Carved out of the side of a sturdy mountain, the Geghard Monastery invokes peace, spirituality, and compassion.
Geghard Monastery is one of Armenia’s most incredible monasteries, built before the 4th century, and partly carved out of a mountain. It is surrounded by high walls on three sides, with the mountain acting as the fourth side. The main cathedral was built in 1215, and the churches are interconnected.
The exact date of Geghard’s foundation is unknown. In one of the caves of Gegharda-dzor, there still gushes a spring which was believed to be a sacred one in heathen times. Following a tradition, it continued to be worshipped even after Christianity had spread in Armenia. As a result, a monastery called Airivank, or a “cave monastery”, was founded there at the beginning of the fourth century. The present name can be traced back to the 13th century when, as a legend says, the legendary spear — geghard — [that pierced Christ] was brought there.