We visited two ancient temples today. The first was the monastery of Geghard, carved out of the rock in the mountains of Kotayk. The site was considered sacred since pre-Christian times, due to the trickle of a tiny stream within the inner caves, with the original temple demolished when St Gregory the Illuminator came in the 300s CE and started erecting Churches.
The second was Garnj Temple, a Classical temple built to the Roman God Mithras by King Tiridates I of Armenia after a visit to Rome (probably funded by Emperor Nero) and the declaration of Armenia as a province of Rome. The temple was nearly entire destroyed by Tamerlane’s army in 1386 and a major earthquake in 1679, with the reconstruction in the 1970s using 70% new basalt to reproduce the original classical design.