Geghard Monastery

40km from Yerevan. See location

Geghard cave monastery was founded in 4c. by Grigory the Illuminator. However the major part of buildings was built in 13c. It is one of the biggest cave monasteries in the world and well-decorated interior of cave churches make it really human-made wonder. Old name of the monastery was Ayrivank (from “Ayr” – cave and “vank” – monastery). The word “Geghard” means spear, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus, and stored in the monastery (now it is displayed in the  treasury of Ejmiatzin cathedral). On the road to Geghard you can visit Garni pagan temple and Stone Symphony.