The symbol of pre-Christian Armenia – Garni is a pagan temple built in the 1st century AD and dedicated to the sun god Mithra. It sits on a cliff overlooking a ravine surrounded by mountains, making it one of the most iconic attractions in Armenia, which is situated in the village of Garni, in Kotayk Province, at a distance of 26km from Yerevan. Garni temple is the only pagan temple that survived the 4th century transition to Christianity as a state religion not only in Armenia but also in the Caucasus region and in the territory of the former Soviet Union. It is actually a palace complex which includes remains of throne room, formal hall, residence and a royal bath house, a church built in the 9th century, a cemetery and the site’s most famous and best preserved Greco-Roman temple. Another natural wonder can be seen from the hill. The gorge of Garni is remarkable for its beautiful, seemingly artificial rocks over Azat River. They stretch from valley bottom till the top of the gorge and are glorified as “Stone Symphony”, as though the sound of the flowing river with the organ-like hill create a “symphony”.
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