The   modern    industrial     city     of Tumanian is on the W side of the main Alaverdi road, almost invisible in the trees.

   Just N of Tumanian is the tiny hamlet of Kober Railroad Station.  About 80 m before the elevated little train station, a little paved spur leads up beside the railroad tracks.  Crossing them, a flight of steps leads up and back, finally climbing up steeply up the side of the  gorge.  The  reward  for the  strenuous  10-minute  scramble  is one  of   the  most  beautiful  places   in


Armenia, Kober or Kobayr  Monastery.  Perched on a shelf of the gorge, in an ancient and sacred place where springs seep out of the rock, trees and vines twine among the intricately carved blocks of the monastery. The Katoghike church at the S end, partly fallen into the gorge, was built in 1171 by two Kyurikian princesses, but became a property of the Georgian Orthodox Zakarian family soon after. Shahnshah Zakarian is buried here. The bell-tower/mausoleum in the middle of the complex was built in 1279 to house the tombs of Mkhargryel and his wife Vaneni.  Note the little sacred spring flowing within.  On the ledge above is the refectory building.