H45, Tatev 3218, Syunik Region, Republic of Armenia
The magnificent Tatev monastic complex is located on a large plateau near the Tatev village in Syunik Province. The monastery was built in 895 and has been a major educational and cultural centre of Armenia for centuries. Now Tatev is one of the must-see places in the country. In 1995 the monastery was included in the tentative list of the World Heritage Sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Tatev monastery is one of the oldest and the most famous complexes in Armenian. The main church of the monastery was built in 895 by Bishop Hovhannes with the support of Syunik princes Grigor Supan and Dzagik. In 930 the inside walls of the church were carved with beautiful frescoes.
The complex includes three churches: the Poghos-Petros Cathedral, St Astvatsatsin, and St. Grigor, as well as the mausoleum of Grigor Tatevatsi, the “Gavazan” monument and other historical buildings. The mysterious “Gavazan” monument was built here in 906. It is a wobbling pillar, that picks up minor ground movement, warning of earthquakes before they happen, or it would be a signal of incoming enemies from hundreds of kilometres away.
In 2010 a cableway named “Wings of Tatev” was constructed here which takes people to the Tatev Monastery from the village on the opposite hill. This aerial tramway holds the record for the longest non-stop double track cable car (5.7 km). The “flight” over the gorge lasts 12 minutes during which the audio-guide tells the passengers the history of the monastery.
The miraculous nature of Syunik and the incredible view of Tatev Monastery overlooking the Vorotan river gorge is deeply impressive and unforgettable.