Vank Cathedral or Amana Prkych (in Armenian Սուրբ Ամենափրկիչ Վանք – in English Holy Savior Cathedral), means (Church of the Savior Holy), the name of the church in the neighborhood of Julfa (Isfahan), the name of the Church “Sorep Mnaprkych Vank” Jvgha in Nakhchivan Taken. Vanak means the monastery in Armenian.
During the wars of the Safavids , one dynasty of Iran History many Armenians were brought to Iran from the Ottoman Empire. The Arakel Reviewer describes the full description of the events of this era as follows:
“After leaving Yerevan, Shah Abbas ordered his troops to retreat and destroy all the cities and villages along their way to the borders of Iran, thus preventing the rapid pursuit of the Ottoman troops.
They destroyed houses in every city and village, they burned fields, destroyed livestock, and forced the inhabitants of the country to leave their homes, and they would leave them. Anyone who stood against them and was not ready to go or was not able to do so was sentenced to death.
Thus, Shah Abbas’s armies destroyed most Armenian settlements and villages in the Ararat plain, and the inhabitants brought the areas to Iran.
When the people arrived at Vagharsapat, Shah Abbas reported that a group of Ottoman troops were approaching them.
Shah Abbas, who knew that with this massive population of defenseless people he would not be able to stand and fight against these armies, ordered his commanding officers to move the categories of people more quickly; therefore, the number of people unable to move, Including the elderly, the sick, and the children, and it is clear that they were caught in their fate.
Finally, Shah Abbas came to Julfa with the Armenian immigrant population. Now they should cross the Arus River. Reported to Shah Abbas that the Ottoman army had reached Nakhchivan.
When he heard this news, Shah Abbas, who knew there was not much time left, ordered his troops to get people to cross as quickly as possible. The river was roaring and dangerous, and the people either had to cross or wait there for the Ottoman troops, in which case their death would have been necessary. Inevitably they crossed the river. “
About three hundred and fifty thousand Armenians were drowned in the river with 300,000 of them. Although Shah Abbas transferred much of the Armenian population to the cities and villages of Armenia, it did not mean that these territories were vacant.
Still, many Armenians lived in the cities and villages of these areas, and from then until the first half of the nineteenth century their lives were more or less affected by unfortunate incidents and aggressions.
Simultaneously with the construction of Vank, a small church was built in the southwest. This church has been used by Armenian clerics for fifty years. In 1655, at the site of the church began to build the current church and completed it in 1664.
Upon completion of the church building, they installed a scroll with a lazium tile and a golden line on the entrance to the western entrance of the church, which contains the beginning and completion date of the church.
The inscription reads: “Vank Cathedral Mnaprkyj in 1655 AD during the reign of Shah Abbas II and Catholicos” Philippus “and the leaders of the Caliphate” David “and to help people not to Julfa, Isfahan began in 1664 AD ended. The rewards of worship in this church are given to those who are alive or in the past. “
The area of the Amena Water Park is 8731 square meters, of which 3857 square meters is the building and the rest of the greenery and the vank garden. On the two sides at the entrance to Vank, they have made two rooms for reception.
At the top of the entrance, the bell tower is located in three floors, on the second floor there is a large clock weighing three hundred kilograms.
On the four sides of the tower, there are four circular circular wheels, each with a diameter of 104 cm. This bell tower and watch was donated to the Church by the “Mardioras Hondaranaian” in 1931.
Unlike the ancient Armenian churches most built with stones, the Amna Karkjiz Church is built with crude clay. The outer wall of the church is faced with an inner wall covered with plaster, painted on it and decorated with it.
The church has two domes; a small dome is located on the site of the general population, and a large dome is built on the front of the church altar. The height of the church walls from the courtyard to the roof of the second floor is 71/75 meters.
Despite the fact that the churches of Isfahan were built by Armenian architects, there is no similarity between them and the churches of Armenia or even the churches of the northern province of Azerbaijan, such as the Church, the Seventhun, the Forces of Forces and the Holy Sepulcher.
The dome of ancient Armenian churches is conical, but the dome of the Vankak church is similar to the dome of the Persian mosques of Safavid era. The reason for this must be sought in the social conditions prevailing in the seventeenth century AD. As Abbas did not build the churches causing troubles for him and provoking the religious emotions of the people of Isfahan, and as a result of religious conflict, the construction of the churches was conditioned by the fact that architecture.
They are different from the churches in Armenia. In this way, Armenian architects saw the way to build churches in Iranian architecture, sometimes with the appearance of mosques. So they could show one special part of Iran History.
Of course, other conditions such as climate and materials, including bricks and clay, were also unaffected by the design of the buildings of the churches in Isfahan.
The Armenian architects of the Jolfa of Isfahan created unique masterpieces by matching their art with the existing conditions. They built all the churches in terms of religious principles and plans in accordance with the Armenian churches, and in terms of their external and façade.
They were completely different from the Armenian architectural style and in accordance with the Iranian architecture. As a result of this combination, they built unique structures, which exemplified them. It cannot be found anywhere in the world.
Inside the Vank Church and the surrounding walls, all of the ornamentation of Iranian oil paintings and water of gold, and images of the life of Christ (AS), is influenced by the Italian painting, and the great building and clock tower are clear from a distance. . This building is located at the entrance to the main entrance of the large wooden door, where people travel.
Different parts of the Vancouver church:
The church has four sections: a printing house, a library, a museum and administrative buildings. An explanation of these sections is given below:
The Vank Printing House is located behind the building it was built In 1640 . In 1641, a book on the history of the fathers of the clergy was published in this printing house. There are still a few copies of the book at the Vank Museum, which is not a high-quality print, but it’s a great honor for printers.
At the time of the great forced migration, the Armenians left everything and came to Iran, but the only thing they could not ignore was books that were in their homes.
The Armenians brought many books with themselves to Iran (Isfahan) with great work. These books were the only wealth that was always valued for Armenians. It’s worth noting that all the books in this library are linear books written on the skin.
After the library, the museum is located in this church. The museum, called Khachaterur Gassarati, was built in 1891 at the Vanke Church.
It should be said that most of these precious and rare property were donated by people whose donation of these properties would be more of a proper place for the past memorials, so that the future people would know what their fathers were and what they did.
There are beautiful gospels in this place, one of which is the smallest gospel in the world written in seven languages and weighing seven grams, as well as a hair clip written in Armenian language and a ghostly turtle lacer.
In the years after the establishment of the museum, many cultural monuments have been added to the museum’s objects, either purchased by the Caliphate Council or donated by individuals to the museum. As a result, new pavilions were later added to the museum, such as the “Yermar Khan” booth, “Armenian Genocide on April 24, 1915”, “Jolfa Bazaar of Isfahan” and “Coins”.
The two-storey Vancoux Museum has two showrooms with several fixed and mobile windows. About eighty-fifty objects displayed at the Museum of the Church of Vanqua belong to the sixteenth to twentieth centuries.
Since most of the museum’s objects are donated, besides the explanations for each object, there is also a specification and information about the donor or the donor, which is less common in conventional museums.
In 1977, there were two statues at the entrance to the museum, one of them being the icon of the Armenian alphabet inventor, “Mozroup Mashhats”, and the other “Khachatore Garsarati”, the founder of the Vank Churches in the 17th century.
These statues made in Italy by the two good-natured people have been donated to the museum.
For the first time in 1921 in the history of the Museum of the Church of the Vank, Memorial Office was signed by the Ambassador of Armenia Mr. Hossep Ahshakhan Arqutian. Since then, numerous memorial offices have been signed by visitors, renowned celebrities, and this tradition continues.
These include the following: The Prince of Sudan in 1933, the Japanese Prince of Misawa (1933), the German Prime Minister (1957), the Queen of Denmark and his daughter (1963), the President of India (1963) King of Denmark (1963), King of Belgium and Queen (1964), Princess of Spain (1966), former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan (1999), and others.
In the past, the administrative and judicial work of the Armenian Julfa in this place took place from the adjustment of the marriage to the repair and registration of death and birth and judicial affairs, such as complaints and handling of them.
This is happening now and Armenian Julfa will go to this place for their work. Of course, this should not be forgotten that Armenian affairs in some countries, such as India, were settled in Deir Amnaparkij in the past, but they are currently dealing only with Armenian affairs in southern Iran. A unique place of Iran Tourism Attractions.
This place is in the southernmost part of the late, and its year of construction dates back to the reign of Nasir al-Din Shah.
Why should you visit this place?
In addition to the works of art in the church, the objects displayed at the Museum of the Church of the Vanke belong to the 16th to 20th centuries. It should be said that all these valuable things show a part of Iran History.
The most famous thing that is kept in the museum of the Church of Vank is not to be blessed with it is a haircase belonging to an eighteen-year-old girl, Vahram Hakopian, in 1974, wrote a verse of the Torah in Armenian with a diamond-shaped pen Is.
This work was donated to the Museum in 1975, and visitors can see the sentence on the hair with a microscope, which is fitted for this purpose.
The smallest gospel(bible) of the world and other exquisite works of art can also be found at this museum.