Marmashen Monastery

The complex consists of two groups of monuments, known as Mets (Big) and Pokr (Little, also known as Verin or Upper). The main church of the monastery is Katoghike (988-1029), built by Prince Vahram Pahlavuni.


Marmashen Monastry Complex

The monastery is located on the left bank of the Akhurian River, between the villages of Vahramaberd and Marmashen. In the middle ages, it was an outstanding religious and cultural center with a repository for manuscripts.

The complex consists of two groups of monuments, known as Mets (Big) and Pokr (Little, also known as Verin or Upper). The main church of the monastery is Katoghike (988-1029), built  by Prince Vahram Pahlavuni.

It is a domed hall with four pylons, an outstanding example of the Ani school of Armenian architecture.  It is attributed to the gifted architect T'rdat. Attached on the western side is the gavit-sepulcher.

To the north lies the second church, probably built at the same time as Katoghike. Smaller in size, it repeats the Katoghike's composition and architectural patterns.

To the south of Katoghike is a third church (11th c.). Rectangular on the outside, it is actually a central-dome cruciform on the inside with four chambers in the corners. A fourth church was uncovered during 1954-56 excavations.

Circular on the outside, its domed interior once had four small annexes and apses, with only the stylobate and the two bottom lines of the masonry preserved today. On the eastern and southern sides of the group of monuments is the cemetery.

Pokr or Verin Marmashen sits on a hill which lies to the north of the Mets monument group. The area boasts the ruins of the domed cruciform church and a medieval cemetery. 

The monastery was repeatedly ruined throughout the history and renovated in 1225 by Vahram Pahlavuni's grandsons, Archbishop Grigor and Prince Gharib, and, in 1870 – by Mkrtich Jalalyan. Catholicos of All Armenians Mkrtich I Vanetsi initiated reconstruction works in 1900.


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    How to reach From Shirakatsi street in the north-west of Gyumri take highway H32 drive north-west for 7.6km toward village Vahramaberd. In the village stay left toward Marmashen Monastery road. Turn left on Marmashen Monastery road and drive 2.5km to the Monastery.

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