This tour will introduce you to the exotic Pagan history of Armenia, and show the later development and spread of Christianity in the country. Garni Temple (77 A.D.) is the only standing heathen temple in the whole post-Soviet area. The temple stands on a high plateau overlooking the Azat river gorge. It is also home to the roman bath house with the mysterious mosaic, made out of 30,000 pieces of natural stones, as well as the ruins of the royal palace, dating back to 3rd century A.D.
The monastic complex of Geghard is another historical site included in this private tour. The complex is a representation of 13th Century Armenia, which is considered to be the Golden Age of the country’s architecture. The most astonishing part is that this church is cut out right into the solid rock.
Whilst travelling to Armenia, you may just be interested in seeing the world’s first Christian Cathedral church. Echmiadzin is considered to be the spiritual center of all Armenians all over the world! The word itself means a place where “the only begotten son of the God descended”.
You will visit the St. Hripsime church, which was built on the sepulcher of a Christian nun Hripsime who fled from the Roman Empire and was killed in Armenia. This amazing building has stood upright from the day of its construction since 618 A.D, making it one of the oldest standing churches in the world.
Five minutes drive away will be our next spot: the 7th century church of St. Gayane. Gayane was the nanny of Hripsime, and shared Hripsime’s tragic fate.
On the way back to Yerevan, we will make a final stop at another beautiful 7th century temple, also included in the UNESCO heritage list. In fact, all of the churches included in the tour are listed on the UNESCO World’s Cultural Heritage Sites.