Now that all the prophets are gone, the temples and their followers propagate the religion on their behalf. Zoroastrian fire temples, Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques, Christian churches, etc. are all symbols of human efforts to search for supernatural power. In Iran, there are also some beautiful churches that have been and are safe homes for Christians throughout time. The famous churches in Iran listed in this guide are among the most important religious sites in the country.
Great Vank Church of Isfahan – One of the Most Beautiful Churches in Iran
At the beginning of the list of the most famous churches in Iran, the name of the Vank Church of Isfahan definitely shines. This church can undoubtedly be considered one of the most important churches in Iran. Vank Church is one of the sights of Isfahan and is known as “Amnaperkich” all over the world. This church is one of the 13 remaining churches in the Jolfa neighborhood of Isfahan.
The church dates back to 1606 AD. During the Safavid era, many Armenians immigrated to Iran and the Jolfa region of Isfahan. Vank Church has had various usages in different periods of time. At one point in history, this church was turned into a hospital for Armenians!
Nowadays Vank is an important church among Armenians and a very nice museum for tourists. In the Vank Church Museum section of Isfahan, we can visit many different historical works that are of great value. You will also learn more about the Armenian Genocide. Vank is one of the most important sightseeing places in Isfahan. In a part of the church, you can see old printing machines, the clothes of Christian elders, and other historical artifacts. Also, the paintings on the wall of the main hall of the church fascinate every tourist. It is for this reason that Vank has earned the title of the most beautiful church in Iran.
Monastery of Saint Thaddeus of West Azerbaijan
The Monastery of Saint Thaddeus or Qara Church is considered one of the most famous churches in Iran. This church is known as one of the most important churches in the Christian world.
This church is one of the most important churches in Iran as well, along with the chapel of Dzordzor and Saint Stepanos Monastery. According to historical documents, Thaddeus, one of the apostles of Christ, built this church. This church has a very beautiful appearance and has been damaged many times throughout history. That is why it has been rebuilt several times. Many important ceremonies of Christians in the region are still held in this church.
St. Stepanos Monastery in East Azerbaijan
Next to Vank Church, Saint Stepanos Church is considered as one of the most important and famous churches in Iran. Watching this church from a distance will remind you of the old castles of Eastern Europe. This church is considered the second most important church among the Armenians of the country after Qara Church. St. Stepanos Church is located in Jolfa city and East Azarbaijan province, next to the Aras river. To visit this beautiful and old church, you have to reach the high slopes of Maghard.
This church dates back to 649 AD. Some people attribute the construction of this monastery to the early Christian era. Others believe that this church was built in 976 AD. In any case, the name of this church was taken from the name of one of the apostles and companions of Jesus. Abbas Mirza, the Qajar crown prince, bought a village in the Sham Valley near this area and handed it over to the church. The architecture of this church is so special and unique that it keeps you spellbound. For this reason, many tourists consider it as one of the most beautiful and famous churches in Iran.
Dzordzor Church of West Azerbaijan
This small church, which is more like a guard room is considered one of the oldest churches in Iran. Dzordzor Church, also known as Mako’s Mary Church, is one of the smallest churches in Irana s well. This beautiful stone church is considered one of the must-see places in Chaldoran. The Church is registered both in the list of national monuments and in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Therefore, it is considered among the most significant historical works of West Azerbaijan.
This church is located at a distance of 12 kilometers northwest of Qara church and near a village called Barun. Dzordzor is located exactly at the mouth of a valley through which the Zangimar River flows. It should be pointed out that in world assemblies, this church is considered a symbol of the coexistence of religions.
Saint Sarkis Church of Tehran – The Largest Church in the Capital
Saint Sarkis Church is the largest church in the capital. This church is located in the center of Tehran and at the beginning of Nejatolahi street. This church is a relic of the Pahlavi era. Saint Sarkis Church is still the center of Armenian affairs in Iran and is very important among Christians.
Evgen Aftandilyan was responsible for the design of this church and he managed this task quite well. The design of the exterior of this church is very well done. When you look at the exterior of the church from the outside, you will feel its grandeur. Its interior is also designed to be extremely beautiful and relaxing. The presence of marble columns and artistic paintings have turned the interior of this church into one of the most beautiful and famous churches in Iran.
Cantor Church in Qazvin – The Russian Bell Tower
Qazvin is one of the oldest cities in Iran. Many historical events have happened in this city. When it comes to places of interest in Qazvin, one should prepare a long list. Cantor Church, or Bell Tower, is one of the sights of Qazvin, which can be included among the list of the most beautiful and famous churches in Iran.
This church has small dimensions and was built by the Russian government during the occupation of Iran by the Russians. In the entrance door section and on the walls, the Russian cross can be seen. The appearance of this building is completely different from Iranian architecture. This makes it one of the most special churches in Iran. Cantor in Russian means center or headquarters. It seems that at that time, Russian agents used to gather in this place.
Saint Mary’s Church in Tehran
Saint Mary’s Church, next to Sarkis Church, is another important church in the capital. This church is located in the center of Tehran’s Jomhouri Street area. According to historical documents, in 1324 AD, a person named Roman Isa Yan built this church at his own expense.
This church can be considered the first Armenian cathedral in Tehran. Saint Mary’s Church was the only cathedral in Tehran between 1342 and 1349. Many religious ceremonies of Christians and Armenians are still held in this big and beautiful church. A part of this church has been turned into a museum and visitors can visit it freely. In this museum, the belongings of religious elders, religious books, and various types of crosses are displayed.
Surp Karapet Church in Khuzestan – Immigrants’ Place of Worship
In the southern regions of the country, we rarely see the presence of different churches. Surp Karapet Church, however, is one of the most beautiful and famous churches in Iran located in the south of the country.
This church has a unique and spectacular appearance. During the night with stunning lighting, this church becomes one of the most beautiful sights of Abadan. Until 50 years ago, many workers from foreign countries came to work in Abadan. For this reason, a church was built for Armenians in the city. This church is still known as the Armenian Church in the area and is very important among the Christians of Abadan and hosts special Armenian ceremonies.
Naneh Maryam Church in Urmia
Naneh Maryam Church in Urmia is one of the oldest churches in Iran. This church is also known by other names such as Saint Maryam Church and Martyr Maryam Church. Some people believe that Naneh Maryam Church is one of the oldest churches in the world. Some even claim that after the “Bethlehem” church, this church is the second oldest church in the world.
According to archaeologists, this church dates back to the Sassanid era. Of course, some archaeologists claim that this place was originally a fire temple and later they turned it into a church. The interesting thing is that Naneh Maryam Church is still the place of meetings and important ceremonies of Christians in the region.
Saint Mary’s Church of Tabriz
St. Mary’s Church, or the Holy Mary of Tabriz, is considered one of the most important churches in East Azerbaijan Province. This church is at least 500 years old and many important ceremonies of Armenians and Christians are still held in this place.
Compared to other Iranian churches, this church has a very simple appearance. According to historical documents, this place was built during the Safavid era. Even Marco Polo mentioned this church in his travelogue on his way to China.
Sorkhabad Church in Mazandaran
Sorkhabad Church is one of the few churches in Mazandaran province, which is located in the Savadkouh area. Sorkhabad Church is in fact only a very small room. There are not even any tables and chairs or communion platforms in it. This church was built only for the Italian engineers who came to this area during the Pahlavi era to build the northern railway. An inscription in Italian next to the head of the church is a confirmation of this fact.
Sanandaj Church – The simplest Church in Iran
Sanandaj church is considered one of the simplest and cleanest churches in Iran. This church dates back to the Qajar era. Inside Sanandaj church, there are no high wooden seats, beautiful platforms, marble columns, or artistic paintings. In fact, instead of high wooden benches, very ordinary chairs found in schools have been used in this church. This church has a very simple appearance but is one of the most important churches in Sanandaj.
Hakop Church in Isfahan
Maryam and Hakop Church is one of the most important churches in Isfahan, located in the No Jolfa neighborhood. This church dates back to the Safavid era. If you pay attention to the architecture of this church, you will realize that it is not similar to other churches. In fact, the exterior architecture of this church is more similar to Iranian mosques.
Its interior however is completely designed based on the Christian architectural style. The interior of the church is very simple and far from any luxury. This place is considered one of the most important churches in Isfahan after Vank Church.
Jolfa Shepherd Church
Shepherd Church should also be included among the smallest churches in Iran. This church is located 5 kilometers west of Jolfa city and the Aras river bank. Shepherd Church, also known as Nakhirchi Church, is one of the oldest churches in the region. This church dates back to about 500 years ago and the 16th century AD.
According to some historical traditions, this church was built for the worship of Armenian shepherds who were present in this area. There were some crucifix stones in the area of this church, which were moved to Tabriz for further protection. The name of this small church has been registered in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites and National Monuments of Iran.
Church of Simon the Zealot
Simon the Zealot Church is one of the most famous churches in Iran, located in Fars province and Shiraz city. In fact, it is a cross between a church and a mosque. The presence of a brick arch and the adaptation of the Iranian Islamic architectural style make this church one of the most special churches in Iran. Simon, the Zealot’s Church is one of the most important Armenian and Christian churches in Shiraz. Shiraz Christians still hold most of their ceremonies in this place.
Surp Mesrup Church in Ahvaz
Surp Mesrup Church is one of the churches of Ahvaz. This church is located in the city of Ahvaz and is considered one of the most beautiful and famous churches in Iran. This church has a very beautiful appearance and unique architecture. They have used light colored stone in the design of the exterior. In the interior, we can also see beautiful and artistic paintings of Christ.
Tanaz Church in Shiraz
The Armenian Tanaz Church of Shiraz is one of the oldest churches in this historic city. This church dates back to the era of Shah Abbas II Safavid. At that time this place was a prosperous city and many Armenians were present there. That is why this church was built for the Armenians of this city. Currently, the exterior of the church has been damaged a lot and has a very simple appearance; But its interior is still very beautiful and luxurious.
Gregory Church in Hamedan
Gregory Church of Hamedan is considered one of the oldest churches in Hamedan, which is about 300 years old. This church has two main parts, a hall, and a library. Gregory Church was completely renovated in 2012 and has a very beautiful and lovely appearance and is considered as one of the most famous churches in Iran.