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“Early in the 21st century Tatev village celebrated its 1700 anniversary.
Over Centuries Syunik region has been playing its particular dramatic role in Armenian history.
Syuniants dynasty had its respectable title among the ministerial families in Old Armenia. It had an active participation in political life of the country, often playing decisive role. Tsghuk was one of the ancient regions of historical Syunik, sometimes called Syunik or Sisakan. Tsghuk was the main seat for Syuniants princes and was situated in the center of Syuniants land, separated on the right bank of the Vorotan River. It included the whole right-banked Sisian, some villages of western Goris and northen Kapan. At BC Shaghat and Tatev villages had important roles in historical life of Tsghuk region. After adaptation of Christianity in Armenia, Tatev’s role was continuously raising and at the first millennium of AD it became the holy, political and cultural center for all Syunik Land, and not only.
The origin of Tatev isn’t recognized, though the historical facts certify that this ancient residence had existed before the third century, AD. “Tatevyanq” as a power kin, were mentioned in Nerses’s letter to throne. This vertifies that Tatev was an ancient power residence before the polytheism. Legends tell that the origin of “Tatev” name is related with the name of Evstatev or Statevos; the student of St. Thaddeus, the Illuminator of Christianity in Syunik at the end of the third century. By the time “Statevos” had been modified as “Tatev”. Name of “Tatev” is also mentioned in Eghishe’s letter to throne in the beginning of the 4th century.
Two circumstances played important roles to increase Tatev authority: the natural extravagant beauty and unbelievable propitious position, reminding unassailable castle, and the church, which not only became the holy center of Eastern Armenia, but also was one of the biggest scientific and cultural centers.
The history certifies that in the 3rd century a church was acting in Tatev that Syuniants David Bishop bought with surrounding lands from Syuniants Phillip Patriarch in 889. After 5 years he endowed Tatev village to the church.
The plateau, where Tatev and the same-named monastery is situated is one of the most picturesque places in Syunik region and reminds unique natural miracle. It is surrounded with arched mountains by 3 sides, making a narrow space looking at the boundless distance in the East. Also it is a rock hung over the deep ravine where the Vorotan River deeply dashes down. The valley seems menacing and unreachable: but a mountain after Aramazd, the father of the pagan Gods, seems to cutting into the sky in the southern-west. Once you visit Tatev for the first time feel you are on the roof of the world and the earth ends behind Aramazd.
So on the rocky peninsula where the mountain chains make an opened area over the deep precipice, famous Tatev monastery complex was built: a handiwork wonder as additional feature to the natural miracle.