Jolfa and Maku Tour
Discover highlights of Jolfa town in eastern Azerbayjan province which has had great significance from the ancient time due to its strategic and geological situation and its great reputation in cultural aspects. Visiting one of the very first orthodox Monastery which reveals some less-known aspects of the Christianity is really amazing.
Our destination is Jolfa, a city located in Azerbaijan Province in Iran, which shares borders with Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan. Due to this significant position, it has turned into an outstanding business city. In Jolfa, you can find many historical churches as it’s been a residential area for Christian Armenians. Let’s have a look at St. Stepanos church, which is surrounded by stone fences, located among several trees and vivacious hills.
Saint-Stepanos or the holly Stepanos church is the second important church for Iranian Christians after Qarreh-Kelisa. The monument is located in the East-Azerbaijan province, 17 Km away in the West of Jolfa and 3 Km away in the South corner of the Aras River in the area called Qezel-Vank. The church was built in the 9th century A.D. but damaged by an earthquake and reconstructed during Safavieh dynasty. You will be amazed by the high reliefs, high arches and astonishing decoration of this beautiful church.
Next, let’s move to the Chupan (shepherd) church, placed in the west.Based on sayings, it was a place for Armenian shepherds to pray. The church has a cross-shaped plan and the material used in its construction are stone and cement. The internal walls are covered by plaster and it has two small domes with four wind catchers.
Our latter stop is the Khajeh Nazar historical caravanserai which dates back to the Safavid era and is located beside Aras River and Zia Al Molk Bridge. As Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the French explorer says the caravanserai was built by an Armenian authority in the time of Shah Abbas. The caravanserai’s plan is rectangular and the construction materials are stones and bricks. When you enter the place, you can observe a central yard with three porches on the sides. Ceilings are arched-shaped and there are internal aisles for accessing different rooms.
As we mentioned, Jolfa is a crucial business city, so let’s not miss visiting shopping centers on the border which are widely developing day by day. After some time strolling in these interesting bazaars, we will drive you along Aras Riverside, where we can watch the roaring river and enjoy the scenic flourish hills. You may see people fishing or meditating in pure nature. We will head to the ‘Asiab Kharabe’ waterfall which has made an awesome landscape in the area. There are mossy strings and even some branches hanging from the waterfall and it divides into many small and big waterfalls in the lower part.
All in all, Jolfa is a historical city with lots of natural attractions and during this trip, you will have a very joyful educational time (Tabriz tours).
Then we drive to Maku city to visit Qarreh-Kelisa church . saint Thaddeus (Tatavous) church is the name of a historical church in the West-Azerbaijan province. The church is located in the south of Maaku, 20 km away in the North-East of Chaldoran, near a village with the same name. Qarreh-Kelisa is the tomb of Thaddeus who was one of the Apostles of Jesus. He was killed in 66 A.D. because of the spreading the Christianity. His tomb is in the Qarreh-Kelisa and is known as one of the important holly places for Armenians.
These edifices – the oldest of which, St Thaddeus, dates back to the 7th century – are examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions. They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian. Situated on the south-eastern fringe of the main zone of the Armenian cultural space, the monasteries constituted a major center for the dissemination of that culture in the region
Then we visit Zurzur church which is located in Chaldoran near Baroun village. This cross shaped church looks like a small praying room and has cultural and historical importance and has been registered on the Iranian national list and the International heritage list in the UNESCO too. Baroun village is registered in the UNESCO separately. After building the Baroun dam, the church was completely transported 600 m away on a higher place.
It is recommended to visit these cultural and historical attractions on your trip to the North-West of Iran.best time to visit this part of iran is Apr-Dec.