Katogike Temple, Kotayk

In 1215 Katogike Temple with natural walls of rocks was erected. Its conventional cross-domed architecture is compensated by rich sculpture ornamentation not acceptable in other Armenian temples whose decor is rather scarce. The temple is decorated with floral and geometrical patterns; from the inside it is generously beautified with solid images of animals.

Equally interesting is the original sculptural frieze formed by the reliefs with the images of animals' heads, birds, human masks, and various rosettes cut under the dome. Graceful stairs lead to the western side-altars of the second floor. One of the temple's walls has a number of small cavities from the outside. The visitors to the monastery try to hit the cavities with stones in order to “get the best of luck”.

Two doors lead to the cave churches from one of the temple's sides. The first is Avazan church (1283), the second – Our Lady Church (1288). The most interesting there are the interiors cut in the rocky walls.