The 240 yeard old Armenian Church in Puran Dhaka
Sejuti Mourin of DOT
The Armenian Church also known as The Armenian Apostolic Church of the Holy Resurrection .
It’s the only recognized heritage site left that marks the presence of Armenian in Bangladesh.
The church is an architectural testament to the story of how the Armenian diasporas spread out from their historic homeland, located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, to far-flung regions, and thrived as a versatile cosmopolitan community. When Persians took over their homeland, Armenian were sent to the then Bengal for business . But seeing the immense profit in jute and leather business, some of the merchants moved permanently in Bangladesh an area later known as “armanitola” . On Armenian street in old Dhaka this church was built on land that was an Armenian graveyard. After Agaminus Catachik, the owner , gave away land. The Armenian church built in 1781 surrounding the tombstones that survived .
It is around 750ft in length , the church has 4 doors, 27 windows and a spiral staircase that leads to the second floor . The main floor divided into three parts : a pulpit enclosed by railing, a middle section with two folding doors, and an area separated by a wooden fence for seating women and children. Among 350 people buried , there is a statue on Catachik Avatik homas’s grave which was sent from Kolkata .This statue portrays his wife and the grave is inscribed with the words “ Best of Husband”.Previously, the church had a beautiful bell tower made by Johans Paru Piyete Sarkis , but after being destroyed by an earthquake in 1897. In 2005, the Cultural Affairs Ministry took responsibility to renovate this church. But as today Mikel Housep Martirossian takes care of it . He was also one of the Armenian who was in the Jute trade The unique architecture and history of the church makes it a noteworthy heritage site in Dhaka.
Source: Togbog ( Facebook Page) & Nijhum.com