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Saint Thaddeus Cathedral is an ancient Armenian monastery in Iran, near the borders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey. It is in a village called Chaldoran or Chalderan which has a rich history in Iranian minds. Saint Thaddeus Cathedral is one of the oldest and most notable Christian monuments in Iran and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is named after Saint Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, who evangelized the region in the first century AD and was martyred there. The monastery has a distinctive black and white stone architecture, with conical roofs and a large narthex. It is a place of pilgrimage for the Armenian Orthodox community, especially in July, when a large annual festival is held. Before leaving for the monastery, pilgrims assemble in Tabriz. Every year, they travel 700 kilometers from Yerevan to the monastery. The ceremony of remembrance consists of special liturgies, processions, prayers, and fasting. It ends with a Holy Mass with Holy Communion. Traditional Armenian folk shows and food are reserved for special occasions. The pilgrimage is the main social and cultural celebration of the year. Living in tents near each other, the pilgrims feel a stronger sense of community. The monastery has been a destination for pilgrims for more than nineteen hundred years. But under the Soviet rule in Armenia, the pilgrimage was banned. The keepers of the tradition kept the cultural memories of the pilgrimage alive and passed them on to their families and communities. The pilgrimage from Armenia started again only after they became independent in the 1990s.

See more about other cities in Azerbaijan here the Grand Tabriz, Urmia (Orumia), Urmia lakeKandowanHilevarKahnemoo, and Khoy.

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