So, finally here we are with our last post about one of our Sentinella’s seminar experience in Tatev.
We will talk about Tatev Monastery Complex, which at the moment is the most important tourist attraction of the village, being the main reason why tourists visit Tatev.
Indeed, as we explained in “Social Entrepreneurship in Youth Work – Project Time Activities”, during social entrepreneurship seminar experience, we thought about how to increase the interest and tourism in Tatev’s village, by providing new interesting tourism activities.
Moreover, Tatev Revival Project, whose we will talk about hereunder, yet recognized the potential of village linked tourism, pertaining the eight villages around the Monastery, as a way for enhancing the appeal of the region.
But this is the post about Tatev Monastery Complex, so let’s talk about it!
We will not be boring, we will try to give you few information and, for those more curious, links to other web sites for deepening knowledge about the monastery complex.
SOME QUICK HINTS
Armenia was the first Christian State of the world, even before the Roman emperor. Armenia adopted the Christian religion as the state religion in 301 a.d.
Thanks to the monastery and to the strategic geographic position, Tatev early became an important social, economic and cultural center, being the place where a flourishing university developed.
TATEV MONASTERY COMPLEX
We do not simply speak about Tatev Monastery, but about Tatev Monastery Complex, because it comprises several buildings, including three churches, a library, a bellfry, a dining hall, a mausoleum as well as other administrative and auxilliary buildings.
The more professionals among the readers will not be enthusiast about what follows, because we will quote wikipedia as a reference for the description of the buildings. Anyway, we think this quotation might provide useful hints and an overall idea of Tatev Monastery Complex buildings:
“The fortified Tatev monastery consists of three churches (Sts. Paul and Peter, St. Gregory the Illuminator and St. Mary), a library, dining hall, belfry, mausoleum as well as other administrative and auxiliary buildings.
The Sts. Paul and Peter church was built between 895 and 906. An arched hall was added adjacent to the southern wall of the Sts. Paul and Peter in 1043. Soon afterwards, in 1087, the church of St. Mary was added along the northern fortifications. In 1295, the church of St. Gregory, which had been destroyed during an earthquake, was replaced with a new one through the initiative of then Metropolitan Stepanos Orbelian. In 1787, the mausoleum of St. Grigor Tatevatsi was built adjacent to the western wall of the St. Gregory Church and in the end of 19th century a vestibule and bellfry were added at the west entrance of the Sts. Paul and Peter.
Aside from the buildings, the monastery boasts an upright pendulum, known as the Gavazan (staff). This column was built in the 10th century following the completion of the Sts. Paul and Peter church and has survived numerous invasions and earthquakes relatively unscathed.
In the 14th century, fortifications were built to the south, west and north of the monastery with buildings for habitation, administration and other purposes. In the 18th century, additions were made to house the bishop’s residence, cells for the monks, storage, dining hall, kitchen, bakery and winery. Sixteen rectangular classrooms, covered with arched ceilings, were built along the main fortifications.
To the northeast of the monastery, outside of the fortifications is the olive press. It has four production rooms including two domed storage rooms and pressing chambers with arched ceilings. This mill is one of the best preserved in Armenia and is an excellent illustration of olive presses built in the region during the Middle Ages.
The school buildings of the Tatev Monastery characterize the architectural style of monastic educational architecture used in the late medieval period.“
TATEV REVIVAL PROJECT
Tatev Revival Project is a project, funded by the United Nations Development Programme and by Tatev Revival Foundation, aiming to proomote the culture, the traditions, the tourism and the economy of Tatev.
We read from Tatev Revival Project official website:
“At the heart of the Tatev Revival project is the world-class restoration and preservation of the Tatev monastic complex, reversing the damage caused by past earthquakes and a flawed Soviet era restoration. But the project will also rekindle Tatev’s monastic and scholarly tradition and will foster the development of community-based tourism through a comprehensive strategic approach. The Tatev Revival Project will build tourism infrastructure in Tatev’s surroundings, including the Wings of Tatev, the world’s longest passenger aerial tramway and a tourism attraction in its own right. A new hotel across the river gorge from Tatev, near the first station of the tramway, will turn the area into a jumping-off point for overnight visitors. And a reconstructed road network will unlock the natural and cultural secrets of the river valley. Community-based tourism development such as bed and breakfasts, local cuisine revival, nature trails and participatory museums will extend tourist stays and create livelihoods for local communities.“
For more information, you can go here.