The Vank Church
The Vank Church is like a bright spot in the center of Isfahan. The simple and beautiful architecture, unique paintings and the antiquity of the church, distinguishes this historical monument from other Iranian churches. Over the years, Vank Church has evolved and its importance is increased by the its enclosure and building’s development.
Today, Vank Church has an important position among the Armenians of Isfahan and is known throughout the world. While visiting this historical attraction of Isfahan, you can enjoy the beauty of different parts of Vank Church for long hours.
After leaving Iravan, Shah Abbas ordered his troops to withdraw and to destroy all towns and villages on their way to the Iranian border to prevent the rapid pursuit of the Ottoman troops. They destroyed homes, burned farms, destroyed livestock, and drove the inhabitants to leave their homes. Anyone who resisted and refused to go, or could not go, was condemned to death.
Thus, the Shah Abbas armies destroyed most of the Armenian towns and villages in the Ararat desert, and brought with them the inhabitants of those areas to Iran. When they reached Wagharshapat, they were informed that a group of Ottoman troops were approaching them. Aware that he could not stand against them with this large crowd of defenseless men, King Abbas ordered the Captains of his armies to move the troops more rapidly; So the numbers of people who could not move, including old men, patients, and children, were forced to stop and it was clear what they had come to. At last, Shah Abbas and the Armenian diaspora reached Jolfa. Now they had to cross the Aras River. He was then informed that the Ottoman army had arrived. Upon hearing this, Abbas, who knew he had little time, ordered his troops to make the people cross the river as quickly as possible. The river was raging and dangerous, and the people had to cross or wait for the arrival of the Ottoman troops, whose deaths were then certain. They chose to cross the river.
All the walls, arches, arches, domes, inside the dome and all angles of the church are painted and decorated with oil color. Most wall paintings of the church have sacred themes from the Bible and features images from birth to the ascension of Jesus Christ. On some of the walls of the church, the day of resurrection, the day of judgment, and the Paradise and Hell can be seen. The cost of all the decorations and paintings and of the church was borne by someone named Khaje “Odik Steppanos”. The painters were all Armenian masters, including caliph “Hovans Marcos”, “Priest Stepanus”, and “Professor Minas”.
During the Great Migration, the Armenians left everything behind and came to Iran, but the only thing they could not forgo were the books they had in their homes. The Armenians had taken great pains to bring many books to Iran, Isfahan, which was the only fortune that was always valuable to the Armenians.
In 1770-1790, the printing house burned down due to opposition to the building, and only a few of its letters and moles were saved from fire, which is now kept in the Vank Museum.