40km from Yerevan. See location
Geghard cave monastery was founded in 4c. by Grigory the Illuminator. However, the major part of the buildings was built in 13c. It is one of the biggest cave monasteries in the world. The well-decorated interior of cave churches makes it really human-made wonder. The 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 then stored in the monastery (now it is displayed in the treasury of Ejmiatzin cathedral).