Architecture, History, Travel Tips

Geghard Monastery, Armenia


Geghard Monastery was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator. In the 9th century, Arab invaders destroyed the original complex. The main chapel standing today is 800-years-old and is a protected UNESCO world heritage site.

It is believed that the spear used to kill Jesus was stored here. In fact, the name Geghard means “spear” in Armenian.

Getting to the monastery: Small buses leave from the Gai bus station next to the Mercedes Benz showroom in northern Yerevan roughly every half hour starting at 10am for 300 dram (less than $1). I cannot stress this enough: before leaving, make sure to verify which buses/trams reach Gai because bus routes in Yerevan change constantly and even travel blogs from 2017 and 2018 suggest bus numbers that no longer exist or no longer reach Gai. I used an app called A2B Transport to pick a bus, which has an updated public transport itinerary. I used bus #5 from the city center for 100 dram.

The mini bus will take you to a town called Ghoght, from which you can take a taxi to the monastery. I decided to go to the Monastery before visiting the pagan temple in Garni, but most people visit Garni first.


Девицы_в_кубиляках._Донской_нарядный_костюм._1875-1876Ivan Vasilievitch Boldirev (Иван Васильевич Болдырев) (1849/50 – 1898) – National Library of Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, Public Domain,

Don Cossack women wearing coubilyaks (кубиляках), traditional clothing worn for feasts, c. 1875-76.


The Treaty of Sevres, c. 1920

Image source: Treaty_of_Serves_Greece.jpg, Public Domain,

A map depicting the territory Greece would have acquired in the Treaty of Sevres, c. 1920, which dealt with the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire following their defeat in World War I. The Anatolian territories contain land that the Greeks occupied for centuries before and during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. However, in 1923, the Treaty of Lusanne replaced Sevres after Turkish nationalists, lead by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, defeated Greece in the Greco-Turkish war. Thus, Greece lost Anatolia. Population exchanges between Turks and Greeks ensued with thousands on each side losing homes that their families lived on for generations.

Architecture, Art, History

Destroyed Monument: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Rostov-on-Don

ruined2Image 1: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, 1920s Author Unknown, Ростов-на-Дону Александро-Невский Собор –, Public Domain.Александро-Невский_собор_(Ростов-на-Дону)Image 2: In 1919 By открытка изд. Р.Рубанчик, Ростов-на-Дону –, Public Domain.

Construction of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Rostov-on-Don began in 1881 and ended in 1908. Unfortunately, it only stood two more decades. The communist Red Army, victors of the Russian Civil War (1917-1918), destroyed churches and other symbols of Orthodox Christianity, a religion that symbolized the defeated Tsarist regime. In the late 20s, a Red star replaced the central cross. In the early 30s, the communists razed the church.

In the old square stands this monument:


The caption reads: «На этом месте в 1909 году завершилось возведение храма во имя святого благоверного князя Александра Невского по проекту академика архитектуры А.А. Ященко. Храм разрушен в 1930 году.»

In English: “Here, in 1909, the construction of the temple in the name of the Holy Prince Alexander Nevsky was completed, according to the design of the Academician A.A. Yashchenko. The temple was destroyed in 1930. ”

“Alexander Nevsky Church: The Lost Pearl of Rostov.” RsLovar.александро-невский-храм-утраченная-жемчужина-ростова (accessed: February 20, 2019).
Alexander Ilyin, History of the city of Rostov-on-Don, Rostov-on-Don, 2006, p. 86.

oldhelmAn iron helmet from the 8th century, discovered in Malai, a section of the Kuibyshev rural settlement.

Original caption: Шлем. Железо. XIII в. хут. Малаи.

Origin: Archaeology of Krasnodar Krai, Weapons and Armor Collection, E.D. Felitsyna Krasnodar State Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve, Krasnodar, Russia.



Close-up of a 16th to early 19th century helmet featuring intricate carvings of cavalrymen. It has chainmail hanging from the bottom edge, used to cover the neck and shoulders. In Russian, this chainmail covering is called barmitsa (бармица), known in English as an aventail or camail.

Original caption: Шлем с бармицей. Железо. XVI – начало XIX в. Из дореволюционных поступлений.

Origin: Russian Armor, Krasnodar Historical Museum Armor Collection, E.D. Felitsyna Krasnodar State Historical and Archaeological Museum-Reserve, Krasnodar, Russia.