Saint Stepanos Monastery in Iran, tr2p

Armenian monastery in Azerbaijan as the well-known Iran attraction

Saint Stepanos Monastery is one of the most important Armenian Monasteries in Iran located in the East Azerbaijan. Saint Stepanos Monastery located in a canyon facing Aras River in East Azerbaijan in the middle of the green nature of Jolfa and Azerbaijan Republic borderline which is the second important monastery only after the St. Thaddeus Monastery. Saint Stepanos Monastery is enchanting Iran tourist attractions making to be registered as one of the sites in UNESCO World Heritage List. Saint Stefan or Stepanos was one of the first martyrs of Christianity which has resulted in the existence of many churches and monasteries with his name all around the world.

 Saint Stepanos Monastery in East Azerbaijan, Iran

History of Saint Stepanos Monastery

The exact date of construction of Saint Stepanos Monastery is not known to us. But based on the special ornate and architectural style the experts attribute it to the ninth century, after being damaged through wars and earthquakes, saint Stepanos monastery was rebuilt during the Safavid era in a green nature among the tall trees with a conical dome above it. Founded by St. Bartholomew, the building was partly destroyed during the wars between the Seljuk and the Byzantine Empire in the 11th and 12th centuries. Since 1974 the monastery has undergone several restorations. The height of its cultural and intellectual influence was in the 14th and 15th centuries.

 Saint Stepanos monastery in East Azerbaijan, Iran

Architecture of Saint Stepanos monastery

The whole structure is covered by the pink, red, and white stone, which consist of seven towers and five stone cylinders. Saint Stepanos Monastery has three main sections. First, it is the chapel that is located under the high dome. The altar and the praying hall are positioned in this section. Mural paintings of the saints and angels have beautifully decorated the walls of this section. 
Another section of Saint Stepanos Monastery is called Ojagh-e Danial. This part is the chapel of the monastery, which is known as the chapel of Paul the Apostle. This chapel has a rectangular-shaped plan with an entrance gate on the western side.
The last section is the bell tower of Saint Stepanos Monastery. It has been damaged during the time. The bell was sent to Italy during the rule of Abbas Mirza of Qajar to be restored, but it was never returned to Iran.
reliefs of portrait of Virgin Mary, Birth of Jesus, Stoning of Saint Stepanos and Crucify of Jesus and his followers are depicted at the façade & walls of Saint Stepanos monastery which are eye-catching. valuable tablets with inscriptions in Armenian alphabet are used to ornamented the tombstones and the entrance gateway of the monastery have. Once translated into Farsi, they inform the name of the architecture and parts of the history of the people who lived there.

 Saint Stepanos monastery. East Azerbaijan, Iran

What is the best time to go?
Due to the monastery adjacent to the Aras River and green nature of Jolfa, suggest you to visit Saint Stepanos Monastery during spring and summer.

Getting there?
Saint Stepanos Monastery is located 17 kilometers west of Jolfa and three kilometers of the Aras River in a place called Ghezel Vank. You can reach there via private car or public transportation such as a taxi.

Where to stay near Saint Stepanos monastery?
Imperial Aras Hotel in Jolfa
Tourist Hotel in jolfa
Narenjestan Hotel in Aras

 Lots of tourists travel to Iran to visit this Iran tourist attraction. So do not hesitate to book you Iran tour with Iran welcomes you as Iranian tour operator specialized in Shiraz tour. For any request, please Contact team.