Armenian Church of the Holy Nazareth, Burrabazar, Calcutta, 1724

armeniam_churchপবিত্র নাজারেথের আর্মানী গির্জা, বড়বাজার, কলকাতা, ১৭২৪
The first Armenian Church, a wooden structure was built by public contribution on 22nd June 1688 and was named St. John. The East India Company for 7 years contributed £40/- per year towards the maintenance of a priest. This Church was destroyed by fire in 1707. wooden_chapel_1st ArmenianChurch1688 St. John’s Church having been razed to the ground, The Holy Church of Nazareth was built seventeen years later in 1724 on the old burial ground of the Armenian community, by Agha Nazar. The architect was an Armenian from Iran named Mr. Levon Ghevond. The belfry and steeple were added just 10 years later by Mr. Manual Hazarmalian in 1734. The interiors of the oldest extant church in Calcutta are decorated with marble, and the overhead gallery contains mural tablets. The altar has a cross, the gospels and 12 candlesticks symbolizing Christ and his Apostles. There is a staircase leading to an overhead gallery with walls full of mural tablets. Three oil paintings, including one of the Last Supper, share space with the murals. To the first Armenians who settled in India, who were mostly traders, continuation of tradition and preservation of religion were of the utmost importance. The Holy Nazareth structure is one of three Armenian churches in the city; the other two are the Church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator in Park Circus, and the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Tangra.

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