Vank Cathedral

Vank Cathedral of Isfahan

Where is Vank Cathedral?

Vank Cathedral is located in Isfahan city, Jolfa district. 

Jolfa is located in south of Zayanderud. By the order of Shah Abbas the first, soldiers built a city for armenians. 

Jolfa is one of the traditional neighborhoods in Isfahan.

Who Built it and Why?

This cathedral is somehow  the result of  Ottoman War of 1603-1618. The cathedral itself was began  in 1606 by the first arrivals. 

When Shah Abbas the first returned from Yerevan, he ordered to burn all the villages, farms and cattle in order to prevent Ottoman army from following them.

Of course he forced local people to abandon their homeland. Those who didn’t or couldn’t obey were killed. Those who leaved their home, did not last long ether.

The old ones, sick ones and children left behind in the middle of the way. The rest of them were drowned in Aras river. 300 thousand of 350 thousand of evacuees were killed or died on the way.

Those who survived, started to build a church with the same name of their own church in Jolfa( Azerbaijan). 


Museum and Library

In the time of Great Depression, Armenians left everything behind and came to Iran, but the only thing they had failed to ignore was the books in their homes, and these books were the only property that was always valuable for Armenians.

In 1770 to 1790, the printing press was burned down, with only a number of letters and its forms protected from fire, which are now preserved in the Vank museum

Architecture and Wall Paintings

The area of the Vank Cathedral is  8731 meters which 3857 of it is the main building and the rest of it is green area and garden. 

There are two rooms on either side of the entrance hall for the receptionAt the top of the entrance, the belfry is a three – storey tower that stands on the second floor of that big clock weighing three hundred pounds. On the four sides of the tower, four sides of the clock have been installed which is 104 cm in diameter.

Unlike the old Armenian churches that built mostly by stone, Vank cathedral is built by raw brick. The outer wall of the church is built with brick and plaster which is covered with paintings as a decoration. The church has two dome; the dome is on the site of the public establishment, and the great dome is built on the front of the altar.

The elevation of the church walls from the boundary wall to the roof of the second floor is 11 / 75 m. Within the church, at a distance of about 25 meters from the west wall, two square columns, each side of which the sides are two metres.

Paintings of the wall shows tales of the Bible, and pictures of the birth to ascension of Jesus Christ. On the part of the church walls, the day of resurrection is seen as the Day of Resurrection and Heaven and Hell. The cost of all the decoration and decoration of the Church is provided by Avdik Stepanus. The church  gilded work is  a masterpiece among Armenian churches.

The Armenian Genocide,  also known as the Armenian Holocaust was the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians, mostly citizens within the Ottoman Empire. The starting date is conventionally held to be 24 April 1915, the day that Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and… 

If you have visited this beautiful cathedral, we appreciate it if you share your experience with us!  

Niloufar Aein

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