The Armenians had fled the genocide in 1915, where over 1,5 million people died. The Armenians, who are amazing crafts people, settled in Isfahan, but due to the fact that they were Christians were given a sections of land across the river, where they received the freedom to practise their religion. Two major churches were built, the cathedral of St Joseph and the church of Holy Bethlehem. Near the cathedral, is also a genocide museum and a memorial.
The Church itself is overwhelmingly impressive. The whole ceiling and walls are covered in frescoes. I found them rather reminiscent of the churches I saw in Ethiopia. Moments like this I wish I had the energy to carry my good camera, with the excellent Tele lens. Shame that as I get older, each kilogram counts! I bought postcards instead. I met two lovely young women, who were Muslim and were told off, because they were eating ice cream! They both spoke excellent English and after the “compulsory” selfies I went on my way.
The genocide museum is impressive, and very depressing too. Over one and a half people were starved to death or just murdered. The Armenian people were one of the first Christian countries, if not the first. It is high on my list to visit too. The museum had an interesting collection of old hand written bibles, beautiful decorated with paintings.
After my church visit I walked to Jolfa square, where a group of architecture students were drawing. I looked at their work and could chat very lit little, as my twenty words of Farsi are not enough, and very little English was spoken, or the young people were too shy to speak. Not to worry. I asked for directions to visit the second church.
The church of the Holy Bethlehem. Not as big as the first church, still very impressive. I had promised Seymiak at the hotel I would visit the music museum, where the good news was that my entry was free, and the bad news was that the life performance had just finished. I chatted with the people in the coffee, and one of the girls called me an “uber” taxi! Indeed! One third of the price of a normal taxi, this young man drove me home for less than an Australian dollar!
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