The spiritual heartbeat and cultural center of southern Armenia, Tatev Monastery has risen to great heights, fallen, then rebounded each time. Founded originally in the 4th century A.D., the monastery grew in size and stature over the years, sustaining hundreds of monks and producing countless manuscripts and treasures of Armenian heritage. Neighboring Emirates, Seljuks, Mongols and Persians all took turns over the centuries destroying parts of the complex, but each time it has risen from the rubble and rebuilt. Most recently in 1931 an earthquake brought the complex severely damaged and neglected over the years. The 1980’s saw it restored, as well as a recent program name “Tatev Revival” which reconstructed portions from 2010 through 2019.
Today the monastery is perhaps Armenia’s premier tourist destination, despite its remote location from the capital. The viewpoint from the complex across the gorge is one of the great sites of the Caucasus. The monastery precariously sits on the vertical, semi-circular rock face, with deep canyons and waterfalls surrounding. It is a marvel of human craftsmanship and truly one of the wonders of Armenia.
30 kilometers southwest of Goris along the Voratan Gorge, a winding River carving through Syunik Province.
Originally founded in the 4th century A.D., even though most of the construction were from the 8th century onwards.
A One of the great centers for spiritual growth and cultural promotion of Armenia, from medieval times even to today.
One of the most popular monasteries to visit in Armenia. Even though it is one of the most remote, it still brings many visitor, partially due to the world's longest aerial tramway leading to its gate.
Wandering the stone halls and corridors of the Tatev Monastery was surreal. By this point, we have visited countless medieval monasteries, each delivering a peace that is hard to describe. Exploring Tatev, however, was on a different level. The detail in the carvings, the reverence in the worshippers, and the viewpoints towards the Vorotan Gorge made it evidence why this remote corner of Syunik is now its most visited. We spent three nights in Tatev and entered the complex at least four times, ranging from sunny to rainy to shrouded in thick fog. Hiking from the monastery down into the Voratan Gorge is a hike we recommended, as it opens up new viewpoints and reveals the great hermitage far below.