Photographer's Note

The Temple of Garni or "pagan temple of Garni" is a classical Hellenistic temple in Garni, Armenia. It is perhaps the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia. It was probably built by king Tiridates I in the first century AD as a temple to the sun god Mihr.

After Armenia's conversion to Christianity in the early fourth century, it was converted into a royal summer house of Khosrovidukht, the sister of Tiridates III. According to some scholars it was not a temple but a tomb and thus survived the universal destruction of pagan structures. It collapsed in a 1679 earthquake. Renewed interest in the 19th century led to excavations at the site in mid-20th century and its eventual reconstruction between 1969 and 1975. It is the only known Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the only standing such building in the former Soviet Union. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Armenia and the central shrine of Armenian neopaganism.

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