The Armenian Christian sector of Esfahan is still a thriving community albeit much depleted from the mid-1960’s when the population reached approximately 100,000. Not many people realise that a Christian area exists in the predominantly Muslim city and it is in the section known as Julfa south of the Zayande Rud river that you will find the 13 remaining churches out of the original 30 or so.
On a beautiful sunny morning we visited just the one; and it is spectacular. The All Saviour’s (Vank) Cathedral is an amazing visual feast of religious murals, gold décor and superb architecture together with a selection of ancient artefacts and historical information located in the Cathedral museum.
In the midst of all the family celebrations and visiting relatives it was lovely to find a haven of peace and serenity in the almost deserted church and its grounds and I could have spent hours sitting on a bench looking at the frescos and murals trying to take in the exquisite detail.
Once inside the museum, for someone who had no idea what a chasuble was only last week it was rare treat to see two gorgeous examples on display. Sadly, no photos are allowed and postcards of the cathedral and exhibits are almost non-existent. I did however manage to take some of the external features but unfortunately I am unable to download them whilst in Iran. However, I have found a photo gallery and I think you’ll agree that it is beautiful.