansive. There are plenty of thick and huge pillars though, and I am somehow glad that the elements did not destroy it at all. It felt like it was a new structure, and the only thing that reminds me of the age is the ruins of a church that was built right next to the temple.

Plenty of Iranian tourists visit this place. There are buses and buses of them that come. It was fortunate that when we were there, the sun was shining, and therefore there was ample opportunity to take photos.


  1. It almost looks like you were in Greece!

    1. Zhu,

      That's exactly what I thought! I suppose pre-Christian structures have something in common in these parts of the world.