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Garni Temple

Nearly every tourist traveling to Armenia visits the pagan Temple Garni in Garni village! In this brief article, you'll discover key facts about Garni Temple, enhancing your trip with valuable insights into Armenia's rich history. Create unforgettable memories as you delve into the cultural richness of this historic site!

  1. The pagan temple Garni in Armenia was built in 77 AD during the reign of King Tiridates I of Armenia. It is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union.

Took this photo of Garni temple anad Garni village while hiking to mount Yeranos!


2. After the adoption of Christianity in Armenia in 301 AD, the territory of the Garni temple (located inside a fortress) was transformed into a royal summer house for Khosrovidukht, the sister of Tiridates III. This allowed the temple to survive while other pagan temples were brutally destroyed.


3. Unfortunately, Garni temple collapsed in a devastating earthquake on June 4, 1679, with the epicenter located in the gorge of Garni. For 296 years, it remained in ruins. Up to the 1960s, about 80% of the original masonry and ornamentation remained scattered at the site, enabling the building's reconstruction.


Garni temple still in ruins. Photo by Nemrut Baghdasaryan

4. In1880, archaeologist Aleksey Uvarov proposed moving the temple's stones to Tiflis (in Georgia) and reconstructing it there according to de Montpereux's plan. Fortunately, the governor of Erivan, citing technical difficulties with moving its parts, did not implement the plan, and the remnants of Garni remained in Armenia.


5. Reconstruction works began in January 1969 using the anastylosis method and were completed by 1975. The temple was almost entirely rebuilt using its original stones, except for the missing pieces, which were filled with blank (undecorated) stones.


An episode from film "Rings of Glory"! The reconstruction started only 7 years after the movie release...

6. Garni temple is depicted in the 1962 Soviet Armenian film "Rings of Glory" («Кольца славы»), featuring the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Champion on the still rings, gymnast Albert Azaryan. It's noteworthy that during that time, the temple was still lying in ruins.


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