Lies in the north-west of the country the Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran was inscribed as a UNECO world heritage site in the year 2008.
It is an Iranian tangible cultural heritage site of Christian faith, consist of three churches: St. Thaddeus Monastery (Kara Kelisa or Qara Kelisa), St. Stepanos Church and the Chapel of Dzordzor.
These edifices were constructed to the period between 7th and 14th centuries. The survived structure is breathtaking and worth visiting, attracting numerous many Armenians, Christians, and enthusiasts to this place annually.
They are located in the on the southeastern fringe of the main zone of the Armenian cultural space, playing an important role in the spread of their culture in this region.
As a hub of pilgrimage, the monastic ensembles are living witnesses of Armenian religious traditions through the centuries and are in an acceptable position, be it integrity or authenticity. The monasteries, after 2000 years of human and natural destructions have withstand the tests of time.
More importantly, Saint-Thaddeus, the presumed location of the tomb of the apostle of Jesus Christ, St. Thaddeus, has always been a place of high spiritual value for Christians and other inhabitants in the region, a living place of pilgrimage for the Armenian Church eve now.
- St. Thaddeus Monastery or Kara Kelisa
Located in the Chaldoran town, Western Azerbaijan Province, is built on the tomb of St. Thaddeus, one of the apostles of Jesus. In Azeri language (spoken on the northwestern regions of Iran), Kara means black. They call it black church due to the older section of this church, which has black impressive walls.
Another church in the Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran. After Kara Kelisa, St. Stepanos Monastery is the second most important among all churches in Iran, with a name after Stephanos, the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death in Jerusalem by Jews.
Locals again have chosen a name for it, they call it Kharaba Kelisa (ruined church) because of the massive destruction it experienced.
Here are some of the features of St. Stephanos Church, the entrance door is decorated with inlaid word-work of Qajar era. soffit fascia is decorated with reliefs of The Apostles, angles, and saints.
The last monument in the list of The Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran is Chapel of Dzordzor, built by Zakaria.
Located in Maku town, western Azerbaijan, it is claimed that this stunning structure was built in between 1315 and 1324.
In June, Iranian Armenians have been holding ceremonies in the places mentioned above, inviting many ambassadors of Christian counters, Armenians, Christians, ordinary people etc. therefore participating in these ceremonies for anyone is available.