Iran's Armenian Churches in the World Heritage List

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Iran's Armenian Monastic Ensembles have been designated as the country's ninth property to be inscribed onto the World Heritage List.

The three Armenian churches in northwestern Iran - the Saint Thaddeus Monastery, the Saint Stepanos Church and the Chapel of Dzordzor - were inscribed during the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee in Quebec, Canada.

The structures - the oldest of which, St Thaddeus, dates back to the 7th century - are examples of the universal value of Armenian architectural and decorative traditions.

The committee voted to inscribe the structures for their important interaction with other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian.

The Saint Thaddeus Church is considered as one of the oldest churches in the world and dates back 1,700 years. Historians believe the church is the tomb of Thaddeus who is said to have been one of Christ's disciples and who traveled to Armenia, then a part of the Persian Empire, to preach the teachings of Christ.

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