Garni Gorge is a very popular tourist route in Armenia. The amazingly beautiful natural landmark of this place is named “Symphony of Stones” or “Basalt Organ”. Unusual rocks, located at a height of about 50 meters above the ground, look like stone pillars, absolutely regular hexagonal sections.
The Garni Gorge is situated 23 km east of Yerevan, Armenia, just below the village of the same name. Along the sides of the gorge are cliff walls of well-preserved basalt columns, carved out by the Goght River.
Both Garni and Giant’s Causeway are believed to be millions of years old formations, 50 million by most estimates. The origins are volcanic eruptions, but what made these sites very unique was the particular cooling and solidifying processes of the boiling lava, which gave these almost perfect geometric forms and absurdly beautiful hanging columns. The Garni Gorge is almost as mystical as Giant’s Causeway, but sits high in the mountains and not in a seaside location.
On a prominent part of the gorge, an old temple, known as the Garni Temple, can be seen. The temple dates back to the first century AD and has been fantastically preserved. It is believed to have been funded by Roman Emperor Nero and is perhaps the easternmost Greco-Roman temple in the world. The temple was originally erected for the worship of the Greek gods although this changed after Armenia adopted Christianity in 301 AD. Along the gorge, one can also find an 11th-century bridge built over what is today a small stream.