It was built in the first century A.D. by the Armenian King Tiridates with the money he received after visiting Emperor Nero in Rome. The temple of Sun was destroyed in 1679 in an earthquake . A pagan temple was unearthed in 1909-1911 by Academicians Marr and Smirnov en was reconstructed in Soviet times. (You can recognize the new stones by their lack of carving, which allows you to appreciate the originals.) It is an excellent reconstruction. Alexander Sahinyan was awarded the state prize for the restoration project. In 1968, after 20 years of his work ,the temple rose again in all its glory. There is an inscription in Greek which never fails to mystify the visitor. It says “We worked without remuneration”.