Tatev (Arm: Տաթև), Syunik Marz
The road from Devil's bridge then switchbacks steeply up to the village of Tatev (985 p) and the nearby monastery.
The fortified Tatev Monastery** =100= (39 22.81n x 046 15.01e) stands overlooking the Vorotan gorge from a very strong setting. It was for centuries the seat of the Bishops of Syunik, a center of learning, and storehouse of wealth from taxing all the villages in the region. According to legend it was named for St. Eustathius, one of 70 disciples who accompanied the Apostle Thaddeus into Armenia. Stepanos Orbelian, the medieval bishop/historian of Syunik, recounts that Tatev housed 600 monks, philosophers "deep as the sea," able musicians, painters, calligraphers, and all the other accoutrements of a center of culture and learning. The monastery produced teachers and manuscripts for the whole Armenian world.
In 1830, Smith and Dwight found two bishops, ten vartapets, and two deacons, supervising a diocese of 74 villages and 62 priests. In the Russo-Persian war, the monastery had been pillaged, the bishop tortured and carried off to Tabriz. Tatev remained an active monastery in the 19th c, but fell on hard times in the Soviet period. The earthquake of 1931 did considerable damage, some of which has recently been repaired.
In the S part of the village is Tatev hermitage (Harants Anapat) of the 17th c. There is also a site near Tatev village called Tsuravank, a monastery of the 10-17th c. In the middle of the villages lies the simple village church, which was restored by the Land and Culture Organization during the 1990's. A difficult dirt road, requiring good ground clearance, continues S from Tatev through beautiful wooded country.
Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook