You do not need wings to get from the top of one mountain to another: just go to Tatever (the longest ropeway in the world), and make your “flight” to Tatev Monastery — a place that is a half-step below the sky…where the land and the sky are about to meet.
In the dense forest near the village of Tatev on the top of the cliff, is located one of the oldest monastery complexes of Armenia called Tatev. This complex stands alone, but is never lonely as this is a destination adored by travellers as seen in its substantial amount of visitors.
credits to efesenko
The complex was built in the 9th century, and was the largest spiritual and educational center of Armenia. In addition to housing 500 monks, there were philosophers, writers, artists, and musicians visiting and/or residing there. It is interesting to note that although there were many instances of attacks and robberies by enemies, Tatev never experienced many human losses. This can be explained by the secret underground tunnels through which people could escape and could not only save their lives, but also rescue the treasures of Tatev.
This monastery complex shows the exclusiveness of Armenian architecture. Besides the churches, you can see the Swinging Pillar from medieval times that was built in the beginning of the 10th century, the old frescoes by European masters, and an old oil mill with stone grinders. Additionally, while in Vorotan gorge right below Tatev, there are still a lot of other things to explore.
credits to Ruzanna
Mountains around the Tatev complex as well as the changeable weather (sometimes in five minutes you can see four different weather patterns) make this place mysterious and more attractive.
Tatever or Wings of Tatev is an Aerial Tramway-Ropeway that is 5.7 km long. It connects Halidzor Village and Tatev Monastery. It is the longest non-stop ropeway in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. If you try to translate this word from Armenian, it’s a combination of 2 words: tal means to give, and tev(er) means a wing (s). When you are at the altitude of 320 m, it feels like you have wings. The ride takes 12 minutes and during this time, from above, you will notice Harsnadzor (The Gorge of the Bride), the Devil’s bridge, and abandoned ancient cave residences.
credits to efesenko
After your “half step below the sky” trip to Tatev Monastery, take a ride back on Tatever and get prepared for your next adventure.
I’m Lusine, from Armenia. I like to travel and explore new places. I'm interested in art, culture, music and sports. On itinari I’ll show you Armenia the way I see it.