Tatev Monastery (Armenia): history, description, how to get there

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Tatev Monastery (Armenia): history, description, how to get there
Tatev Monastery (Armenia): history, description, how to get there

If you are traveling or are on a business trip in Yerevan, you should allocate time for a trip to the large temple complex of Armenia - Tatev Monastery. How to get from Yerevan? The article contains this information and some facts about the monastery complex.

Wings of Tatev

The monastery is located just 315 km from Yerevan. The journey will take no more than 4 hours. You can come by car to the monastery itself or use the longest sky highway in the world. A unique structure, which includes modern engineering solutions - the cable car to the Tatev Monastery. The Guinness Book of Records attests that it is the longest in the world (5752 m). But not only the length of the airway is considered a record, but also the construction time. The ropeway was designed by an Austrian-Swiss company and built by Armenians in 10 months. And "Wings of Tatev" can be proud of the longest unsupported span from the 3rd pillar to the station. Tatev at 2709 meters.

tatev monastery how to get from yerevan

"Wings of Tatev" - a picturesque celestial highway connectingtwo villages - Galidzor and Tatev. The highest point of ascent is at an altitude of 320 meters. Those who love extreme sports will enjoy a 12-minute flight in a trailer over the gorge with the turbulent Vorotan River.

History of Tatev Monastery

Tatev Monastery is located 30 kilometers from the city of Goris, on a high cliff, almost on the edge of the gorge. When you look at it from the side, it seems that its walls are continuations of mountain rock formations. The interior of the monastery has arched openings and labyrinths leading to small balconies overlooking the gorge and mountains. Looking down, you understand how high the monastery is, it seems that you are on the roof of the world and soar above the cliff.

From the chronicles it is known that on the right bank of the Vorotan, on the Tatev Plateau, there was a pagan temple, which was destroyed with the advent of Christianity.

tatev monastery cable car

Construction of the monastery

In the 9th century, the construction of the Armenian monastery complex began. The construction of the monastery took more than one century. But the builders and architects maintained the harmony of the structure with the mountain landscape. Inside the monastery, utility and living quarters were erected along the perimeter, emphasizing the rocky foundation of the monastery, and the temple towering in the center, visible from afar, gave the complex greatness. Already in the 10th century, the monastery became a major spiritual and political center of all Armenia. In the XIII century, by the end of the construction of the complex, Tatev included 680 villages. Consecrated monastery in honor of St.Evstafiya.

Tatev University and a miniature school were founded in the 14th century on the territory of the monastery. By this time, 500 monks lived in the monastery. Besides? philosophers, musicians, copyists of manuscripts lived there, as well as those who received knowledge in philosophy, mathematics, and grammar. The university taught the basics of art and graphics.

Armenian monastery complex

It is worth noting that the monastery had a huge repository with ten thousand manuscripts - Matenadaran. The monastery was and still is the spiritual center of the Syunik diocese.

Legends about the name of the monastery

Who and when gave the name to the monastery is not known for certain. Therefore, there are various legends on this topic among the people. One legend tells that the architect, having finished his work, threw himself into the abyss, shouting: “Lights, Surb, ta tev!”, which literally means “Holy Spirit, send me wings!” According to the second legend, an apprentice jumped into the gorge, who, without the permission of the master, installed a cross on the church of the monastery. He did not have time to go down, and the angry master saw him. And he also jumped with the words addressed to God: “Tal tev”, which means “give me wings.”

According to some scientists, the name of the Tatev monastery is consonant with the name of St. Eustateos. There is also such an option that the soul in this monastery, freed from sins, receives wings. No matter how many legends are invented and no matter whose version is more interesting, the monastery has its own name for centuries - Tatev.

tatev monastery

Armenian religion

Before visiting the temples built on the territory of the monastery, it is worth mentioning that the Armenians are Christians, but by their faith they are not Catholics and not Orthodox. Almost 95% of Armenians are followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the oldest of the Christian churches. Thus, in Armenia, Tatev has its own characteristics in rituals and dogmatics. During the service, you can sit, and not spend several hours standing, as is the case in services in Orthodoxy. The interior decoration of churches is simplicity and asceticism, in contrast to the decoration in Catholic and Orthodox churches.

The relics of 11 apostles and the hair of the Virgin are kept in Tatev Monastery. To the church of St. Peter and Paul, a small temple of the most revered philosopher in Armenia, St. Grigor Tatevatsi. It was he who brought the relics of the apostles Peter and Paul to the monastery. The tomb of Grigor Tatevatsi, the great philosopher and theologian of Armenia, was installed in the Tatev Monastery against the southern wall of the church. In 1787, a martyrium with an arched ceiling and a dome was erected in the monastery over the grave of Grigor Tatevatsi. The entrance to the tomb is located at the apse of the temple.

diocese of Syunik

Church of Saints Peter and Paul - Surb Poghos-Petros

At the foot of the monastery there is a path that leads to the massive gates of the monastery, behind which stands the first church of St. Peter and Paul built in the monastery complex. Its construction lasted from 895 to 906. The severity and conciseness of the structure, the crown of which is a fan-shaped dome, is striking. During the construction of the temple, the main attention was paid to decoration, since it was the mainCathedral of the Syunik Principality. Attention is drawn to the stucco on the walls and the bas-reliefs on the windows in the form of human faces and snake heads with a protruding sting facing the face. The Armenians have always revered the snake as the patroness of the home. Faded fragments of frescoes indicate that the walls were decorated with bright frescoes, but have faded over time. The main shrine of the monastery is the relics of the holy apostles Peter and Paul. They are under the altar pillars.

tatev monastery history

Swinging column

Tatev Monastery in Armenia is known for another monument of medieval Armenia, swinging a khachkar-ghavazan - a staff with a stone-cross. It was installed in 904. The abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Mikael, who is currently conducting services in the monastery, says that one of the old chronicles kept in the monastery says that the Arabs, who destroyed the Armenian churches, did not touch this miracle staff, because they could not figure it out, in than his secret. The column more than once saved the monastery from the invasion of enemies, starting to sway. The rocking of the column is a reaction to the vibrations of the earth, created by the trampling of a mass of people and horses.

For many, this seems like a miracle, but only a miracle of craftsmen, a brilliant invention of the Armenian architectural mind. The column is an assembly of many stones on a hinged basis. It has a height of 8 meters. What is special about this column? She begins to sway when she feels the ground shake. The column is also a predictor of earthquakes. By the way, the earthquake that partially destroyed the buildingsmonastery, could not destroy the swinging column, and it still stands in the Tatev monastery.

tatev armenia

There is a sundial on one of the faces of the column. They show the exact time for many centuries. Restoration and restoration work is ongoing, but the monastery is open to everyone.

Satanic bridge

There is another miracle of Armenia not far from the monastery - the Satanic bridge. This is a bridge created by nature that connects the village of Tatev with the monastery. A motor road passes along it, as it is quite wide - 60 meters. The length of this bridge is 30 meters. There are many springs around the bridge, there are natural pools with warm mineral water. Under the bridge are caves painted with stalactites and emerald mineral water fonts.

In the history of every nation there are memorable events and architectural monuments. We never cease to be amazed at the talents of architects who created unique buildings many millennia ago. It doesn't matter where you live. The planet is one. We need to be able to preserve what our ancestors left us and preserve it for future generations.

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