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Mysteries of Armenia

Under the Badge of the Sun


For five centuries Armenia was a Hellenic state of an eastern type. The pagan temple of the Sun in Garni, erected in the 1st century AD, symbolizes the blend of the two cultures, the Eastern and the Western. It was built in the 3rd – 2nd centuries BC, on the territory of an ancient temple which had been besieged and destroyed by the Romans in 59 AD. The first stone was laid in the foundation in the year of Apostle Bartholomew’s (Nafanail) apparition in Armenia, who very soon managed to find followers among the Armenian nobility. Moreover, the new teaching was already carried out in Armenia by Apostle Thaddeus. Surprisingly, the very temple of the Sun in Garni was the only pagan monument that did not undergo ruthless destruction during the official adoption of Christianity. The temple was razed to the ground after the disastrous earthquake in 1679. The archaeological excavations of the 20th century revealed whole beds of ancient layers, including the ruins of cult installations and baths. This grand historical monument, which rests in the foothill of the Geghama mountain range, was reconstructed in 1974.

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