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Location: Tsakhkadzor, Kotayk region
Established: II
From Yerevan: 58km / 51min

Monastic complex Kecharis was one of the most important religious and cultural centers of 11-13 cc. It is located in the North-Western part of Tsaghkadzor city of Kotayk region.  

Kecharis complex includes 4 churches, a parish, 2 chapels, as well as lots of khachkars of 12-13 cc. Gregory the Enlightener church has a domed hall with 2 two-storey vestries on both sides of the altar. Domed St. Nshan church is located on South of the main church; it is supposed to be built by Grigor Magistros in 1051.    
As a result of Seljuk Yoke in 12 century it was fundamentally damaged. In the 1151-65 amirspalasar Zachary released the monastery and revived spiritual and cultural lives of the complex. St. Katoghike, located on the South of complex, was built in 1203-14 by duke Vasak Khabakyan.
A small St. Harutyun is outside the monument complex (120 m far); the parish at Western facade together with the composition of the church makes a single unity. There are lots of khachkars (“cross-stones”) of 12-13th cc on the territory of Kecharis, which gives the complex unique brightness, becoming its inseparable elements. 

During its history, Kecharis monastery was renovated for several times. First the churches of the monastery were repaired after Mongol invasions in 1248. Domes of the churches were renovated in 1947-49; the territory was surrounded by fortress walls. In 1990 St. Gregory the Enlightener and St. Katoghike churches were reconstructed. In 2000 Kecharis monastery was consecrated again. St. Gregory the Enlightener church is a Kotayk Diocese today.  

In the territory of the monastery architect Vatsik is buried; the cross-stone tomb (13 c) perpetuates his memory. Kecharis monastery perfectly harmonizes with the surrounding landscape. Not far from the complex hotel “Russia” is located, popular with the high quality of offered services. 

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