The Church of Mary was constructed in 1613 and is chiefly remarkable for the beauty of the dado tilework, completed several years after the original building between 1651 and 1676, which reveals a high degree of naturalism and depicts a landscape of evergreens and peacocks.
The construction was financed by a silk merchant, Avdik Babakian. Inside there are four significant Venetian paintings, one of which shows the beheading of John the Baptist and includes a portrait of the donor, Grak Agha, praying in the lower left hand corner. These paintings are interesting because they show the close links that existed between the Safavids and the Venetian merchants, principally based upon the trade in Silk and spices.
Last Updated: October 22, 1998