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Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church, Baku


Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church, Baku

Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral
Bakı Erməni Kilsəsi
Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչ Եկեղեցի
The former church in April 2013
Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church, Baku is located in Azerbaijan
Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church, Baku
Shown within Azerbaijan
Basic information
Location Corner of Mirza Ibrahimov and Nizami Streets
Downtown Baku Azerbaijan
Geographic coordinates
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Church (1887–1990)
Status Now a government building since 2002; formerly serving as an Armenian Apostolic Church between 1887–1990, then abandoned between 1990–2002, and is no longer open to the public since 1990.
Heritage designation None
Architectural style Armenian Apostolic Church
Completed 1887

Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church (Azerbaijani: Bakı Erməni Kilsəsi, Armenian: Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսաւորիչի Եկեղեցի – Surp Grigor Lusavorichi Yekeghetsi) is a former Armenian Apostolic church in downtown Baku, Azerbaijan. It was built in 1887[1] and survived through the radical atheist age of Sovietization, and the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Unlike many places of worship that were subject to demolition throughout the Soviet Union in the 1920s and the 1930s, St. Gregory the Illuminator's Church was the only Armenian church that was not demolished. In 1990, during the exodus and deportation of the entire Armenian population from Azerbaijan (as a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict), the church was closed down and damaged, and is no longer open to the public.[2]

From 1990 until 2002, its future status remained undetermined. The library of the church consisting of 5,000 books and manuscripts has been preserved.[3] Serious damaged caused by an arson attack in 1990 was repaired in 2004 during a renovation when the building was taken over by the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan to be used as one of its libraries. The former church was transformed into the archive department of the Department of Administration Affairs of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan.[4]

In April 2010 the church was visited by guests of a World Religious Leaders Summit, including Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church Garegin II.[5] The Armenian patriarch and the other high-ranking Armenian clerics prayed and chanted medieval hymns while in the church, with Garegin expressing a hope that the church would oneday reopen for believers.[6]



  1. ^ Baku and Germans by Tamara Humbatova. Ch. 8. 2004
  2. ^ Implementation of the Helsinki Accords: "Human Rights and Democratization in the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union" (Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, January 1993), p. 116
  3. ^ The Big Break-Through by Victor Loshak and Emil Guliyev. Ogoniok. #28(5004). 9 July 2007. Retrieved 25 August 2007
  4. ^ Yeni Müsavat: "Prezident Kitabxanasının balansında olan məbəddə hələ də təmir gedir; müvafiq qurumlar isə “bu kilsə bərpa olunmayacaq” deyir...". by Günay Musayeva. 5 August 2011 (Azerbaijani)
  5. ^ Гарегин II посетил в Баку армянскую церковь
  6. ^ Garegin Meets Aliyev, Visits Armenian Church In Baku
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