Goght, Kotayk Region, Republic of Armenia
Geghard is medieval monastery complex in Armenia, located in Kotayk region near Goght town. The monastery was built in a place where once was a famous sanctuary, due to its sacred sources coming from the rocks. Nowadays one of the sources is still flowing and everyone has an opportunity to see flowing source.The legend says that the founder of the church was Gregory Enlightener; the first monastery was built in the 4th century when Christianity was adopted as a state religion. Once it was famous as an “Ayrivank”.
Later the monastery was famous writing center, a musical academy, and pilgrimage. In the area of the monastery were a famous school and library. The two remarkable historians Mkhitar and Simon Ayrivanetsi's worked and lived in the monastery. The school of Geghard had a rich repository, the manuscripts of which are still kept in Mesrop Mashtots's Matenadaran(repository).
The name of the Geghard comes from Armenian word “geghard” which means lance. Nearly 500 years the sacred lance (with this lance was wounded Christ) was kept in this monastery.The monastery has complex rocky structure, includes the main church (Katoghike), two courtyard, and two churches and has many cells, tombs.
The entrance and the inside walls and pillars are decorated with beautiful carvings. The surrounding high rocks give another specialty to this wonderful monastery. The monastery of Geghard was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list.