Monastery Marmashen is located northwest of Gyumri. An inscription on the south wall of the main church informs us that it was built between 986 and 1029 by Prince Vahram Pahlavuni. Marmashen monastery is also called Vahramashen. Vahram Pahlavuni was an Armenian general during the last period of Bagratuni kings - a famous general, who 3 times defeated Byzantine army near Ani in 1045. The church, with a hall having umbrella type cupola, is constructed from huge stones some of which are two meters high. Three of the exterior walls have double niches. The only entrance is on the west. Like the exterior walls, the drum of the cupola is adorned with half columns, which produce a beautiful decorative effect.
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 hills around are gold covered by corn fields and the monastery is surrounded by apple gardens.
Everybody, who is a bit painter in his soul, can't be indifferent towards this view. Every visitor is admired by the carvings of the church, by the shine of the Armenian tuff and also thinks at the mausoleum of the legendary general.