The village of
(until 1936 Bash-Gyarni) has been inhabited almost continuously since
the 3rd millennium BC, with intermittent plunderings (e.g., Timur Lenk
in 1386), earthquakes, et cetera. The
current population derives from the Persian district
of Maku, in
Back out of the gorge on the main road from Garni, Goght village,
between Garni and Geghard,
is known from 13th c. manuscripts as Goghot; turnoff to right
is 4.9 km past the Garni W.W. II monument.
the main square, straight ahead down the dirt road, is
exchange of populations in 1829-30
following the Russo-Persian treaty of Turkmanchay. Medieval
the village include a ruined 4th c. single-aisle church (SE
part of village), the 11th c. Astvatsatsin church (in the
center), and the 12th c. “Little” or “Mashtots Hayrapet”church.
There are supposedly
shrines of Tukh Manuk (NE), S. Sargis (NW on hill-top), and Queen
Katranide (S of the fortress). The Hellenistic to late Roman (3rd-c BC- 4th c. AD) fortress
of Garni, on a basalt promontory jutting out into the Azat/Garni
river gorge, enjoys spectacular views that change with the seasons. The
site is a relic of one of the relatively brief periods in Armenia’s
history when, poised between the Mediterranean world and the Middle
East, its rulers opted culturally as well as politically for the former.
temple at the tip of the promontory is generally
thought to have been built around 77 AD under King Tiridates I. The
fourlobed 7th-9th c church foundation abutting
the temple is likewise heavily restored.
The 4th c. bath building preserves part of a mosaic floor,
decorated with oddly named Greco-Roman sea goddesses and an enigmatic
Greek inscription, “Taking nothing we labored”.
or 18th (?) century,
with good khachkars built into the walls. Havuts Tar Vank, 11-13th c., is an impressive walled
monastery, half ruined, on a promontory across the Garni river gorge from
Goght. It can be reached in a
bit less than an hour on foot, either from Goght or from the dirt road at
the bottom of the gorge, accessible by car from Garni.