The Daily Telegraph included Armenian churches in the list of the 23 most beautiful churches in the world.
In the third place on the top is the Armenian Bethlehem Church in Iran. This 17th-century Armenian church is located in Isfahan. It is distinguished by 72 amazingly beautiful frescoes and a gorgeous dome.
This church has a significant meaning for 7 local thousand Armenians who, although forced to abide by the Islamic “dress code”, nevertheless retain their identity, culture, and language.
On the 19th spot is another Armenian church in Iran, the church of St. Stepanos. This 9th-century Armenian religious complex is located 19 kilometers southwest of the city of Jugha on the slope of Mount Magarda on the right bank of the Araks River.
As 12th-century Assyrian chronicler Michael Asori (Michael of Assyria) wrote, the church, also called Magardavank, has been founded by Apostle Bartholomew. The church is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Armenian churches of St. Thaddeus and Dzordzor in Iran.
The Daily Telegraph list also includes the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (20th spot) which was erected at the birthplace of Christ. This 4th-century church features an Armenian altar. This architectural monument included in the UNESCO cultural heritage list belongs to the Jerusalem Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Roman Catholic Churches. The Armenian Apostolic Church owns the southwestern section where the altar is located.
Among the most beautiful churches in the world, the first place was occupied by the Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia that was erected on the spot where Virgin Mary appeared before a woman and her deaf-mute daughter in the 18th century.
The Las Lajas Sanctuary is the main shrine for the Indians of Colombia who consider the Mother of God their queen and the protector of their territories. The construction of this temple began in 1916 and was completed in 1949.
Second on the list is the unique wooden Bogrund Stave Church in Norway. The construction of this church lasted from 1180 to 1250.