The Saint Stepanos Monastery
This building is respected by all Christianity and is an important part of the Armenian cultural history of the world. St. Stephen's Church has taken its name from Stepanos. He was the first Christian to be the victim of anger and jealousy of the Jews. The church building has a cylindrical shape and is covered with a conical dome. The building consists of several parts including the church's porch, -16 sided dome, the bell tower, and the Danial stove. New designs, numerous crosses at the exterior level are of the beauties of this building that take the eyes of every visitor.
The Church of St. Stephen with a distinct architecture in the heart of the mountains and among the green nature of the area is the best option for summer trips. This church is surrounded ed by trees and lush valley and the stone fence surrounds the building. The architectural style of the building and its materials reflects the fact that this church was built between the 4th and 6th centuries (tenth to the twelfth century). This church is respected by all Christians and more or less by all religions. According to narratives, in the seventh century AD, there was another church in the same place that was destroyed for unknown reasons. This church is located on the outskirts of the Aras River and at the summit slopes called Mahgard which is also mentioned in Armenian written sources Maghard temple". The chapel of this church is based on an area of 16 by 21 meters. In the entrance carving with its beautiful decorations is embedded in the middle of the western side and is among the exquisite works of the early Qajar period, and probably the time of Abbas Mirza al-Saltanah, the son of Fath Ali Shah.
The carvings of the bases and vaults and the pillars and chains of the fronts and trinkets and decorations of the arches are so new that they are considered to be the masterpieces of carvings. The Embossed figures of the disciples and saints and angels on the forehead of the gratefulness of the sixteenth arches of the graygoon, which in fact are the beautiful dome of the chapel prayer, are seen in the church's interior. The cover of this dome is pyramid-shaped with a twenty-two-pointed cypress stylized on a sixteen star-shaped plan. Inside the arches of grayo dome, there are one in between windows with crescent arch and above the window, an outstanding image of one of the disciples inside the rectangular frame adorned its external view. This monument is numbered 429 on the national list of Iran's national monuments. It was registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List for its historical and religious background and its unique architectural style, along with other churches in Azerbaijan province in 2007. In 2005, experts at the Cultural Heritage Organization during the restoration of the building discovered the remains of the bishops and saints of Christ, which was kept in this church, according to historical narratives.
They identified bone remnants among the two arches of the church. In Addition to bone remnants, several pieces of bin-boxes have been identified, several pieces of yellow and brick, wax pieces, deer and corn grits have been identified. The Archbishop and the Armenian Caliph of Tehran and northern Iran announced the possibility of belonging this remains to Yahiya's body. Last year, a few years after these events Saint Stepanos Church Museum opened. The Museum of St. Stephen's Church was opened in part of the church's collection by presenting works from the daisies of the Sham Valley, Shepherd and Stepanos temple, the gravestones, valuable literary and gospels, as well as 15 documents belonging to Stepanos temple. At the same time as the project was opened the lighting of this historical collection has begun. The process of preparation for this museum, such as dehumidification, restoration, lighting, interior lighting interior protection system, terraces, and roof insulation, as well as exterior decoration, has been started since January 2016.
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