Vank Cathedral

Also known as: The Church of the Saintly Sisters, Holy Savior Cathedral

Vank Cathedral, also known as Saintly Sisters, is located in south of Isfahan City in New Julfa District.
The holy savior cathedral of Vank built by Armenian citizens of Isfahan during the reign of Safavid King, Shah Abbas II (r. 1642–1666) is one of the most important cultural capital of Armenians in Isfahan who were forcibly displaced by the Shah Abbas I (r. 1588-1629).

Historical background

Between 1603-1606, and following the war with Ottomans, Shah Abbas I resettled tens of thousands of Armenians, especially from Julfa in Armenia to different parts of Iran. The Armenian artisans and merchants were moved to Isfahan. After re-territorialization, they called their new home, New Julfa.
Newcomer Armenians continued their life in all aspects, constructing social and religious centers such as churches to consolidate their community.
Among these centers, Vank Cathedral (Vank means convent or monastery in Armenian language) was originally a part of a monastery established in 1606 and completed in 1664.
Amenaperkich or Vank Cathedral along with its garden and the green space is located in an 8731 square-meter area in the Armenian quarter of New Julfa. It consists of a beautiful belfry, a church, a famous museum and a library.
A three-floor rectangular high bell tower with a 300 kg majestic clock on the second floor at the entrance gets your attention when entering the Cathedral.

Design and Decoration

The architecture and design of holy savior church is a remarkable fusion of Armenian and Iranian architecture; the consecutive arches, geometrical patterns and the exterior view of the round dome as samples of Islamic architecture beside the conical interior view of dome and Christian iconography and frescoes all indicate this glorious cultural combination.
The internal decoration of Vank Cathedral includes fine colorful frescoes covering walls and ceiling, depicting biblical stories, the life of Christ and the resurrection along with delicately gilded carvings.

The museum and library 

The museum and the library of Vank Cathedral were founded in 1930s. They contain valuable objects such as antique books, coins, textiles, metal and wooden things, earthen and Chinese ceramics, European and Armenian paintings as well as the smallest copies of the Gospel in the world weighting only 7 grams, and even more than 700 handwritten unparalleled books.
There is also a separate part in the museum about the history of printing in Iran, the first printing machine and published book by Xacatur Vardapet Kesaraci.

Vank Cathedral is one of the must-see sights in Isfahan and it is often included in all Isfahan tours. There are also professional guides in Isfahan who can provide you with comprehensive information about Vank Cathedral.


Vank Cathedral 360 video

To experience  Vank Cathedral 360 video (video 360 degree virtual tour), Click  Video 360  which is located under the media area , Wait for the video to be loaded (Please note that 360 videos are taking longer time to be loaded), Click "play", Click the video area, Use the arrow keys or drag the mouse or just move your smart phone (gyroscope needs to be activated) to start your adventure!.

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