There’s a host of top Historic Sites in Armenia to visit and among the very best are Haghpat Monastery, Sanahin Monastery and Garni Temple.
We’ve put together an experts guide to Armenian Cultural Places, Landmarks and Monuments, with our top places to visit as well as a full list of Historic Sites in Armenia, which shouldn’t be ignored if you have the time.
What are the best Historic Sites in Armenia?
The Garni Temple is an impressive looking Greco-Roman temple complex probably built in the 1st century AD by King Tiridates I of Armenia with the support of the Roman Emperor Nero.
Likely dedicated to the ancient deity Mithras, today the Garni Temple lies about 30km to the East of Yerevan and the complex hosts a number of buildings including a royal palace, Roman baths, and a 9th Century church.
Destroyed by an earthquake in 1679, the Garni Temple was partially reconstructed in the 1970s and is now made up of both original and replacement masonry.
Haghpat Monastery is part of a fortified church complex originally constructed between around 966 and 991 AD. Built during the reign of the Kiurikian dynasty, it was an important centre of religious studies.
Haghpat Monastery and its surrounding buildings have suffered from numerous natural disasters and invasions, including Mongol attacks in the thirteenth century. Despite the impact of these events, visitors today can enjoy a fairly authentic experience, particularly due to the restoration efforts exerted on the ecclesiastical structure since the seventeenth century.
One of its most distinctive characteristics is its floor, which is covered by the gravestones of the Kiurikian family. In 1996, Haghpat Monastery was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
Sanahin Monastery is a medieval ecclesiastical complex high above the Debet gorge in Armenia’s Lori region. Made up of several chapels and churches, Sanahin Monastery was originally constructed in 967 AD during the reign of Queen Khosrovanoush and expanded over the 12th and 13th centuries to include a three-aisled gavit hall, a vaulted library and a bell tower.
Visiting Sanahin Monastery, one is overcome with a sense of history exuded by this site. Evocative chapels, old graves and the classrooms of the Academy of Gregory Magistros combine to create an authentic experience.