History and Traditions

The origin of the monastery’s name has two versions. One of the legends states: “Finishing work, the architect stood on the ravine’s edge, crossed himself and said: “Ognir, Surb, ta tev!” (“May the wing’s Holy Spirit send down!”). And the master grew wings, took off and saw his creation from a bird’s eye view… And this miracle was named Tatev.”

According to another legend, the Apostle of Christ Thaddeus appeared in Armenia in the Ist century AD, along with his student Eustathius, who preached Christianity in Armenia. It was here the missionary died as a martyr, and a church was built upon his grave in the IVth century, which was blessed by the first Catholicos of All Armenians, Grigor Lusavorich (St. Gregory the Illuminator).