Tatev Monastery, Stonehenge, Devil’s Bridge

Price – 150 USD eq. 75 000 AMD (for minimum 10 person)

Tatev Monastery

A visit to Tatev Monastery is always long remembered or better to say, is hardly ever forgotten. It will take around five hours from Yerevan to get to Tatev Monastery. So a visit to Tatev should be planned well, especially if long roads are kind of problematic for you.
Reaching Tatev monastery might take long but it’s never boring, especially when the gorge of Tatev appears in front of you with its heavenly beautiful view and the awesome Devil’s bridge.
Tatev Monastery: Complex
On the whole, Tatev Monastery covers a large area on which a number of buildings are erected. The monastic complex of Tatev includes the following buildings: Ruins of Saint Eustathius Church, Oil Press, Defensive Walls, Old Gate and Spring, East Gate, Saint Astvatsatsin Church, Stables and Student Dormitory, Pilgrim Inn, Tatev Matenadaran-Museum, Cells and Rooms, Belfry, Paul-Peter Church, Grigor Tatevatsi Mausoleum, Saint Grigor Lusavorich Church, Refectory, Kitchen, Bakery, Bishop Residence, Bath and 18th century school.

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Tatev Monastery: Defensive Walls
The defensive walls were built in the 9th century and were re-built in the 18th-20th centuries. The initial structure was preserved. Presently, the walls are no so tall as they used to be and some part of the walls on the eastern side are missing.
Tatev Monastery: Saint Astvatsatsin Church
The Church of Saint Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother) is a small chapel-church the design of which is not typical of Armenian churches. It represents a small two-story vertical structure with a nice wooden entrance door.

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Tatev Monastery: School, University
As an educational center the monastery of Tatev firstly functioned as a school and only then as a university. The school was founded in the tenth century when the Church of Saint Paul-Peter was consecrated. Starting from the 14th century it is mentioned as a university. It’s one of the oldest universities in the world where students used to study humanitarian and social sciences, music, writing skills, calligraphy and so on.
Tatev Monastery: Saint Paul-Peter Monastery
The Church of Saint Paul-Peter (Poghos-Petros) is the largest building of the monastic complex. Built by Bishop Hovhannes in 895.
One thing to pay attention to while going out of the church is the upper part of the entrance; there is a hole where once part of the monastery’s treasures was kept.

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Tatev Monastery: Saint Grigor Lusavorich Church
The Church of Saint Grigor Lusavorich (Gregory the Illuminator) was built in 1295. According to historical account, it replaced an older church dating to 836-848.

Tatev Ropeway – “Wings of Tatev”

The ropeway “Wings of Tatev” – a Guiness Book of Records entry – is in the Syunik Province, of Armenia built particularly for getting to one of the world’s unique medieval monuments. The ropeway goes from the village Halidzor to the village Tatev.  It has two cabins, each capable of carrying up to 25 passengers. It is the world’s longest non-stop reversible aerial tramway with a length of 5,752 meters, operating speed 37km/h (10 minutes). At its highest point over the gorge, the car travels 320 m (1,050 ft) above ground level.

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Working schedule:
From Tuesday to Sunday the aerial tramway is open from 10:00 to 18:00 (the last flight time is 17:45). The aerial tramway will work 6 days a week except Mondays.
Local residents from 9 surrounding villages will be able to ride the cable car for 500 Armenian drams ($ 1.2) one-way and 1000 Armenian drams ($ 2,4) round-trip, while others will have to pay 4,000 Armenian drams ($9,8) for round-trip ticket and 3,000 Armenian drams ($7.3) for one-way ticket.

Karahundj (Zorats Karer, Stonehenge)

In Syunik region, near the town Sisian is Karahundj, one of the most famous sights of Armenia. Karahundj is 3, 500 years older than Scottish Stonehenge and 3,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids. Zorats Karer is one of the most ancient megalithic constructions of the world. The Armenian scientists believe there is a link between the name of Stonehenge in the UK and Armenian Karahundj. The word “karahundj” is translated as “speaking stones”. “Stone” in Armenian is “kar” and “henge” (a word which is absent in English) is the same “hundj” (voice, sound, echo in Armenian).

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It is a prehistoric monument consisting of hundreds of huge stones placed vertically 2 meters with holes in the top. The oldest complex includes 222 large upright standing stones in height from 1,5 to 2,8 meters and weighing up to 8, 5 tons. In some stones in the upper part there are made around the through holes 4-5 cm in diameter with conical extensions at the ends.The stones extended from south to north in elliptical form have double circle. The stones have been ascribed with mystical, fertility and cosmic powers, but rarely have ancient monuments caused such a sensation in astronomical circles.
Stonehenge and the remains of this mysterious monument cause many assumptions and uncertainty.
P. Heruni, an Armenian scientist, launched scientific expeditions for the study of the monument in the years 1994-1997. He concluded it was dedicated to the Armenian sun-god Ara. The ancient people used this place as an observatory for observing the movement of the sun, moon and celestial bodies.

Devil’s Bridge

The Devil’s Bridge is located in the Canyon of  Vorotan River to the east of Tatev village in the depth of 700-800 meters. 
The Devil’s Bridge is 30 meters long and is 50-60 meters wide and is surrounded by mountainous springs. The waters of the springs have given pink, yellow and green coloring to the rocks of the canyon. They were made by the mineral water springs, which can be seen right under the bridge and which pour into the river making it appear more abundant.

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The Devil’s Bridge is known to the locals as Satani Kamurj or Satanayi Kamurj: in Armenian “satana” meaning devil and “Kamurj” meaning bridge. As already said, those bridges are considered to be devil’s, which seem unbelievable to be constructed by ordinary humans or the formation of which seems unbelievable or there is something about them which doesn’t get into the head. As you look at the bridge you see a small and thin river flow under it, which comes out as a deep one from under it. Not being able to interpret neither that, nor the geological processes in regard to the bridge, locals used to consider the bridge to be built by the devil.

Mineral Waters

The warm and hot mineral waters have formed small ponds below the bridge. The water temperature is 25 degrees Celsius. Those mineral waters are considered to be curative.

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Vorotan River Canyon
The Devil’s Bridge is located in the Canyon of Vorotan River. The height between the bridge and the river is 100 meters. The depth of the canyon is 100 meters, and in some places it is 3 kilometers wide. There are also several places of interest close to Vorotan River: among them are the Tatev  Monastery, the Greeat Desert of Tatev, Vorotnaberd or David Bek’s Castle, Vorotnavank, Sisavan, Aghitun and Waterfall of Shaqi.
Crossing the Devil’s Bridge will hardly ever be forgotten as in not many countries you can find such a natural wonder. Taking pictures in the caves is another thing that visitors love to do while crossing the bridge.
If you love difficult activities and have the courage to go for one, then consider rafting in the Canyon of Vorotan River. For professionals rafting in the canyon might not be a difficult  thing, but for amateurs it will definitely appear as such.

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