Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Visiting a medieval monastery in Armenia

The medieval monastery of Geghard in Armenia's Kotayk province appears almost camouflaged, being partially carved out of the adjacent mountain, surrounded by cliffs. Geghard was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000 and although the monastery has been in place since before the 4th century, the main cathedral was built in 1215.

It takes the eyes a moment to adapt to the darkness of the cathedral's interior, which is lit up by a stream of light from a hole in the cupola above. Visitors strike matches on the grey walls, some of which are part of the cliff face, to light beeswax candles but even they fail to illuminate this dark space which is devoid of relics, statues, benches or pictures.

Click here to read the article from the Earth Times