August 22, 2014

1199 ARMENIA - The monasteries of Tatev and Tatevi Anapat and the adjacent areas of the Vorotan Valley (UNESCO WHS - Tentative List)


Located in southeastern Armenia, on the edge of Vorotan gorge, the biggest gorge in the country, at 850m deep, Tatev is known as the bishopric seat of Syunik and played a significant role in the history of the region. The buildings of Tatev itself, protected on two sides by precipitous ravines and on the other two sides by defensive walls, dates from the 9th to the 13th centuries, and the monastery of Tatevi Anapat, on the bottom of the valley, dates to the 17h century. In the 14th and 15th centuries  it hosted one of the most important Armenian medieval universities, 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 fortified Tatev 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. The Sts. Paul and Peter church was built between 895 and 906. In 1087 the church of St. Mary was added along the northern fortifications. In 1295, the church of St. Gregory, which had been destroyed during an earthquake, was replaced with a new one. In the 14th century, fortifications were built to the south, west and north of the monastery with buildings for habitation, administration and other purposes. In 1787, the mausoleum of St. Grigor Tatevatsi was built adjacent to the western wall of the St. Gregory Church and in the end of 19th century a vestibule and bellfry were added at the west entrance of the Sts. Paul and Peter.

Women's traditional clothes of both eastern and western Armenians were homogeneous. The outerwear included a long dress of arkhaluk type with a cut on chest and cuts below hips. The waist was wrapped in long folded silk or woolen scarf. The embroidered apron and decorations were indispensable elements for western Armenian women. Women's headdresses, especially in the east, looked like a "turret" made from cotton fabric with ornaments tied with several scarves covering a part of face. Western Armenian women used to wear ornate head bands with capes.

About the stamps
The first stamp is part of the second series (issued on July 30, 2013) with the Armenian alphabet, about which I wrote here.The second stamp, depicting Ruins of Artaxata, was issued on October 30, 2012.

References
Tatev monastery - Wikipedia
The monasteries of Tatev and Tatevi Anapat and the adjacent areas of the Vorotan Valley - UNESCO official web
Armenian traditional clothing - Traditional clothing of the world

Sender: Patrik Hierner (direct swap)
Sent from Yerevan (Armenia) on 19.05.2014
Photos: Tigran Mangasaryan
The women's costume is from Lusik Aguletsi's collection

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