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Photographer's Note

Tatev is a monastry in the South of Armenia. Actually, it is the place I am named after :) Tatev means "Let God give me wings". It is belived that when one of the churches of the monastry was under construction the workers were not able to reach the height the church was supposed to have, and they desperatly turned to God saying in Armenian "astavts ta tev mez" (astavts -God, ta- let give, tev - wing, mez - to us)! I guess God heard them, and they managed to finsh everything on time :)

It is beleived that the monastery was founded in the 4th – 8th centuries and was built in stages. The monastery itself and the church of St.Peter (surb Petros) and Paul (surb Pogos) were built in the 9th century, while the St. Gregory (surb Grigor) church was built later.

There is a swinging column called “The Mace” in the yard of the monastry, which was erected in the in the 10th century. The Monastery was walled in the 17th century. Secret passages stretching from the high hill down to the valley were also dug at that time to provide an escape in times of attack. Some parts of Tatev were devastated by enemies and earthquakes and later reconstructed. The only structure that has remained intact is the Mace - the swinging column.

In the 13th century the Monastery became an important cultural centre that brought together scientists, theologians and artists. The Tatev School of Miniatures, Tatev Library and Tatev University flourished at this time.

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