Qareh Kalisa

sights / Other

Qareh Kalisa information

Around Maku , Iran
Black Church
admission US$1
Opening hours
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Splendid outside, though plain within, Qareh Kalisa is the best maintained of all Iran’s medieval churches. It’s alternatively known as Kalisa-ye Tadi (Church of St Thaddaeus) for St Thaddaeus (aka Tatavoos) who supposedly founded a church here in AD 43. Some say he came with apostle St Bartholomew, others that he was St Bartholomew. Whatever the case, Thaddaeus’ preaching proved a little too successful and the jealous Armenian king reacted by killing him and massacring his 3000 converts in AD 66. In a curious twist, Armenia later became the world’s first Christian nation (AD 301). Thaddaeus’ memory was revived with a chapel built here at his supposed grave in AD 371.