thumbnail A monastery in the mountain
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A monastery in the mountain © traumlichtfabrik/Getty Images
Built into the side of a mountain in the Azat Valley of Armenia, the monastery of Geghard is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the country. The location of the monastery has been inhabited for millennia and venerated by locals since the pre-Christian era due to the spring which emanates from one of the caves in the mountainside. The monastery was originally founded in the 4th century by Saint Gregory the Illuminator—the patron saint of the Armenian Apostolic Church—though none of the original buildings survive.