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Holy Savior Cathedral , also known as Vank Cathedral and The Church of the Saintly Sisters, is a cathedral in Isfahan, Iran. Vank means "monastery" or "convent" in the Armenian language.One of the largest and most beautiful churches of Iran, the cathedral was completed in 1664. It includes a bell-tower, built in 1702, a printing press, founded by Bishop Khachatoor, a library established in 1884, and a museum opened in 1905. 

Following the Ottoman war of 1603-1605, Armenians began to arrive in Iran in search of a new life under the Safavid King Shah Abbas I.Shah Abbas I, who settled tens of thousands of them in the Iranian provinces south of Aras River, also relocated Armenians, who had fled from the Ottoman massacre in Nakhchivan to Iran. Nakhchivan suffered a lot during the 14th to 18th century wars between Persia and the Ottoman Empire. The city fell under Safavid rule in the 16th century. In 1604, when Shah Abbas I realized that the lands of Nakhchivan and its surrounding areas might fall into Ottoman hands, he decided to force the entire Muslim, Jewish and Armenian population of the city to leave their homes and move to Iran. The Armenian immigrants settled in Isfahan, the capital of the Safavid Dynasty, and populated the city's New Jolfa district, which was named after their original homeland in today's Azerbaijan Republic. Upon entering Iran, Armenian refugees started building churches and monasteries to continue their religious activities in their new home. The first monastery in Jolfa was built in 1606 and included a little church called Amna Perkich, which means 'All Healing.' The little church was later expanded and turned into the magnificently designed Vank Cathedral, which was built 50 years later under the supervision of Archbishop David.


Vank Cathedral of Isfahan


The architecture of the building is a mixture of the 17th-century Safavid style with high arches and an Islamic-style dome. The cathedral has greatly influenced the architecture and decorative treatment of many churches in Iran and the Mesopotamian region. The main entrance of the cathedral is a large wooden door through which visitors enter the courtyard of the building. Upon entering the courtyard, one encounters two rooms that were once used as administrative offices, which helped Armenians process their paperwork.

 

 

A large freestanding belfry stands in the cathedral courtyard and towers over the graves of Orthodox and Protestant Christians who have been buried along the wall before the entrance. Built 38 years after the main structure, the belfry leads into the nave. On the right side of the belfry there is a large blue inscription surrounded by crucifix stones. The stones have been collected from the ruined churches of the Jolfa quarter. On a raised area to the left, a memorial has been set up in memory of the victims of the Ottoman massacre. Every year on April 23 Armenians gather by the memorial to light candles in honor of their martyrs. At a corner of the cathedral's courtyard, rooms and halls have been built to accommodate guests, the Isfahan archbishop and his retinue, as well as other Armenian religious authorities in Iran. 

Across the courtyard and facing the cathedral is a building, which houses the Vank library and museum. The library contains more than 700 manuscripts and hard-to-find sources on Armenian and medieval European languages and arts. The Vank museum houses unique and priceless collections of various types of items gathered from across the Armenian world.


Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Eight windows surround the dome with biblical scenes painted between them. The creation of Adam and Eve, eating the forbidden fruit and the death of Able are among the stories painted between the windows. The narthex is also adorned with four paintings, which are surrounded with floral patterns and show tortures inflicted upon holy figures. The birth of Jesus, the Last Supper, the crucifixion of Jesus and the Ascension of Jesus are also among the biblical stories depicted in the paintings inside the cathedral. The paintings have been inspired by both old and new testaments and have been painted by Armenian masters and three monks, namely; Havans, Stepanus and Minas. After the death of Shah Abbas I, his successor Shah Abbas II also paid close attention to Armenians and New Jolfa, which is located on the banks of the Zayandeh River and still houses a large part of the Iranian-Armenian community. 


Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

 

Geocoding: 32.634911°N 51.655833°E 

 



Теги: vank cathedral of isfahan, isfahan, isfahan attractions, isfahan tourism, must see isfahan, must see iran, iran tourism, iran attractions, travel to iran, Armenian church of isfahan

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Group: Guests
9 November 2015 06:51
Very nice photos.