Lake Sevan and Geghard
Yesterday we went to Lake Sevan, which is a very huge lake and it is on+/- 1900 meters altitude. During the Soviet times the water level dropped dramatically, with almost 20 meters, but now they try to restore it. We visited a beautiful monastery which was on an island, but due the dramatic water drop it is not any more on an island.
As you can see here:
After some other visits around lake Sevan (including a lunch at somebody’s home) we went to the monastery of Geghard. Wikipedia writes the following about it: The monastery of Geghard (Armenian: Գեղարդ, meaning spear) is a unique architectural construction in the Kotayk province of Armenia, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While the main chapel was built in 1215, the monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave. The monastery had thus been originally named Ayrivank, meaning “the Monastery of the Cave”. The name commonly used for the monastery today, Geghard, or more fully Geghardavank (Գեղարդավանք), meaning “the Monastery of the Spear”, originates from the spear which had wounded Jesus at the Crucifixion, allegedly brought to Armenia by Apostle Jude, called here Thaddeus, and stored amongst many other relics. Now it is displayed in the Echmiadzin treasury.
And here a photo:
And another one:
And after that we visited a Roman temple in Garni.
And after a long day, views like this are breathtaking. Oh and it was only a little thunderstorm, don ‘t worry: today it was again 25C and sunny 🙂