07.04.2020 Views

ARMENIAN HERITAGE SITES IN TURKEY AND IRAN

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.

ARMENIAN HERITAGE SITES

TURKEY&IRAN

ARMENIAN HERITAGE SITES

DIMITRA STASINOPOULOU


ARMENIA’SHERITAGEINTURKEY

ARMENIANHERITAGEINIRAN

ARMENIANHERITAGEANDUNESCO

byVaheGabrielyan

Armenians take pride in quoting famous foreigners

who have called Armenia a museum under open

skies. Throughout a long and turbulent history, of

which at least over 3000 years have been

documentedtovariousextentinhistoricaltextsand

maps and even more in myths and folklore,

Armenians have succeeded in building kingdoms

and even empires with highly advanced social

structures and infrastructure, magnificent religious

andseculararchitectureandartsandcraftsthatstill

fascinate, amaze and enchant. Quite a lot of that

tangible heritage has been destroyed in wars and

naturaldisastersandmuchofwhatremainshasbeen

covered in the dust of time and is yet to be

unearthed.

Evenwhathassurvivedcanstillbeatestimonytothe

astonishing talent and skills of a nation that has

outlived many formidable hostile empires and

hordes of different eras. This book is neither a

textbookofArmenianhistory,norofArmenianarts,

neitherisitastudyofthoserealms.Thisissimplyan

attemptataguidetothatpartofArmeniancultural

heritage that has already been recognized and

appreciated by the rest of the family of nations.

Unlike that of many other nations, Armenian

heritage is not limited to the physical boundaries of

the state currently representing the nation, the

Republic of Armenia. At different times, Armenian

kingdoms and empires of the past centuries covered

anareaseveraltimesthatoftheRepublictoday,and

even as their country continued to reduce in size,

Armenians continued to live on their ancestral

lands, despite campaigns of massacres and genocide

against them. Therefore, monuments of Armenian

architecture can be found in abundance in

neighboring countries on historically Armenian

lands and in countries where Armenian Diaspora

communitieshavebeenestablished.

Armenian Heritage and UNESCO: Volume 1

and2–2017

https://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Heritage-

UNESCO-1-2/dp/9939018541

In July 2016, the ancient Armenian city of Ani, now

in eastern Turkey, was inscribed as a UNESCO

World Heritage site. For Armenians, a people still

living under the shadow of what they regard as "the

firstgenocideofthe20 th century”carriedoutagainst

their ancestors who lived under the Ottoman

Empire, the listing ensures protection of a small but

treasured piece of their heritage. But a visit to the

region today shows that, outside the walls of Ani,

what remains of Armenian culture in Turkey is in

dangerofdisappearingentirely.

The eastern part of the current territory of the

RepublicofTurkeyispartoftheancestralhomeland

of the Armenians. Along with the Armenian

population, during and after the Armenian

Genocide the Armenian cultural heritage was

targetedfordestructionbytheTurkishgovernment.

Of the several thousand churches and monasteries

(usually estimated from two to three thousand) in

the Ottoman Empire in 1914, today only a few

hundred are in still standing in some form; most of

these are in danger of collapse. Those that continue

tofunctionaremainlyinIstanbul.

Most of the properties formerly belonging to

Armenians were confiscated by the Turkish

government and turned into military posts,

hospitals, schools and prisons. Many of these were

also given to Muslim migrants or refugees who had

fled from their homelands during the Balkan Wars.

Thelegaljustificationfortheseizureswasthelawof

Emval-i Metruke (Law of Abandoned Properties),

which legalized the confiscation of Armenian

propertyiftheownerdidnotreturn.

https://www.rferl.org/a/armenian-heritage-in-turkey/

28029302.html

InthemuseumsofTehran,Isfahan,andTabriz,more

than 3.000 ancient parchment manuscripts in the

Armenian language are stored. Thanks to the efforts

oftheIraniangovernment,3Armenianarchitectural

monuments in Iran were inscribed in the UNESCO

WorldHeritageList.TheseweretheSt.Thaddeusand

St. Stepanos monasteries, as well as the Chapel of

Dzordzor. Their significance lies in their

architectural representation of the exchanges

between the regional cultures including Byzantine,

Orthodox, and Persian. The monasteries have

withstood numerous calamities, both human and

natural, throughout the centuries. St. Stepanos,

arguablythemostwell-knownofthethree,standsin

a canyon past the twists and bends of the Aras River

ontheAzerbaijanborder.

The Armenian quarter of New Julfa in Isfahan, was

established in 1606 as an Armenian quarter by the

edictofShahAbbasIfromtheSafaviddynasty.Over

150,000 Armenians were moved there from the

older Julfa (also known as Jugha or Juła)

in Nakhichavan. Iranian sources state that the

Armenians came to Iran fleeing the Ottoman

Empire's persecution. Nevertheless, historical

records indicate that the residents of Julfa were

treated well by Shah Abbas in the hopes that their

resettlement in Isfahan would be beneficial to Iran

due to their knowledge of the silk trade. The Holy

Savior Cathedral, also known the Church of the

Saintly Sisters, is located here. It is commonly

referredtoastheVank,whichmeans"monastery"or

"convent"intheArmenianlanguage.

www.wikipedia


ANI–‘THECITYOF1001CHURCHES’

AniisaruinedmedievalArmeniancitynowsituated

in Turkey's province of Kars, next to the closed

borderwithArmenia.

Between 961 and 1045, it was the capital of

theBagratidArmeniankingdomthatcoveredmuch

of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey. Ani

stoodonvarioustraderoutesanditsmanyreligious

buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst

the most technically and artistically advanced

structuresintheworld. Atitsheight,Aniwasoneof

the world's largest cities,with a possible population

of100,000.

Renowned for its splendor, Ani was sacked by the

Mongols in 1236. Ani never recovered from a

devastating 1319 earthquake, and was gradually

abandoneduntilitwaslargelyforgottenbythe17 th c.

Ani is a widely recognized cultural, religious, and

national heritage symbol for Armenians.According

to Razmik Panossian, Ani is one of the most visible

and ‘tangible’ symbols of past Armenian greatness

andhenceasourceofpride.

In 1064, a large Seljuk army under Alp

ArslanattackedAni;afterasiegeof25days,they

capturedthecityandslaughtereditspopulation.

An account of the sack and massacres in Ani is

given by the Arab historian Sibt ibn al-Jawzi,

whoquotesaneyewitnesssaying:

“Putting the Persian sword to work, they spared no

one... One could see there the grief and calamity of

everyageofhumankind.Forchildrenwereravished

from the embraces of their mothers and mercilessly

hurled against rocks, while the mothers drenched

them with tears and blood... The city became filled

from one end to the other with bodies of the slain

and[thebodiesoftheslain]becamearoad.[...]The

army entered the city, massacred its inhabitants,

pillagedandburnedit,leavingitinruinsandtaking

prisoner all those who remained alive...The dead

bodies were so many that they blocked the streets;

one could not go anywhere without stepping over

them.Andthenumberofprisonerswasnotlessthan

50,000 souls. I was determined to enter city and see

the destruction with my own eyes. I tried to find a

streetinwhichIwouldnothavetowalkoverthe

corpses;butthatwasimpossible.”

In 1072, the Seljuks sold Ani to the Shaddadids, a

Muslim Kurdish dynasty. The Shaddadids generally

pursued a conciliatory policy towards the city's

overwhelmingly Armenian and Christian

populationandactuallymarriedseveralmembersof

the Bagratid nobility. Whenever the Shaddadid

governance became too intolerant, however, the

population would appeal to the Christian Kingdom

ofGeorgiaforhelp.TheGeorgianscapturedAnifive

timesbetween1124and1209.

The Mongols unsuccessfully besieged Ani in 1226,

but in 1236 they captured and sacked the city,

massacring large numbers of its population. Under

the Mongols the Zakarids continued to rule Ani, as

thevassalsoftheGeorgianmonarch.

Bythe14 th century,thecitywasruledbyasuccession

of local Turkish dynasties, including the Jalayrids

andtheKaraKoyunlu(BlackSheepclan)whomade

Ani their capital. It was ruined by an earthquake in

1319. Tamerlane captured Ani in the 1380s. On his

death the Kara Koyunlu regained control but

transferred their capital to Yerevan. In 1441 the

Armenian Catholicosate did the same. The

PersianSafavidsthenruledAniuntilitbecamepart

of the Turkish Ottoman Empire in 1579. A small

town remained within its walls at least until the

middle of the seventeenth century, but the site was

entirelyabandonedby1735whenthelastmonksleft

themonasteryintheVirgin'sFortressorKizkale.

MONUMENTSATANI

All the structures at Ani are constructed using the

localvolcanicbasalt,asortoftufastone.Itiseasily

carvedandcomesinavarietyofvibrantcolors,from

creamy yellow, to rose-red, to jet black. The most

importantsurvivingmonumentsareasfollows.

THECATHEDRAL

Also known as Surp Asdvadzadzin (the Church of

the Holy Mother of God), its construction was

startedintheyear989,underKingSmbatII,andwas

only finished in 1001. The design of the cathedral

was the work of Trdat, the most celebrated architect

of medieval Armenia. The cathedral is a domed

basilica (the dome collapsed in 1319). The interior

containsseveralprogressivefeatures(suchastheuse

of pointed arches and clustered piers) that give to it

theappearanceofGothicarchitecture(astylewhich

theAnicathedralpredatesbyseveralcenturies)

. SURPSTEPHANOSCHURCH

There is no inscription giving the date of its

construction,butanedictinGeorgianisdated1218.

The church was referred to as "Georgian". During

this period "Georgian" did not simply mean an

ethnic Georgian, it had a denominational meaning

and would have designated all those in Ani who

professed the Chalcedonian faith, mostly

Armenians. Although the Georgian Church

controlled this church, its congregation would have

mostlybeenArmenians.

THECHURCHOF

STGREGORYOFTIGRANHONENTS

This church, finished in 1215, is the best-preserved

monumentatAni.Itwasbuiltduringtheruleofthe

Zakarids and was commissioned by the wealthy

Armenian merchant Tigran Honents. Its plan is of a

typecalledadomedhall.Infrontofitsentranceare

the ruins of a narthex and a small chapel that are

from a slightly later period. The exterior of the

church is spectacularly decorated. Ornate stone

carvings of real and imaginary animals fill the

spandrelsbetweenblindarcadesthatrunsaroundall

four sides of the church. The interior contains an

important and unique series of frescoes cycles that

depict two main themes. In the eastern third of the

church is depicted the Life of Saint Gregory the

Illuminator, in the middle third of the church is

depicted the Life of Christ. Such extensive fresco

cyclesarerarefeaturesinArmenianarchitecture–it

isbelievedthattheseoneswereexecutedbyGeorgian

artists,andthecyclealsoincludesscenesfromthelife

ofSt.Nino,whoconvertedtheGeorgiansto

Christianity. In the narthex and its chapel survive

fragmentary frescoes that are more Byzantine in

style.


THECHURCHOFTHEREDEEMER

This church was completed shortly after the year

1035. It had a unique design: 19-sided externally, 8-

apsed internally, with a huge central dome set upon

a tall drum. It was built by Prince Ablgharib

PahlavidtohouseafragmentoftheTrueCross.The

churchwaslargelyintactuntil1955,whentheentire

easternhalfcollapsedduringastorm

THECHURCHOFSTGREGORY

OFTHEABUGHAMRENTS

Thissmallbuildingprobablydatesfromthelate10 th

century. It was built as a private chapel for the

Pahlavuni family. Their mausoleum, built in 1040

andnowreducedtoitsfoundations,wasconstructed

against the northern side of the church. The church

hasacentralizedplan,withadomeoveradrum,and

theinteriorhassixexedras.

KINGGAGIK'S

CHURCHOFSTGREGORY

Also known as the Gagikashen, this church was

constructed between the years 1001 and 1005 and

intended to be a recreation of the celebrated

cathedral of Zvartnots at Vagharshapat. Nikolai

Marr uncovered the foundations of this remarkable

building in 1905 and 1906. Before that, all that was

visible on the site was a huge earthen mound. The

designer of the church was the architect Trdat. The

church is known to have collapsed a relatively short

time after its construction and houses were later

constructedontopofitsruins.Trdat'sdesignclosely

followsthatofZvartnotzinitssizeandinitsplan(a

quatrefoil core surrounded by a circular

ambulatory).

THECHURCHOFTHE

HOLYAPOSTLES

The date of its construction is not known, but the

earliestdatedinscriptiononitswallsisfrom1031.It

was founded by the Pahlavuni family and was used

by the archbishops of Ani (many of whom belonged

tothatdynasty).Ithasaplanofatypecalledan

inscribed quatrefoil with corner chambers. Only

fragments remain of the church, but a narthex with

spectacularstonework,builtagainstthesouthsideof

the church, is still partially intact. It dates from the

early 13 th century. A number of other halls, chapels,

and shrines once surrounded this church: Nicholas

Marr excavated their foundations in 1909, but they

arenowmostlydestroyed.

THEMOSQUEOFMANUCHIHR

The mosque is named after its presumed founder,

Manuchihr, the first member of the Shaddadid

dynasty that ruled Ani after 1072. The oldest

surviving part of the mosque is its still intact

minaret. It has the Arabic word Bismillah ("In the

nameofGod")inKuficletteringhighonitsnorthern

face. The prayer hall, half of which survives, dates

fromalaterperiod(the12 th or13 th century).In1906

the mosque was partially repaired in order for it to

house a public museum containing objects found

duringNicholasMarr'sexcavations.

THECITADEL

At the southern end of Ani is a flat-topped hill once

knownasMidjnaberd(theInnerFortress). Ithasits

own defensive walls that date back to the period

whentheKamsarakandynastyruledAni(7 th century

AD).NicholasMarrexcavatedthecitadelhillin1908

and 1909. He uncovered the extensive ruins of the

palaceoftheBagratidkingsofAnithatoccupiedthe

highestpartofthehill.Alsoinsidethecitadelarethe

visible ruins of three churches and several

unidentified buildings. One of the churches, the

"churchofthepalace"istheoldestsurvivingchurch

in Ani, dating from the 6th or 7th century. Marr

undertook emergency repairs to this church, but

most of it has now collapsed – probably during an

earthquakein1966 .

THECITYWALLS

Alineofwallsthatencircledtheentirecitydefended

Ani. The most powerful defences were along the

northernsideofthecity,theonlypartofthesitenot

protected by rivers or ravines. Here the city was

protectedbyadoublelineofwalls,themuchtaller

inner wall studded by numerous large and closely

spaced semicircular towers. Contemporary

chroniclers wrote that King Smbat (977–989) built

these walls. Later rulers strengthened Smbat's walls

bymakingthemsubstantiallyhigherandthicker,and

byaddingmoretowers.Armenianinscriptionsfrom

the 12 th and 13 th century show that private

individualspaidforsomeofthesenewertowers.The

northern walls had three gateways, known as the

LionGate,theKarsGate,andtheDvinGate(also

knownastheChequer-BoardGatebecauseofapanel

ofredandblackstonesquaresoveritsentrance)

OTHERMONUMENTS

There are many other minor monuments at Ani.

These include a convent known as the Virgins'

chapel; a church used by Chalcedonian Armenians;

the remains of a single-arched bridge over the Arpa

river; the ruins of numerous oil-presses and several

bath houses; the remains of a second mosque with a

collapsedminaret;apalacethatprobablydatesfrom

the 13 th century; the foundations of several other

palaces and smaller residences; the recently

excavatedremainsofseveralstreetslinedwithshops;

etc.

CAVEVILLAGE

Directly outside of Ani, there was a settlement-zone

carved into the cliffs. It may have served as "urban

sprawl" when Ani grew too large for its city walls.

Today, goats and sheep take advantage of the caves'

cool interiors. One highlight of this part of Ani is a

cave church with frescos on its surviving walls and

ceiling.

AniislistedinUNESCO’sWorldHeritageSites.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ani


MonasteryofHripsimianVirgins


Lion’sGate


ThechurchofStGregoryofTigranHonents


TheCathedral


ThemosqueofManuchihr


StGregoryoftheAbughamrentsis


CHURCHOFTHEHOLYREDEEMER


AncientArmeniancavedwellings


DOĞUBAYAZIT

URARTIANCASTLE

Doğubayazıt is the easternmost district of Turkey,

bordering with Iran, at an elevation of 1625 m. The

town is a settlement with a long history and lies

15kmsouthwestofMountArarat.

The area has had a rich history with monuments

dating back to the time of the Kingdom of Urartu

(over 2700 years ago). The Kingdom of Urartu was

centered in modern-day eastern Turkey, southwest

Armenia, and northwestern Iran. Urartu enjoyed

considerable political power in the region in the 9 th

and 8 th centuries BCE. Similar to Assyrian in

language and culture, their capital was Tushpa

(modern-day Van, Turkey). Before the Ottoman

Empire the site was referred to by its Armenian

name Daruynk. In the 4 th century the Sasanians

failedtocapturetheArmenianstrongholdandroyal

treasury at Daruynk. Princes of the Bagratid

dynasty of Armenia resided at Daruynk and rebuilt

the fortress into its present configuration with

multiplebaileysandtowerscarefullyintegratedinto

the ascending rock outcrop. When King Gagik

Arcruni reoccupied the fortress in 922 A.D. it

became the seat of a bishop. It was subsequently

conquered and reconquered by Persians,

Armenians, Byzantines, and Seljuks, all of whom

wouldhaveusedtheplaintorestandrecoupduring

their passages across the mountains. The castle of

Daruynk was repaired many times throughout this

history, although it is now named after the Turkish

warlord Celayırlı Şehzade Bayazıt Han who ordered

oneoftherebuildings(in1374).Ultimately,thetown

was renamed Beyazit itself in the 16 th century.The

widelydispersedvillageofBayazit,wasoriginallyan

Armenian settlement and populated by Kurds in

1930andYazidisfromtheSerhatregion.Butin1930

the Turkish army destroyed it in response to the

AraratRebellion.Anewtownwasbuiltintheplain

below the old site in the 1930s (hence the new name

"Doğubayazıt",whichliterallymeans"EastBeyazıt").

ISHAKPASHAPALACE

Ishak Pasha Palace, on the Silk Route near the

Iranian frontier, is situated on a high and vast

platform of strategic importance on an area of 7600

squaremeters.

Built over an entire century by generations of the

Pashafamily,theMiddleEastern-inspiredarchesand

domesofthesprawlingpalacehavesurvivedforover

400 years. Sitting near the Iranian border, the

architectural design of the palace is heavily

influencedbyitsneighboringArmenianandIranian

cultures. The palace was outfitted with a dizzying

arrayoffacilitiesandamenitiesincludingabakery,a

mosque, dungeons, and even a harem, all with a

central heating system. It has been decorated with

white and black stones and consists of 366 rooms,

twocourtyards,mosque,tombsandharem.

The landscape around Ishak Pasha Palace is

hauntingly beautiful located in this majestic

mountainous region. This area boasts of several

mountains: Ararat, Little Ararat, Tendürek Dagi,

Kaletepe,Agridagi,andGöllertepe.

AftertheTopkapıPalace,itisthemostfamouspalace

in Turkey and was depicted on the reverse of the

Turkish100newlirabanknoteof2005–2009.


KARS

KarsProvince(Turkish:Karsili,Armenian: Կարսի

նահանգ) is a province of Turkey, located in the

northeasternpartofthecountry.Itsharespartofits

closed border with Armenia. The provincial capital

isthecityofKars.

In ancient times, Kars was part of the province of

AraratintheKingdomofArmenia.Thefirstknown

peoplewerethefollowersofVanand(Վանանդ),for

whom Kars was their main settlement and fortress.

In928,KarsbecamethecapitalofBagratidArmenia.

In968,thecapitalofArmeniawasmovedtoAni,but

Kars remained the capital of the feudal principality

of Vanand. As a result of the Russo-Turkish War of

1877to1878,theprovinceofKarswasincorporated

into the Russian Empire as part of the militarily

administered Kars Oblast and remained so until

1918.

Forashorttime(928-961)Karswasthecapitalofthe

Armenian Bagratid kingdom and it was during this

timethattheCathedral,nowknownastheChurchof

the Apostles, was built. Shortly after the Bagratid

capitalwastransferredtoAni,Karsbecame(in963)

aseparateindependentkingdomknownasVannadthe

Armenian name for the Kars region. This

kingdomwastooutlivethatofAni.

After the Seljuk Turks captured Ani, the last

Armenian king of Kars ceded his city to the

Byzantine Empire in 1064, getting in return the city

of Amasya and lands in northern Cilicia. The

Byzantines were no more successful in defending

KarsthantheywerewithAni,andsoonlostittothe

Turks (in 1071). In 1236 the Mongols occupied the

region. As with other places, they probably gave a

great deal of autonomy to the majority Armenian

population: an Armenian prince is known to have

beengoverningKarsin1284.

ThegradualRussianconquestoftheCaucasusinthe

18 th century, led to an influx of Muslim migrants,

especially Circassians. Kars became a strategic and

heavily fortified border town protecting the Turkish

Empire's eastern frontier and the road to Erzurum.

The Russians occupied Kars in 1828, in 1855 and

againin1877.

AsubstantialpartoftheMuslimpopulationleftafter

1877, choosing not to live under Russian rule. The

Armenians gradually moved into a new district of

European-style buildings built on a grid plan to the

south of the old medieval city, and most of the old

city walls were demolished. There was a large influx

ofArmeniansfromotherpartsofRussiancontrolled

Armenia, as well as Armenians fleeing the

oppressionandmassacresoftheOttomanEmpire.

By 1918 the Turkish army was cutting a swathe of

destruction across the newly declared Republic of

Armenia,capturingKarsinApril1918andreaching

BakuontheCaspianSea.

In November 1920 the Bolsheviks annexed the little

that was left of the Armenian republic. With

Armenia now under Soviet "protection" the Turks

ceased their advance and even withdrew from some

captured territory, including Alexandropol. The

Bolsheviks wanted good relations with Turkey, and

in 1921 they signed the "Treaty of Kars" ceding the

townofKarstoTurkey.


VAN–ANCIENTKINGDOM

OFURARTU

Urartu is a geographical region commonly used as

theexonymfortheIronAgekingdomalsoknownby

the modern rendition of its endonym, the Kingdom

of Van, centered around Lake Van in the historic

Armenian Highlands (present-day eastern

Anatolia).Thekingdomrosetopowerinthemid-9 th

century BC, but went into gradual decline and was

eventually conquered by the Iranian Medes in the

early 6 th century BC. The geopolitical region would

re-emerge as Armenia shortly after. The peoples of

Urartu are the earliest identifiable ancestors of the

Armenians. Urartu at its zenith had a profound

culturalinfluenceonitsneighborsreachingasfaras

AsiaandEurope.

ThenameUrartu(Armenian: Ուրարտու;Assyrian:

טָרָרֲא Hebrew: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu;

Ararat) comes from Assyrian sources. Urartu is

cognatewiththeBiblicalArarat,AkkadianUrashtu,

and Armenian Ayrarat. The name Kingdom of Van

(Urartian:Biai,Biainili; Վանի թագավորություն)

isderivedfromtheUrartiantoponymBiainili,which

was probably pronounced as Vanele, and called Van

(Վան) in Old Armenian, hence the names

"KingdomofVan"or"VannicKingdom".

TheKingdomofVanwasdestroyedin590BCandby

the late 6 th century, the Satrapy of Armenia had

replaced it. Little is known of what happened to the

region between the fall of the Kingdom of Van and

the appearance of the Satrapy of Armenia.

According to historian Touraj Daryaee, during the

Armenian rebellion against the Persian king Darius

I in 521 BC, some of the personal and topographic

names attested in connection with Armenia or

Armenians were of Urartian origin, suggesting that

UrartianelementspersistedwithinArmeniaafterits

fall.IntheBehistunInscription(c.522BC),aswellas

theXVInscription(c.486–465BC),refertoArmenia

and Armenians as synonyms of Urartu and

Urartians. The toponym Urartu did not disappear,

however, as the name of the province of Ayrarat in

the center of the Kingdom of Armenia is believed to

beitscontinuum.

AccordingtoHerodotus,theAlarodians(Alarodioi),

presumably a variation of the name Urartian/

Araratian, were part of the 18 th Satrapy of the

AchaemenidEmpireandformedaspecialcontingent

in the grand army of Xerxes I. According to this

theory, the Urartians of the 18 th Satrapy were

subsequentlyabsorbedintotheArmeniannation.

In a study published in 2017, the complete

mitochondrial genomes of 4 ancient skeletons from

Urartu were analyzed alongside other ancient

populations found in modern-day Armenia and

Artsakh spanning 7,800 years. The study shows that

modern-dayArmeniansarethepeoplewhohavethe

leastgeneticdistancefromthoseancientskeletons.

The written language that the kingdom's political

elite used is retroactively referred to as Urartian,

which is attested in numerous cuneiform

inscriptions throughout Armenia and eastern

Turkey. It is unknown what language was spoken by

the peoples of Urartu at the time of the existence of

the Kingdom of Van, but there is evidence of

linguistic contact between the proto-Armenian

language and the Urartian language at an early date

(sometime between the 3rd—2nd millennium BC),

occurringpriortotheformationofthekingdom.


MOUNTNEMROUT–TOMBOF

ANTIOCHUSITHEOSOFCOMMAGENE

Nemrut or Nemrud (Turkish: Nemrut Dağı;

Kurdish: Çiyayê Nemrûdê‎; Armenian: Նեմրութ

լեռ) is a 2,134 m-high mountain in southeastern

Turkey, notable for the summit where a number of

large statues are erected around what is assumed to

bearoyaltombfromthe1 st c.BC.

Antiochus I Theos Dikaios Epiphanes

Philorhomaios Philhellen (Ancient Greek: Ἀντίοχος

ὁ Θεὸς Δίκαιος Ἐπιφανὴς Φιλορωμαῖος Φιλέλλην,

meaning"Antiochos,thejust,eminentgod,friendof

Romans and friend of Greeks", c. 86 BC – 31 BC,

ruled70BC–31BC)wasKingoftheGreco-Iranian

KingdomofCommageneandthemostfamousking

of that kingdom. In 1987, Mount Nemrut was

declaredaWorldHeritageSitebyUNESCO .

When the Seleucid Empire was defeated by the

Romansin190BCattheBattleofMagnesiaitbegan

to fall apart and new kingdoms were established on

itsterritorybylocalauthorities.Commagene,oneof

the Seleucid successor states, occupied a land

between the Taurus mountains and the Euphrates.

ThestateofCommagenehadawiderangeof

cultureswhichleftitsleaderfrom62BC–38BC

Antiochus I Theos to carry on a peculiar dynastic

religious program, which included not only Greek

and Iranian deities but Antiochus and his family as

well. This religious program was very possibly an

attempt by Antiochus to unify his multiethnic

kingdom and secure his dynasty's authority.

Antiochussupportedthecultasapropagatorof

happinessandsalvation.

ORONTIDSOFCOMMAGENE

In Nemrut Dagi, opposite the statues of Gods there

arealongrowofpedestals,onwhichstoodthesteles

oftheGreekancestorsofAntiochos.Atarightangle

tothisrowstoodanotherrowofsteles,depictinghis

Orontid and Achaemenid ancestors. From these

steles the ones of Darius and Xerxes are well

preserved.Antiochosexpendedgreatefforttoensure

that everyone was aware that he was related to the

dynasty of the King of Kings, Darius I, by the

marriage of princess Rhodogune to his ancestor

Orontes. The father of Rhodogune was the Persian

king, Artaxerxes. In 401 BC Artaxerxes defeated his

youngerbrother,whotriedtodeposehim.Becauseof

the help Artaxerxes received from Orontes—his

military commander and satrap of Armenia—he

gavehisdaughterinmarriagetohim.

The Orontid dynasty, also known by their native

nameEruandidorYervanduni(Armenian: Երվանդ

ունի), was a hereditary Armeniandynasty and the

rulersofthesuccessorstatetotheIronAgekingdom

of Urartu (Ararat). The Orontids established their

supremacy over Armenia around the time of

the Scythian and Median invasion in the 6 th century

BC.MembersoftheOrontiddynastyruledArmenia

intermittently during the period spanning the 6 th

centuryBCtoatleastthe2 nd century BC, first as

client kings or satraps of

the Median and Achaemenid empires who

established an independent kingdom after the

collapseoftheAchaemenidempire,andlateraskings

of Sophene and Commagene who eventually

succumbedtotheRomanEmpire.


APHRODISIAS–CARIA,TURKEY

AphrodisiasislocatedinsouthwesternTurkey,inthe

fertile valley formed by the Morsynus River, in the

ancient region of Caria and was founded as a citystate

in the early 2 nd century BC. Because the city

sharedacloseinterestinthegoddessAphroditewith

Sulla, Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus,

Aphrodisias came to have a close relationship with

Rome. It obtained a privileged ‘tax-free’ political

status from the Roman senate, and developed a

strong artistic, sculptural tradition during the

ImperialPeriod.

The sanctuary at Aphrodisias had a distinctive cult

statueofAphroditewhichdefinedthecity’sidentity.

TheAphroditeofAphrodisiascombinedaspectsofa

local Anatolian, archaic fertility goddess with those

oftheHellenicAphrodite,goddessofloveand

beauty.

The proximity of the marble quarries to the city

was a major reason that Aphrodisias became an

outstanding high-quality production centre for

marble sculpture. Sculptors from the city were

famousthroughouttheRomanEmpire.Theywere

well-known for virtuoso portrait sculpture and

Hellenistic-style statues of gods and Dionysian

figures. In late antiquity (4 th -6 th centuries AD),

Aphrodisian sculptors were in great demand for

marble portrait busts and statues of emperors,

governors and philosophers in the major centers

oftheempire–forexample,atSardis,

Stratonikeia, Laodikeia, Constantinople and

Rome. In this period they were the best carvers of

marblestatuesoftheirday.

THESTATUEOF

NEROWITHARMENIA

Nero supports the slumping figure of Armenia

between his wide-striding legs, holding her by her

upper arms. She collapses, sitting back on her left

heel, her right leg stretched out in front, the foot

bracedagainst,itwouldhaveseemed,thesideofthe

columnframingthepanel

Nerowearsashortcloakfastenedwitharound

broochandabaldriccarryinganemptyscabbard.

Armenia wears short, plain boots with ribbon-like

ties shown on the left boot, a cloak fastened on the

rightshoulder,andsoft'Phrygian'capwithsoft,freestanding

peak, modelled carefully in the round. She

has long, wavy hair, untied and reaching over her

shoulders. Her body is naked and well realized in a

compact design. The quiver and bow, normal for

Armenia iconography, are shown in lower relief on

thebackground,leaningagainstthesideofthepanel.

Iconographically, the evocation is clearly of Achilles

and Penthesilea: the striding hero with cloak and

baldricsupportingtheeastern/Amazonqueen.

The statue symbolizes the support of the Roman

Emperor Nero to the King Tiridates the III of

Armenia. In 63 AD after many defeats with the

Parthians, King Tigranes resigned and the throne

passed on to the Prince of Tiridates, the founder of

the Arsacides dynasty of Armenia. His coronation

took place in Rome by Nero himself. Returning to

Armenia and having considerable help from the

Romans,herebuiltthedestroyedcapitalofArmenia

andnameditNeroniatohonortheRomanEmperor.


ClaudiusandBritannia

NeroandArmenia


IRAN


Church of St Stepanos


ST STEPANOS


ARMENIAN MONASTIC ENSEMBLES

OFIRAN

TheWestAzerbaijanProvinceinnorthwestIranhas

a fairly sizable Christian Armenian population, so

the number of churches in this area is no surprise.

The three monastic ensembles, St. Thaddeus (the

oldest dating back to the 7 th century), St. Stepanos,

and the Chapel of Dzordzor, were listed with

UNESCO in 2008. Their significance lies in their

architectural representation of the exchanges

between the regional cultures including Byzantine,

Orthodox, and Persian. The monasteries have

withstood numerous calamities, both human and

natural, throughout the centuries. St. Stepanos,

arguablythemostwell-knownofthethree,standsin

acanyonpastthetwistsandbendsoftheArasRiver

on the Azerbaijan border. These churches are still

placesofpilgrimagefortheArmeniancommunity.

MONASTERY OF SAINT THADDEUS

(THEBLACKCHURCHORKARAKELISA)

Legendhasitthatachurchdedicatedtohimwasfirst

builtonthepresentsiteinAD68.Itwasextensively

rebuiltafteranearthquakedamageditin1319.Some

ofthepartssurroundingthealtardatefromthe7 th c.

Muchofthepresentstructuredatesfrom1811,when

theQajarprinceAbbasMirzaaidedrenovationsand

repairs.

According to Armenian Church tradition, the

Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew traveled

through Armenia in AD 45 to preach the word of

God,wheremanypeoplewereconvertedand

numerous secret Christian communities were

established.

Armenians hold that Qara Kelisa is the world's first

church and was constructed in 68 BC by one of the

apostles of Jesus, Saint Thaddeus, who traveled to

Armenia, then part of the Persian Empire, to preach

theteachingsofChrist.

The church consists of two parts: a black structure

(the original structure was black, and Qara means

black in Turkish), and a white structure, the main

church, which was added to the original building’s

westernwingin1810.

THECHAPELOFCHUPAN

A small, historic Armenian church building in a

mountainvalleywestofJolfa,neartheArasRiverin

East Azerbaijan province, built in the 16 th century

andrebuiltin1836.

MONASTERYOFST.STEPANOS

Saint Stepanos Monastery is the second important

Armenian monastery in Iran after St Thaddeus

Monastery. The monastery was built in 9 th century

AD,butitwasseriouslydamagedbyearthquake. So,

it was refurbished in Safavid period. This monastery

is respected by all Christians and almost all other

religions. However, it actually belongs to Gregory

Christians (Followers of Gregory the Illuminator)

inhabitinginArmenia.

The church's architectural style is a mixture of

Urartan, Parthian, Greek, and Roman styles that

came to be known as Armenian subsequent to the

construction of the fantastic structures of

Echmiadzin, Thaddeus, Akhtmar, and indeed

Stephanos. Thischurch,whichhasfounditsplacein

the hearts of Christians throughout the world and is

visited annually by hundreds of Iranian and foreign

tourists, is located in the abandoned village of Dare

Sham,intheGechlartdistrict.


MonasteryofSaintThaddeus

(TheBlackChurchorKaraKelisa)


TheChapelofChupan


MonasteryofStStepanos


ARMENIAN HERITAGE SITES

TURKEY&IRAN

TURKEY2016-2017/IRAN2019

PHOTOGRAPHY&EDITING

Dimitra Stasinopoulou

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!