St.Thaddeus church, commonly known as Qara Kelisa (the Black Church) is one of the oldest Christian monuments that is located in West Azerbaijan, Iran. The monastery located in the mountains of Maku city, and is about 20 kilometers from the town. This monastery carries great importance for the Armenian Orthodox community.
Armenians believe that Qara kelisa is the world’s first church that was constructed in 68 CE by Saint Thaddeus. During the ancient years many people and Christian communities were established here. Annually the church is the gathering place of Armenians from Iran and neighbor countries and some special ceremonies have been held there.
The construction has two great courtyards, and fortified wall surrounds the church and its whole building. There are statues of angels that decorate the exterior face of the church. The inside of the church is also decorated by some paintings, animal sculpture and stone shaped statues.