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Garni Pagan Temple

      Founded in 2166 B.C., temple - I c.
     The fortress of Garni is situated in the village of the same name in Kotayk District. That was a mighty fortress well known from chronicles (Cornelius Tacitus, Movses Khorenatsi, etc.). The structures of Garni combine elements of Hellenistic and national culture, which is an evidence of antique influences and the distinctive building traditions of the Armenian people. Artistic merits and uniqueness of its monuments place Garni among outstanding creations of architecture of world importance.
     The structures of the fortress of Garni are in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. The fortress is situated in a picturesque mountain locality and commands a broad panorama of orchards, fields and mountain slopes covered with motley carpets of varicoloured grasses, of the jagged and precipitous canyon of the Azat River.
     Strategically, the place for building this fortress was very cleverly chosen. In very ancient times (the third millennium BC.) a cyclopic fortress existed there. According to a cuneiform record found on the territory of Garni, the fortress was conquered by Argishti I, the king of Urartu, in the first half of the 8th century B.C. In the epoch of the Armenian rulers of the Ervandids, Artashesids and Arshakids dynasties (since the third century B.C. to the fourth century A.D.). Garni was a summer residence of the kings and the place where their troops were stationed.