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Tatev Big Hermitage

Syunik
XVII c.

A monastery complex of 17c. - The Big Hermitage of Tatev - was a religious and educational center, located in Vorotan ravine, to the south-eastern part of the Tatev village (Syunik district). It was built after the destruction of «Harants», which was located further to the south in the same ravine, after that in 1660, the brotherhood decided to relocate it to a new place and call it - «The Big Hermitage of Tatev». Because of the moderate incline of the territory, they were being able to make an orderly scheme. The complex is surrounded by the high rectangular walls. In the south-western part of the hermitage there is the St.Astvatzatzin (Holy Virgin) basilica (1663), made from shaved basalt, and next to it there is the entry-hall (built by Melik Egan in 1743), and to the north, a vaulted chapel with a tomb, presumably the burial place of the founder of the hermitage in 1669, Aristakes archbishop. To the east of the church there is a water-spring and semi-ruined dwellings, and to the south - a diner with kitchen. In the church yard there are several rooms used for dwelling, set up in T-like scheme.

The Big Hermitage of Tatev is an interesting and a unique complex of late mid-century Armenian architecture. It also played an important military role during David Bek’s liberating organized stand.


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