The Belgian Le Vif Weekend magazine has listed Armenia’s Garni temple among the 51 of the most beautiful Roman monuments in the world.
“The year 476 marked the end of the Western Roman Empire, but fortunately much of what the Romans built can still be seen today,” author Maaike Schwering says.
The Colosseum in Rome, the largest amphitheater in the world and one of the seven modern wonders of the world. tops the list of most beautiful monuments.
The list also includes the Pantheon of Rome, Verona Amphitheater, the oasis city of Palmyra, The Library of Celsus in Ephesus, the Tower of Hercules, the theater in Ephesus in Turkey, the Roman bridge of Alcantara in Spain and others.
The Temple of Garni is the only standing Greco-Roman colonnaded building in Armenia and the former Soviet Union. Built in the Ionic order in the village of Garni, in central Armenia, it is the best-known structure and symbol of pre-Christian Armenia.
The structure 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.
It collapsed in a 1679 earthquake. Renewed interest in the 19th century led to excavations at the site in early and mid-20th century, and its eventual reconstruction between 1969 and 1975, using the anastylosis method. It is one of the main tourist attractions in Armenia and the central shrine of Hetanism (Armenian neopaganism).