Maku is a city in the Central District of Khoy County, West Azerbaijan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 41,865, in 10,428 families.
It is situated 22 kilometres (14 mi) from the Turkish border in a mountain gorge at an altitude of 1634 metres. The Zangmar River cuts through the city. The common language in Maku is Azerbaijani language. Maku Free Trade and Industrial Zone is Iran’s largest and the world’s second largest free trade zone and will encompass an area of 5000 square km when it opened in 2011.
Maku was the capital of a Kangarli Khanate one of numerous small, semi-independent Khanates that resulted from the breakup of the Safavid Empire in the 17th century.
The city is well-known in Bahá'í history for its fort where the Báb had been exiled to and imprisoned for nine months. At this fortress Mullá Husayn, the first Disciple of the Báb, arrived on Náw-Rúz of the year 1848 to see the Báb.
In ancient times the region of Maku was a part of Lesser Media and its name itself may be derived from the old Persian word Madkuh meaning "the Mountain of the Medes". Medes were one of the ancient Iranian tribes.
Tourism Sites in Maku
Saint Thaddeus Church: The Saint Thaddeus is an ancient Armenian monastery located in the mountainous area of Iran's West Azerbaijan Province, about 20 kilometres from the town of Maku.
The monastery is visible from a distance because of the massiveness of the church, strongly characterized by the polygonal drums and conical roofs of its two domes. There are several chapels nearby: three on the hills east of the stream, one approximately 3 km south of the monastery on the road to Bastam, and another that serves as the church for the village of Ghara-Kilise.
One of the 12 Apostles, St. Thaddeus, also known as Saint Jude, (not to be confused with Judas Iscariot), was martyred while spreading the Gospel. He is revered as an apostle of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Legend has it that a church dedicated to him was first built on the present site in AD 68.
Not much appears to remain of the original church, which was extensively rebuilt in 1329 after an earthquake damaged the structure in 1319. Nevertheless, some of the parts surrounding the altar apse date from the 10th century.
Much of the present structure dates from 1811 when Qajar prince Abbas Mirza helped in renovations and repairs. Undertaken by Simeon, Father Superior of the monastery, a large narthex-like western extension was added to the medieval church. This structure exactly duplicates the design of the cathedral at Etchmiadzin.
The 19th century additions are from carved sandstone. The earliest parts are of black and white stone, hence its Turkic name Kara Kilise, the Black Church.
A fortified wall surrounds the church and its now-abandoned monastery buildings.
In July 2008, the St. Thaddeus monastery was dded to UNESCO's World Heritage List, along with two other Armenian monuments located in the same province: Saint Stepanos Monastery (read more in Jolfa and Churches) and the chapel of Dzordzor. The only Christian services are held during a brilliant three-day summer pilgrimage. It is obvious that these churches registered in UNESCO would really help to the Tabriz 2018 event and they will included in Tabriz tours and Iran tours.