Tsav village is a unique corner of nature with rich forests, cold waters, and springs. The River Basuta is a real treasure and was once rich in trout. It is no wonder that these territories caught the attention of the Turkish Becks. We do not know what the name of Tsav was in Stepanos Orbelian’s tax list, but, of course, it did exist. Tsav existed at the time of David Beck, but after the defeat of the liberation struggle, the village was abandoned. The ruins of houses and churches, however, as well as the name of Tsav area remained as evidence. Later, the villagers of Verindzor in Kapan gave new life to the village, choosing the area of Tsav as a winter home and intended to seize it from the Turkish Becks. The winter home eventually turned into a village that infuriated the Turkish Becks as they didn’t approve of an Armenian settlement in this picturesque area. The residents of Verindzor thought to legalize the settlement in the relevant acts of the Tsarist government and this issue was handled by the people from Vindzor working in the Baku oil mines. They sent a photographer to Tsav who took photos of the preserved ruins, the cemetery, the half-ruined church, the Tarjumanants (Translators’) Church, the khachkars (cross-stones), and the Armenian lithographs. The photos and related petitions were handed over to Tadevos from Kajaran who left for St. Petersburg in 1904 and initiated the so-called Trial of the Tsav residents in order to defend them against the Becks. Tadevos returned with documents confirming permit for the settlement. Tsav villager Benjamin Arakelyan, who was the builder of the well-known ‘’Benjamin’s Spring’’, said that he saw the documents from St. Petersburg. At the beginning of the 20th century 36 families lived in Tsav and Tsav is the birthplace of many famous people including the Soviet hero Hounan Avetisyan.
The Legend of Tsav School
In his "Our Village" memoir, Benjamin Arakelyan writes, "It should be noted that in general the villagers of Tsav are characterized by an ambition to get an education. They are hard working and earn little, but from their earnings, they always prioritize educational needs." In the early years of the village's resettlement, the residents decided on rebuilding a church and a school. They cleaned the area around the church and began its restoration. They say that a golden cross was found under the wall of the church and decided to place a cross inside the church after the restoration. However, before the dedication ceremony was completed, the cross disappeared. People blamed each other, weaving various stories, but the cross was never found.
The locals thirst for education drives the wonderful legend about the founding of the village school. They said that whatever they did, they could not open a school because the government would not allow it.
"But what a village without a school?", the villagers said, so a delegation left for the capital of the Russian Empire, St. Petersburg, and after a long journey they met Tsar Nicolai II.
"I am listening to you, what is your problem?" the Tsar asked.
"Your Majesty," said one of the inhabitants of Tsav, "we are your subordinates, wishing you many years of life and bright sun. We have a village, but we do not have a school’’.
"Why do you need a school?" argued the Tsar.
‘’We are a Christian nation and we serve the country. If our sons are going join to the army, they have to be able to own a gun and write a letter. They should not have to be ‘a donkey’ like us.’’
Tsar smiled, pleased with the answer. The elderly Tsav villagers say that Nicholai II immediately issued an order to open a school in the village.
That is the legend of the school, and the people of Tsav still highly value education. They knew how to take care of the school, and how to respect and honor teachers.