Shenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery

MODERATE 1 reviews

Shenatagh, Svarants, Tatev Monastery is a 17.9 kilometer moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Tatev, Kotayk', Armenia that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

DISTANCE
17.9 km
ELEVATION GAIN
781 m
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

historic site

Overview This hike is located in the Syunik region, about 25 km from Sisian. The trail starts at a monument at the edge of Shenatagh village and leads into the hills, climbing up to 2,500m above sea level. The Aramazd mountain is vividly seen on the right from the route. At 3,392 meters, it is the highest peak in the Bargushat mountain range. The route trails down with beautiful views overlooking an abandoned settlement and the Svarants village. In the middle of this village is the 18th century St. Hazaraprkich Church. Beyond the village, the Tatev Monastery comes into view, one of the most beautiful churches in Syunik, and the endpoint of the hike. Hikers return via Tatev village, from which we recommend visiting other interesting sites nearby and on the route to Yerevan. Notably, there is Noravank (Eghegnadzor), Zorats Karer (Sisian), the Tatev ropeway (Halidzor or Tatev village), and Devil’s bridge (near Tatev village). It is advisable to cover all the sites in the Syunik site in 2 days, staying somewhere like in Tatev village, where there are B&Bs and meals. For a particularly magnificent view of the Aramazd mountain and the Bargushat mountain chain, it is advisable to take the B&B located behind the St. Minas church in the Tatev village. Cultural and Historic Monuments At Shenatagh village, there are Fort Tatan and Fort Sagu, which - while built in the area of the village - are not visited on the hike. There is also the St. Martiros church in the village center, preserved since 1,704. Svarants village is located 39 km from Goris and 3 km from Tatev. It is near Aghandzuget, on the northern slope of the Aramazd mountain. In the village is the St. Hazaraprkich Church, a 1,705 temple made of carved basalt. There are numerous other medieval monuments surrounding the village; among them are cross stones, a chapel, and the ruins of Tsoraberd (which is visited during the hike). The Tatev Monastery was founded in the 4th century, and used to be a spiritual-cultural center, a large monastic establishment in Tatev village. In the 8th century, it was named after Eustateus (Tateos) - Thaddeus apostle’s pupil, who preached Christianity in Syunik and was martyred there. The Tatev bishops had 47 villages and received tithes from 677 villages. Becoming more economically powerful, the bishoprics attempted to gain independence in 940-950. In the 14th century, the Tatev monastery was one of the centers of Armenian culture, wherein a painting school, library and University operated. Between 1,381-1,387, during Tamerlane's invasion of Syunik, Tatev monastery was robbed and burned, losing a considerable portion of its’ estates. In the late Middle Ages, a gavit (narthex) and a belfry were built on the western side of the large temple. The school of Tatev survived until the 20th century, when it was destroyed at the beginning of the century (and later found during excavations in 1,981-1,982). Between 1,974-1,998 the complex was entirely reconstructed. Legend After completing the construction of the Tatev monastery, the stonemason master required two sliver planers from the workers. Upon receiving them, the master kissed them each and said, “Let the Holy Spirit give us wings” (“ta tev” in Armenian). Suddenly, wings grew on his shoulders and the master flew away. The workers, who were unable to remove the existing wooden supports without the master, they eventually learned that the master was in Constantinople, and sent someone to fetch him. The master refused to return and simply explained the way to take them off. Thus, the monastery gained its name - Tatev, the way the master pronounced it. Flora The hike is rich with species of trees; especially abundant are oak, maple, wild pear, apple, rosehip, hawthorn, currant, as well as medlar. Bushes cover both sides of the trail. At an altitude of 2,200m, there grows another species of rosehip (Rosa svanetica), which bears fruit in the months of October to November. From August to November this route is full of red and yellow wild plum trees, and in the summer, the mountain slopes are spread with multicolored flowers. In the spring, further down near the settlements, grow edible herbs and some species of mushroom. Fauna There are relatively few fauna species in the areas between Shenatagh and Tatev monastery. In the bushes and trees, however, there are foxes, wolves, wild hares, porcupines, field mice, and, rarely, brown bears. It’s common to see birds like sparrows, Chaffinches, partridges, grey crows, and golden eagles. In the pastures, shepherds are usually seen with their herds of sheep.