Kecharis monastery

Kecharis monastery, located at the northern-western mount part of Tsakhkadzor, is the unique pearl of the Flower valley. It was founded by Gregory Magistros, descendant of Kamsarakan family, head of Pahlavuni clan. In 1033 he ordered to raise the temple, which was consecrated in the name of Armenians’ Baptist Gregory the Illuminator.

External and interior design of the temple is quite minimalistic. Spacious vaulted hall is crowned with a broad dome, and there are 2-storey vestries on both sides of the altar. Southward to it the second church of the complex stands - S. Nshan (Holy Banner, the first half of the XI century). This little church is separated from the temple by several khachkars (cross-stones). Another khachkar is kept at the eastern facade of the Katoghike temple (1203-1214), which is the most luxurious church of the monastery complex. The inscription says that this temple was built by architect Vetsik by the order of prince Vasak Hahbakyan.

Ruins of a small chapel of XI remain between the Illuminator’s church and S. Nshan: it’s the tomb of the monastery founder Gregory Magistros. Well-known military leader, scientist, appointed by the Byzantines as the military ruler of Mesopotamia, Vaspurakan, Taron, and some other areas of the empire, has died at 1058. After the death of Magistros this post succeeded by his son Vahram (later Catholicos of all Armenians - Gregory II). In the Middle Ages near the tomb there was the university premises.

Another church, the Holy Resurrection (1220), is located at some distance from the main complex. In this small rectangular church, crowned by a high dome, several abbots of Kecharis monastery are buried.

In 1998-2001 the monastery was completely renovated on the means of philanthropist Vladimir Harutyunyan (Austria), and today serves as the main vicarial church of Kotayk Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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