June 9, 2014

1095 ARMENIA - Tanahat (Tanadeh) Monastery


As I wrote here, the armenian architecture developed over the last 4,500 years of habitation in the Armenian Highland, but its greatest achievement are the medieval churches and monastery. One of these is Tanahat (Tanadeh) Monastery, one of medieval Armenia's most important religious and cultural centers, mentioned as early as the 8th century. Its main church, Surb Stepanos (St. Stephen - in postcard), was built between the years 1273 to 1279 under the patronage of the Proshian family. The church has a cruciform interior with annexes in its four corners; those flanking the main altar on the east are two-story. The exterior is rectangular with a slender 12-facet drum and a dome with a tent-roof spire. The Proshian emblem, an eagle clutching a lamb in its talons, is carved on the southern wall of the church.

In 1970 excavators found a single nave church with two annexes southwest of the Monastery, a number of secular buildings and numerous tombstones, dating back to the 13th-14th centuries. Also found was a gavit (enclosed area) with a square plan, to the west of the church. Some scholars believe that the Monastery housed Gladzor University (founded in 1282), the most prominent educational institution of its day in Medieval Armenia, where Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Theology, Geometry, Astronomy, Chronology, Miniature Painting and other subjects were taught. Others insist that Gladzor University's location is still unknown (sources make a reference to Aghberts monastery). At only 5km of the monastery, in the historic church of Surb Hakob (St. Jacob) in Vernashen village, is located Gladzor University Historic-Cultural Preserve-Museum, established in 1984 on the 700th anniversary of Gladzor University.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the second series (issued on July 30, 2013) with the Armenian alphabet, about which I wrote here.

References
Tanahat (Tanadeh) Monastery - Armenian Heritage

Tanahat Monastery - Eaurasia Travel
Gladzor University Historic-Cultural Preserve-Museum - Armenian Heritage

sender: Inga Karp (direct swap)
sent from Yerevan (Armenia), on 23.04.2014
photo: Tigran Mangasaryan

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