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an ancient Armenian fort and settlement (27 km east of Yerevan), probably founded in the second century B.C. on the site of an Aeneolithic settlement.
Garni was the summer residence of Armenian kings (Artashesids and Arshakids). In the middle ages it was an urban area, but it was destroyed in the 17th century. Ruins of a pagan temple and of powerful defensive walls have been found on the territory of the fort. The walls had rectangular towers made of basalt blocks. The temple, which dated from the first century A.D., was destroyed by an earthquake in 1679. Reconstruction sketches of it have been made by N. G. Buniatian, and at present it is being restored. The temple was of the Graeco-Roman peripteral type with ionic columns and with rich ornamental carvings on the stones. Excavations (started in 1949) have revealed ruins of a large hall, a two-story dwelling and baths with mosaic floors. These were a part of a country seat and palace complex (first to third centuries). Ruins of a large Christian temple with four apses (seventh century) were also discovered. In the settlement are the ruins of a basilica of the fifth century and of several other medieval churches.