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Kobayr

Kobayr 016Kobayr is a 12th-century Georgian monastery located in the village Kober within Lori marz, Armenia.

The monastery was built on a brink of a deep gorge, in 1171, by the Kyurikid princes, a junior branch of the Bagratuni royal house of Armenia.

In the 13th century, the monastery was acquired by the Zakarids, a noble Armenian dynasty at the service of Georgian royals. The Zakarids converted Kobayr into a Chalcedonian monastery, as a result of which the monastery stayed under the tutelage of the Georgian Orthodox Church for some time. This explains several Georgian inscriptions found on the walls of the monastery, which exist alongside the monastery's original Armenian inscriptions. The name of the monastery originates from the Georgian word kob and the Armenian word ayr both of which mean cave.

The monastery houses the tomb of Prince Shahnshah Zakarian, son of Ivane Zakarian. A bell tower in the middle of the complex was built in 1279 to house the tombs of Mkhargryel Zakarian and his wife Vaneni. The monastery is currently undergoing renovation funded by the government of Armenia with the assistance of the government of Italy. The ruins of the main church in the monastery contain frescoes of Christ and the twelve apostles as well as the Church Fathers and other Christian figures.

 

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