Armenian Church, Kolkata

Armenian Church of Kolkata is situated in the Armenian Street, at the north-west corner of Barabazaar, close to the Howrah Bridge in Kolkata.

Constructed in 1764 and planned in the early 18th century, the Armenian Church of Kolkata is at present the most ancient church of Kolkata. The internal walls of the Armenian Church of Kolkata are ornamented with marble, while the overhead gallery has mural tablets. The altar possesses a cross, the gospels and 12 candlesticks depicting Christ and his Apostles. Three oil paintings - 'The Holy Trinity', 'The Last Supper' and 'The Enshrouding of Our Lord' - by the English artist AE Harris add to the glory of the altar. Ruins of the Armenian cemetery are there in the church premises.

The Armenians have resided in India since ancient times. The Armenians demand to have come to India even earlier than the British. They further demand to be the forerunners among the converted Christians in the European continent. On 22nd June, 1688, the East India Company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Armenians in Europe. According to it, the East India Company was supposed to construct a church everywhere in India where at least 40 Armenians would be living. The former was supposed to give 50 pounds to the priest as his remuneration.

In 1690, Job Charnock gave his last visit to Kolkata. Seventeen years after that, the East India Company made a small wooden church at the south-eastern part of the current Armenian Church.

In 1734, the present day Armenian Church of Kolkata was made by Aga Mamed Hazaar Maliyar. The internal ornamentation of the church was done by Katchik Arfiel. He constructed the residential quarters for the priests and built high wall around the cemetery. He was the donor of the grand church clock.

Last Updated on : 23 October 2012