Thursday, 22 June 2017

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 10 (morning cont.) - Jolfa -13th century Saint Andreyord Church; Khajeh Nazar Caravanserai - The 18h of May 2017


Upon leaving St. Stepanos's Monastery we stopped briefly by the the beautiful scenary setting where the little and yet rather interesting St. Andreyord church, also known as the Shephers' chapel, is located.
It is believed the Church's surrounding area used to be pasture land where sheherds grazed their flocks though according to another oral tradition two shepherd brothers  are believed to have built two different chapels on either side of the river Arax, one of which would be later destroyed, thus the name for which it is known.
Having been reconstructed in 2015 the Chapel stood  now brave and proudly against the rocky scenary. We had to walk into its interior in small groups and despite not being decorated, with the exception of some Armenian inscriptions on the outside walls and the entrance stone I was impressed ... what with I don't exactly know .... but the religious associated feeling it generated did touch me. 

Because it was lunch time we headed to a Safavid related Caravanserai said to have been established by Khajeh Nazar, an Armenian who was protected by Shah Abbas in his trading endeavours and later appointed as people's sheriff. It was left unfinished due to the untimely death of its founder but the courtyard and the patios were nevertheless impressive.

Before walking into its interior, now turned into a restaurant Moji and I took some photographs, which I particularly like. Once inside we realised we would have to wait for lunch to be brought from some outside kitchen located a few kilometres away, where it had been prepared for us due to the lack of conditions within the caravanserai premises.
We organised ourselves in small groups of four, (in our case - Joelle, Didier, Dominique and myself), and just settled down on the cosy cushion lined cubicles lying down or simply resting whilst we awaited lunch to be brought. I must say it was quite an experience we all enjoyed. 

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