The Monastery of Geghard, Yerevan - Stein Travel
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The Monastery of Geghard

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Monastery of Geghard is by far and away Armenia's most memorable tourist attraction. The monastery complex, partially carved out of an adjacent mountain - and surrounded by the spectacular cliffs of the Azat river gorge - was founded in the 4th Century by Gregory the Illuminator, at the site of a sacred spring deep inside the cave. The main chapel, a hugely impressive structure, full of ornately-carved steles, was built in 1215, and is a lasting testament to the devotion and architectural nous of the Armenian people. The monastery complex takes its name from the Armenian for 'Monastery of the Spear' - a reference to the weapon which wounded Jesus Christ, and was supposedly brought to Armenia by Jude the Apostle. Don't miss out on visiting this fascinating site, where even the irreligious will be swept away by the richness of the valley's history, and the beauty of the cavernous church.

Information & Facts

Address

Near Goght, Kotayk Province

Language

Armenian is the official language, and it has its own alphabet. Russian is widely spoken and English is becoming more prominent.

Money

The official currency of Armenia is the Dram (AMD), which is divided into 100 lumas. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks as well as many hotels, with US dollars the most widely recognised and easily changed, although notes should be in good condition. Credit cards are not widely accepted other than in some large hotels and restaurants. Travellers cheques should be in US dollars to avoid additional charges and there are few ATMs in Yerevan, including HSBC. It is advisable to carry plenty of small change in local currency as shops and markets will often not have change.

Time

Local time in Armenia is GMT +4.

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