You can see more photos and get more info by going to:http://www.tatev.am/
"Hundreds of visionaries, philanthropists, government and church officials, and community leaders will gather at the ancient Tatev Monastery in southern Armenia on Saturday, October 16, 2010, for the launch of the innovative and forward-thinking Tatev Revival Project."
The Tatev Revival Project is a public-private partnership initiative implemented by the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia http://www.cf.am/
. The Foundation is an independent entity founded through the cooperation between the Government of Armenia and a group of leading international business executives.
The AERIAL TRAMWAY
The Tramway extends from Tatev monastery on the left of photo to Halidzor (village) in the middle . You make a round-trip by Tramway to Halidzor and back.
Spanning 5.7 kilometers across the spectacular Vorotan River Gorge, the Tatev Aerial Tramway - the longest passenger aerial tramway in the world - is poised to be one of southern Armenia's most popular attractions.
Truly an engineering marvel, the tramway will offer a spectacular journey with breathtaking views of the river gorge below, but most significantly, it will link visitors to one of the jewels of Armenia's medieval legacy - Tatev Monastery. In fact, you could say that the monastery is both the beginning and endpoint of the aerial tramway, because it's where - and why - the idea was conceived.
It all started with the idea of reviving the monastery. The Armenian Holy See of Etchmiadzin was looking for a way to bring life back into the walls of the once vibrant Tatev monastic complex. Discussions were all leading to one point: in order to revive the monastic, academic and cultural traditions for which Tatev is celebrated and in order to give it the recognition it deserves as part of the world's cultural heritage, the monastery has to be made more accessible. The Tatev Revival Project was born when one of its future benefactors suggested an innovative and ambitious solution to address the problem of accessibility which would also contribute to the economic development of the region and provide exciting new opportunities in the surrounding communities - building the world's longest aerial tramway.
The Tatev Aerial Tramway is being built by Garaventa, a world leader in the accessibility industry that has been building award-winning aerial tramways around the world for over 30 years. The design process and foundation work began in 2009, and construction will be completed in the fall of 2010, with the opening ceremony of the aerial tramway and the official launch of the Tatev Revival Project set for October.
The 5.7-kilometer aerial tramway is supported by three towers between its two terminals. One terminal is on a hill overlooking the village of Halidzor and the other is near Tatev Monastery, on the road to Tatev village. At top speed, the tramway will travel at 37 kilometers per hour and the ride will take approximately 11 minutes, with its deepest drop at 360 meters above ground. Two cabins (each with the capacity to hold 25 people) will operate at once, traveling in opposite directions. There are six cables altogether (three per cabin, with two cables suspending and one cable pulling each cabin), each uniquely built for the specifications of this project. They are capable of carrying 10-15 times more than the nominal load. The tramway is equipped with a diesel drive unit which will operate immediately in the case of a power outage.
Despite some major engineering challenges - the team had to invent a new type of foundation for the Tatev terminal because of poor soil conditions - and months of bad weather which hindered construction, the project is running on schedule and anticipation is in the air for the inauguration of the Tatev Aerial Tramway this fall.
(Note: Later this should include hours of operation, ticket prices and directions)
The Tatev Revival Project is designed to revitalize Tatev Monastery and its surrounding region, highlighting its religious, academic and cultural legacy, and making it a world-class destination. The project consists of several components: restoring the monastery, reviving its monastic and scholarly tradition, and developing tourism attractions and infrastructure in the adjacent villages, including the world's longest aerial tramway.
The project encompasses the villages of Tatev, Halidzor, Tandzatap, Svarants, Khot, Shinuhayr, and Khndzoresk, where rural, community-based tourism is being developed. It also includes the spectacular Vorotan River Gorge, which is home to such natural and cultural landmarks as Devil's Bridge and Mets Anapat Monastery. With several exciting initiatives underway, including the restoration of Tatev Monastery's 17th century oil mill, the development of a network of village bed and breakfasts, and a cuisine revival that will highlight and reinterpret local specialties, a trip to the Tatev region promises to be highly experiential - an invigorating blend of culture, nature and adventure.
The three-year Tatev Revival Project is one of the front runner initiatives of the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia, an independent organization structured as a public-private partnership and chaired by the Prime Minister of Armenia. It has a mandate to achieve breakthrough development toward competitiveness in key sectors of the Armenian economy, including tourism, health care and education.
The SOUTHERN TOURISM CORRIDOR
As part of its strategy to develop and promote tourism in Armenia, the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia is creating corridors of tourism development, grouping together tourism assets and catalyzing synergetic development of attractions and infrastructure under a unified vision. Four corridors have been identified: Central, Lake Sevan, Northern and Southern.
Tatev is positioned as a major hub along the Southern Armenia Tourism Corridor, which covers the provinces of Vayots Dzor and Syunik. The Southern Corridor begins at Noravank Monastery and the nearby Areni wine region, winds down towards Armenia's southern caves, the spa-resort town of Jermuk, the ancient observatory of Karahunj, and continues towards the Vorotan River Gorge and Tatev. It then branches off to the picturesque towns of Goris (towards Nagorno-Karabakh) and Kapan (towards Meghri and Iran).
By developing and promoting sites of interest and linking them along a logical and flexible path, the Southern Corridor will allow visitors the possibility of turning the four-hour drive to the south of Armenia into an exciting and varied four-day journey.
The 9 th century Tatev monastic complex is located in the south of Armenia in a beautiful and strategically advantageous natural setting, overlooking the Vorotan River Gorge and flanked by steep, rocky slopes.
During the Middle Ages, Tatev was one of Armenia's most important spiritual centers. It also had great academic and political significance. It housed Tatev University, whose legacy lives on today through a wealth of preserved manuscripts, and was the political stronghold of Syunik principality. Within its walls, the eminent Grigor Tatevatsi and his successors wrote missives to the world leaders of their time and penned scholarly treatises which are as much a part of the world's cultural heritage as are the architectural monuments of Tatev Monastery.
According to historian Stepanos Orbelian, the first church of what later became the mighty walled complex of Tatev was actually built in the 4th century. In the 8th century, it was made the throne of the Syunik bishopric and in the 9th century, it expanded, becoming a major feudal power. The main cathedral, St. Poghos-Petros (Peter and Paul) was built in 906. At the time, it was Armenia's largest and most renowned monastery, with 500 resident monks.
Tatev underwent a major academic and cultural revival in the 14th century, with the introduction of Tatev University. The university was founded in 1390 by Hovhan Vorotnetsi after the closure of the renowned Gladzor University, and later flourished under the leadership of Grigor Tatevatsi.
Philosophers, theologians, musicians, scribes, and artists... some of the greatest Armenian thinkers of the day gathered at Tatev University. Truly ahead of its time, the university had an institutional structure that closely resembled modern universities. It consisted of three schools, each divided into different faculties. The first school was dedicated to the study of the more traditional disciples (theology, philosophy, architecture, literature, and linguistics). The second was the school of manuscript production, including a special branch in miniature painting, and the third was the school of musical theory and practice. Tatev University had an extensive library, from which 140 manuscripts remain today, preserved at the Matenadaran book repository.
Tatev University's academic tradition came to an end in 1435, when the monastery was invaded by Shah Rukh, one of Tamerlane's successors, and the remaining monks reestablished themselves at Sanahin Monastery in the north.
In the centuries to come, Tatev Monastery would undergo periods of religious revival and several restorations, but would never return to its medieval glory. In 1931, an earthquake left the monastery in ruins. It was partially restored from the 1970s to the 1990s. Today, the restoration of the monastery and rejuvenation of monastic life are major components of the Tatev Revival Project, continuing a centuries-old tradition of protecting, preserving and enhancing our cultural heritage.
The COMMUNITY [Tatev Village]
The Tatev Revival Project encompasses not only the monastery, but the seven villages that surround it - Tatev, Halidzor, Tandzatap, Svarants, Khot, Shinuhayr and Khndzoresk. Historically, the villages and the monastery have had a symbiotic relationship. Today, when viewing the region's potential as a destination for rural and community-based tourism, the same principal applies. Visitors to the monastery will surely want to get a feel for village life, and with the steady flow of tourists assured by the monastery, there lies great potential to develop and promote tourism assets in the villages.
Our tourism and community development projects are designed in keeping with the greater framework of the Southern Armenia Tourism Corridor, and the tourism development vision for Armenia, one that is progressive, experiential, environmentally friendly, and community-based.
The Tatev Revival Project is designed to be deeply involved with the local communities, with a focus on job creation. We are developing rural tourism initiatives, such as a network of village bed and breakfasts, and a revival of local cuisine and crafts. These projects will add to the tourism appeal of the region, engage community members, and boost the local economy.
Our motto for community involvement consists of Seven E's: Empower, Engage, Educate, Enthuse, Energize, Enrich, Entertain, Encourage.
Below are photos of Tatev Village:
As an exciting new model for public-private partnerships in Armenia, the Tatev Revival Project offers several opportunities for participation and involvement.
If you'd like to volunteer, donate, become a sponsor, or if you would simply like more information about the project, please contact us at:
National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia
5 Mher Mkrtchyan Street
Yerevan 0010, Republic of Armenia
Tel/Fax: +374 10 583521, 589193