YEREVAN. (YERKIR)–The Tadeh (St. Thaddeus) Armenian Monestary in the Artaz region of Iran will officially be inscribed in the United Nations Educational–Scientific And Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List–established under terms of The Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The news came from a top official at the Iranian Culture Heritage Organization Mohid Tabatabai–reported Iran’s Armenian-language newspaper Alik–published in Tehran.
The monastery of Tadeh–build around 68 AD on the site of a former pagan temple–is considered one of the first churches of the world.
The Monestary was continuously destroyed by not only invasions–but also by earthquakes–the most devastating of which struck in 1319. Nothing remains of the original church–which was rebuilt and enlarged in the 13th century–but some parts around the altar may date from the 10th century. Most of the present structure dates from the 17th century and is carved of sandstone. The monastery–two churches–portico–and numerous rooms that are on this sacred site are strategically situated on a spot that yielded independence and relative security. A thick wall also encloses this complex that protected it from sieges by aggressive and violent neighbors.
Tens of thousands of Armenia’s from throughout the world take a pilgrimage to the monastery yearly.