By Nazik Armenakyan and Gayane Abrahamyan
YEREVAN (ArmeniaNow) — Church bells were ringing loud in Tatev on October 16, heralding the launch of a program to revive a medieval monastic complex and the opening of an aerial tramway called Wings of Tatev linking a local village with the monastery and said to be the world’s longest skyway cablecar.
The 5.7-kilometer ropeway was built within 11 months, passes through a deep gorge of the River Vorotan and over hills covered with lush forests. Within about 11 minutes a tramway cabin takes passengers, 25 at a time, from the village of Halidzor to the magnificent complex of Tatev.
The ninth-century monastery of Tatev played a major role in the life of the region as its spiritual, cultural and scientific center. It is one of the most popular tourist attraction sites in Armenia.
President Serge Sargisian was onboard the first crossing. In his welcome speech, he said that “with the construction of the world’s longest aerial tramway we do not aim to impress anyone, but this is aimed at reviving the area’s economic and cultural life and developing tourism.”
The ceremony was also attended by Karekin II, the Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, Nagorno- Karabagh President Bako Sahakyan, senior government officials of Armenia and foreign guests.