Things to Do


Pre-Christian Heritage


Classical Period in Armenia



Pre-Christian Legacy

The unique remnants and historical records of the pre-Christian era prove a once-booming pagan religion in Armenia. Check the specific locations where you can explore pre-Christian culture during your visit to Armenia.

Garni Temple stands high on a cliff on the Azat River Gorge and is a unique example of pre-Christian heritage in Armenia. The temple dates back to the 1st century AD and is dedicated to the god of the sun, Mithra. It follows a classical style of architecture and is an excellent place for taking thematic or casual photos on site. So, when in Garni, do not hesitate to climb the stairs and take some nice shots with the lavishly decorated columns and ceiling in the background.


To get more insights into pre-Christian religion in Armenia, you should visit the History Museum of Armenia and explore the Hellenic period. It houses exemplary exhibits of this period, from jewelry to vessels, coins to ceramics, and marbled figurines to sculptures. 

The archaeological excavations in ancient Artashat city continue to enrich the pre-Christian heritage of Armenians, adding more value to the exhibits at the museum.

Ancient Pantheon and The Feasts

Pre-Christian religion in Armenia possessed vibrant characters of gods and goddesses and worshiped various deities and phenomena. When you visit Armenia, you can even take part in some feasts having deep roots in the Pre-Christian faith.


01. Vardavar and Astghik

Astghik was the goddess of beauty in pagan Armenia's pantheon.

The celebrations of Vardavar, including pouring water on people, are intertwined with legends about Astghik and her beauty. Although, after converting to Christianity, the meaning of Vardavar changed, people largely celebrate it as it was during pre-Christian times.

02. Vahagn's Birthday

The god of war and fire, Vahagn, was also worshiped during pre-Christian times.

To this day, pagan Armenians celebrate his birthday, with songs, dances, lighting jars, and even animal sacrifice. While the venue is not constant, visiting Garni Temple on March 21 can be exciting during Vahagn's birthday celebrations.

03. Goddess of Anahit

One of the most worshiped goddesses of the pre-Christian faith is Anahit, the goddess of fertility, motherhood, and wisdom.

Various temples dedicated to her across ancient Armenia prove the broad span of her worship. The grape blessing festival has deep roots in Anahit's worship, expecting a fertile year thanks to her kindness and blessings.