The Garni Temple is a well-preserved ancient pagan temple located in the Kotayk Province of Armenia. It is one of the most iconic historical and cultural landmarks in the country and is notable for its distinctive Hellenistic architecture.
The Garni Temple was built in the 1st century AD during the reign of King Tiridates I of Armenia. The temple is dedicated to the sun god Mihr, which was a significant deity in the Armenian pagan pantheon. The architectural style of the temple reflects a blend of Greco-Roman and Armenian influences.
The temple is constructed using local basalt stone and features classical Hellenistic architectural elements, such as columns and pediments. The main structure of the temple is known as a peripteral hexastyle, meaning it is surrounded by a colonnade of six columns on each of its shorter sides.
The Garni Temple is situated in a picturesque location atop a cliff overlooking the Azat River Gorge. This natural setting adds to the temple's allure, creating a stunning backdrop for visitors. The surrounding area also includes the remains of the ancient royal palace and other historical structures.
The Garni Temple is located around 30 kilometers (about 18 miles) from Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. It's easily accessible by road, making it a popular day trip destination for both tourists and locals.[:]