Armenian Bagnayr monastery in Turkey used as barn by villagers

Armenian Bagnayr monastery in Turkey used as barn by villagers – – Turkey’s famous Bagnayr monastery is used by the residents as a  barn.

According to the Kurdish DIHA agency, their correspondent visited the village in Kars province, where the monastery of Bagnayr built by Armenian Army Commander  Vahram Pahlavouni in 989, continues its almost ruined existence.  

The Kurdish correspondent was surprised by the fact that the monastery isn’t under the state protection, and the villagers are using it as a barn.

The villagers used the stones of the Armenian monastery for building their houses, barns and fences.

Talking to the correspondent, the villagers tried to justify their zction by saying that if the state can’t preserve the church, how can they do that? 



The remains of the Armenian monastery of Bagnayr lie within the Kurdish village of Kozluca, on the lower flanks of the Ala Dag hill, several miles to the west of Ani.

 The name “Bagnayr” means “cave of the fire altars”, suggesting the much earlier presence of a Zoroastrian sanctuary on the site.

 Dates for the monastery’s history can be found in several medieval Armenian literary sources – the 11th century historian Stephanos Asoghik says that Vahram Pahlavuni founded the monastery in the year 989.

 By the 1040s it had become a major religious centre, and the Pahlavuni and their vassals continued their patronage into the 13th century. Building inscriptions record the founding of a chapel in 1145, another around the year 1200, and a third chapel in 1223 or 1229.

 The most recent inscriptions were from the second half of the 13th century, and the monastery was probably abandoned at the end of the 13th century when control of the region was lost to nomadic Turkish tribes.

 During the 19th century the abandoned monastery served as a summer residence for nomads. At the end of that century most of the monastery was still in a fairly good state of preservation. The extensive destruction since then is unfortunately typical of what has happened to most Armenian monuments in Turkey.

(Source: Virtual Ani)


Photo by Ivane Goliadze

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