Tatev Monastery Complex – Tatev ropeway
Tatev Monastery is the most famous landmark of Armenia and its masterpiece architectural heritage. This historical monument leaves an indelible impression with its majestic view and incredibly harmonious atmosphere. The powerful stone architecture is a mixture of all-consuming spirituality and purity.
Tatev name meaning
The monastery complex Tatev received its name in honour of St. Eustache, a disciple of the Apostle Thaddeus, who preached Christianity in Armenia, brought the spear of Geghard to Armenia.
Over time, the name of the disciple changed, from St. Eustache to Eustatios, from Eustatios to Statevos, and finally the name Tatev remained. Literally, Tatev is translated as “will give wing (wings)”.
The legend of Tatev
According to one version, the monastery was named after the main builder-architect. The most interesting part of it was that you can see all the beauty of nature from the bird’s-eye view.
After finishing the construction of the monastery, the architect rushed down the gorge with the words “… the Holy Spirit would give me wings!”, which sounds in Armenian as “Vogin Surb Ta Tev” (Հոգին սուրբ տա թև).
The monastery stands on top, surrounded by deep gorges, which was of particular strategic importance, as the monastery had been the religious and political centre of Syunik Principality for many centuries.
Things to do in Tatev
Tatev monastery is only one part of the tourist complex. The complex also includes the world-famous Wings of Tatev Ropeway, Tatev Desert, the natural bridge of the hell and the stone stela Gavazan, with a khachkar over its head, which, according to the researchers, is a celestial compass, an indicator of time and is aimed at the Hayk-Orion belt. According to scientists, the stele also informed the local population about the approaching danger.
The natural bridge of Satan/hell leads to the monastery, where you can find water flows from mineral springs. On the way to the monastery, you can see the ruins of the ancient basins, and only the ruins and remains remind of the once real greatness and magnificence of the local life.
Tatev Monastery location
The monastery complex Tatev, built in the IX-X centuries, is located 250 km. south of Yerevan, 20 km. from the city of Goris in the Syunik region. Tatev is located on a mountain, at an altitude of 2344 meters above sea level.
Yerevan to Tatev monastery?
You can get to Tatev by car, however, since the monastery complex is quite far from the capital Yerevan – 250 km – it is recommended to reach it by sightseeing bus. Tatev can be reached by road E117 and H45 in about 4.5 – 5 hours. You can also take a taxi which will cost you for about 30.000 drams.
The monastery can be reached by the longest cable car in the world – “Wings of Tatev”. The cable car has a height of 5752 m. and 6 km. length, thanks to which this airway got into the Gines Book of Records as the longest cable car in the world. Before you go to Tatev, we recommend you to look at the weather forecast in advance, as the gorge is closed on cloudy days for security purposes.
To learn more about the history of Tatev and not to miss anything interesting, we recommend you to take a tour to Tatev and visit Tatev monastery complex from Yerevan in the form of an excursion.