Kobayr monastery consists of: the main gate, the refectory, Katoghike church, the chapel, Mariamashen church and the bell-tower built. All the structures were built at different times. The name “Kobayr” means “cave” and this is due to the fact that there are many caves in the area around the monastery. The monastery complex served as a cultural center, as well as a place where the chronicles and manuscripts were rewritten in the Middle Ages. The oldest buildings of the monastery were erected in the 12th century. Walls of the altar are decorated with images of prophets and well-preserved frescoes of both Armenian and Georgian traditional architectural style. The dilapidated architectural complex is undergoing reconstruction currently.
The well-established transport infrastructure of Armenia allows to get to Kobayr monastery by a private car or with the help of various travel companies which offer regular excursions and tours to different sights of the country. Due to the geographical location of Kobayr monastery the trip will not seem long.
The high season in Armenia lasts for a long time due to the pleasant climate conditions. Warm days in Armenia start in March and last until late autumn; winter is usually snowless and not long. The high precipitation season is variable. The tourist season for Kobayr monastery depends on the weather conditions.
The evidence of the activity of the monastery Kobayr in the XIV and XVI centuries is not significant. The inscriptions of several tombstones that were found on the territory of the monastery are nearly the only preserved data. According to the Georgian inscription on the gravestone, the son of Prince Ivane and the brother of Shahnshah (King of Kings), Vahram, who lived in the 1350s, was buried here.
The monastery was founded in 1171 by Mariane, the daughter of King Kyurike II. The expansion of the monastic complex began in XII-XIII centuries, when the monastery passed from the Kyurikians to the Zakarians. The main church, a chapel, a western adjoining open hall, a refectory, a bell tower with a crypt, chapels and fortifications were built at that period. Nowadays, all the structures are almost in ruins.
The altar of the main church of Kobayr, the chapel-sacristy, the open hall and the first floor of the bell tower were decorated with frescoes. They are relatively well preserved only in the main church and chapel. Numerous Georgian inscriptions can be seen on the walls of the complex of Kobayr, as well as on the discovered tombstones.
ST. HOVHANNES MONASTERY IN ARDVI