Landscaping, cleaning project completed on Bushehr Gregorian Church

January 17, 2022 - 22:47

TEHRAN –  The old structure, courtyard, and other premises of Bushehr Gregorian Church have recently been rearranged and cleaned as local authorities plan to reopen the historical place to sightseers in near future.

“The Gregorian Church of Bushehr is one of the most important and significant historical monuments of the southwestern Iranian port city. It is now fully cleaned in preparation for reopening to sightseers,” a local tourism official said on Monday.

In addition to the main building, the courtyard and other premises of the church have been landscaped, the official said.

Furthermore, tombstones of the church were treated to become documented in near future, the official explained. 

Iran is home to many historical churches, chapels, and cathedrals. The Iranian churches St. Thaddeus, St. Stephanus, and Dzordzor (Zorzor) in East Azerbaijan Province and West Azarbaijan province were registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2008.

The UNESCO website described the monuments as “examples of the outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions,” and adding, “They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox, and Persian.”

The St. Thaddeus Church, also known as the Black Church (Qara Kelissa), is probably Iran’s most interesting and notable Christian monument, located near the Chaldoran region in Maku, West Azarbaijan. Christians from all over the world annually gather at the church on July 1 for their annual commemoration of the martyrdom of St. Thaddeus, one of the 12 disciples, also known as St. Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), who was martyred while spreading the Gospel.

Located near Marand in East Azarbaijan, the St. Stephanus Church was renovated during the reign of the Safavid king Shah Abbas (1588-1629). According to Hayk Ajimian, an Armenian scholar and historian, the church was originally built in the ninth century CE, but repeated earthquakes in the region severely damaged the original structure.

The Dzordzor Church, located in the village of Barone in Zangar Valley of the Chaldoran region in the northern part of West Azarbaijan Province, was built in 1315 CE.

The term Gregorian Church is an exonym not preferred by the church itself, as it views the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus as its founders, St. Gregory the Illuminator was merely the first official primate of the church. It is also known simply as the Armenian Church.


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