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Kobayr Monastery Complex, Armenia

Kobayr ( ayr- cave in Armenian, kob- cave in Georgian) monastery complex was built in XII-XIII. It is situated on the slope of Debed gorge. In the western part there is a 150 meter high vertical cliff with falling waterfall. In XII century Kobayr was one of the most important cultural and educational centers. At that time the monastery was property of Kyurikian feodal family (the Kyurikian branch of the Bagratuni Dynasty), however in the second half of XII century the monastery passed to Zakarian Dinasty, who were followers of the Georgian Orthodox Church (this is the reason of some Georgian signs). The monastery complex consists of three churches; a main, Katoghike church (end of XII century beginning of XIII century), church of Mariamashen (was built in 1171 by daughter of Kyurike II Mariam), single-naked church (XIII century), belfry-gallery (1279), refectory (XIII century), khachkars (cross-stones), chapels and remaining of fortress walls (with the height of 4 -5 m). Kobayr is especially distinguished for its frescos and ornaments. The legend tells that the main heroine of "Anush and Saro" (poem written by Hovhannes Tumanyan) throw out from the window of Kobayr church right to Debed gorge.


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