Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Armenian Monastic Ensemble in Iran

All these great sites, registered as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site since 2008, are situated in NW of IR 15o and 25o km far from here! The two main monasteries Ipue had still visited in 1977 und 1978, but now we are curious to see the other parts, too! We decided to enter the jolfa region today! lili_6789 was with us and for sure Possy & Crossy & me, Paul!
After leaving home in the morning we had fun with the football-fans in town, as there should be a match in the afternoon between 2 of the most famous teams of IR.
We were leaving tabriz via autobahn, which is crossing now the ancient pilgrimage route up to mt. ainali, the mosque.
Our first stop had been 1o km to marand beside the first ski ressort yam (payam in fact!) to see the ancient carvansary. They are still working for the renovation!
Mount misho in front of the carawansary Payam.
Entering jolfa, which is a free trade zone and has border entrances to armenia and auton. rep. nakhtshevan, we went straight to the aras river, which is marking the border! And you can see the sentries on the azerbaijanian ground. The area is quite abandonned and only sometimes a few houses... But how impressing mountains! And so beautiful the river! And everywhere full of poppies.
Everywhere people are sitting there to have a picnic or men are fishing in the river... What a difference to the olden times of the former russian UDSSR , when first you had to get in jolfa a persmission paper to enter the border-area and let your camera at the sentry station to go straight to st. stephanos monastery!?!?

Sightseeing points beside jolfa:
After 1o km we reached the chupan chapel, part of world heritage site st. stephanos! a nice small chapel a bit higher in the mountain - but a bit strange: It was "taken" by a family as their picnic place!
In the small yard they had met their blankets and were relaxing... And were a bit strong looking at us, as we were entering their private area... And gosh, inside the small chapel they had their "kitchen"! Preparing a meal... Perhaps it's time to declare it as a museum and getting a fee...Several beautiful landscape views with the aras river you had seen a month ago, when ipue came here with Paul the backpacker and a small group of guests! Pleas have a look at the earlier postings!
Then we reached the main site St. Stephanos Monastery. It was really crowded as it was a Friday! The "sunday" in our country! And yes - we could buy some postcard folders! Some of us went into the monastery and some of us went for fishing... Later after passing the Darresham Chapel just beside the river, part of st. stephanos monastery...
...we were looking for a picnic place, too! And we were very successfull with a beautifull place under trees and among the poppies beside the river... A place like a painting!
There we had our late lunch and we rested untill the sun got behind the mountains and it was time to leave! Back on the transit road the traffic was quite awfull, but we reached our home safely at 1o PM! What a great day! Thank you everybody!
Zia-ol-malek bridge.
Sunset near Maarhand.
Mosque in sofiyan.

1 comment: