At   the  far  end  of   Vahramaberd (12-13th c. church in village), the next village, turn left, then follow the dirt road back along the gorge and then descend (right fork) to Marmashen monastery. This impressive monastic complex  sits  on  a  picturesque  shelf with fruit trees above the Akhurian River, beside a stream  that  ends  in  a waterfall.   The   Katoghike   church   of

   The main road continues N (in doubt take the right fork) to Kaps.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

S. Stepanos was built by Vahram Pahlavuni, whose gravestone sits in the ruined gavit, between 988 and 1029. The gavit itself is 13th c. There is an Astvatsatsin church, and a S. Petros, and archaeologists found remnants of a fourth, nearly circular church, along with foundations of a pre-Christian temple and many service buildings. The complex was ruined by the Seljuks, and rebuilt by Vahramís grandsons. On the hill N is a cemetery with a ruined chapel. There is a bridge probably of the 10-11th c. on the Akhurian nearby. Across the river, near an abandoned medieval settlement, are Bronze Age graves. Retracing steps up to the rim of the gorge and continuing S on the dirt road skirting the gorge, one sees a basalt knob and scarp WNW of Marmashen village. Descending a few feet into the gorge, one finds about 40 meters NW of the power lines a perfectly preserved Urartian inscription of Argishti I (786-764 BC) carved into the basalt. Above it are sparse ruins of an Urartian stronghold.