Iran, Armenia unveil Saint Thaddeus Church postage stamp

Iran and Armenia on Sunday unveiled a commemorative stamp of Saint Thaddeus Church on the sidelines of a joint online philatelic exhibition, Tehran Times reports.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by the head of Iran’s Post Company Ramezan-Ali Sobhanifar, Armenian Ambassador to Iran Artashes Toumanian.

Iranian commemorative stamps of the Iranian New Year (Norouz) and a selection of Armenian stamps were put on display in the online event, which is co-organized by the Post and Communications Museum and Arch Bishop Ardak Manoukian Museum.

Also known as the Qareh Klise (“the Black Church”), the monastery is one of the oldest surviving Christian monuments in the country. It is situated in Chaldoran county some 20 kilometers from Maku, adjacent to the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

The ancient Church shows off elaborate bas-reliefs of flowers, animals, and human figures on its façade and exterior walls. It bears verses of Old and New Testament in Armenian calligraphy as well.

Together with St. Stepanos Monastery and the Chapel of Dzordzor, Qareh Klise was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008 under the name “Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran”. All three sites are located in West Azarbaijan and are of high significance from historical and cultural perspectives. They bear credible testimony to interchanges with the ancient regional societies in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox, and Persian.

UNESCO has it that the churches bear examples of outstanding universal values of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions.

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