Maybe you will find this odd. A few years ago I saw for the first time a picture of Tatev monastery.
The setting on top of a cliff at the edge of a gorge and surrounded by a rugged landscape made a big impression. How could anyone think of building a church and a monastery on that spot?
At the same time I knew that one day I had to go there.
Well, last summer when I was in Georgia, I thought the time had come to visit Tatev.
Armenia is a very small country but seen from in Georgia Tatev is located on exactly the opposite side of the country, in the south already close to Iran.
Our time in Armenia was limited. The only possible way to include Tatev in our Caucasian journey was to go there by an organized daytrip from Yerevan (something we would rather not do).
It was a very long trip but the reward was great.
The landscape was as breathtaking as I had seen on the pictures and the monastery was so beautiful. Its walls look like a natural extension of the rock on which it is built.
Tatev Monastery is also home to some fine specimens of khatchkars. These are the typical Armenian carved stone crosses.
At previously posted pictures I mentioned that Georgians have a fondness for very special and spectacular locations to build their churches and/or monasteries. The same also applies to Armenians and this to the joy of the traveler in these countries.
You get an idea of the scale by the visitors at the entrance and by the cows at the bottom of the rock.
The monastery can be reached by road or in a faster way from the village of Halidzor by the longest non-stop double track cable car in the world. Its cables are visible on the picture.
The cableway with the name ‘Wings of Tatev’ opened in October 2010 and is 5,75 km long. Spectacular views are part of the journey.
Two more pictures in the workshop.
Information from Wikipedia:
The Tatev Monastery (Armenian: Տաթևի վանք) is a 9th-century monastery located on a large basalt plateau near Tatev village in Syunik Province in southeastern Armenia.
The term ‘Tatev’ usually refers to the monastery. The monastic ensemble stands on the edge of a deep gorge of the Vorotan River. Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region as a center of economic, political, spiritual and cultural activity.
The monastery consists of three churches (Sts. Paul and Peter, St. Gregory the Illuminator and St. Mary), a library, dining hall, belfry, mausoleum as well as other administrative and auxiliary buildings.
In the 14th and 15th centuries Tatev Monastery hosted one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, the University of Tatev, which contributed to the advancement of science, religion and philosophy, reproduction of books and development of miniature painting.
Scholars of the Tatev University contributed to the preservation of Armenian culture and creed during one of its most turbulent periods in its history.
The monastery was seriously damaged after an earthquake in 1931. The dome of the Sts. Paul and Peter church and the bell tower were destroyed. In the latter years the Sts. Paul and Peter church was reconstructed.
Romano46, dip, jhm, ikeharel, cornejo, Noel_Byrne, chrislo, adramad, holmertz, RhodieIke, boa, pili51, Subhogen, timecapturer, mirosu, Oceania, photoray, ourania, jcpix, elenimavrandoni, worldcitizen, Cricri, danos, Graal, mkamionka, ChrisJ, nikkitta, kato, COSTANTINO, fritzi007, annjackman, adores, Angshu has marked this note useful
Critiques | Translate
Romano46 (16578) 2014-03-23 3:29
un'altra bella visione dell'Armenia dalla composizione impeccabile, colori eccellenti enitidezza di ottimo livello.
Ciao e buona domenica
lousat (72197) 2014-03-23 3:53
Hi Paul...what say? Aboslutely beautiful,this architechture is unique and fantastic,and your choice of point of view is the best way to show us the complete monastry,a great spectacle and a very professional work talking about the quality and your work in PP! Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
dip (23520) 2014-03-23 3:54
a wonderful photo of the monastery,taken from an excellent point of view,
great clarity and sharpness,
the building complex seems very impressive,
thanks for sharing,
rbassin (16272) 2014-03-23 4:15
c'est une belle composiiton, avec un bon point de vue.
L'architecture est bien mise en valeur.
dta (62886) 2014-03-23 4:17
Bonjour Paul ,
Une sorte de HDR peut-être ? En tous cas , j'aime beaucoup l'effet , qui met en valeur l'architecture et la situation remarquables de ce monastère géorgien .
jhm (135096) 2014-03-23 4:20
Dit is opnieuw een beauty, de kwaliteit en het onderwerp zijn buitengewoon mooi.
Ook uw tweede foto met de toren alleen is goed gemaakt.
We moeten bewondering hebben voor de mensen die ooit dit gebouwd hebben, en alles met de hand naar boven hebben gebracht.
Ik geniet opnieuw van uw reis, en wat u allemaal te zien kreeg.
Pracht werk, bedankt ook voor uw begeleidende nota.
Prettige zondag uit Oost-Vlaanderen,
siudzi (32325) 2014-03-23 4:21
Wow! What a fantastic place you have visited! This monastery looks extremely amazing due to its unique architecture and beautiful surroundings. Like it a lot! Very well taken image from a well selected POV. Bravo!
Have a nice afternoon!
npecanhuk (60836) 2014-03-23 4:38
Very interesting and attractive location and details (both natural and man-made ones)!
Very beautiful picture with excellent sharpness, exposure, colors, slim black borders, horizontal format, chosen pov and composition!
TFS - congrats,
umutlu101 (13296) 2014-03-23 4:58
Sergiom (54421) 2014-03-23 5:02
C'est vraiment l'endroit idéal pour bâtir un monastère.Il ne doit pas y avoir beaucoup de distractions à cet endroit.Il est superbement placé dans l'image et tu as réussi à donner une texture intéressante à l'ensemble.
cornejo (27959) 2014-03-23 5:15
Hi Paul, very good view of this interesting monastery built on this mountain, nicely captured by a great pov in this great and beautiful photography. Interesantre An image of a nice place, with good sharpness, depth, good light, color and quality. A great job well done, congratulations my friend. Thanks for sharing this beautiful work.
Good evening and happy start to the week.
Warm greetings from southern Spain.
Noel_Byrne (20698) 2014-03-23 5:45
Like the game,pass the parcel, I now see your capture and think to myself that I must someday get to see this place. What an amazing place! The building looks odd in this precarious place but at the same time it looks like part of the mountain. The red tint to the rocks is very beautiful and allows such a fine range of colors through the whole view. Commendable to be able to shoot a scene like this with no sky included and have such a beautiful lively, light filled result. Thanks for sharing this gem.
ACL1978 (7467) 2014-03-23 7:14
Another amazing vantage point here, Paul, looking down at these two incredible buildings set atop a cliffside. I suppose there's little doubt as to why monks would desire a place like this; solitude is guaranteed (or, at least, it was until the age of the tourist) and it's not hard to contemplate and appreciate the splendor of the world around you.
It took me a while, but I was also able to find those cables - it must be an incredible ride. Thanks for sharing these!
chrislo (4151) 2014-03-23 7:43
Dat is gewoon een pracht van een plaat, en wat een kleuren spektakel ! Ik kan me de opwinding voorstellen die je gehad moet hebben toen je deze foto maakte. Niet alleen het klooster is mooi gelegen, maar het uitzicht is adembenemend. Het standpunt dat je hebt aangenomen kon niet beter, dat plaatst het gebouw in zijn omgeving en geeft ruimte en een mooie diepte. De locatie is prachtig, en met het uitzicht op de vallei lijkt het net een ansichtkaart. Deze is tot nu toe mijn favoriet uit je hele reis. Prachtig werk, Paul.
Ik wens je een fijne zondag toe.
kwekwekan (1028) 2014-03-23 8:57
A nice high POV and great situation of this monastery in its rugged natural surroundings. The burnt orange colour of the cliff repeats itself nicely throughout the highlights of the architecture.
rychem (19427) 2014-03-23 10:13
Wow, a fairy tale, fantastic view of the monastery and the highest quality of the photo, simply splendid photo
adramad (35301) 2014-03-23 10:32
Wow .... amazing location and the splendid beauty of this spectacular monastery, its wonderful natural wall construction on that rock, on which the wall by the man, and his precious volumes construction rises, are truly fascinating, wonderful also background with that gorge between two hillsides.
Excellent resolution and very good focus.
Beautiful colorful in very natural shades.
Very good job. I love it.
Enjoy a happy Sunday.
holmertz (37033) 2014-03-23 11:28
This is no less astonishing than some of your photos from Georgia. In fact it looks like Georgia revisited. When it comes to building monasteries at strange, inhospitable places the Buddhist monks of the Indian Himalayas are probably even bolder than the Christians of southern Caucasus, but this is also a remarkable place. Finding a POV actually higher than the hill top monastery allowed you a superb composition cropped through the surrounding mountains. The weather conditions seem to have been perfect, providing you with perfect colours.
RhodieIke (11512) 2014-03-23 12:04
See why you wanted to visit and view this fantastic Tatev Monastery.
Your Pov, is fantastic showing us this wonderful scene.
Well done, Tfs,
boa (5648) 2014-03-23 12:25
i am convinced and determined that i must visit Georgia and Armenia as soon as possibly, what a perfect combo to do. This monastery looks like a scene from an adventure or horror movie, especially with the dramatic surrounding mountains! Excellent exposure, is it a HDR photo? A good contribution to TE, tfs!
Have a nice Sunday/
macjake (52040) 2014-03-23 13:47
reminds me a bit of the monestaries in Greece up on the cliffs.
this POV is better than being on the actual site! amazing views for sure. Interesting to see the hole in the wall along the bottom :)
pili51 (743) 2014-03-23 17:49
spectacular view from above. I love the scenic effect of the cliff, with the and fields around it, like a hug. It's amazing the way the Monastery was built in there, so tight, filling all the space over the rock. Excellent shot with beautiful colors and details.
p.s.- allways nice to see your complementar images in WS.
Corry (4508) 2014-03-23 21:03
Très beau point de vue sur ce monastère accroché à la montagne. La lumière permet de bien apprécier l'architecture et le site. Magnifique ! Salutations.
emka (73139) 2014-03-23 23:59
Hello Paul, Finally this magnificent view of Tatev. After I have seen many photos from Georgia and Armenia, I think that is the number one place. Have you made this capture from Wings? Fantastic quality of this presentation, the composition, colours and stunning sharpness. And what is left for poor Emka when the best POV is just used :). And the next week I will see it, hurrah:). marvelous.
And I like your story as well. When I saw Leo's photos from Mrauk U (not existing here any more), I knew I must see it one day. It was not easy, and I could miss the place, but I succeeded and fulfilled my dream.
Warm regrads MAlgo
Giustiniani (2716) 2014-03-24 2:51
une très belle capture, une photo très riche en détails et en couleurs avec une netteté qui permet d'apprécier tous les plans. Une mise en valeur très intéressante de ce bel édifice, et une note instructive.
Bonne journée, amicalement,
Subhogen (4065) 2014-03-24 3:04
That's an amazing shot of the monastery from your high POV. What a picturesque setting for the monastery. A fantastic photo with good composition, vibrant colours and excellent clarity. Very well taken and shared with an excellent note. Thanks for sharing.
sandpiper (6788) 2014-03-24 3:25
Great view of this wonderful old monastery. You found a great POV and recorded some wonderful detail. Superb composition.
timecapturer (45143) 2014-03-24 3:55
can see why this one is popular, it is an amazing shot of this awesome monastery. I love your POV and the stunning textural quality in this perfectly executed shot. What a magnificent building and setting. Captured and presented exquisitely. Love it!
Have a good week - B.
SnapRJW (29248) 2014-03-24 4:26
This is spectacular Paul and I fully understand why you had a wish to visit this fine monastery. You managed to find a vantage point that shows the monastery on its lofty perch and include a super backdrop which helps us to understand the location and isolation.
Superb details and much to visually explore you must be thrilled to be able to post this in your TE gallery. The culmination of a dream, TFS and best regards
mirosu (12518) 2014-03-24 4:44
Beautiful view down to nice monastery. Excellent light & clarity, superb deep DOF. One can watch this superb photo for longer time, to see all the beautiful details. I like the composition with the rocky slopes in background.
Very well done.
p.s. Not only in Lucerne, but also in many other Swiss towns you can find beautiful, well preserved murals.
Kamilutka (8095) 2014-03-24 5:17
Amazing picture, Paul!
The monastery looks totally unreal on this rocky hill. One can actually feel the sense of isolation in here. The POV you chose seems to be just ideal for capturing beauty of this place and its surroundings. I love the colors and the sharpness of this picture.
Well done! My congratulations for seeing this in person and presenting it to us with such quality!
Thanks for sharing
Oceania (4522) 2014-03-24 6:39
Nesting in the mountain valley, the setting of the monastery is truly beautiful. I noticed the stone base is very sturdy. And the monastery itself is an architecture wonder. We do not see this kind of stunning vista often. Thanks for sharing.
photoray (10125) 2014-03-24 8:55
Like everyone else an attractive high resolution and subdued light view from above of Tatev Monastery.
It's solid gothic construction atop the mountain is a testament to its survival of the centuries, and perhaps part fortress in addition to church.
ourania (26316) 2014-03-24 14:09
your picture is magnificent and your note is absolutely fascinating too. A wonderful composition from a well chosen elevated point that puts the monastery in very interesting context and gives the impression that it's tridimensional. Excellent details and lovely, harmonious colours, you handled the lighting in a most effective way, the definition of colours and details all over the view is perfect. A captivating photo, congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a good night,
jcpix (11440) 2014-03-24 16:22
Great mention in your note, seeing the cows really puts this into perspective. What can I say, another big "wow" factor here, this is most impressive. Without even knowing the surrounding landscape, I think you've framed this to it's premium potential, this looks amazing! An elevated viewpoint once again that shows in great form the dimension and characteristics of this inspiring location. Sharp focus, smooth light and natural colors...and a wonderful note to top it off with class. Bravo! Enjoy the new day ahead. Take care.
elenimavrandoni (14231) 2014-03-24 18:55
Paul, I'm truly amazed by your pictures, not only for all those p;aces that you have visited but also for your presentations and your extraordinary commentaries!!
This particular one is like from a story book such a beautiful place and showing it from above it makes it all that more spectacular!!
my most sincere compliments on your work!!
fabbs99 (15681) 2014-03-24 19:57
Grand view of the Tatev Monastery from a high point of view.Nice colors and sharpness.The monastery looks to have a solid foundation on top of the cliff.Very well done,TFS.
abmdsudi (39522) 2014-03-24 20:42
This is a beautiful shot, what strikes me is that the monastery seems to grow organically out of the cliff high up for defensive purposes and to be 'nearer to God'. Wonderful old architecture which has stood the test of time and fascinating to think it was being used sooooo long ago set in the lovely mountainous sight and so well illustrated. Lighting is brilliant full of rich colours tones and great contrast, Indeed a very interesting capture Congrats, TFS
worldcitizen (6477) 2014-03-25 9:57
You've really been showing us some dramatic and remote locations, and I'm enjoying them. It's amazing to see this monastery as it rises from the rock, with the rugged landscape behind it. The earthy colors are great, too.
Cricri (101211) 2014-03-25 13:06
Quel beau traitement des couleurs, l'on dirait une peinture..
La vue sur le monastère est splendide il offre en même temps un bel aperçu sur le paysage qui l'entourent, très belle présentation
danos (83051) 2014-03-25 14:06
great teh view of the Monastery as was found on the hill.
I like its specific architectural style of the constructions as the beauty of the image.The whole rocky environment makes the scene so impressive and unique.Well done.
claudeD (30431) 2014-03-26 6:21
very fine picture from Armenia showing this wonderful old architecture. Very good sharpness and clarity.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
dkmurphys (46140) 2014-03-27 2:11
This country is really spectacular! Superb panorama of the old church. Well taken, have a lovely spring day!
Fis2 (81876) 2014-03-27 2:44
Wonderful POV and composition.
A vry curious old architecture.
Have a nice day
Graal (95343) 2014-03-27 9:38
very nice theme, view and presentation. Beautiful place with monastery on the rock. I like it a lot.
Have a nice evening.
mkamionka (29199) 2014-03-28 7:32
I see your Armenian adventure has already started and you will probably overlap with Malgo as she usually uploads photos on her way. I wonder if you guys synchronize at certain point showing same thing one day...
Beautiful place indeed, extraordinary. I like this unique for this region architecture. The location is spectacular and your POV here well demonstrates it to us. It feels quite exotic again!
Have a great weekend,
ChrisJ (94784) 2014-03-28 8:30
Another lovely shot that reminds me very much of the ruined city of Ani on the Turkish Armenian border. The rust red streaks in the rocky cliffs contrast well against the blue grey tones. A good high pov with excellent sharpness. Tfs!
nikkitta (13220) 2014-03-29 13:15
Enjoy reading ALL your very informtive note, must said that tiil now these two countries meant nothing to me
Quite agree with you, wall and stones mix with the same touches of orange, pople and cows look like small ants from this well chosen POV
The place and building are truly impressive by location and contrast with green vegetation
The kind of bridge at the left is part of the building, but where are the cables, must be great fly with them till the monastery
The 2 WS deserved a post, mainly the cupole one
taypejka (1457) 2014-03-30 9:36
This one of the most beautiful places for me in Armenia and your photo reflected it perfectly. I like the composition including the whole monastery with walls against the mountainous scenery.
Yes, its true that in the Caucasus, notably in Georgia and Armenia churches were built in places difficult to access, usually on the top of the hills, mountains what was done due to security reasons. I think this beautiful symbiose of architecture and the nature make all kind of tourists satisfy, even those who are not interested in visiting churches, as they can focus on beautiful landscapes.
best regards from Tbilisi
kato (11630) 2014-03-31 1:01
You're capturing well this Tatev Monastery by a good composition and very excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see the elegant monastery which is built on the tip of cliff of the gorge. It seems to architecture's masterpiece in medieval times and it is wonderful when thinking about how was built at the inconvenient place of such steep geographical feature. And, it's also tasteful for rocks as fort and the surrounding nature with lush green and gorge in back.
eldancer1 (25135) 2014-03-31 9:33
In the old days civilization and group of people will do anything to protect themselves including building in remote and hard to get to places. Very nice capture of this monastery with good details. Well done, tfs.
dekanski (2374) 2014-04-01 11:06
COSTANTINO (51262) 2014-04-01 22:05
thanks for sharing with us this religious
photo because shots of this kind are also
necessary to us
great view from Tatev Monastery
with fantastic and interesting architecture
shot with great sharpness and lightness
may be the weather conditions are perfect
adding beautiful color tones
fritzi007 (2680) 2014-04-02 15:13
sooo wunderschön gemacht, sehr gute Bildschärfe und Kommentar, es gefällt mir sehr, gratuliere!
Wünsch dir eine schöne Zeit
jimkil (1720) 2014-04-03 1:57
like a painting, great PP work, detail is fabulous. Looks as amazing as any of the old places in Rome, greece etc.
Would love to see it for myself. Downward looking POV really has helped the image.
annjackman (17751) 2014-04-04 22:27
This is a magnificent photo of this monastery. Your viewpoint is excellent so that the rocky terrain is clearly shown. I love the detail and colours. What an interesting place to visit. I enjoyed reading your informative note.
Kind Regards, Ann
jemaflor (80650) 2014-04-05 23:46
Paysage grandiose avec cette vallée et surtout ce superbe pov sur le monastère, très bonne qualité d'image, luminosité et teintes.
tulipan7 (628) 2014-04-13 9:36
Where on earth were you when you took this picture?!?! Like monastery wasn't built on precarious place you had to go and find one of your own! I'm sure no one of your daytrip organizers took you there...
So good you enjoyed cable car journey to be able to take photos and show us here - I was too scared to look outside...
All the monasteries we visited in Armenia were fantastic but Tatev was definitely something special. I love your photo because it shows not only the monastery but also part of its dramatic setting which is very important to appreciate it properly.
Deserves much more than only two points...
adores (34362) 2014-04-22 16:54
You changed the country but the places and the photos are still magnificent! Once again you're showing a magnificent monastery from a perfect pov! Seems an incredible place, I imagine the view you had from there. I like the colours and shapes of those rocks and wall se see in foreground.
bracasha75 (24517) 2014-05-21 10:14
What to say exept awsome!!!!
All compliments for POV ,motiv color ,architecture choise and and and .......
TFS and thanks for suport words
Keep save ,Bratislav
sabermonajati (8895) 2014-06-02 9:41
amazing and excellent view from monastery you captured.
janraiski (546) 2014-06-03 13:30
amazing place & architecture and well done photo with perfect POV, of course. Thanks for sharing, I really like it.
Angshu (54709) 2014-06-03 21:55
Dag dear Paul
Fantastic, your note and your photo...Indeed we have similar structures in our country as well (Ladakh for example)...monasteries built in utterly inhospitable terrain but so beautiful in setting. A big thanks to you for introducing Tatev to me...its fascinating!
Fantastic picture and the WS posts helped me understand even better.
- Copyright: Paul VDV (PaulVDV) (20387)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-07-31
- Categories: Nature, Architecture
- Camera: Canon PowerShot S1 IS
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/400 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2014-03-23 3:24
- Favorites: 4 [view]