14 The Ancient Monastery of Armenia

The Ancient Monastery of Armenia

Posted on September 14, 2012 by team


Armenia has a number of monasteies dated the IX-XI centuries. Many of them have been important spiritual centers of the country. In the epoch of feodalism development they even had high schools where students were taught historiography, literature, philosophy, theology, music, miniature painting and other sciences. That’s why they had to build special houses for books storage. Such houses were characterized by folk architecture made with stone.

Tatev monastery was exactly one of them.It’s the monastery of the Armenian Apostolic Church situated in the south-east of Armenia, near Tatev village and not so far from Yerevan – the capital of Armenia.

It was founded on the ancient heathen holy place in the IX century to become one of the very important centres of science and education. Its favourable strategic location was convenient for creation of reliable fortifications there.

One can get to the monastery by car or a bus through the gorge or by a ropeway.The modern ropeway of Tatev is the longest one in the world (5,7 km or 3,5 miles) – it is registered in the Guinness book of world records.

It’s so cool to look down at the beautiful landscapes from the height of 320 m (0,2 miles) of the ropeway.

When a person firstly gets here it seems to him he has found the roof of the world!

The views around the monastery are really breathtaking.

The main church of the monastery is the Church of St. Paul and Peter. It was ereceted in 895-906.

Semicircular niches are both on the eastern and western sides.

The main entrance to the cathedral is located at the western side. Another entrance is from the southern side where later appeared a chapel. According to the medieval style the windows are quite large. Instead of the belfry destroyed in the end of the last century there appeared a new one.

Inner walls of the monastery were decorated with murals, some of them were painted by foreign masters.

Another church of the complex is the Church of St. Astvacacin situated over the burial vaults in the north-eastern part of the monastery. It was built in 1087 and had to serve as a watch tower.

The monument devoted to the Holy Trinity. It is six meters high. It has been resisting numerous elements.

In the later times (XVII-XVIII) there appeared some civil structures on the territory of the complex: a library and a seminary. Especially interesting is a dining hall with long tables and stone benches for 80 persons. Here, in the south part of the complex, were balconies hanging right over the precipice.

Near the complex were also other structures: a barn, a school, an oil mill. Only the last one was preserved.

In spring 1931 a strong earthquake happened there, many architectural monuments suffered including the Tatev monastery – one dome of the St. Paul and Peter’s Cathedral was destroyed, a three-tier belfry was also ruined.

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14 Responses to “The Ancient Monastery of Armenia”

  1. Cedre says:

    Wow! A very beautiful monastery! :)

  2. Alex says:

    Wow, really impressive place and views. In Western Europe this place would be crowded with tourtists.

    • ALEN says:

      Yes you right there are a lot of tourists and very beautiful country , and would like to mention that right next to Tatev monastery is located the longest rope way in the world and it is in guinness records book, you flying over beautiful mountains and in front of you Tatev monastery…
      amazing…

  3. tea_pot_turnip says:

    impressive. wonderful.

  4. Fred Johnson says:

    Nice place.

  5. frank says:

    Beautiful place

  6. golda says:

    Wonderful and really breathtaking..

  7. Anastasis says:

    I am allways thinking the workers who did
    all these!!!!!!!!
    In any country,any time,any construction….

  8. commissar paul says:

    majestic. inspirational beauty.

  9. Asmodeus says:

    Thanks ER. Very nice place.

  10. Beniamin says:

    It’s amazing how old could it be the culture in this place.

  11. Alex says:

    It’s a very beautiful place. I was there and was truly amazed.

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