Qobayr Monastery


Location: Lori region,
Distance from Yerevan: 166 km – 2 h 20 min
Establishment: 12th century

Kobayr Monastery is a 12th-13th century monastic complex situated on the western edge of the Kobayr village. There are many natural and artificial caves with which the name of “Kobayr” is associated with. The oldest notes of Kobayr were preserved by Mkhitar Airvantsi and Vardan Areveltsi. The monastery belonged to the Kyurikyans branch of the Bagratuni family, and then passed to the Zakarian tribesmen to the Georgian diocese, which turned into a chalcedonic monastery in the middle of the 13th century. The presence of Georgian protocols on some walls of the monastery buildings is connected with this. Monastery Kobayr was the spiritual and cultural center of Northern Armenia, a place of literature. David Kobayretsi, a famous 12th-century writer, worked here. The monastic complex consists of three churches, a bell tower, a chapel, a refectory and a tomb. The oldest building of the Kobayr Monastery is the Mariamashen Church, located in the eastern part of the complex, on the edge of a cliff. It was built in 1171 by the daughter of King Kyurike 2nd – Mariam. And the main church is a one-storey hall, and the main altar has 5 windows installed in two rows. The eastern wall stands with its size and magnificent decorations.

The monastery of Kobayr is famous for its frescoes that adorn the main church, chapel, porch and bell tower. Kobayr Monastery is one of the most remarkable monuments of Armenian architecture in the Middle Ages. The complex is distinguished by its architectural monuments, with well-grounded composition, high level of processing and decorated stones and frescoes, referring to the medieval Armenian monumental painting.