11 March, 2018 Kotayk Region 2179 Views

Garni Temple

The pagan temple of Garni was built in the 2nd half of the 1st century. It is a unique preserved architectural monument from the late antique (Roman) period not only in Armenia but also in the region. It was dedicated to Mihr, the god of sun.

Architectural details
The walls were built without mortar, the so-called dry masonry. The stone joints were reinforced with iron rods at horizontal and vertical directions. The joints were filled with lead. The temple is a Greek peripteros (surrounded by columns) in terms of its composition.
The capitals of the pillars are decorated with egg-shaped high reliefs (egg-shaped decoration pattern) and volutes, the cornice is adorned with lions' heads, palm and acanthus leaves. Stairs with a height of 0.30 m. stretch along the whole width of the construction front. They are enclosed from both sides by pedestals, on the front sections of which Atlantes are sculpted. The Atlantes kneel on one knee and stretch their hands upward. One of the Atlantes looks at the East, the other – at the West. There is an opinion, according to which once there were side tables on the pedestals.

Summer residence of Armenian kings
After the adoption of Christianity it became the summer residence of Khosorovdukht, the sister of King Tiridates III. 

The temple Garni was demolished in 1679 by the earthquake. The parts, fragments of graceful columns and wall stones were spread all around the temple. This circumstance made possible the restoration of the temple which took place in 1930s. 

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