Kecharis Monastery – Tsaghkadzor, Armenia

Kecharis Monastery – Tsaghkadzor, Armenia

Kecharis Monastery is located in the northwestern area of Tsaghkadzor, on the terrace of the slope of the Pambak Range. The monastery features 3 monastery churches, as well as the small Church of the Resurrection standing nearby, surrounded by ancient tombstones.

In the 12th-13th centuries, the monastery served as a major spiritual center of Armenia with its own school. Kecharis was built in the 11th century by the princes of Pahlavuni. However, its construction continued until well into the 13th century.

The first temple to be built in the monastery was the Surb Grigor Lusavorich Church built in 1003. The spacious vaulted hall of this church was crowned with a wide dome. The church’s porch was built in the second half of the 12th century and belongs to the early structures of its type.

To the south of this church, behind several cross-stones, there is the miniature cross-domed Church of Surb Nshan, also built in the first half of the 11th century.

In the first quarter of the 13th century was built the last church of the monastery, the Katoghike. Its architect was Vetsik. In memory of this, a khachkar was placed east of her building. This cross-domed church has two-story aisles in all four corners of the prayer hall.

Between the churches of Lusavorich and Surb Nshan, there used to be a small rectangular chapel built in the 11th century which served as the tomb of the founder of the monastery Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni. This chapel is now in ruins. Next to it used to stand the monastery’s school building.

Finally, the Church of the Resurrection located away from the monastery buildings was erected in 1220. In this small, outwardly rectangular church with a high dome, several rectors of the Kecharis Monastery are buried. The monastery was renovated in 1990 at the expense of one Austrian Armenian.

Kecharis monastery

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