The unique Geghard monastery, which means “the monastery of the spear” or Ayrivank “the cave monastery” is located 35 km from Yerevan and 10 km from the Garni temple. The monastic complex was built in the XIII century by the princely family of Zakaryan on the site of the more ancient cave monastery Ayrivank, which was located next to a healing spring. After repeated raids, destruction and devastation in the 9th century, the cave monastery was completely burned down. At the beginning of the 13th century, the first church was built, and later others were build next to it. It is unique that the Avazan (Basseinaya) church, inside which there is a healing spring, two tombs and the Saint Astvatsatsin church were carved out and decorated in the rock.
And the complex is called “the monastery of the spear” as for a long time one of the most significant relics of the Christian world was kept here – the tip of the spear with which the centurion Longinus pierced Jesus Christ crucified on the cross. The spear is kept in Holy Etchmiadzin now.
Every person who visits Geghard is greatly impressed.
Geghard Monastery is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.