Holy Savior Cathedral , also known as Vank Cathedral and The Church of the Saintly Sisters, is a cathedral in Isfahan, Iran. Vank means “monastery” or “convent” in the Armenian language.
Vank Cathedral was one of the first churches to be established in the city’s Jolfa district by Armenian deportees settled by Shah Abbas I after the Ottoman War of 1603-1605. The varying fortunes and independence of this suburb across the Zayandeh rood and its eclectic mix of European missionaries, mercenaries and travelers can be traced almost chronologically in the cathedral’s combination of building styles and contrasts in its external and internal architectural treatment.
Construction is believed to have begun in 1606, and completed with major alterations to design between 1655 and 1664 under the supervision of Archbishop David. The cathedral consists of a domed sanctuary, much like a Persian mosque, but with the significant addition of a semi-octagonal apse and raised chancel usually seen in western churches. The cathedral’s exteriors are in relatively modern brickwork and are exceptionally plain compared to its elaborately decorated interior.
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