Geghard Monastery (Armenian: Գեղարդ, meaning “spear”) is a remarkable architectural site situated in Kotayk Province of Armenia. A significant share of its uniqueness lies in the fact that it has been partially carved out of the adjacent mountain. No surprise that the monastery is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The monastery has been established in a picturesque landscape surrounded by beautiful cliffs towering at the entrance to the Azat Valley. The one to found the 4th-century monastery was Gregory the Illuminator, the first Catholicos of Armenia. The site of the monastery would include a sacred pagan cave, which holds one of the purest water springs of Armenia.
Geghard Monastery contains several churches and tombs illustrating the very peak of medieval Armenian architectonics. Most of the monastery’s structures are cut into the mountain. The complex is called “the Monastery of Spear” because it had at some point contained the spear (Holy Lance) that had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion. The Holy Lance had been brought to Geghard by Apostle Thaddeus.
Below, you can see a number of sketches of the monastic complex.
ARMENIA: Historic GEGHARD MONASTERY (inside the churches and caves)
ARMENIA: Historic GEGHARD MONASTERY, a tour (outside)