KOBAYR MONASTERY – A PREVIOUS CULTURAL HERITAGE The monastery of Kobayr was built in 1171. It is located not far from Tumanyan Town, on the high slopes of the Debed gorge. The monastery was built with the order of two sisters, the Kyurikyan princesses. Soon after the construction a Georgian Orthodox family Zakaryans owned the monastery. Later the King Zakaryan was buried here. Already after two centuries of its construction the monastery was seriously damaged by the earthquake. Now the ruins preserve unique murals created. You can see both Armenian and Georgian and Byzantine culture in those murals. This impressive architectural construction consists of three churches, belfry-burial vaults, refectory, chapels, khachkars and the remainders of the fort walls. Even in a half ruined condition, the complex is of great value and of great interest for the travelers. The interior of the Kobayr monastery is rich in frescoes with the depiction of Virgin Mary with archangels, figures of saints as well as ornamental belt. These wonderful frescoes make unforgettable impression on every visitor. The Kobayr Monastery is a must-see place in the country. ODZUN CHURCH Situated in the center of the region of Lori, on a notably large plateau, the village of Odzun is one of the greatest and most prosperous villages of Armenia. The territory of the village is rich in many numerous monuments constructed in different historical periods. A wonderful example is the church dating back to the 7th century built by Catholicos Hovhan of Odzun. Beside the church, you can see a special funerary monument with two carved pillars showing scenes from Bible and Christianization of Armenia. The monument is decorated with an impressive cornice. Above the cornice, the funerary monument obviously originally had an upper part decorated with winged crosses. The village boasts of the church Odzun dating back to 5-7th centuries. Even though the church was rebuilt, it has been preserved for us quite well. A generally known memorial can be seen within the territory of the church of the period 5-6th centuries. Walls of the church have geometrical, vegetation ornaments, images of apostles. The church of Odzun is a wonderful representation of the early Middle Age Armenian architecture. DSEGH – A FAIRY VILLAGE The picturesque village of Dsegh is situated on one side of the Debed River. The village is the birthplace of the famous Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan. He is so famous both among children and adults, that by saying Dsegh, we mean Hovhannes Tumanyan, and the contrary. The village hosts Tumanyan house museum. All around the village and inside it you can find basilicas of 654 built by the Mamikonyans, and an ethnographic museum housing artifacts from those times. Besides the splendid panorama of village and its vicinity, Dsegh also boasts of fine khachkars, a funerary pillar and the remnants of a small 17th century basilica church. In a field near Dsegh you can see the most famous in the village church called “Sirun Khach” (Beautiful Cross). The dense forests, steep gorges make the village of Dsegh a wonderful place to visit and explore. HAGHPAT MONASTERY Haghpat is a lovely village situated in the province of Lori near Alaverdi Town. The village is proud with its magnificent monastic complex of Haghpat built in the 10th century by the Queen Khosrovanush during the reign of the king Ashot Bagratuni III. The monastery of Haghpat has found its place in the charming setting of the wonderful nature. It is the jewel of the Lori region, and Armenia in general. This masterpiece of the Middle Age Armenian religious architecture is built halfway up a hillside so that it can overlook the Debed River. The location is specially chosen for this purpose. The placement of the monastery protected it from various attacks and concealed from interfering and curious eyes. Despite this the monastery has been attacked and damaged many times. The territory of Haghpat boasts with many brilliant khachkars (cross-stones) dating back to the 11-13th centuries. The best known among them is the Amenaprkich khachkar, translated as All Savior. It has been standing here since 1273. Another object for pride is the clock-tower erected in 1210 as well as the two storied bell-tower constructed in 1245. Both are significant pieces of Armenian architecture. The first floor has a shape of a cross, while the second one is octagonal and decorated by a cupola, held by a series of perfectly elegant columns. The oldest structure of the monastery is Holy Cross built in 977-991. The building is massive, yet elegant. Holy water fills the small pool of the church. People say the water is curative. It was here in this holy site that the great Armenian poet and troubadour Sayat-Nova had lived and created his wonderful songs and poems. The monastery once housed libraries, scriptoriums, schools and refectories. Among the numerous magnificent manuscripts copied here, Haghpat Gospel is the most significant one. It was written in 1211. It is noteworthy that the monastic complex of Haghpat, together with Sanahin is inscribed in thelist of UNESCO World Heritage Site. SANAHIN MONASTERY Sanahin is a medieval monastic complex, a precious gem of Armenian architecture. It is situated in the Debed Canyon of the Lori region, in the village of Sanahin. According to documents and evidence of material culture this structure belongs to the 10th century. The name Sanahin literally translates from Armenian as "this one is older than that one", presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighbouring Haghpat Monastery. The monastic complex embraces St. Hakob church (9th century), St. Astvatsatsin church (928-944), as well as St. Amenaprkich church (966) around the main temple. Originally the interiors of St. Astvatsatsin and St. Amenaprkich were decorated with frescoes. But now you can hardly discern any. The vestibules and galleries served as tombs for noble families. Sanahin has several such constructions, but none of them has similar architectural solutions. During the period from the 10-13th centuries, the monastery was an important and reputable center of learning, where humanitarian sciences and medicine were taught. Scientific treatises were written, paintings and miniatures were created here. The book depository in Sanahin dates back to 1063. It is a unique architectural construction evidencing the high level of architectural skills of the local masters during the period of 11-13th centuries. The depository was designed in the shape of a square and had a niche for preserving the manuscripts. The roof of the depository was of a special and distinctive appearance. And in general its influence can be seen in many architectural constructions in Armenia. The complex of Sanahin is rich in Armenian traditional carved stones called khachkars, which were put not only as memorials, but also as a mark of various events such as the construction of an inn in 1205 and construction of a bridge in 1192. This bridge stands out amongst all other bridges discovered within the territory of the complex with its high artistic virtue, integrity and perfect harmony. The bridge is an outstanding one in the whole Transcaucasia. The complex of Sanahin is an important site not only for Armenians but also for the whole world as it belongs to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.