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Tatev Monastery is the gem of Armenian architecture. It was founded in the 9th century and has been a major educational and religious center in Armenia for many centuries. The monastery is located in the south of Armenia in the Syunik region, 250 km from Yerevan. People visiting this place get spiritual balance thanks to its excellent atmosphere and breathtaking views. Thanks to major reconstruction and development of infrastructure, Tatev Monastery is one of the must-see places for travelers to Armenia.
The word Tatev in Armenian means "Give wings," and this name has several legends for its origin. The most famous one is about the architect who asked God to give him wings, for him to see this majestic monastery from above. So after the monastery was built, he prayed and said:" Ognir, Surb, ta tev!" meaning, "Holy Spirit, help me to get wings!" And his wings expanded, he flew up and admired the beauty of the monastic complex from a bird's eyesight. And it is why this astounding construction is called Tatev.
The first church of the complex was founded in the 4th century. 5 centuries later, several monks had already settled here and later Tatev University was founded here, becoming the most extensive philosophical and scientific center in Armenia. The university was managed by scholars, teachers, and outstanding federals.
The main and biggest church of Tatev is St. Poghos-Petros of the 9th century. Many wedding and christening ceremonies are held in this church to this day. Another fascinating building that can be seen in the territory of the complex is the swinging tower called "Gavazan." This eight-meter stone column has a khachkar on top. The mysterious tower is famous for its obscure phenomenon. It independently moves when it's windy and has never dropped. It is said that the tower is purely handmade, and no metals are used to prevent the khachkar from falling. It is to this day a mystery how the khachkar keeps swinging without losing its balance.
The cable car connecting the Halidzor gorge to the monastic complex is called “Wings of Tatev”. It is the fastest and most comfortable means of transportation to reach the monastery. Not only is it the shortest method to get there, but you will also get a chance to admire the most breathtaking panoramas of the gorge below it.
The Cable car is the world's longest reversible ropeway and is set in the world record book of Guinness. It offers an impressive flight over the gorge during 12-15 minutes, at a maximum height of 320 m, allowing you to observe the breathtaking landscapes. The price of the two-way ticket costs around $15. You can also buy a one-way ticket to reach the monastery or be back from it, admire the monastic complex and extend your trip through the Halidzor canyon from where beautiful views will guide you throughout your drive. To find out more about Wings of Tatev or book your tickets, please click here.
Another stop near Tatev Monastery is the place called “Devil's bridge”. It is located just below Tatev Monastery, in Vorotan Gorge. This natural monument was formed over the millennia by the continuous influence of water and wind, which polished the frozen lava masses. Not far from the bridge, you can immerse yourself in hot spring water. The most courageous people can go further down to the river to look at the breathtaking views opening from the springs below.
There are a few options on how to get to Tatev Monastery from Yerevan, including daily trips offered by many travel agencies, public transportation, taxi services, or renting a car.
You can take a scheduled public transport that leaves from Sasuntsi Davit Metro Station. The minibusses will take you to the closest point to the Cable car, from where you will need to take a taxi. The ticket for the minibus will cost you around $5 and the taxi from the crossroad where you will be dropped off to the cable car will be about $10. Renting a car from Enterprise will be another great option. The car rentals start as low as $30 per day. This preference allows you to have stops on the way and explore the neighboring areas without hassle. If you travel with a group, you can also rent a van at Enterprise and make the trip even more fun.
If you planned to stay the night near Tatev and continue exploring the region the following day there are various choices for overnight both near the monastery and in the neighboring cities. In case you want to be closer to the monastic complex, the Harsnadzor Eco Resort will be a good choice. It is not an ordinary B&B, you will stay in fully furnished barrels and admire the best views of Halidzor gorge. And if you wish to stay at a hotel, there are a number of choices in Goris town which is only about 30 minutes away from the monastery. Among many options, you can choose from hotels Mirhav, Mina, Goris, etc.There are also many local houses available in the area that provide comfortable and budget friendly accommodation for those who prefer to have more experience with local people.
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Explore Tatev Monastery