Along seven mountains – “At the Tatoyan Mill”
Before submitting my new story, I suggest getting acquainted with our previous posts.
Our new “discovery”
I heard that somewhere on the shores of Lake Sevan there is a 19th-century mill, as well as a built-in guest house.
When we presented our initiative, I was offered to meet before leaving for the village.
On the eve of 2018, we met in Yerevan with the representative of the Tatoyan family – Samvel Tatoyan, who lives in France.
Mr. Tatoyan lives in France, but he is not cut off from his past and roots, trying in every way to be useful to his homeland and native village.
During our conversation, he briefly spoke about his family, about the construction of a mill and a guest house and offered to go to Nerkin Getashen to see and feel everything in place.
We did so, but went there later, on the first day of summer.
The brothers Artashes and Mezhlum met us, and soon the family’s father, Ashot Tatoyan, joined us. He told us about the village, about the traditions, construction, and reconstruction of the mill.
Nerkin Getashen Village
The village of Nerkin Getashen is one of the largest villages in the region of Martuni in the province of Gegharkunik, located on the bank of the Argichi River, not far from Lake Sevan. The old name is Kot.
The modern village was founded in 1828-1829 by Armenians from the village of Toprakhkala in Alashkert, Western Armenia, and also from Mush. The population is mainly engaged in cattle breeding and farming, and, unfortunately, working abroad.
The village and its surroundings are rich in antiquity. In the center of the village are the churches of St. Gregory the Illuminator (19th century) and St. Vardan (9-10 centuries) and St. Savior chapel (12-13 centuries).
There are famous Kotavank or Astvatsatsin Church (9th century) and numerous khachkars on the western side of the village, on the hill.
We visited only the Church of St. Astvatsatsin, which was recently renovated.
There is a large grave field near the village, a medieval village, which locals call Khacher. Some khachkars belong to the 5th century.
The Argichi River originates from the northern slope of the Gndasar mountain range, Gegham Highlands at an altitude of 2600 meters. The length is 51 km.
This is the largest of 28 rivers flowing into Lake Sevan. Water is used for irrigation and energy purposes.
Mill: the ancestral heritage
Representatives of the Tatoyan family built a mill on the bank of the Argichi River in 1829 after moving from Alashkert to Getashen.
The mill worked successfully for more than a century and a half and served during the Artsakh war. Mezhlum told us that in the years of the Artsakh war in the conditions of collapse and economic crisis, people stood in line to grind wheat.
At that time, the mill was a source of bread and hope.
By the way, during the visit fellow villagers brought barley. It was a very interesting ritual. Against the backdrop of cutting-edge technology of the 21st century, this mechanism seems mysterious and antique.
The picture became more fabulous when the process was accompanied by the sounds of duduk music and children’s dance.
Guest house near “Tatoyans Mill”
For many years, the mill was a refuge for the local population and overnight accommodation for strangers. And just this fact gave the idea to create more comfortable conditions for rest and overnight stay.
The idea of the hotel was born a few years ago, but it was possible to implement it only in 2016. Now the guest house has 7 cozy and picturesque rooms.
Several tour operators cooperate with the hotel. Most of the guests are from European countries. The CIS region is also active.
Small particles of the great Armenian miracle
As a result of this successful initiative, the Tatoyan brothers no longer go abroad to work, as many residents of the village do. Moreover, they now accept foreigners.
During our visit, random tourists came from Italy, who were traveling by car through beautiful corners of Armenia.
What can be done “At the Tatoyans Mill” and nearby?
By the way, you can enjoy interesting excursions, such as:
- Walk to Mount Armaghan, where there is a beautiful crater with a diameter of 150 m
- Horse riding in a beautiful area of the region, which offers ASP club
- Walk in the national reserve
- Visiting historical and cultural monuments
- Rest on Lake Sevan
- Culinary workshops.
You can write to Tatoyans on Facebook, for booking rooms and tours, with their permission, I provide the phone number + 374 94 544 146, which is also attached to the applications WhatsApp, Viber.
Honestly, we felt at home in the house of the Tatoyans. Such hospitality and kindness are rare.
At the end of the day, we were invited to dinner.
Artashes prepared a fish barbecue, by the way, this year he will take part in the barbecue festival, presenting his unique culinary skills.
The main secret of Armenian tourism
At the table, talking with the Italian guests about the tourist attractiveness of Armenia, we identified that apart from our historical and cultural monuments and natural attractions, the greatest value is the person – Armenian, with its simplicity, hospitality, and warmth.
A few years ago I heard a similar idea: “There will be a time when tourists will come to Armenia to see people.”
This time has come!
Along with the development and improvement of the tourist infrastructure, we must strive to maintain our most valuable, most important and demanded, our untouched, revived, fighting, forever religious type.
This is something that is difficult to find today in classic travel packages and in the modern world.
On my behalf and on behalf of my family, we are grateful that we had so many warm and unique moments in a day.
You are the salt and light of the region.
Every time I encounter such initiatives and success stories, I once again realize that the key to our economic success lies in the hands of each of us in the form of hope, skills, initiative, and struggle. And as a result of all this, we can really cross the impossible!
From Tatoyans Mill