Decorate Doorway at Geghard Monastery

Decorate Doorway at Geghard Monastery

Visiting Garni and Geghard from Yerevan

Visiting Armenia was a rush decision for us so we didn’t end up planning a lot in advance (what’s new?). But after our 10 days in Armenia we can safely say that visiting Garni and Geghard and staying in the little village of Goght was a highlight of our trip.

Because Garni is so close to Yerevan, just 40 minutes drive, many people choose to see the area as a day tour. This is easily possible and if you’re short on time then I recommend doing this. Below are details of how you can reach these places by public transport for a budget option.

The Geghard Monastery with its beautiful surrounding should definitely be part of your trip in Armenia. Visit Geghard Monastery in Armenia.

But if you have a day or two to spare in your itinerary I would thoroughly recommend basing yourself in the area and exploring all it has to offer. Especially if you’re into hiking as most places can be reached by hiking trails. Be warned though, if you’re traveling in the height of summer the weather can get very hot making it unpleasant to hike for long periods of time.

*Tip* There are drinking fountains everywhere in Armenia, often along the side of the road. So make sure you bring a reusable drink bottle.

The Foundation of Geghard Monastery

The Geghard Monastery is located in Kotayk, a province in the center of Armenia. Situated at the head of the Azat Valley, the monastery is surrounded by towering cliffs. In fact, part of the monastery is carved out of the adjacent mountain. According to tradition, the Geghard Monastery was founded in the 4th century AD by St. Gregory the Illuminator. The site where St. Gregory chose to build the monastery was a spring arising in a cave that was regarded as sacred prior to the arrival of Christianity. Thus, the Geghard Monastery was known in earlier times as Ayvirank (meaning ‘Monastery of the Cave’)

Detail of the famous cave inside the Geghard Monastery, Photo by Arabsalam. 2010, Armenia. ( Wikimedia Commons )


Today the monastery complex is located at the end of the paved road, and the walk up from the parking lot is lined with women selling sweet bread, sheets of dried fruit (fruit lavash), sweet sujukh (grape molasses covered strings of walnuts) and various souvenirs. A group of musicians usually plays for a few seconds as visitors approach, perhaps willing to play longer for money.

At the approach to the main entrance on the west there are small caves, chapels, carvings and constructions on the hillside. Right before the entrance are some shallow shelves in the cliff onto which people try to throw pebbles in order to make their wish come true. Just inside the entrance to the compound are the 12-13th century ramparts protecting three sides of the complex, and the cliffs behind protect the fourth. Walking across the complex will take one to the secondary entrance on the east, outside of which is a table for ritual animal offerings (matagh), and a bridge over the stream.

The one- and two-storey residential and service structures situated on the perimeter of the monastery's yard were repeatedly reconstructed, sometimes from their foundations, as happened in the 17th century and in 1968—1971. It is known that most of the monks lived in cells excavated into the rock-face outside the main enceinte, which have been preserved, along with some simple oratories. The rock-faces over the whole area bear elaborate crosses (khatchkar) carved in relief. More than twenty spaces, varying in shape and size, were carved, at different levels, in solid rock massifs surrounding the main cave structures. Those in the western part of the complex were for service purposes, and the rest are small rectangular chapels with a semicircular apse and an altar. There are twin and triple chapels with one entrance, some of the entrances ornamented with carvings. There are many often richly ornamented khachkars cut on rock surfaces and on the walls of the structures or put up on the grounds of Geghard in memory of a deceased or in commemoration of someone's donation to the monastery.


Though there are inscriptions dating to the 1160s, the main church was built in 1215 under the auspices of the brothers Zakare and Ivane, the generals of Queen Tamar of Georgia, who took back most of Armenia from the Turks. This is the main church of the complex, and traditional in most respects. This church is built against the mountain, which is not exposed even in the interior. The plan forms an equal-armed cross, inscribed in a square and covered with a dome on a square base. In the corners there are small barrel-vaulted two-storey chapels with steps protruding from the wall. The internal walls have many inscriptions recording donations.

The southern facade of Katoghike has a portal with fine carvings. The tympanum is decorated with a representation of trees with pomegranates hanging from their branches, and of leaves intertwining with grapes. The pictures of doves are placed between the arch and the outside frame the doves’ heads are turned to the axis of the portal. Above the portal is carved a lion attacking an ox, symbolizing the prince's power.

The arched top of the arcature of the cupola's drum has detailed reliefs showing birds, human masks, animals heads, various rosettes and jars.


West of the main temple there is a rock-attached vestry built between 1215 and 1225, linked to the main church.

Four massive free-standing columns in the centre support a roof of stone with a hole in the centre to admit light. The peripheral spaces resulting from the location of the columns are variously roofed, whilst the central space is crowned by a dome with stalactites, the best example of this technique anywhere in Armenia. The gavit was used for teaching and meetings, and for receiving pilgrims and visitors.

The western portal differs from other portals of those times by van-shaped door bands, decorated with a fine floral pattern. The ornamentation of the tympanum consists of large flowers with petals of various shapes in the interlaced branches and oblong leaves.

Rock-cut church with spring

The first cave chamber, Avazan (basin), situated north-west of the vestry, is hewn in place of an ancient cave with a spring (a place of worship in pagan times) in the forties of the 13th century.

It is entirely dug out of the rock and has an equal-armed cruciform plan. The interior is lined by two crossed arches with a central stalactite dome. An inscription records that it was the work of the architect Galdzak, who also constructed the other rock-cut church and the jhamatuns within a period of some forty years. His name is inscribed at the base of the tent decorated with reliefs showing pomegranates.

The main rectangular space of the church is crowned with a tent and complicated with an altar apse and two deep niches, which gave the interior an incomplete cross-cupola shape. Two pairs of intersecting pointed arches, forming the base of the tent, rest on the half-columns of the walls. Just as in the vestry, the inner surface of the tent is hewn in the graceful shape of stalactites which also decorate the capitals of the half-columns and the conch of the altar apse. The decoration of the southern wall is most interesting compositionally. Carved on it are small triple arches with conchs of various shapes, connected at the top and at the bottom by a complicated and finely carved floral ornament.


The Proshyans’ sepulcher and the second cave church of Astvatsatsin situated east of Avazan, were hewn in 1283, presumably by Galdzag, too. These are also accessed through the gavit. The jhamatun is a roughly square chamber cut into the rock, with deeply cut reliefs in the walls. Of interest is a rather primitive high relief on the northern wall, above the archways. In the center, there is a lions head with a chain in its jaws the chain is wound around the necks of two lions with their heads turned to the onlooker. Instead of the tail tufts there are heads of upward looking dragons — symbolic images gong all the way back to heathen times. Between the lions and below the chain there is an eagle with half-spread wings and a lamb in its claws. This is likely the coat-of-arms of the Proshian Princes.

The reliefs of the eastern wall are no less picturesque. The entrances to a small chapel and to Astvatsatsin church have rectangular platbands connected by two relief crosses. Cut on the portals of the chapel are sirens (fantasy harpy-like birds with women's crowned heads) and on the church walls there appear human figures with their elbows bent, wearing long attires and having nimbuses around their heads. These are probably members of the princely family who had these structures built.

In its floor there are burial vaults.

Rock-cut church past jhamatun

The rock-cut tomb gives access to the second rock-cut church. This church is known from an inscription to have been built in 1283, the donation of Prince Prosh. It is cruciform in plan. The corners are curved and the drum is lined with semi-columns alternating with blind windows. The dome is decorated, with a circular opening in the centre. The walls have relief decoration depicting animals, warriors, crosses, and floral motifs.

Apart from stalactites in the shape of trefoils and quatrefoils, the decoration of Astvatsatsin church features ornaments of rosettes and various geometrical figures. The front wall of the altar dais is decorated with a pattern of squares and diamonds. A realistic representation of a goat is found at the butt of the altar stair. Men's figures are found on a khachkar left of the altar apse. The man with a staff in his right hand and in the same attitude as that of the figures on the portal may be Prince Prosh, a founder of the church. Another figure, holding a spear in the left hand, point down, and blowing an uplifted horn, is depicted almost in profile.

Upper Jhamatun

The jhamatun of Papak and Ruzukana was hewn in 1288 on a second level, north of the Proshians’ burial-vault, by way of an external staircase (near the door to the gavit). Also carved into the rock, its form reproduces that of a gavit. It contains the tombs of the princes Merik and Grigor, and others are known to have been there but have now disappeared. An inscription shows it to have been completed in 1288.

On the southern side of the corridor leading to this jhamatun, numerous crosses are cut. The columns hewn in solid rock support rather low semicircular arches fitted into trapeziform frames which, forming a square in the plan, serve as a foundation for the spherical cupola above them with a light opening in its zenith. A hole in the back right corner gives a view of the tomb downstairs.

The acoustics in this chamber are extraordinary.

Chapel of S. Grigor

The chapel of S. Gregory the Illuminator (formerly the Chapel of the Mother of God - St Astvatzatzin), built before 1177, stands high above the road, a hundred meters away from the entrance to the monastery. It is partly hewed in massive solid rock its composition was, in all probability, largely influenced by the shape of the cave which existed there. The chapel, rectangular in plan and having a horseshoe-shaped apse, is adjoined, from the east and from the northeast, by passages and annexes hewed at various levels and even one on top of another.

Traces of plaster with remnants of dark frescoes indicate there were murals inside the chapel. Khachkars with various ornaments are inserted into the exterior walls and hewn on the adjacent rock surfaces.


Kevin, a descendant of one of the ruling families in Leinster, studied as a boy under the care of three holy men, Eoghan, Lochan, and Eanna. During this time, he went to Glendalough. He was to return later, with a small group of monks to found a monastery where the 'two rivers form a confluence'. Kevin's writings discuss his fighting "knights" at Glendalough scholars today believe this refers to his process of self-examination and his personal temptations. [1] His fame as a holy man spread and he attracted numerous followers. He died in about 618, traditionally on 3 June. For the next six centuries, Glendalough flourished and the Irish Annals contain references to the deaths of abbots and raids on the settlement. [2]

Circa 1042, oak timber from Glendalough was used to build the second-longest Viking longship recorded (circa 30 m). A modern replica of that ship was built in 2004 and is currently located in Roskilde, Denmark. [3] At the Synod of Rath Breasail in 1111, Glendalough was designated as one of the two dioceses of North Leinster. The Book of Glendalough was written there about 1131. St. Laurence O'Toole, born in 1128, became Abbot of Glendalough and was well known for his sanctity and hospitality. Even after his appointment as Archbishop of Dublin in 1162, he returned occasionally to Glendalough, to the solitude of St. Kevin's Bed. He died in Eu, in Normandy in 1180. [2] In 1176, the Annals of Tigernach report that Glendalough was 'plundered by the foreigners'. In 1214, the dioceses of Glendalough and Dublin were united. From that time onwards, the cultural and ecclesiastical status of Glendalough diminished. The destruction of the settlement by English forces in 1398 left it a ruin but it continued as a church of local importance and a place of pilgrimage.

Glendalough is on the 1598 map "A Modern Depiction of Ireland, One of the British Isles" [4] by Abraham Ortelius as "Glandalag". Descriptions of Glendalough from the 18th and 19th centuries include references to occasions of "riotous assembly" on the feast of St. Kevin on 3 June. [2]

The present remains in Glendalough tell only a small part of its story. The monastery in its heyday included workshops, areas for manuscript writing and copying, guest houses, an infirmary, farm buildings and dwellings for both the monks and a large lay population. The buildings which survive probably date from between the 10th and 12th centuries. [2]

Glendalough is a titular see within the Catholic Church, and is used for bishops who hold no ordinary power of their own, and thus are titular bishops. [5]


T he summer before I turn eighteen, I fly back to the country of my birth because that is what you do when you’re Armenian. You watch the capital city of Yerevan appear from outside your dark airplane window and you lean back into your seat as your mother reaches across your body to put her palm over the pane in desperation. As the plane begins to descend, she brings that same hand to her mouth, kisses the tips of her fingers, and then crosses herself left to right.

I wanted to write an essay about the Armenian faith, but I see that I’ve begun, yet again, with my mother. So be it: there is a natural order in place, after all. If there is such a strange thing as Armenia, and such a strange thing as God, let it be written that, for me, they each came to exist first through my mother.

But there are other women here, in this origin story. Three others, to be exact, not including me, for I am not yet eighteen. Seated between my mother and my motherland, separated by metal invention and human impossibility, I am a child.

So there are three other women: my aunt, and my aunt’s two sisters-in-law. Three unrelated women married to three brothers. I will give the women’s names in due time. And then there are the other women, the other women whose names and faces I do not know, have never known, but certainly know to exist (or to have existed, God rest their souls). Mistresses, undoubtedly beautiful.

And there are ghosts, three of them: these three women’s husbands, these other women’s lovers. Three dead men. Real ghosts, with graveyards to show for it now. The summer before I turn eighteen, two are still alive but ready to go, to follow the first one into the unknown—to heaven I hope, as they must have hoped.

Once there were three brothers, you see, and now there are three widows.

But let us return to the beginning, and start again. My mother crossing herself with pinched fingers. My country outside the window. Prayers for a safe landing. Ground hard beneath my feet.

W e are staying with my Aunt Vergine, my father’s sister. Her twenty-something-year-old son is barely home—he is roaming the streets of his city with a cigarette in his hand and young male confidence in his blood—so we are really staying only with my aunt. Her husband has been dead for three years. My uncle was a big man around town, director of the local conservatory, very bourgeois in this small country that spent most of its recent history under Communist rule. He was the eldest of the three brothers, and they were all big men, with big booming voices, but my uncle was an artist—a musician and a poet, a man who loved to drink and toast. I knew this from the videotapes, from the pictures, from my parents’ stories, and from my older sister, who, at thirteen, traveled with my paternal grandmother to Armenia as a gift from my parents for being valedictorian of her middle school. My parents encouraged me to go too, then—I was twelve—but I feared the plane would crash because my mother was not on it. This was the kind of simple, strange logic I carried with me in secret those years. When my uncle died three years later, I was asked—in one of my mother’s cruelest moments—how I was going to live with that regret.

My uncle had loved us when we were young and lived in Armenia, and he loved us from afar as we were growing up in America. He had gotten the chance to love my sister again, more deeply, but I would never know the force of that love. When my parents talk about this man, there is a kind of awe directed at him that I can never quite share.

He was a womanizer, my uncle, and he had kidney disease, and his wife—my Aunt Vergine—spent the best years of her life loving and nursing this man, and watching him stumble home late at night, smelling of drink and another’s sweet perfume. Yet no one really talked about this. From their whispers, from their small, quick gestures—a woman’s eyes turned slightly toward the floor, the dismissive shrug of some male relative’s shoulders—I learned the worst about my uncle only after he died. It was his greatness, however, they loved to discuss out loud. How his voice boomed when he stood at the end of the table to toast to the dead or sing without accompaniment or warning. The serious intelligence in his dark eyes and white beard. The whole city knew his name.

My uncle has been dead for three years when my mother and I go to Armenia, and my aunt speaks of him and doesn’t speak of him, in the way that widows do.

But she is thrilled to have us, have people in her home again. Ever since her husband’s death, the number of her friends has dwindled. No one stops by for a cup of coffee now because no one expects a handout anymore. She has learned this too late: her husband was generous, which has left her with very little. In a few years, she’ll have won the lottery—a Green Card to America—and despite the fact that she has children and grandchildren in her country, it’ll be an easy decision. She’ll tell herself it’s so that she can find work, send home some money, put clothes on her grandchildren’s backs. She’ll tell herself, and she’ll tell us, but we will know better. There is nothing left for her there.

In July 2006, my mother and I are tourists in the place we were born, and my aunt is our guide in the country she will soon leave.

W hen my Aunt Vergine tells me we are going to Garni-Geghard, I think this is one destination, which means I really think it is one church, yet another church, for Armenia is a land of rocks and churches. The country is landlocked, no access to the sea. Most of her neighbors are Muslim states, but borders in this region are never written in stone. From stone, however, Armenians have made their homes, and they have made their places of worship. Churches scatter this land like pebbles on a seashore—there is one always underfoot. You turn the corner from the market, and there one is. You cross another street to go to the post office, there is another. You go to the shopping district with high-end boutiques that cater to tourists far more American than us, and a church beckons you between French lingerie and Italian-made boots.

I like these churches. Orthodox churches are big and cold and dark, murals fading—they feel ancient, as deep-rooted as time they feel like they’ve been here far longer than humans. It is only from outside, when I gaze upon their domed roofs and sharp edges, that I think of humanity’s labor to get them standing.

But greater in number than churches in Armenia are cross-stones, or khatchkars, elaborately carved crosses that decorate almost any small patch of grass visible in the city, and blanket the graveyards that are far too many in such a small country as this. I come upon them as ruins, lying on the earth, flat on the same dirt from which spring forth flowers and trees, and not reaching for the heavens the way Orthodox churches do. Something about this strikes me as odd, even though I know that cross-stones must stand upright too, and that they are intended to point in all directions. As I walked through Yerevan, trying to refamiliarize myself with this city I left when I was five, the cross-stones, some of which date back hundreds of years, felt like natural souvenirs, offered up by the land itself and not the men and women who had lived upon that land.

What I knew then about Armenia is what Armenia wanted me to know, that it was the first nation to embrace Christianity as the state religion in 301 AD. Christianity for Armenians is synonymous with being Armenian. Almost all Armenians in the world, if they believe in anything, believe in a Christian God, and most of them follow the Orthodox Church (also known as the Armenian Apostolic Church). Armenians are as proud of their relationship with God as they are of the fact that they have survived when greater powers wished them annihilation. For these two things are not so different—they are my hand and my mother’s hand. It is no leap to say that the genocide the Armenians of the early twentieth century faced at the hands of the Ottoman Turks brought Armenia closer to its Christian roots. We had survived. Even when more than a million of us had not, we, as a people, had survived. And who to thank but God, even when our people were being herded into our churches and set on fire?

I am happy to go to Garni-Geghard, I say to my aunt innocently, using the singular, and this tells her that I know nothing about where we are going or what kind of country we are in or the kind of people we really are.

T he two locations are only seven miles apart, which means tourists see the ancient pagan temple and the famous Christian monastery on the same day. Aunt Vergine hires a driver because she doesn’t have a car or a son who is really present. Our driver is like many middle-aged men in this country, working multiple jobs, whatever jobs he can find, always scraping by. He tells us this as we drive, my aunt in the front seat next to him, my mother and I in the back, she looking out one window, I another, with Anahit, the second of the three other women, in the middle.

Anahit is married to the middle brother, and she is a thin and fragile-looking woman, not as sturdy and statuesque as my aunt, who carries her excess weight convincingly, always with her back straight, her head held high. Anahit sits in the middle because she is thin, and has already seen the world outside our windows.

Anahit’s husband will die second, from the same disease that killed the first brother, my aunt’s husband. The remaining brother, the youngest, will die forty days later. Some will say from heartbreak.

Armenians have a forty-day mourning period, called karasoonk. Mourning for the dead is supposed to end on the fortieth day. That is what our Armenian faith demands, but our Armenian fate, I’ll learn, is stronger. So perhaps Anahit sits in the middle because she is the middle wife, and knows her place in this story.

Outside, Yerevan is minute after minute of dilapidated Soviet-style housing, in the Khrushchyovka style, the colors of the streets muted, homes brown and gray and tuff-red. We cross ourselves at the start of the drive, as we always do at the beginning and end of any long journey. When the road gets a little bumpy, we cross ourselves again. A small, gold-plated cross hangs from the driver’s rearview mirror, and I watch it twist and twist.

I’ll tell you what my mother is thinking as she gazes out her window. I can tell you because I am a child, her child my blood swirls in her blood and her blood surges in mine. She is thinking about her father. She is always thinking about her father, her great love. Her great love is sick, slowly dying in Los Angeles, and my mother is thinking, Is he dead now? Now? Is he dead now? She is thinking, No one will tell me if he’s dead, not while I’m in Armenia. No one will want to ruin her first trip back home since she left thirteen years ago. Her first vacation, actually. She’s earned the right of having no one tell her that her father has died—if he’s dead. This is how Armenians think: death will be waiting when you return. This is what my mother is thinking as she looks out upon the land that is no longer hers.

We pass villages on our way to the Kotayk region, scattered homes and scattered sheep, green pasture that’s more brown than green, more dirt than grass, more rock than anything. In the distance is Ararat, our mountain which is not our mountain. Ararat, once within our borders, is now in Turkey, and it is what Armenians see when they look up to the heavens searching for their God. In the distance, it is a fist in the sky. In the distance.

G arni Temple is not like one out of ancient Greece, but out of an American film about ancient Greece. It is spectacular and spotless. Its portico is made of six Ionic columns, with another six down each of its sides. In the cornice are the lifelike heads of lions. Made from a gray basalt, the temple seems to alternate its various shades in a powerful symmetry that feels both intentional and mystifying, a pattern without greater meaning. There are several stony steps that lead up to temple itself, and they are impossibly high. From where we stand below, we can see the tall opening to the cella, and it is black and mysterious and waiting for us.

We are standing there at its foot, after having paid a small entrance fee, and looking up at this temple, when an old man appears beside us. He takes off his hat, holds it against his chest, and nods kindly. This Hellenistic temple was reconstructed in the seventies, he tells us, but was most likely originally built in the first century AD, which meant it was here before Christianity came to Armenia.

I listen gratefully and nod at all the right places, for it seems like we are in the right place at the right time.

I’m surprised to find this pagan place of worship here in Armenia, but also to find myself here. Why it’s still here, and why we have come here, I don’t ask, because I don’t want to sound stupid. At this age, most of my energy is dedicated to not coming across as stupid. So I listen gratefully and nod at all the right places, for it seems like we are in the right place at the right time, too: this man must be another tourist, who has done his research and prepared for his trip. Solidarity of Armenian tourists in Armenia—it’s quite moving, I think, to help each other understand this place we should’ve naturally understood already.

Situated at the edge of a triangular cliff, the temple, originally dedicated to a sun god, is laid bare to the sky as it looks down at all the material of earth. We walk around the compound—cuneiform inscriptions, royal baths, ruins that suggest a building to house the garrison, and cross-stones and cross-stones and cross-stones. The old man tells us to look closer, and we see crude fishes engraved in the rock. I think a fish is not so strange a symbol for us to find in Christian Armenia, but our new friend tells us that this is not a fish, but a dragon. I narrow my eyes, not believing him. Dragon cults were popular in pre-Christian Armenia, he says, but once these stone carvings were found during the early Christian period, they had to be either destroyed or converted. Converted to what, I ask, and he points at the khatchkar, the very cross-stone we are examining. We must thank God, he says, that we didn’t destroy all these beautiful things. We only gave them new meaning.

I will remember this fish-dragon, and when I go home, I will do my research: the ichthys. Before Christianity adopted the fish, it was known by pagans as a feminine symbol, linked to the idea of birth and rebirth. This will stay with me for years, like the inevitability of my uncle’s and his brothers’ deaths. The dragon of ancient Armenia transformed into the Jesus fish of modern Armenia. There on the grounds of Armenia’s most famous pagan site, a cross-stone with its left arm in the past and right arm in the present, and my mother, my aunt, and her sister-in-law, three women in different stages of their lives, wondering what their futures hold. And I, the forever child, imagining alongside them.

Behind the temple are panoramic canyons and orchards, and down below the Azat River. I stand near the edge of the cliff with my arms above me to let the cool air dry my skin, and the man mistakes my gesture for reverence. He laughs at my figure, tells me that the real beauty is inside the cella, to go climb the tall steps if I really want to witness perfection.

Count the stairs, the old man says, and we count nine. Nine is the most sacred number, he tells us, because it is three times three, a marker of the Holy Trinity. And the columns, he asks. We answer “six,” like schoolchildren. He nods: the number of perfection: three plus three.

But this is a pagan temple, I tell him, and my aunt shakes her head like she can’t believe what she is hearing.

“It is an Armenian temple,” she says. “Don’t you understand, Naira?”

The old man smiles at her in respect while I struggle to make sense of it. How can it be all these things at once?

The belief that God created the universe with a mathematical plan in mind is a popular one in Armenia because it is one of the ways that Armenians connect physical nature to the divine. Numbers in Armenia are like names, imbued with meaning. The firstborn son. The first Christian nation. But there is also the 1915 genocide. One point five million dead. The 1988 earthquake. More than twenty-five thousand dead. Forty days of mourning.

At the dinner table, my mother’s father used to toast: May we not decrease, but multiply.

We thank the man in Garni for his time, then proceed up the temple’s stairs. I am wearing wedge platforms and they help me find my balance I am walking on air as I climb. When we all find our footing at the top, we are arrested by haunting, trembling music. The most recognizable sound for Armenians—the wail of the duduk. The duduk is a double-reed instrument, and it has a low, low drone that is elegiac in impression, full of a longing that suggests great love and great sadness. The duduk is most famously used in films about Roman gladiators, during great battle scenes where the hero falls. It does not have a timeless quality—it does not sound modern, but quite old, as if recently found under the earth and dusted off and brought to the lips of a respected town elder.

I burst into goosebumps, as I always do at the first note of the duduk. Legend has it that the first duduk was made from bones—a woman’s, a mother’s, which is why it can cry just so. But now it is almost always played by a man. Outside of the great composer Khachaturian, it is Armenia’s greatest contribution to the world of music. The duduk is largely recognized as the sound of Armenia, just as Ararat is largely recognized as the sight of Armenia, and Armenians like myself cannot quite separate one from the other. When we gaze upon our mountain which is not our mountain, it is the duduk we hear. When we listen to the duduk, it is Ararat we see.

Ararat, where Noak’s Ark landed. Another origin story.

My mother reaches for my hand, and we make our way into the cella, but we are not alone. In the darkness of the interior of the Garni Temple are three other people: an old man seated on the ground in the farthest corner, feet tucked into the back of his knees, the duduk floating in front of his weathered face, head moving slowly with the power of his instrument and, watching, a young couple near the entranceway, standing before us, beautiful even from the back, the man tall and strong, with a thick neck, and the woman delicate in a long white dress and long black hair. The woman has her head on the man’s shoulder and she is swaying slightly, dancing faintly, as if she is in a trance.

I close my eyes and listen. I am thinking about Ararat, and then I am thinking about a mountain of a man, my grandfather, and I know my mother is too. My grandfather was a big man, but heart disease has taken its toll. In Garni Temple, listening to this man play his duduk, I know that everyone around me is full of a love they cannot isolate from its devastating hurt. The couple in front us, they have each other, but I know that this will one day change. My aunt beside us with her new widow’s loneliness, and old wife’s hurt. Anahit, this woman I don’t really know, except that she is like my aunt too—and she will be even more so, in two years’ time—forever attached to a man who desired power in a country that had little to spare. And my mother, who loves her father, who cries like he cries, at any old thing, at any display of kindness or joy or hope, a dance recital by preschoolers, Olympians lighting the flame on television, my fat girlhood dreams of being a gymnast—my mother, there beside me, wondering if already her father is gone and no one has told her the news.

In Garni, my grandfather is alive and dead, my mother floats between heaven and hell, a woman dances, a woman grieves, a woman waits, and aged apricot wood cries in a man’s hands.

Inside the cella, the duduk’s sound echoes, climbing up the walls, sinking through the stone, embedding itself in every part of us. I put my head on my mother’s shoulder like the young woman has done with her lover, and I begin to cry. When the duduk player finishes and slowly raises himself up, one hand on his knee and then the other, the young couple claps gently and turns toward us, the entrance, wanting to exit.

Later in the car, we throw out our hypotheses, suddenly jaded and cynical, relieved, weirdly, to be away from the gripping power of Garni. Did the young couple hire this old man to give them a memorable experience? Was it included in the temple’s entrance fee? Was this additional package called “Mysticism of the Third World”? Was the duduk player hoping for tips?

Then my mother exclaims, “Oh, no! That man outside who told us so much about Garni—he wasn’t a tourist, was he? Of course he wasn’t a tourist! A beggar acting as our guide, Jesus Christ! We should’ve tipped him!”

She looks at me accusingly, and I reel back as if slapped.

“It didn’t cross my mind,” I tell her. Then I get angry. “Why didn’t it cross your mind? It’s like you’re not even from here!”

My aunt turns her head back and tells us not to worry. “With all those tourists coming to Garni every day, he is probably doing better than me.”

My mother deflates, exhales so loudly I think she’s going to become a puddle—nothing left of her in her skin.

“God’s not going to hold it against you,” the driver says, surprising us. “But if you’d like to make it up, you can tip me extra.” He looks at us through his rearview mirror and I smile at him in gratitude. My mother is quiet, lost in her own guilt, and then Anahit, from her seat in the middle, slaps her knee and tells her that the day is only getting started.

“In Geghard,” she says, “you can unburden your conscience.”

I’ll tell you what I was thinking as I looked at Anahit’s reed-thin body and recalled her husband’s solid frame: I wondered what sounds she made as she cried, as she prayed, danced, as she sang. I had never heard her sing.

T o be a man in Armenia means to not be a woman, and it is really as simple as this. But to be a woman in Armenia is to be Armenian. Put that in stone. To be a woman in Armenia is to be Armenian, and to be Armenian is to be faithful even when faith abandons you. Especially then.

T he monastery at Geghard stands at the head of the Azat Valley, with a surprising green fullness among the towering stone cliffs. From the adjacent rock, many of the compound’s churches and tombs are built. Carved directly into the stone: that is Geghard. Locals boast that winter is the best season to pray here. Surrounded by stone and snow, touching with bare, frostbitten fingers the crosses engraved fifteen centuries ago into the mountain, breath coming in slow and hard—what better time to pray? Even nonbelievers find something holy here, the driver tells us as we exit the vehicle. Even Hetanos, he says, and everyone laughs but me.

Later I will understand the joke. Hetanos, or Heathens with a capital H, are Armenian neopagans who organized after the fall of the USSR in 1991. In this chaotic climate of Armenia trying to recreate itself out of the ashes of Lenin’s Communism, many Armenians looked to the old ways for structure and stability, to galvanize collective spirit and consciousness. Everything old became new again: the names of Armenian gods and goddesses surged in popularity, holidays celebrating the power of water and fire multiplied, and the Garni Temple became an active holy site where traditional ceremonies are still held.

According to Christian tradition, Geghard, short for Geghardavank, was founded by Gregory the Illuminator in the fourth century. Besides the natural and surprising architecture of the compound—the ornate crosses carved deep, deep into the stone of the cliffs, like doors opening into both nothing and everything—the monastery is famous for purportedly once housing the Holy Spear, which pierced the side of Jesus on the Cross. But before Christianity came to Armenia, this place was home to a sacred spring located inside a secret cave deep in the mountains. The pagans were not only here in Geghard, but they drew the Christians here with word of their sacred water.

We have left Garni to come to Geghard, a twenty-minute drive. We have not really left. We have come to Garni-Geghard.

We buy candles and enter, and we blink rapidly, adjusting to the dark. Suddenly we are on our own. I still do not know how it happens. But there I am, wandering apart from my family, and I am trying to make out the inscriptions, trying to make out the images, trying to find something I can recognize. Rectangular chambers and high reliefs, intersecting arches and thick columns, cupolas decorated with angular animals, flowers and fruit, geometric motifs. There are stalactites on the surfaces, or what seem like stalactites, or what are supposed to resemble stalactites. I feel as if I am both in a cave that has never been seen by humans and in a church that is visited by more than a hundred thousand every year. Four large columns buttress a stone roof with a small hole at its heart and I stand right underneath it and look up. The midday sun finds its way through the hole and it’s blinding. I want to see but I keep closing my eyes. So I let it warm me instead.

Wandering again, I run into my aunt. She takes my hand and together we find my mother and Anahit. Then my aunt points: “See?”

She is whispering. It only feels natural to whisper here.

And there they are again, making up the tails of two lions in a relief carving right above our heads.

I do not remember if the third woman and her husband take us to dinner before or after our trip to Garni-Geghard, but here the order does not matter—what comes before, what comes after.

The third woman wasn’t part of our journey to Garni-Geghard, but she is part of this story, my origin story. She is no ghost. She survives, and her name is Silva. Silva and her husband—the third brother, the youngest, the last to die—take my mother and me out to dinner in a part of Armenia that was destroyed by the 1988 earthquake. The place where the three brothers were born.

Did I say that I wanted to write an essay about the Armenian faith? Because what I really meant was destiny.

In a small restaurant in Leninakan, we have fresh fish and red wine, and my uncle’s brother sits me down next to him and drinks and cries and cries and drinks, and tells me that if it were his brother in his place—the eldest, my uncle by blood—he would not be crying, but singing.

And where would you be? I ask, in the way that children do.

Not here, he says. Not here.

His wife, Silva, sits opposite us, beside my mother. My mother’s hair is dark, Silva’s hair light. Their foreheads press together and they speak of things only women can know.

A t Geghard, we light our candles. Candles in Orthodox churches are always placed close together in the stands, even if there is plenty of room, plenty of sand to spare. It’s pleasant to look at, these skinny, yellow figures huddled close together, some candles shorter than others, having been lit longer. I like to imagine entire families lighting these candles, each stick of wax a branch, a body.

When your candle-thread is aflame, you push it down into the sand as hard as you can, as low as it can snake down without hitting the metal tray of the stand. You need to ensure that the candle won’t move, that it is steadfast in its position. It cannot be swayed by wind, by the blast of air that comes in through the church doors every time someone arrives or departs. It cannot be swayed by your own breath, by the power of your small human prayer.

In Geghard, my mother and I light our candles side by side. My aunt and her sister-in-law frame us. My aunt lights the first candle, then my mother, then I, and then, finally, Anahit. I don’t remember thinking there was a meaning to this order then, and I don’t know if there is any meaning now, but I liked how we waited for the other to finish, how we watched one another plant our individual candles down, deep, deep into the sand, in patience and silent agreement, and then how we lit our flame with the flame of what came before. It only seemed natural, for things to go this way.

B ack at my aunt’s house in the center of Yerevan, the air is warm. She and my mother grab beers and chairs and sit outside on the balcony. Anahit is back at home with a husband and young son who will soon move away from her and from each other in heartbreakingly different ways. I lean against the wall and breathe deeply. The smell of apricots is in the air, rising from the dirt. It hides the other smells, garbage and sweat, stray dogs and men. My aunt and my mother clink their glasses and sip, and suddenly they are talking. They are talking and talking and they can’t stop. They have so much to say to one another. I give them the semblance of privacy by leaning deeper into the wall, toward the country in front of me. The stone is cold against my stomach, but soft, too, almost crumbling like bread. You can see stars here, and factory lights, and domes of churches and high-rise hotels. From my aunt’s balcony, I see everything.

Anahit, named after the pagan fertility goddess. Silva, short for Silvart, meaning to love a rose, thorns and all. Vergine, named after the Virgin Mary. Tagui, my mother, meaning Queen.

And I, Naira, the child, a variant of Nairi—the old name for Armenia.

My heart surges, and my stomach knots.

I know in Armenian women’s silence there are songs waiting to be uncovered. I know that, in English, fate and faith may sound similar but they mean entirely different things.

Standing on my aunt’s balcony, I am only beginning to understand that my history is a record of dances and prayers, paganism and Christianity, women and men—all balancing acts. Some of us have to believe in the things that are there, no longer there, or had never existed. We believe in blood, and something beyond blood. We pray to a mountain. When I close my eyes now and try to remember what it was that I felt so strongly at Garni, I see myself standing, instead, in the middle of Geghard. I know now that when one brother dies, two are bound to follow. That a man slowly dying dies for his daughter a million deaths. I know, too, the women’s names, like I know now the name of Sahakadukht, the eighth-century com­poser of religious songs made modest, asked to teach behind a curtain. Sahakadukht, the woman who sang in Geghard behind a curtain. I know in Armenian women’s silence there are songs waiting to be uncovered. I know that, in English, fate and faith may sound similar but they mean entirely different things. Armenian women know them as xakatagir and havatk, and to our ears, the words sound exactly alike.

Behind me, my aunt and my mother continue to converse in excited tongues, and I turn around to listen.

My aunt is saying that she lights a candle for her husband, that she prays for him always, she visits his grave and crosses herself, that she loves him and she hates him, and she thinks he was cursed.

When my uncle was dying, my aunt went to see a local witch-woman—a clairvoyant of sorts, a healer of sorts, a mediator between the living and the dead, a female shaman. My aunt went to see her not for herself but for a friend, as a support system. But this woman took one look at my aunt, and said that there was a curse on her husband. Listen carefully, she told her. Listen. There is a knot in your house. Someone has made a knot. Someone has twisted strings together to destroy your happiness. You must find it before it is too late. You must find it and unravel it.

And my aunt doesn’t believe her and believes her, in the way that I now know Armenians do. She goes home and tears the house apart. She searches everywhere. How big is this knot? How small? A knot of what? Thread? Cloth? Ribbon? Cords? The kitchen, the bathroom, the bedrooms. The balcony and hallways, the trash receptacles. For days she searches. She searches until the man in question dies. She buries him. She weeps over his body. She lets mourners shake her hand inside her husband’s church, reconstructed after the earthquake. She falls on the bed. One hand drapes over the edge. A finger touches the parquet. Something strange fills her, something mysterious and old, something loud and beating, something like her heart or the heart of the world. She gets off the bed and goes down on her knees. She peers. She puts out her arm and reaches for something she both knows and doesn’t know is there. There is contact. The world goes quiet or the world goes loud, a sudden rushing in her ears like sea­water. She removes her hand. Her palm is clutched into a fist. She opens it slowly. A small piece of thin black string, the length of a thumb. She brings it close to her face. There, looped in its center, the smallest of knots. She touches it, feels the tiny lump like a stain on her finger.

Under her bed. Under their bed. All of that time.

“My God,” my mother whispers, and it’s like we are back in Garni-Geghard, everyone pointing at dragons.


The earliest recorded doors appear in the paintings of Egyptian tombs, which show them as single or double doors, each of a single piece of wood. People may have believed these were doors to the afterlife, and some include designs of the afterlife. In Egypt, where the climate is intensely dry, doors weren't framed against warping, but in other countries required framed doors—which, according to Vitruvius (iv. 6.) was done with stiles (sea/si) and rails (see: Frame and panel), the enclosed panels filled with tympana set in grooves in the stiles and rails. The stiles were the vertical boards, one of which, tenoned or hinged, is known as the hanging stile, the other as the middle or meeting stile. The horizontal cross pieces are the top rail, bottom rail, and middle or intermediate rails.

The most ancient doors were made of timber, such as those referred to in the Biblical depiction of King Solomon's temple being in olive wood (I Kings vi. 31-35), which were carved and overlaid with gold. The doors that Homer mentions appear to have been cased in silver or brass. Besides olive wood, elm, cedar, oak and cypress were used. A 5,000-year-old door has been found by archaeologists in Switzerland. [2]

Ancient doors were hung by pivots at the top and bottom of the hanging stile, which worked in sockets in the lintel and sill, the latter in some hard stone such as basalt or granite. Those Hilprecht found at Nippur, dating from 2000 BC, were in dolerite. The tenons of the gates at Balawat were sheathed with bronze (now in the British Museum). These doors or gates were hung in two leaves, each about 2.54 m (100 in) wide and 8.2 m (27 ft) high they were encased with bronze bands or strips, 25.4 cm (10.0 in) high, covered with repoussé decoration of figures. The wood doors would seem to have been about 7.62 cm (3.00 in) thick, but the hanging stile was over 360 millimetres (14 in) diameter. Other sheathings of various sizes in bronze show this was a universal method adopted to protect the wood pivots. In the Hauran in Syria where timber is scarce, the doors were made of stone, and one measuring 1.63 m (5.3 ft) by 0.79 m (31 in) is in the British Museum the band on the meeting stile shows that it was one of the leaves of a double door. At Kuffeir near Bostra in Syria, Burckhardt found stone doors, 2.74 to 3.048 m (8.99 to 10.00 ft) high, being the entrance doors of the town. In Etruria many stone doors are referred to by Dennis.

Ancient Greek and Roman doors were either single doors, double doors, triple doors, sliding doors or folding doors, in the last case the leaves were hinged and folded back. In the tomb of Theron at Agrigentum there is a single four-panel door carved in stone. In the Blundell collection is a bas-relief of a temple with double doors, each leaf with five panels. Among existing examples, the bronze doors in the church of SS. Cosmas and Damiano, in Rome, are important examples of Roman metal work of the best period they are in two leaves, each with two panels, and are framed in bronze. Those of the Pantheon are similar in design, with narrow horizontal panels in addition, at the top, bottom and middle. Two other bronze doors of the Roman period are in the Lateran Basilica.

The Greek scholar Heron of Alexandria created the earliest known automatic door in the 1st century AD during the era of Roman Egypt. [3] The first foot-sensor-activated automatic door was made in China during the reign of Emperor Yang of Sui (r. 604–618), who had one installed for his royal library. [3] The first automatic gate operators were later created in 1206 by Arab inventor Al-Jazari. [4] [ need quotation to verify ]

Copper and its alloys were integral in medieval architecture. The doors of the church of the Nativity at Bethlehem (6th century) are covered with plates of bronze, cut out in patterns. Those of Hagia Sophia at Constantinople, of the 8th and 9th century, are wrought in bronze, and the west doors of the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle (9th century), of similar manufacture, were probably brought from Constantinople, as also some of those in St. Marks, Venice. The bronze doors on the Aachen Cathedral in Germany date back to about 800 AD. Bronze baptistery doors at the Cathedral of Florence were completed in 1423 by Ghiberti. [5] (For more information, see: Copper in architecture).

Of the 11th and 12th centuries there are numerous examples of bronze doors, the earliest being one at Hildesheim, Germany (1015). The Hildesheim design affected the concept of Gniezno door in Poland. Of others in South Italy and Sicily, the following are the finest: in Sant Andrea, Amalfi (1060) Salerno (1099) Canosa (1111) Troia, two doors (1119 and 1124) Ravello (1179), by Barisano of Trani, who also made doors for Trani cathedral and in Monreale and Pisa cathedrals, by Bonano of Pisa. In all these cases the hanging stile had pivots at the top and bottom. The exact period when the builder moved to the hinge is unknown, but the change apparently brought about another method of strengthening and decorating doors—wrought-iron bands of various designs. As a rule, three bands with ornamental work constitute the hinges, with rings outside the hanging stiles that fit on vertical tenons set into the masonry or wooden frame. There is an early example of the 12th century in Lincoln. In France, the metalwork of the doors of Notre Dame at Paris is a beautiful example, but many others exist throughout France and England.

In Italy, celebrated doors include those of the Battistero di San Giovanni (Florence), which are all in bronze—including the door frames. The modeling of the figures, birds and foliage of the south doorway, by Andrea Pisano (1330), and of the east doorway by Ghiberti (1425–1452), are of great beauty. In the north door (1402–1424), Ghiberti adopted the same scheme of design for the paneling and figure subjects as Andrea Pisano, but in the east door, the rectangular panels are all filled, with bas-reliefs that illustrate Scripture subjects and innumerable figures. These may the gates of Paradise of which Michelangelo speaks.

Doors of the mosques in Cairo were of two kinds: those externally cased with sheets of bronze or iron, cut in decorative patterns, and incised or inlaid, with bosses in relief and those of wood-framed with interlaced square and diamond designs. The latter design is Coptic in origin. The doors of the palace at Palermo, which were made by Saracenic workmen for the Normans, are fine examples in good preservation. A somewhat similar decorative class of door is found in Verona, where the edges of the stiles and rails are beveled and notched.

In the Renaissance period, Italian doors are quite simple, their architects trusting more to the doorways for effect but in France and Germany the contrary is the case, the doors being elaborately carved, especially in the Louis XIV and Louis XV periods, and sometimes with architectural features such as columns and entablatures with pediment and niches, the doorway being in plain masonry. While in Italy the tendency was to give scale by increasing the number of panels, in France the contrary seems to have been the rule and one of the great doors at Fontainebleau, which is in two leaves, is entirely carried out as if consisting of one great panel only.

The earliest Renaissance doors in France are those of the cathedral of St. Sauveur at Aix (1503). In the lower panels there are figures 3 ft (0.91 m). high in Gothic niches, and in the upper panels a double range of niches with figures about 2 ft (0.61 m). high with canopies over them, all carved in cedar. The south door of Beauvais Cathedral is in some respects the finest in France the upper panels are carved in high relief with figure subjects and canopies over them. The doors of the church at Gisors (1575) are carved with figures in niches subdivided by classic pilasters superimposed. In St. Maclou at Rouen are three magnificently carved doors those by Jean Goujon have figures in niches on each side, and others in a group of great beauty in the center. The other doors, probably about forty to fifty years later, are enriched with bas-reliefs, landscapes, figures and elaborate interlaced borders.

NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center contains the four largest doors. The Vehicle Assembly Building was originally built for the assembly of the Apollo missions' Saturn vehicles and was then used to support Space Shuttle operations. Each of the four doors are 139 meters (456 feet) high. [6]

The oldest door in England can be found in Westminster Abbey and dates from 1050. [7] In England in the 17th century the door panels were raised with bolection or projecting moldings, sometimes richly carved, around them in the 18th century the moldings worked on the stiles and rails were carved with the egg-and-dart ornament.

Fragment from an Ancient Egyptian tomb door, circa 2150 –1981 BC, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)

Rococo door on Rue Monsieur-le-Prince (Paris)

Louis XVI door of the Hôtel Mortier de Sandreville, on Rue des Francs-Bourgeois (Paris)

African door with lock, late 19th or early 20th century, wood with iron, from Burkina Faso, in the Brooklyn Museum (New York City)

Gothic Revival door on Rue Malebranche (Paris)

Egyptian Revival door of a mausoleum in the Forest Home Cemetery (Wisconsin, US)

19th century Eclectic Classicist door on Rue La Bruyère (Paris)

Art Nouveau metal and glass door in Nancy (France), with a big transparent awning above it

There are many kinds of doors, with different purposes. The most common type is the single-leaf door, which consists of a single rigid panel that fills the doorway. There are many variations on this basic design, such as the double-leaf door or double door and French windows, which have two adjacent independent panels hinged on each side of the doorway.

  • A half door or Dutch door[8] or stable door is divided in half horizontally. Traditionally the top half opens so a worker can feed a horse or other animal while the bottom half remains closed to keep the animal inside. This style of door has been adapted for homes.
  • Saloon doors are a pair of lightweight swing doors often found in public bars, and especially associated with the American west. Saloon doors, also known as cafe doors, often use bidirectional hinges that close the door regardless of which direction it opens by incorporating springs. Saloon doors that only extend from knee-level to chest-level are known as batwing doors.
  • A blind door, Gibb door, or jib door has no visible trim or operable components. It blends with the adjacent wall in all finishes, to appear as part of the wall—a disguised door. [9]
  • A French door consists of a frame around one or more transparent or translucent panels (called lights or lites) that may be installed singly, in matching pairs, or even as series. A matching pair of these doors is called a French window, as it resembles a door-height casement window. When a pair of French doors is used as a French window, the application does not generally include a central mullion (as do some casement window pairs), thus allowing a wider unobstructed opening. The frame typically requires a weather strip at floor level and where the doors meet to prevent water ingress. An espagnolette bolt may let the head and foot of each door be secured in one movement. The slender window joinery maximizes light into the room and minimizes the visual impact of the doorway joinery when considered externally. The doors of a French window often open outward onto a balcony, porch, or terrace and they may provide an entrance to a garden.
  • A louvered door has fixed or movable wooden fins (often called slats or louvers) which permit open ventilation while preserving privacy and preventing the passage of light to the interior. Being relatively weak structures, they are most commonly used for wardrobes and drying rooms, where security is of less importance than good ventilation, although a very similar structure is commonly used to form window shutters. Double louvred doors were introduced into Seagate, built in Florida in 1929 by Gwendolyn and Powel Crosley, that provided the desired circulation of air with an added degree of privacy in that it is impossible to see through the fins in any direction.
  • A composite door is a single leaf door that can be solid or with glass, and is usually filled with high density foam. In the United Kingdom, composite doors are commonly certified to BS PAS 23/24 [10] and be compliant with Secured by Design, an official UK police initiative. [11]
  • A steel security door is one which is made from strong steel, often for use on vaults and safe rooms to withstand attack. These may also be fitted with wooden outer panels to resemble standard internal and external doors. [12]
  • A flush door is a completely smooth door, having plywood or MDF fixed over a light timber frame, the hollow parts of which are often filled with a cardboard core material. Skins can also be made out of hardboards, the first of which was invented by William H Mason in 1924. Called Masonite, its construction involved pressing and steaming wood chips into boards. Flush doors are most commonly employed in the interior of a dwelling, although slightly more substantial versions are occasionally used as exterior doors, especially within hotels and other buildings containing many independent dwellings.
  • A moulded door has the same structure as that of flush door. The only difference is that the surface material is a moulded skin made of MDF. Skins can also be made out of hardboards.
  • A ledge and brace door often called board and batten doors are made from multiple vertical boards fixed together by two or more horizontal timbers called ledges (or battens)and sometimes kept square by additional diagonal timbers called braces.
  • A wicket door is a pedestrian door built into a much larger door allowing access without requiring the opening of the larger door. Examples might be found on the ceremonial door of a cathedral or in a large vehicle door in a garage or hangar.
  • A bifold door is a unit that has several sections, folding in pairs. Wood is the most common material, and doors may also be metal or glass. Bifolds are most commonly made for closets, but may also be used as units between rooms. Bi-fold doors are essentially now doors that let the outside in. They open in concert where the panels fold up against one another and are pushed together when opened. The main door panel (often known as the traffic door) is accompanied by a stack of panels that fold very neatly against one another when opened fully, which almost look like room dividers. [13]
  • A sliding glass door, sometimes called an Arcadia door or patio door, is a door made of glass that slides open and sometimes has a screen (a removable metal mesh that covers the door).
  • Australian doors are a pair of plywood swinging doors often found in Australian public houses. These doors are generally red or brown in color and bear a resemblance to the more formal doors found in other British Colonies' public houses.
  • A false door is a wall decoration that looks like a window. In ancient Egyptian architecture, this was a common element in a tomb, the false door representing a gate to the afterlife. They can also be found in the funerary architecture of the desert tribes (e.g., Libyan Ghirza).
  • A doormat (also called door mat) is a mat placed typically in front of or behind a door of a home. This practice originated so that mud and dirt would be less prevalent on floors inside a building.

Hinged doors Edit

Most doors are hinged along one side to allow the door to pivot away from the doorway in one direction, but not the other. The axis of rotation is usually vertical. In some cases, such as hinged garage doors, the axis may be horizontal, above the door opening.

Doors can be hinged so that the axis of rotation is not in the plane of the door to reduce the space required on the side to which the door opens. This requires a mechanism so that the axis of rotation is on the side other than that in which the door opens. This is sometimes the case in trains or airplanes, such as for the door to the toilet, which opens inward.

A swing door has special single-action hinges that allow it to open either outwards or inwards, and is usually sprung to keep it closed.

French doors are derived from an original French design called the casement door. It is a door with lites where all or some panels would be in a casement door. A French door traditionally has a moulded panel at the bottom of the door. It is called a French window when used in a pair as double-leaved doors with large glass panels in each door leaf, and in which the doors may swing out (typically) as well as in.

A Mead door, developed by S Mead of Leicester, swings both ways. It is susceptible to forced entry due to its design.

A Dutch door or stable door consists of two halves. The top half operates independently from the bottom half. A variant exists in which opening the top part separately is possible, but because the lower part has a lip on the inside, closing the top part, while leaving the lower part open, is not.

A garden door resembles a French window (with lites), but is more secure because only one door is operable. The hinge of the operating door is next to the adjacent fixed door and the latch is located at the wall opening jamb rather than between the two doors or with the use of an espagnolette bolt.

Sliding doors Edit

It is often useful to have doors which slide along tracks, often for space or aesthetic considerations.

A bypass door is a door unit that has two or more sections. The doors can slide in either direction along one axis on parallel overhead tracks, sliding past each other. They are most commonly used in closets to provide access one side of the closet at a time. Doors in a bypass unit overlap slightly when viewed from the front so they don't have a visible gap when closed.

Doors which slide inside a wall cavity are called pocket doors. This type of door is used in tight spaces where privacy is also required. The door slab is mounted to roller and a track at the top of the door and slides inside a wall.

Sliding glass doors are common in many houses, particularly as an entrance to the backyard. Such doors are also popular for use for the entrances to commercial structures, although they are not counted as fire exit doors. The door that moves is called the "active leaf", while the door that remains fixed is called the "inactive leaf".

Rotating doors Edit

A revolving door has several wings or leaves, generally four, radiating from a central shaft, forming compartments that rotate about a vertical axis. A revolving door allows people to pass in both directions without colliding, and forms an airlock maintaining a seal between inside and out.

A pivot door, instead of hinges, is supported on a bearing some distance away from the edge, so that there is more or less of a gap on the pivot side as well as the opening side. In some cases the pivot is central, creating two equal openings.

High-speed door Edit

A high-speed door is a very fast door some with opening speeds of up to 4 m/s, mainly used in the industrial sector where the speed of a door has an effect on production logistics, temperature and pressure control. high-speed clean room doors are used in pharmaceutical industries for the special curtain and stainless steel frames. They guarantee the tightness of all accesses. The powerful high-speed doors have a smooth surface structure and no protruding edges. Therefore, they can be easily cleaned and depositing of particles is largely excluded.

High-speed doors are made to handle a high number of openings, generally more than 200,000 a year. They must be built with heavy duty parts and counterbalance systems for speed enhancement and emergency opening function. The door curtain was originally made of PVC, but was later also developed in aluminium and acrylic glass sections. High Speed refrigeration and cold room doors with excellent insulation values was also introduced with the Green and Energy saving requirements.

In North America, the Door and Access Systems Manufacturing Association (DASMA) defines high-performance doors as non-residential, powered doors, characterized by rolling, folding, sliding or swinging action, that are either high-cycle (minimum 100 cycles/day) or high-speed (minimum 20 inches(508 mm)/second), and two out of three of the following: made-to-order for exact size and custom features, able to withstand equipment impact (break-away if accidentally hit by vehicle), or able to sustain heavy use with minimal maintenance.

Automatic Edit

Automatically opening doors are powered open and closed either by electricity, spring, or both. There are several methods by which an automatically opening door is activated:

  1. A sensor detects traffic is approaching. Sensors for automatic doors are generally:
    • A pressure sensor – e.g., a floor mat which reacts to the pressure of someone standing on it.
    • An infraredcurtain or beam which shines invisible light onto sensors if someone or something blocks the beam the door is triggered open.
    • A motion sensor which uses low-power microwave radar for the same effect.
    • A remote sensor (e.g. based on infrared or radio waves) can be triggered by a portable remote control, or is installed inside a vehicle. These are popular for garage doors.
  2. A switch is operated manually, perhaps after security checks. This can be a push button switch or a swipe card.
  3. The act of pushing or pulling the door triggers the open and close cycle. These are also known as power-assisted doors.

In addition to activation sensors, automatically opening doors are generally fitted with safety sensors. These are usually an infrared curtain or beam, but can be a pressure mat fitted on the swing side of the door. The safety sensor prevents the door from colliding with an object by stopping or slowing its motion. A mechanism in modern automatic doors ensures that the door can open in a power failure.

Others Edit

Up-and-over or overhead doors are often used in garages. Instead of hinges, it has a mechanism, often counterbalanced or sprung, so it can lift and rest horizontally above the opening. A roller shutter or sectional overhead door is one variant of this type.

A tambour door or roller door is an up-and-over door made of narrow horizontal slats and "rolls" up and down by sliding along vertical tracks and is typically found in entertainment centres and cabinets.

Inward opening doors are doors that can only be opened (or forced open) from outside a building. Such doors pose a substantial fire risk to occupants of occupied buildings when they are locked. As such doors can only be forced open from the outside, building occupants would be prevented from escaping. In commercial and retail situations, manufacturers include a mechanism that lets an inward opening door open outwards in an emergency (often a regulatory requirement). This is called a 'breakaway' feature. Pushing the door outward at its closed position, through a switch mechanism, disconnects power to the latch and lets the door swing outward. Returning the door to the closed position restores power.

Rebated doors, a term chiefly used in Britain, are double doors having a lip or overlap (i.e. a Rabbet) on the vertical edge(s) where they meet. Fire-rating can be achieved with an applied edge-guard or astragal molding on the meeting stile, in accordance with the American Fire door.

Evolution Door is a trackless door that moves in the same closure level as a sliding door. The system is an invention of the Austrian artist Klemens Torggler. It is a further development of the Drehplattentür [de] that normally consists of two rotatable, connected panels which move to each other when opening. [14]

Architectural doors have numerous general and specialized uses. Doors are generally used to separate interior spaces (closets, rooms, etc.) for convenience, privacy, safety, and security reasons. Doors are also used to secure passages into a building from the exterior, for reasons of climate control and safety. [15]

Doors also are applied in more specialized cases:

  • A Blast-proof door is constructed to allow access to a structure as well as to provide protection from the force of explosions.
  • A garden door is any door that opens to a backyard or garden. This term is often used specifically for French windows, double French doors (with lites instead of panels), in place of a sliding glass door. The term also may refer to what is known as patio doors. [citation needed]
  • A jib door is a concealed door, whose surface reflects the moldings and finishes of the wall. These were used in historic English houses, mainly as servants' doors. [citation needed]
  • A pet door (also known as a cat flap or dog door) is an opening in a door to allow pets to enter and exit without the main door's being opened. It may be simply covered by a rubber flap, or it may be an actual door hinged on the top that the pet can push through. Pet doors may be mounted in a sliding glass door as a new (permanent or temporary) panel. Pet doors may be unidirectional, only allowing pets to exit. Additionally, pet doors may be electronic, only allowing animals with a special electronic tag to enter.
  • A trapdoor is a door that is oriented horizontally in a ceiling or floor, often accessed via a ladder.
  • A water door or water entrance, such as those used in Venice, Italy, is a door leading from a building built on the water, such as a canal, to the water itself where, for example, one may enter or exit a private boat or water taxi. [16][17]

Panel doors Edit

Panel doors, also called stile and rail doors, are built with frame and panel construction. EN 12519 is describing the terms which are officially used in European Member States. The main parts are listed below:

    – Vertical boards that run the full height of a door and compose its right and left edges. The hinges are mounted to the fixed side (known as the "hanging stile"), and the handle, lock, bolt or latch are mounted on the swinging side (known as the "latch stile"). – Horizontal boards at the top, bottom, and optionally in the middle of a door that join the two stiles and split the door into two or more rows of panels. The "top rail" and "bottom rail" are named for their positions. The bottom rail is also known as "kick rail". A middle rail at the height of the bolt is known as the "lock rail", other middle rails are commonly known as "cross rails". – Smaller optional vertical boards that run between two rails, and split the door into two or more columns of panels, the term is used sometimes for verticals in doors, but more often (UK and Australia) it refers to verticals in windows.
  • Muntin – Optional vertical members that divide the door into smaller panels.
  • Panels – Large, wider boards used to fill the space between the stiles, rails, and mullions. The panels typically fit into grooves in the other pieces, and help to keep the door rigid. Panels may be flat, or in raised panel designs. Can be glued in or stay as a floating panel.
  • Light – a piece of glass used in place of a panel, essentially giving the door a window.

Board batten doors Edit

Also known as ledges and braced, Board and batten doors are an older design consisting primarily of vertical slats:

  • Planks – Boards wider than 9" that extend the full height of the door, and are placed side by side filling the door's width.
  • Ledges and braces – Ledges extend horizontally across the door which the boards are affixed to. The ledges hold the planks together. When diagonally they are called braces which prevent the door from skewing. On some doors, especially antique ones, the ledges are replaced with iron bars that are often built into the hinges as extensions of the door-side plates.

Ledged and braced doors Edit

As board and Batten doors

Impact-resistant doors Edit

Impact-resistant doors have rounded stile edges to dissipate energy and minimize edge chipping, scratching and denting. The formed edges are often made of an engineered material. Impact-resistant doors excel in high traffic areas such as hospitals, schools, hotels and coastal areas.

Frame and filled doors Edit

This type consists of a solid timber frame, filled on one face, face with Tongue and Grooved boards. Quite often used externally with the boards on the weather face.

Flush doors Edit

Many modern doors, including most interior doors, are flush doors:

    and rails – As above, but usually smaller. They form the outside edges of the door.
  • Core material: Material within the door used simply to fill space, provide rigidity and reduce drumminess.
    • Hollow-core – Often consists of a lattice or honeycomb made of corrugated cardboard, or thin wooden slats. Can also be built with staggered wooden blocks. Hollow-core flush doors are commonly used as interior doors.
      • Lock block – A solid block of wood mounted within a hollow-core flush door near the bolt to provide a solid and stable location for mounting the door's hardware.

      Moulded doors Edit

        and rails – As above, but usually smaller. They form the outside edges of the door.
    • Core material: Material within the door used simply to fill space, provide rigidity and reduce druminess.
      • Hollow-core – Often consists of a lattice or honeycomb made of corrugated cardboard, extruded polystyrene foam, or thin wooden slats. Can also be built with staggered wooden blocks. Hollow-core molded doors are commonly used as interior doors. [18]
        • Lock block – A solid block of wood mounted within a hollow-core flush door near the bolt to provide a solid and stable location for mounting the door's hardware.

        Swing direction Edit

        Door swings For most of the world [ citation needed ] , door swings, or handing, are determined while standing on the outside or less secure side of the door while facing the door (i.e., standing on the side requiring a key to open, going from outside to inside, or from public to private).

        It is important to get the hand and swing correct on exterior doors, as the transom is usually sloped and sealed to resist water entry, and properly drain. In some custom millwork (or with some master carpenters), the manufacture or installer bevels the leading edge (the first edge to meet the jamb as the door closes) so that the door fits tight without binding. Specifying an incorrect hand or swing can make the door bind, not close properly, or leak. Fixing this error is expensive or time-consuming. In North America, many doors now come with factory-installed hinges, pre-hung on the jamb and sills.

        While facing the door from the outside or less secure side, if the hinge is on the right side of the door, the door is "right handed" or if the hinge is on the left, it is "left handed". If the door swings toward you, it is "reverse swing" or if the door swings away from you, it is "Normal swing".

        • In the United States:
          • Left hand hinge (LHH): Standing outside (or on the less secure side, or on the public side of the door), the hinges are on the left and the door opens in (away from you).
          • Right hand hinge (RHH): Standing outside (or on the less secure side), the hinges are on the right and the door opens in (away from you).
          • Left hand reverse (LHR): Standing outside the house (or on the less secure side), the hinges are on the left, knob on right, on opening the door it swings towards you (i.e. the door swings open towards the outside, or "outswing")
          • Right hand reverse (RHR): Standing outside the house (i.e. on the less secure side), the hinges are on the right, knob on left, opening the door by pulling the door towards you (i.e. open swings to the outside, or "outswing")

          One of the oldest DIN standard applies: DIN 107 "Building construction identification of right and left side" (first 1922–05, current 1974-04) defines that doors are categorized from the side where the door hinges can be seen. If the hinges are on the left, it is a DIN Left door (DIN links, DIN gauche), if the hinges are on the right, it is a DIN Right door (DIN rechts, DIN droite). The DIN Right and DIN Left marking are also used to categorize matching installation material such as mortise locks (referenced in DIN 107). The European Standard DIN EN 12519 "Windows and pedestrian doors. Terminology" includes these definitions of orientation.

          The "refrigerator rule" applies, and a refrigerator door is not opened from the inside. If the hinges are on the right then it is a right hand (or right hung) door. (Australian Standards for Installation of Timber Doorsets, AS 1909–1984 pg 6.)

          In public buildings, exterior doors open to the outside to comply with applicable fire codes. In a fire, a door that opens inward could cause a crush of people who can't open it. [19]

          Types Edit

          New exterior doors are largely defined by the type of materials they are made from: wood, steel, fiberglass, UPVC/vinyl, aluminum, composite, glass (patio doors).

          Wooden doors – including solid wood doors – are a top choice for many homeowners, largely because of the aesthetic qualities of wood. Many wood doors are custom-made, but they have several downsides: their price, their maintenance requirements (regular painting and staining) and their limited insulating value [20] (R-5 to R-6, not including the effects of the glass elements of the doors). Wood doors often have an overhang requirement to maintain a warranty. An overhang is a roof, porch area or awning that helps to protect the door and its finish from UV rays.

          Steel doors are another major type of residential front doors most of them come with a polyurethane or other type of foam insulation core – a critical factor in a building's overall comfort and efficiency. Steel doors mostly in default comes along with frame and lock system, which is a high cost efficiency factor compared to Wooden doors.

          Most modern exterior walls provide thermal insulation and energy efficiency, which can be indicated by the Energy Star label or the Passive House standards. Premium composite (including steel doors with a thick core of polyurethane or other foam), fiberglass and vinyl doors benefit from the materials they are made from, from a thermal perspective.

          Insulation and weatherstrips Edit

          But there are very few door models with an R-value close to 10 (which is far less than the R-40 walls or the R-50 ceilings of super-insulated buildings – Passive Solar and Zero Energy Buildings). Typical doors are not thick enough to provide very high levels of energy efficiency.

          Many doors may have good R-values at their center, but their overall energy efficiency is reduced because of the presence of glass and reinforcing elements, or because of poor weatherstripping and the way the door is manufactured.

          Door weatherstripping is particularly important for energy efficiency. German-made passive house doors use multiple weatherstrips, including magnetic strips, to meet higher standards. These weatherstrips reduce energy losses due to air leakage.

          Dimensions Edit

          United States Edit

          Standard door sizes in the US run along 2" increments. Customary sizes have a height of 78" (1981 mm) or 80" (2032 mm) and a width of 18" (472 mm), 24" (610 mm), 26" (660 mm), 28" (711 mm), 30" (762 mm) or 36" (914 mm). [21] Most residential passage (room to room) doors are 30" x 80" (762 mm x 2032 mm).

          A standard US residential (exterior) door size is 36" x 80" (91 x 203 cm). Interior doors for wheelchair access must also have a minimum width of 3'-0" (91 cm). Residential interior doors are often somewhat smaller being 6'-8" high, as are many small stores, offices, and other light commercial buildings. Larger commercial, public buildings and grand homes often use doors of greater height. Older buildings often have smaller doors.

          Thickness: Most pre-fabricated doors are 1 3/8" thick (for interior doors) or 1 3/4" (exterior).

          Closets: small spaces such as closets, dressing rooms, half-baths, storage rooms, cellars, etc. often are accessed through doors smaller than passage doors in one or both dimensions but similar in design.

          Garages: Garage doors are generally 7'-0" or 8'-0" wide for a single-car opening. Two car garage doors (sometimes called double car doors) are a single door 16'-0". Because of size and weight these doors are usually sectional. That is split into four or five horizontal sections so that they can be raised more easily and don't require a lot of additional space above the door when opening and closing. Single piece double garage doors are common in some older homes.

          Europe Edit

          Standard DIN doors are defined in DIN 18101 (published 1955–07, 1985–01, 2014-08). Door sizes are also given in the construction standard for wooden door panels (DIN 68706-1). The DIN commission created the harmonized European standard DIN EN 14351-1 for exterior doors and DIN EN 14351-2 for interior doors (published 2006–07, 2010-08), which define requirements for the CE marking and provide standard sizes by examples in the appendix.

          The DIN 18101 standard has a normative size (Nennmaß) slightly larger than the panel size (Türblatt) as the standard derives the panel sizes from the normative size being different single door vs double door and molded vs unmolded doors. DIN 18101/1985 defines interior single molded doors to have a common panel height of 1985 mm (normativ height 2010 mm) at panel widths of 610 mm, 735 mm, 860 mm, 985 mm, 1110 mm, plus a larger door panel size of 1110 mm x 2110 mm. [22] The newer DIN 18101/2014 drops the definition of just five standard door sizes in favor of a basic raster running along 125 mm increments where the height and width are independent. Panel width may be in the range 485 mm to 1360 mmm, and the height may be in the range of 1610 mm to 2735 mm. [23] The most common interior door is 860 mm x 1985 mm (33.8" x 78.1").

          Doorway components Edit

          When framed in wood for snug fitting of a door, the doorway consists of two vertical jambs on either side, a lintel or head jamb at the top, and perhaps a threshold at the bottom. When a door has more than one movable section, one of the sections may be called a leaf. See door furniture for a discussion of attachments to doors such as door handles, doorknobs, and door knockers.

            – A horizontal beam above a door that supports the wall above it. (Also known as a header) or legs – The vertical posts that form the sides of a door frame, where the hinges are mounted, and with which the bolt interacts.
        • Sill (for exterior doors) – A horizontal sill plate below the door that supports the door frame. Similar to a Window Sill but for a door (for exterior doors) – A horizontal plate below the door that bridges the crack between the interior floor and the sill. – a thin slat built inside the frame to prevent a door from swinging through when closed, an act which might break the hinges. – The decorative molding that outlines a door frame. (called an Archivolt if the door is arched). Called door casing or brickmold in North America.
        • Front door of a house with typical door furniture: a letter box, door knocker, a latch and two locks

          Decorate Doorway at Geghard Monastery - History

          Geghard Monastery

          Named after the holy lance that pierced Christ&rsquos side at the crucifixion, this World Heritage&ndashlisted monastery is carved out of the rock face of the Azat River Gorge. Legend has it as founded in the 4th century and its oldest surviving chapel dates back to the 12th century. The hugely atmospheric Surp Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God Church) dates from 1215 and features wonderful carvings its adjoining gavit (vestibule) with its nine arches was built between 1215 and 1225.

          Chapels hewn from the rock
          On the left-hand side of the gavit are two entrances to chapels hewn from the rock in the 13th century. One contains a basin with spring water, khachkars and stalactite decoration. The second includes the four-column burial chamber of Prince Papaq Proshian and his wife, Hruzakan. The family&rsquos coat of arms, carved in the rock above, features two lions chained together and an eagle.
          Outside, steps to the left of the entrance lead up the hill to a 10m passageway with carved khachkars. This gives access to a 13th-century burial vault that was carved out of the raw rock. Its proportions and acoustics are quite amazing. In the far corner is an opening looking down on the church below.

          Monastic cells
          Behind the church are steps that lead to some interesting monastic cells and more khachkars.
          As you approach the monastery, look to the left up the hill for caves housing monastic cells built by monks.

          Aragatsotn Region

          Aragatsotn is named after the massive mountain (4095m / 13,435 ft.) that hovers over the northern reaches of Armenia. This region is one of the.

          Ararat Region

          Ararat region is named after the biblical Mount Ararat which is mentioned in the Bible as a place where Noah’s ark has landed after the Great.

          Armavir Region

          Armavir Region - Because of its Christian history the region is most famous for locals and Diaspora Armenians, who make pilgrimages to Armenia to.

          Gegharkunik Region

          Gegharkunik ist die größte Region Armeniens, die an Aserbaidschan und die Shahumyan-Region der Republik Berg-Karabach grenzt. Ein Viertel der.

          Kotayk Region

          Kotayk region is located at the central part of the country and is home to many must-see sites in Armenia including the pagan Temple of Garni.

          Lori Region

          Lori region is in the northern part of Armenia, bordering on Georgia. It is considered Armenia’s greenest area, with more native forest land than.

          Shirak Region

          Shirak region lies in the north-west of Armenia. It borders with Georgia and Turkey. Shirak region is mainly dominated by the Ashotsk Plateau and.

          Syunik Region

          Syunik region- It is in the southern part of Armenia, bordering by Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic exclave, the de facto independent.

          Tavush Region

          Tavush region lies in the Northeast of Armenia, bordering by Georgia and Azerbaijan. The territory is mainly mountainous and rocky hillsides.

          Vayots Dzor Region

          Vayots Dzor region is mainly a mountainous region at the southeastern end of the country, known with Jermuk Waterfall, Areni cave, Smbataberd.

          Yerevan, 2800 years old

          Yerevan city – 2800 years old. Yerevan is the capital of the Republic of Armenia with more than 1 million people. It is an amazing city with view.

          Significance of Martin Luther’s Work

          Martin Luther is one of the most influential figures in Western history. His writings were responsible for fractionalizing the Catholic Church and sparking the Protestant Reformation. His central teachings, that the Bible is the central source of religious authority and that salvation is reached through faith and not deeds, shaped the core of Protestantism. Although Luther was critical of the Catholic Church, he distanced himself from the radical successors who took up his mantle. Luther is remembered as a controversial figure, not only because his writings led to significant religious reform and division, but also because in later life he took on radical positions on other questions, including his pronouncements against Jews, which some have said may have portended German anti-Semitism others dismiss them as just one man’s vitriol that did not gain a following. Some of Luther’s most significant contributions to theological history, however, such as his insistence that as the sole source of religious authority the Bible be translated and made available to everyone, were truly revolutionary in his day.

          A Place Fit for a Painting

          Perched above the Hudson River about 50 miles north of New York City—on the east bank of the river across from West Point—the Garrison Institute is nestled in the hills of a landscape made famous in 19th century Hudson River School paintings.

          The 93-acre area surrounding the Institute still looks like a Hudson River School painting today, but it might have been otherwise. Supporting the call of local conservationists, the Institute’s founders rescued what was then a run-down Capuchin monastery from destruction to make way for a proposed large-scale real estate development.

          This would have been a tragic end for the site—formerly known as Glenclyffe, when it was the 19th century estate of New York Governor and U. S. Secretary of State Hamilton Fish—that has changed little since it was solely inhabited by the Wappinger Nation of Native Americans.

          In 2001, the property was acquired by the Open Space Institute, which generously donated it to the newly formed not-for-profit, The Garrison Institute, which renovated the building, and opened its doors to the world in 2003.

          Our current building is a renovated version of the 77,000 square foot stone and brick monastery and seminary built by the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Mary in 1923. Much of the architectural restoration is notable for what wasn’t changed. They tried to keep the essential character of the building—the light and the acoustics—the same.

          To consecrate the revival of the building and grounds, extraordinary people were invited to bear witness. The Institute celebrated an auspicious beginning with newly appointed spiritual advisors—Gelek Rimpoche, Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Father Thomas Keating. The opening ceremonies included music by Pete Seeger, Philip Glass and Christine McCall. His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the Institute in the fall of 2003 and blessed it, saying that its work was to serve all people and to connect the insights of wisdom traditions with the challenges of
          civil society and the environment.

          Building a More Compassionate, Resilient Future

          As we look forward to how our thinking and approach to global problems might evolve, we envision more events outside of the Institute to broaden our reach, deepening the work of Signature Programs and developing new ones, and creating meaningful and authentic digital content that can help us build a wider and more vibrant community.

          Watch the video: Decorating My New Home