GEGHARD (Գեղարդ)

Our first stop in the beautiful World Heritage-listed Azat Valley was Gerhard Monastery. Named after the lance that pierced Christ’s side at the crucifixion, this monastery is carved out of a cliff alongside the Azat River Gorge. Founded in the 4th century, the monastery’s oldest chapel dates back to the 12th century, and its tremendously atmospheric Holy Mother of God Church dates from 1215. The cathedral features terrific carvings. On the way, we stopped at Lavash bakery. Lavash is a thin Iranian flatbread usually leavened, traditionally baked in a tandoor or on a sajj, and familiar to the cuisines of the South Caucasus. In 2014, “Lavash, the preparation, meaning and appearance of traditional bread as an expression of culture in Armenia” was inscribed in UNESCO.

Parking location – Geghard: 40.139529N 44.817853E (🅿️-200 AMD, 🚻-100 AMD)