Saint Stepanos Monastery

Secondmost important Armenian monastery after the Qara Kilisa

In a place known as Qariye Gizil Wang near the Darreh Sham village, 3 kilometers from the southern bank of Araz, 16 kilometers west of Julfa, East Azerbaijan, Iran
Visiting time:
8 to 17:40 except for the holidays, the curch is closed from 13:40 to 15.
Weekly holiday:
Does not have
Annual holidays:
9th and 10th of Moharram, 28 Safar, 21th of Ramazan , 25th of Shavval( these are dates on the lunar calender) 14th Kordad (solar calender)
Entrance fee(Iranian):
50.000 museum: 40.000 Rials
Intrance fee(Foreigners):
1000.000 Rials museum: 500.000 Rials
About: Saint Stepanos Monastery

Saint Stepanos Monastery is the second important Armenian monastery in Iran after St. Thaddeus Monastery. This monument is located in East Azerbaijan Province, 16 kilometers west of Jolfa City and 3 kilometers from southern shore of Aras River in a place named "Qezel Vank" (Red Monastery). The monastery was built in 9th century AD, but it was seriously damaged by earthquake. So, it was refurbished in Safavid period. Also, some measures were taken in Qajar era by Abbas Mirza to maintain and repair it. 
The whole area of the monastery is located in the heart of mountains and in the middle of the green nature of Jolfa and Azerbaijan Republic borderline. 
This monastery is respected by all Christians and almost all other religions. However, it actually belongs to Gregory Christians (Followers of Gregory the Illuminator) inhabiting in Armenia. One day in the year, thousands of Armenians gather together in this place to perform their rituals. 
There are three other monasteries near St. Stepanos Monastery in Darashamb District. 
St. Stepanos Monastery was registered in Iran's National Heritage on March 6, 1963 under the registration number of 429. It was also registered in UNESCO World Heritage in 2008. 

General Specifications
Saint Stepanos Monastery
Named after one of the first believers of Jesus Christ.
The exact construction date of this monastery is unknown, the researchers believe that it was built between the 9th and 7th centuries.
The fourth restoration stage of this church was done by Abbas Mirza in year 1826 (1243 solar calendar).
Special features
Saint Stepanos monastery with its many architectural and decorative features, is one of the most beautiful and renown of the Armenian churches in the world.
UNESCO World Heritage
Important parts to visit
Paying attention to the carvings on the stones and walls of the monastery
Best time to visit
Spring and Summer
Duration of visit
One hour to one day
Similar relics and places
An exact copy of this monastery exists on the northern bank of the Araz river.
Nearest tourist attractions
The churches of the valley of Araxes region.
Special Offer
You could take beautiful photos from the hillsides around the church and the church itself.
Access route
In a place known as Qariye Gizil Wang near the Darreh Sham village, 3 kilometers from the southern bank of Araz, 16 kilometers west of Julfa, East Azerbaijan, Iran
How to access
There is no public transportation available for this location.
Access to vehicles
Access for the disabled with wheelchair
Network coverage
Advantage & Disadvantage of Saint Stepanos Monastery
Advantage of Saint Stepanos Monastery

The beautiful nature surrounding this church.
There are water springs.
You can stay for a long time during the day to have lunch if you bring any.

Disadvantage of Saint Stepanos Monastery

The access is most difficult for people on wheelchairs.

Saint Stepanos Monastery
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