Built up against a cliff face, the main cathedral was built in 1215. The monastery complex was founded in the 4th century by Gregory the Illuminator at the site of a sacred spring inside a cave. The complex is carved into the side of the mountain. It consists of several churches, tombs, a defense wall and carved out crosses (khatckars).
Geghard means 'spear' and is reputed to have once contained the spear which pierced the side of Christ on the cross; the spear now lies in the treasury at Echmiadzin.
Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley was listed as a UNESCO WHS site in 2000.
UNESCO World Cultural Heritage - Armenian Cross-Stones