π—Ÿπ—˜ π— π—’π—‘π—”π—¦π—§π—˜π—₯π—˜ π——π—˜ π—§π—”π—§π—˜π—©: 𝗨𝗑 𝗧π—₯π—˜π—¦π—’π—₯ 𝗔 π—–π—’π—¨π—£π—˜π—₯ π—Ÿπ—˜ π—¦π—’π—¨π—™π—™π—Ÿπ—˜. The Tatev Monastery (Armenian: ՏՑթևի ΥΎΥ‘ΥΆΦ„, romanized: Tat’evi bank) is a 9th-century Armenian Apostolic monastery located on a large basalt plateau near the village of Tatev in the Syunik Province in southeastern Armenia. The term “Tatev” usually refers to the Monastery.

The monastic ensemble stands on the edge of a deep gorge of the Vorotan River. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the region’s history as a centre of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity.

Tatev Monastery
ՏՑթևի ΥΎΥ‘ΥΆΦ„
The Monastery of Tatev has been described as one of the two best-known monasteries in Armenia, along with Noravank in the province of Vayots Dzor.

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the Monastery hosted one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, the reproduction of books and the development of miniature painting. Tatev University scholars contributed to preserving Armenian culture and creed during one of its most turbulent periods in history.

The restoration of the Monastery, re-establishing its educational legacy and reviving monastic life at Tatev is one of the main goals of the Tatev Revival Program, a part of which is the Wings of Tatev aerial tramway, a cableway from Tatev to the village of Halidzor, which was opened in October 2010. It was included in the Guinness World Records as the world’s “longest non-stop double track cable car.”

Etymology
According to tradition, Tatev Monastery is named after Eustateus, a disciple of St. Thaddeus the Apostle, who preached and was martyred in this region. His name has evolved to Tatev.

Folk etymology includes a legend telling of an event tied to the construction of the main church, where an apprentice secretly climbs to the top of its steeple, intending to place a cross of his design. However, the apprentice is spotted by his master during his descent. Shocked by his discovery, the apprentice loses his foothold and falls into the abyss as he calls upon God to grant him wings, which, in Armenian, is: “Ta Tev”.

History
Tatev Monastery is located in South-East Armenia, in the area of ancient Armenian Syunik, not far from the city of Goris and 280 km from Yerevan. The Tatev plateau has been used since pre-Christian times, hosting a pagan temple. The temple was replaced with a modest church following the Christianization of Armenia in the 4th century.

Development of the Tatev Monastery began in the 9th century when it became the seat of the bishop of Syunik. In his History of the Province of Syunik, historian Stepanos Orbelian describes the construction of a new church near the old one in 848 through the financial assistance of Prince Philip of Syunik. With the growth of the economic and political importance of the centre, the ageing buildings no longer suited its requirements. Thus Bishop Hovhannes (John) obtained the financial assistance of Prince Ashot of Syunik to construct the new Monastery.

At the beginning of the 11th century, Tatev hosted around 1,000 monks and artisans. In 1044, armed forces of neighbouring emirates destroyed the St. Gregory Church and its surrounding buildings, which were reconstructed soon after. In 1087, the church of St. Mary was built north of the complex. The Monastery suffered significant damage during the Seljuk invasions in the 12th century and the earthquake 1136. In 1170, Seljuk Turks plundered the Monastery and burnt some 10,000 manuscripts. The Monastery was rebuilt through the efforts of Bishop Stepanos near the end of the 13th century.

The Monastery was granted an exemption from taxes during Mongol rule. It regained its economic strength with the assistance of the Orbelian family. Its influence grew further when 1286, the Orbelians assumed control of the Monastery; Stepanos Orbelian was consecrated metropolitan and succeeded in reuniting several surrounding dioceses within its realm. With the establishment of the university in the 14th century, Tatev became a principal centre of Armenian culture.

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