Geghard Monastery
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Have you ever dreamed of starring in an Indiana Jones movie?
Yes? Then pack your bags, book a flight to Armenia and head straight for the stunning monastery of Geghard. Geghard monastery was founded in the 4th century already, making the place one of the oldest Christian places of worship in the world. Already the monastery's site is spectacular: Hidden in a secluded canyon in the mountains 40 kilometres east of Tbilisi, the impossibly ancient monastery simply overwhelms you with a solemn atmosphere of hard-to-describe old age. Even the church, which is the main architectural feature of the complex, doesn't really "feel" like a church at all, but something much more older, something "pagan". The strange and ornate Khachkars, the intriguing ancient Armenian characters on the surface of the stout pillars in the nave and last but not least the caves hewn into the surrounding rock walls all evoke the long-gone days, when the Holy Lance (= Geghard), which pierced the side of Jesus Christ was kept, before it was transferred to Etschmiatsin cathedral. But, who knows, maybe – behind a secret door or inside a hidden cache – there are still relics to be discovered in this sacred place. The easiest way to get to Geghard, the monastery of the Holy Lance, is hiring a car in Yerevan. The cheapest way is to take a Marshrutka leaving at Gai station in Yerevan. The Marshrutka will take you as far as Garni. In Garni pay someone to take you to Geghard by car or just hitchhike.
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