Photo: Vigen Hakhverdyan
The temple was built in the second half of the first century B.C. and dedicated to a heathen god, probably to Mithra, the god of the sun whose figure stood in the depth of the sanctuary (naos). After Christianity had been proclaimed the state religion in Armenia in 301, the temple was probably used as a summer residence of the kings. A chronicle describes it as «a house of coolness».