Tatev

Monastery of Tatev is 240 km far from Yerevan, between Carahunge and Khnzoresk. It's a 9th-century monastic ensemble, which stands on the edge of a deep gorge. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat, and played a significant role in the history of the region as a center of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity. In the 14th and 15th centuries, it hosted the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, reproduction of books and development of miniature painting. It was an earthquake in 1931, which ruined part of the fortress walls and the cathedral, dzit-han (oil mill) and the monastic complex. The only thing, that was not ruined, was the pendulous column (called Gavazan Syun). It comprises a column about eight meters tall crowned with a khachkar-type cross.

It's possible not only to drive, but also to fly to the monastery by Wings of Tatev aerial tramway. It's a 5.7 km (3.5 mi) cableway, the construction of which was finished on 16 October 2010. The link allows year-round access to Armenia's 9th-century Tatev monastery complex, one of the country's most important religious centres and a major tourist attraction. The cable car travels at a speed of 32 km (23 mi) per hour and a one-way journey takes 12 minutes. At its highest point over the gorge, the car travels 320 m (1,050 ft) above ground level. It has two cabins, each capable of carrying up to 30 passengers. On 23 October 2010 it was officially recorded by Guinness World Records as the world's longest non-stop double track cable car.

Harsnadzor (Bride's gorge) watchtower is to the left of the cabin. A legend states the following: a young man and girl once were traveling along the ravine edge. They were unexpectedly attacked by enemy's soldiers. The man was killed, while his bride, deciding she would rather die than be taken captive, crossed herself and jumped into the ravine. Her dress miraculously inflated and gently lowered her to the ground. Ever since then, this part of Gorge has been named Harsnadzor. Seeing a foe, the guards in Kordzor struck an alarm, the bell in Khot relayed the news, and then the watch point in Harsnadzor and, finally, the big bell at Tatev, which ring was heard across a 50 km radius.

To the right site of the cabin, at the very bottom of the gorge, there is a natural Devil's bridge, located below Tatev Monastery, in the 500-meter gorge of the Vorotan River. It is one of Armenia's natural wonders. Over the millennia, wind and water have created this wonder of nature, polishing and piercing the petrified lava. The width of this natural bridge, along which runs the auto road to Tatev Monastery, is 60 m, the length is 30 m. Close to the bridge it is possible to swim in the warm, salubrious springs, ringed by stalactites of marvelous colors. The most intrepid can descend to the river to see the secretive grottoes below the springs. Not far from the bridge, there is an abandoned cluster of Grand Hermitage, where medieval monks lived.
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