Posts Tagged Ancient

Wonders Of Iran: The Black Church


 

Qareh Kelisa which literally means Black church is an ancient monument perched on a mountain ridge in the northern Iranian province of West Azarbaijan. Also known as the holy Tadi among the Armenians, was built between 4 & 6 century AD over Saint Tatavoos’s mausoleum, an apostle who achieved martyrdom in 48 AD for advocating Christianity.

As one of the oldest and most notable surviving Christian monuments of Iran, Qara Kelisa carries great significance for the country’s Armenian Orthodox community.

Armenians hold that Qara Kelisa is the world’s first church and was constructed in 68 CE by one of the apostles of Jesus, Saint Thaddeus, who traveled to Armenia, then part of the Persian Empire, to preach the teachings of Christ.

Located south of the city of Maku, the massive church can be seen against the natural background of rolling hills; its cuspidate tambours catches the eye of beauty-seekers.

An ancient chapel two kilometers northwest of Qara Kelisa is said to have been the place where the first Christian woman, Sandokh, was martyred. The chapel is believed to be as old as the Black Church.

 Throughout the course of history Qara Kelisa sustained damage and was repaired a number of times.

 A large part of the monument was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. The Persian scientist Khajeh Nasir ad-Din Tousi oversaw its reconstruction during the reign of the Mongol ruler, Hulagu Khan.

 Much of the existing structure dates back to the 19th century when the Qajar prince Abbas Mirza renovated the monument using carved sandstone.

 Apart from the Armenian architectural elements visible in the structure of Qara Kelisa, another remarkable feature of the historical church is its spatial layout, which resembles that of the Echmiazin Cathedral in Armenia.

 Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics visit Qara Kelisa every year to perform religious rituals.

Every year scores of Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics from Iran and other countries visit the church to commemorate the martyrdom of Saint Thaddeus and his faithful followers.

 The cruciform building is surmounted by two pyramidal shaped cupolas, the shorter of which has light and dark colored horizontal bands on the drum.

 The church is composed of two parts: a black structure, the original building of the church and a white structure, the main church, which was added to the original building’s western wing in 1810 CE.

 The original church is a domed sanctuary built largely of dark-colored stone, probably dating to the tenth or eleventh century, from which its name Qara Kelisa is derived.

 The main church, built in 1811-1820 is a massive structure, built of light sandstone and adorned with blind arches and decorative and geometric shapes.

 Its twelve-sided tambour has been built in alternating light- and dark-colored stones and has an equal number of windows.

 The church has two large courtyards, the first of which seems to have been used for agricultural purposes, while the second encircles the white structure, the portico, and a number of rooms.

 The first courtyard includes oil-extracting rooms, a miniature windmill, an oven, and a fountain. It is decorated with ornamental motifs and two intricately designed stone crucifixes.

 A small door opens to the second courtyard where the refectory and the kitchen along with rooms for resident monks and abbots are located.

 The portico, which has been left unfinished, dates back to the mid 19th century.

 The building’s exterior is adorned with five rows of alternating dark and light stones as well as numerous round and blind arches, decorated with rosettes, coats-of-arms, flowers and animal figures.

 Statues of angels adorn the front facade of the church and its northern and southern facades are decorated with dark-colored stone crucifixes.

 Sculptured bas-reliefs bearing passages from the Old and New Testaments, mythical animals and effigies of saints have added to the beauty of the monument.

 In the eastern part of the complex, there is a chapel and a sacristy hall. An Armenian inscription, carved on stone, gives an account of the construction of the buildings.
Another stone inscription can be seen on the front of the old portal, bearing the date when the monument was reconstructed by Abbas Mirza Qajar.

 Qara Kelisa has been registered as the ninth Iranian historical-cultural heritage site on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

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Drawing and Painting


 

WaterColor Painting- Iran - Esfahan

Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it; drawing is putting a line around an idea.  Most of the artists want to draw something meaningful and some may want to draw something that means something to someone. When an artist wants to draw something they might have self doubts or fear, but artists should believe in themselves and what comes from within them. Some might want to draw emotions of a mother, like the feeling of a mother holding her child for the first time, or the great feeling after helping someone in need  or a moment of clarity, something that nobody’s saying it but everybody’s thinking it, something to believe in again. It’s not easy to draw that feeling. But, artists shouldn’t think because they might not great at it then they might ruin it. Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.Like Frederick Franck said: I have learned that what I have not drawn I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.

Old Times - Iran - WaterColor Painting

“Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is, it will be well worthwhile, and it will do you a world of good.”  Cennini

WaterColor painting

 

Aseman Hotel - Isfahan In A Rainy Day - Iran - WaterColor Painting

Most of the paintings are watercolor paintings. All of them are views on Iran, some on old times and some are on present time.

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Pearl Of The Desert


Ancient castle in Rayen – Iran
 
 
 
The history of human settlements in the territory of Kerman dates back to the 4th millennium BC. This area is considered as one of the ancient regions of Iran and valuable historical vestiges have been discovered here. Jiroft is an example, where a previously unknown settlement dating back to around 2500BC has just been established by archeologists. Kerman has an abundance of historical sites and landmarks, 283 in total, according to Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization. Ancient abandoned citadels such as Arg-é Bam and Rayen castle have been preserved in the desert for two thousand years.
  
 
 
 
Rayen is a city in Kerman (province). Rayen is everything Bam used to be before the earthquake. Rayen has a historic Arg (fortress) built entirely of sun-dried mud bricks. Its historic city has countless mudbrick houses, some of them unfortunately decaying, but it is this decaying charm that makes the city even more attractive.
Arg-e Rayen was inhabited until 150 years ago and, although believed to be at least thousands years old, may in fact have foundations from the pre-Islamic Sassanid era.
 
 
 
 
The planning and architecture of the citadel are thought out from different points of view. From the present form of the citadel one can see that the planner(s) had foreseen the entire final form of the building and city from the first steps in the planning process. During each phase of building development the already-built part enjoyed a complete figure, and each additional part could be “sewn” into the existing section seamlessly.
 
 
 
The citadel is situated in the center of the fortress-city, on the point with widest view for security. When the gate of the city was closed, no human or animal could enter. The inhabitants could continue living for a long period of time in isolation as they had access to a well, gardens, and domestic animals inside. When the fortress-city was besieged the inhabitants could remain in the city while the soldiers could defend it, protected by high walls and towers.
 
 
 
 
All buildings are made of non-baked clay bricks, i.e. adobes. Bam Citadel was, prior to the 2003 earthquake, the biggest adobe structure in the world and then Rayen Castle (Arg-é Rayen).
 
 

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Kashan-Niasar: In The Middle of Vast Deserts!


In the middle of vast deserts and beautiful mountains there is a beautiful small village with lots of flowers, a waterfall and caves hidden in the desert surrounded by mountains.

The green and beautiful resort village of Niasar is located 28 kilometers west of the city of Kashan, Isfahan province. Niasar’s Sassanid monument is a domed building constructed over a rock at the highest point of Niasar village which can be seen from afar.

Niasar cave, with its entrance openings, located in gardens north of Niasar village, is a temple belonging to followers of Mitra (god of ancient Persia). The temple most probably dates back to the early Partian era. All but one of the chambers of the cave are man-made.The Eid-ul-Adha (Al-Adha feast) held in Niasar lends proof to the fact that people living in the region in the olden times believed in Mithraism.

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