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Armenian Church

Armenian Church is one of the historically significant architectural monument in Dhaka city. The church was built in 1781 by Armenian Orthodox communities. Every year thousands of tourists travel this historical place to know the existence of a significant Armenian community in the region between the 17th and 18th centuries.

 

History

Following the domination of their homeland by Persian powers of the time, Armenians were sent by their new rulers to the Bengal region for both political and economic reasons. Although the Armenian presence in South Asia is now insignificant, their presence in Dhaka dates back to the 17th century. Armenians came to Dhaka for business. In Dhaka, Armenian merchants traded in jute and leather, and profitability in these businesses convinced some to move permanently to Bangladesh. The area where they lived became known as Armanitola.

In 1781 the now-famous Armenian Church was built on Armenian Street in Armanitola, then a thriving business district. The site was an Armenian graveyard before the church was built, and the tombstones that have survived serve as a chronicle of Armenian life in the area. Agaminus Catachik, an Armenian, gave away the land to build the church. Michel Cerkess, Okotavata Setoor Sevorg, Aga Amnius, and Merkers Poges helped build the church.

In the fifty years following the church's construction, a clock tower was erected on its western side. Allegedly, the clock could be heard four miles away, and people synchronize their watches with the sound of the tower's bell. The clock stopped in 1880, and an earthquake destroyed the tower in 1897. The Armenians played a prominent part in the jute trade in Dhaka and are reputed to be the pioneers of that trade in the second half of the 19th century. Today, the last Armenian that takes care of the church is Mikel Housep Martirossian (Michael Joseph Martin). He was also one of the Armenians who were in the jute trade.

 

How To Go

Anyone can visit by road with taxi/three-wheeler/bus from anywhere in Armanitola, Dhaka.

 

Source: Wikipedia

 

 

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