Geghard Monastery is a unique piece of architecture located in Kotayk Province of Armenia. This remarkable site has been partially carved out in the adjacent mountain. Now, it is one of the most known architectural structures of Armenia, and it has even been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Surrounded by the cliffs at the entrance to Azat Valley, the monastery is lying in a landscape of natural beauty. Geghard Monastery was founded by Gregory the Illuminator, the first Patriarch of the Armenian Church, in the 4th century AD. A part of the monastery is set in the nearby cave, which houses a sacred pagan spring, one of the purest sources of water in Armenia.
Geghard Monastery consists of several cave churches and tombs, most of which are cut into the rock. The monastery is considered to have been built at the peak of medieval Armenian architectonics. This monastery is also called the “Monastery of the Spear” due to the spear that had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion. The spear had been brought to Geghard by Apostle Thaddeus to be stored among many other relics.