Saint Mary Church in Shiraz undergoes restoration

July 4, 2021 - 16:47

TEHRAN –Centuries-old Armenian Church of Saint Mary in Shiraz, the southern province of Fars, has undergone some rehabilitation works, the provincial tourism chief has said.

A budget of 1.4 billion rials ($34,500 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) has been allocated to the project, which aims to keep the historical monument from being destroyed, CHTN quoted Jamshid Moeini as saying on Sunday.

The project involves strengthening the rooftop as well as replacing the worn-out materials and repairing the roof gutters, the official added.

The restoration project is scheduled to come to an end by the end of the summer, he noted.

Located in the historical neighborhood of Sang-e Siah (Black Stone), the church was built in 1662. Built in 1816, the two-story building next to the church was added to this Armenian religious complex.

One of the most distinguishing aspects of this church’s architecture is its non-ornamental quadrangle exterior, in which there is no indication that an actual church existed, however, its dome-shaped interior can be seen from inside the hall.

The paintings of the ceiling are drawn with a unique angle that induces visitors to think they are standing under a dome, even though the ceiling is flat.

The prayer hall of the church is one of Shiraz's oldest and finest buildings from the 17th century, built by both Christian and Muslim architects.

Plasterwork in the church can be considered a masterpiece of its time.

Armenians of Shiraz claim that the church has been damaged twice in the past century by earthquakes, which were restored most closely to its original state.

Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for over 2000 years, Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry, and crafts skills passed down from generation to generation. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty from 1751 to 1794.

Shiraz is home to some of the country’s most magnificent buildings and sights. Increasingly, it draws more and more foreign and domestic sightseers flocking into this provincial capital.

Eram Garden, Afif-Abad Garden, Tomb of Hafez, Tomb of Sa’di, Jameh Mosque of Atigh, and the UNESCO-registered Persepolis are among the historical, cultural, and ancient sites of Shiraz that are of interest to domestic and foreign tourists.

Shiraz is also home to some magnificent historical gardens such as Bagh-e Narenjestan and Eram Garden, which are top tourism destinations both for domestic and international sightseers. 

ABU/MG

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