Qara Kelisa - Iran Tourist Attractions

Qara Kelisa

Qara Kelisa in Maku, known as the Holy Thaddeus Church or Tadeos Church, is celebrated as one of the world’s first Christian churches and a major religious site in West Azerbaijan, Iran. Located 20 kilometers from Chaldoran, it is part of Iran’s World Heritage alongside Zor Zor and Saint Stephanos churches. The church, situated in a Turkish-speaking, Muslim-majority area, hosts annual Christian ceremonies that are warmly received by the local Shiite community, with some locals even hosting the visitors. UNESCO recognized Qara Kelisa as a World Heritage Site in 2008 for its unique architecture.

The church is particularly famous for its stunning architecture and distinctive features among Iranian churches. A notable characteristic is its decoration with stories from the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), adding to its ancient allure. The church’s bas-reliefs, known for their beauty, delicacy, and thematic relevance, showcase the talent and skill of its artists, making it a remarkable example of visual arts.

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