Garni Temple, Armenia, the only "Greco-Roman colonnaded building" in the entire former Soviet Union.

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On a rocky triangular promontory 300m high of Azat river are the ruins of the impregnable fortress of Garni, one of the most ancient monuments of Armenian architecture.



  • In the first century A.D. King Terdat I built a magnificent pagan temple in the fortress dedicated to the god of sun Mithras. For 17 centuries the temple fascinated people by its beauty and perfection of its forms. In 1679 a terrible earthquake left it in ruins. Only 300 years after the excavations this masterpiece of world architecture, remnants of the royal palace, the barracks, a Roman bath and a Christian church were discovered.

    The restoration of the temple began in 1966 thoroughly observing all that had remained of the monument and ended in 1975.
    The temple of Garni itself was dedicated to the sun goddess Mythra. Armenians shared Zoroastrian entities with Persia (and by the time of Garni Temple, with the Eastern Roman empire, which had adopted Mythra as a patron goddess), and worshipped fire as an ultimate gift from the gods, an entity in itself.

    Garni was designed according to the sacred geometry of the day: It perfectly follows the Pythagorean and Platonic theories of sacred geometry in its design, a design for civilization carved form the wilderness. 


    Garni temple is the only remaining intact model of Hellenistic architecture in Armenia. The Armenians believed, that everything had to be built according to the laws of nature. They considered geometry contact with gods. Armenians considered three, six and nine sacred numbers, and throughout the temple you will find these measures, or their combinations, illustrating this system of design.



    Almost anyone who comes to Armenia visits Garni, and they think it is the 76 AD temple and Roman style baths. Many learn when they visit that the cyclopic stone walls that surround the royal summer residence and temple are were in fact first laid in the 3rd millennium BC by ancestral Armenians who developed the region into one of the greatest metallurgical and trading powers in Mesopotamia and Asia Minor.

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