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Stonehenge - The Oldest In The World

  Duration: 10 days / 9 nights; Tour Type: Cultural, Historical; Best Period: May - October; Distance to be passed: 1300 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Holy Mount Ararat

Duration: 9 days / 8 nights; Tour Type: Cultural, Historical; Best Period: May - October; Distance: ~1080 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Guaranteed Departures

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour Type: Cultural, Leisure; Best Period: according to set dates; Distance: ~500 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Armenia – Top Destination of the year

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour type: Cultural, Historical, Wine; Best Period: March - November; Distance to be passed: ~1150 km; Coutnry: Armenia See more details

ARMENIA UNESCO

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour Type: Historical, Wine, Cognac, Hiking; Best Period: May - October; Distance to be passed: ~1550 km; Country: Armenia See more details

Following the Great Silk Road

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights; Tour Type: Silk Road, Cultural, Historical, Wine; Best Period: May - October; Distance to be passed: ~1050 km Countries: Georgia, Armenia See more details

Feel The Road from Armenia to Karabakh

  Duration: 14 days / 13 nights; Tour Type: Jeeping, Historical, Adventure, Wine Best Period: May - October; Distance: ~1900 km; Countries: Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh See more details

Pearls of Caucasus

Duration: 13 days / 12 nights Tour type: Cultural, Historical, Wine, Gourmand Best Period: March - December Distance: Countries: Armenia, Georgia See more details

The architectural complex of Garni, situated 28 km away from Yerevan, on the right bank of the Azat River, is one of the famous examples of ancient architecture.

The fortress of Garni is thought to have been founded in the 1st century BC and was dedicated to the God of the sun Mihr. The temple is comprised of 24 columns and symbolized the 24 hours of the day. The temple remained standing until the sixteenth century, and was destroyed in 1679 because of the devastating earthquake in Armenia.

The fortress was built by the Armenian king Tiridates I. The fortress crept into Roman history through a discreditable incident from the reign of Claudius, around AD 52, recounted by Tacitus in book 12 of his Annals.

Rome had placed on the throne of Armenia one Mithridates, brother of Pharasmanes the king of Iberia (Georgia). Rhadamistus, son of Pharasmanes, thirsted for a kingdom of his own. He besieged Mithridates in the Garni fortress, along with a Roman camp prefect and legionary garrison. The prefect, "who had seduced one of the king's concubines and was reputed a man who could be bribed into any wickedness," lived up to his reputation and cut a deal. Mithridates was treacherously smothered under a pile of rugs. The Roman Senate opined in response that "any crime in a foreign country was to be welcomed with joy, and that the seeds of strife ought to be actually sown, on the very principle on which Roman emperors had often under a show of generosity given away this same kingdom of Armenia to excite the minds of the barbarians." The Parthians, less cynical, invaded. Rhadamistus was chased from his palace by the enraged Armenian townsfolk. Fearing his loyal wife Zenobia would be caught and subjected to a fate worse than death, he stabbed her and threw her in the Arax. Fortunately she survived, and Handel wrote an opera about them, called "Radamisto."

The ruins of a classical temple can be found within the fortress. The towers and whole of the fort wall were built of huge basalt slabs fastened together by iron clamps. The classical proportions of the temple, the remnants of capitals, and many other fragments - all these are evidence of the fact that Armenian architects were greatly influenced by Hellenic culture. However, original national traits which were later to become the characteristic of medieval Armenian stone carvers were felt even in the way the building material was worked and especially in the choice of decorative motifs.

Of particular interest is the bathroom located in the northern part of the temple. The floor is decorated with mosaic and has an inscription saying: “Work without being paid.” The inscription referred to the illiterate workers who were involved in the construction of the building.

After the adoption of Christianity, pagan temples were barbarously destroyed and churches of the new religion were erected on their sites. The pagan temple Garni is the only survival of the Hellenic epoch in the whole territory of the Caucasus.