Garni ("Գառնի" in Armenian) is a village in the Armenian province of Kotayk', situated approx. 32 km southeast from Yerevan, notable for its fortress complex. As it lies on the road to the well known monastery of Geghard (further 7 km southeast) it receives a large number of visitors.
In the 3rd millennium BC the first fortification was constructed on an easily defendable terrain at one of the bends of the Azat river. It was conquered in the 8th century BC by the Urartian king Argishti I and the site became a military base and the king's summer residence. Several additional buildings were constructed since then, such as the king's palace, baths and the site's most famous and best preserved building, a Parthenon like temple. Of particular interest is the bathhouse, located in the northern part of the site which has a preserved heating reservoir. The interior floor is decorated with a colour mosaic with depictions of Greek mythological figures, such as Tethys. One of the intact inscriptions in Koine Greek reads: ΜΗΔΕΝ ΛΑΒΟΝΤΕΣ ΗΡΙΑΣΑΜΕΘΑ ΚΑΝΕΝΑ ΝΕΚΡΟ ΔΕ ΜΑΣ ΕΔΩΣΕ Η ΘΑΛΑΣΣΑ ΟΥΤΕ Ο ΩΚΕΑΝΟΣ (We receive no dead from the sea neither from the ocean).
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