Thursday, 19 October, 2017

A Stroll Through the Isfahan’s Armenian Julfa Quarter

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New Julfa (literally Jolfa quarter of Isfahan) is the Armenian quarter of Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the river Zayandeh River.

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Established by Armenians from Julfa, Nakhichevan in the early 17th century, it is still one of the oldest and largest Armenian quarters in the world.

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New Julfa was established in 1606 as an Armenian quarter by edict of Shah Abbas I, the influential shah from the Safavid dynasty. Over 150,000 Armenians were moved there from Julfa in Nakhichevan.

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All history accounts agree that, as the residents of Julfa were famous for their silk trade, Shah Abbas treated the population well and hoped that their resettlement in Isfahan would be beneficial to Persia.

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New Julfa is still an Armenian-populated area with an Armenian school and sixteen churches, including Surp Amenaprgitch Vank, which is a Unesco World Heritage site, and undoubtebly one of the most beautiful churches in Iran.

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Armenians in New Julfa observe Iranian law with regard to clothing, but otherwise retain a distinct Armenian language, identity cuisine, and culture.

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The policy of the Safavids was very tolerant towards the Armenians as compared to other minorities, such as the Iranian Georgians and Circassians.

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According a reference by David Petrosyan of the Institute for Central Asian and Caucasian studies, New Julfa had between 10,000-12,000 Armenian inhabitants in 1998. As of today it is still one of the largest ethnic Armenian quarters in the world.

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Popular with young people in Isfahan, it is experiencing considerable growth compared to other districts.


Source: Wikipedia

Photos Credit: ISNA

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3 Comments

  1. Amir

    March 7, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I Was in Armenian Julfa Quarter almost 14 years ago with my son. A lot of changes happened since then. I still have the handmade belt that I bought at the entrance point to the center. At the museum inside, you can find hand written Bible that is almost 1/4 inch in size, very impressive. I am happy that recognitions of Iran’s vast and rich culture from officials in Tehran are improving. I hope, one day, Iran becomes the center of all tourisms in the world. This depends all to the people on top that can smash or pave the road to better Iran.
    Isolation is good to rebuilt but it is not good to retrieve. Iranians in many battles in the past proved that they are the most influential people in the world; they changed cultures and let other cultures to flourish within their society if it is respectful to their advancements to the future. Now it is time to let the isolation go and open the doors to the future exchanges.
    As I said,” isolation is good to rebuilt but it is not good to retrieve.” Let’s get on with world’s high speed movements that if you don’t, you will be left behind.

  2. Mohammad Ala

    March 7, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    Iran has been a diverse society for thousands of years. Iran is a center of civilization and home to many ethnicities and religious groups.

    Although religion has separated some Iranians, but their unifying element has been the Iranian culture (traditions, food, and music to name a few).

    Iran shall remain a diverse society and center for trade and tourism.

  3. Persian knight

    March 8, 2016 at 12:22 am

    I love the armenian girls there ;P

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