Sitting photogenically aloof on a barren knoll,8km off the lonely shot Chaldoran road in the middle of nowhere, behind the low-rise village of the same name, Qareh Kalisa is the best maintained of all Iran`s medieval churches.
The Church of Saint Thaddeus or Qara Kelisa ( Black Church ) is an ancient Armenian monastery in the mountainous area of West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. It is located around 20 kilometers far from Chaldoran City. The monastery and its distinctive Armenian conical roofs are visible from long distances.
A Catastrophic earthquake destroys the church’s building in the 14th century AD (1391 AD), the monument dedicated to Bishop Zakaria was renovated by his two brothers Petrus and Serkis within 10 years and in 1401 the church’s doors were again opened to the pilgrims.
The Church includes two east and west courtyards, and 47 rooms. Each of the rooms belonged to monks, teachers, scholars, and writers of that period, as well as to guards and church libraries.
Church included: 1- Main church 2- Belfry 3- Entrance 4- Tower 5- Oriental courtyard 6- Western courtyard 7- Warehouse
The best time to visit the Church is from May to October, which can be the best time to visit the Churches in Azerbaijan.
How to go there: The best way is through Tabriz. The distance from Tabriz to Qara Kelisa is about 270 km and you must pass through the cities of Marand, Qarahziyaeddin, and Show. It is about 35 km from Chaldorant to the church. The Church is located almost in the middle of the path to Chaldoran. When you move from Chaldoran to Qara Kelisa, is on your right. It is necessary to explain that the main part of this route, from Tabriz to Showt, is the international transit road and has better quality than the second one.