5 Unforgettable Monasteries in Armenia
Where would you guess was the first Christian country on earth? Italy perhaps? Nope! It was Armenia.
This small country in the Caucuses was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion in 301 AD. In fact, Christianity began to spread throughout Armenia soon after the death of Jesus Christ. As a result, there are thousands of religious buildings and artifacts scattered across Armenia.
Armenia has been described as an ‘open-air museum of Christianity’, and we think that’s a pretty accurate description!
One of the main reasons we travelled to Armenia was to visit the stunning monasteries dotted across the Armenian countryside. Many of these monasteries date back hundreds of years and are often located in remote gorges or atop mountains. Some are even carved into rocky cliff faces.
There are so many monasteries to choose from in Armenia, so we have listed our 5 favourites below to get you started. The best part? Entry to all of these monasteries is free.
1. Geghard Monastery
Geghard Monastery is the most accessible monastery in Armenia, located less than one hour’s drive from Yerevan. This rock-hewn monastic complex is an incredible example of the building skills of Armenia’s medieval architects.
The main buildings were completed in the 13th century, but some sections of the monastery date back as far as 1177 AD. An entire community of monks were housed in the complex and the monks lived, studied and worked here.
The monastery included a school, scriptorium and library, but also held important religious relics. The most famous relic was the spear that wounded Christ on the Cross, but this is now missing.
Getting to Geghard Monastery
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