How to visit saint-Thaddeus-monastery in Iran, Tours and travel to visit saint-Thaddeus-monastery
Before you visit saint Thaddeus, or Black Church or locally known as Ghara Kelisa, it will be useful to get familiar with what you are going to visit on saint Thaddeus Armenian monastery, the site of Black Church is an ancient Armenian monastery located in the mountainous area of Iran's West Azarbaijan Province, about 20 km from the town of Maku near Bazargan as Iran-Turkey Border. One of the 12 Apostles, St. Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), was martyred while spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Church. Legend has it that a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in AD 68.
What to see when visiting Saint Thaddeus Monastery: The saint Thaddeus monastery is visible from a distance because of the massiveness of the church, there are several chapels nearby: three on the hills east of the stream, one approximately 3km south of the monastery on the road to Bastam, and another that serves as the church for the village of Ghara-Kellisa (The Black Church). The Saint Thaddeus Monastery was extensively rebuilt in 1329 after an earthquake damaged the structure in 1319. Nevertheless, some of the parts surrounding the altar apse date from the 10th century. Most of the present structure dates from the early 19th century when Qajar prince Abbas Mirza helped in renovations and repairs. The 19th century additions are from carved sandstone.
The earliest parts are of black and white stone, hence its Turkish name Kara Kilise, the Black Church. In July 2008, the St. Thaddeus monastery was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List, along with two other Armenian monuments located in the same province: Saint Stepanos Monastery and the chapel of Dzordzor
How to Visit Saint Thaddeus Monastery: the Saint Thaddeus monastery and Black Church is located in town-ship of Maku and can be visited on best way by a taxi from city of Urumiya which is about 275 K.M driving, Iran Budget Tour received many report from travelers that visited Saint Thaddeus Monastery and Black Church when they crossed the border from Turkey to Iran( in this case you have only 40 K.M when you crossed the border to Iran), however we can arrange day tours from Urumiya and Tabriz to visit Saitn Thaddeus and Black Church.
Tips for visiting Arg-e Bam and Arg-e Rayen: As tap water is accessible everywhere when you travel to Iran But during the hot months especially, take plenty of bottled water with you to drink and wear a hat and sunscreen. You should also wear sunglasses for further sun protection.