Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church, Baku

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Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral
Armenian church of Saint Gregory the Illuminator in Baku 5.JPG
The church in April 2013
Basic information
Location Corner of Mirza Ibrahimov and Nizami Streets, downtown Baku, Azerbaijan
Geographic coordinates 40°22′18″N 49°50′11″E / 40.371623°N 49.836466°E / 40.371623; 49.836466Coordinates: 40°22′18″N 49°50′11″E / 40.371623°N 49.836466°E / 40.371623; 49.836466
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Not functioning
Architectural style Armenian Apostolic Church
Groundbreaking 1863[1]
Completed 1869[1]

Saint Gregory the Illuminator's Church (Azerbaijani: Müqəddəs Maarifləndirici Qriqori kilsəsi, Armenian: Սուրբ Գրիգոր Լուսավորիչ եկեղեցի, Surb Grigor Lusavorich yekeghetsi) is a former Armenian Apostolic church in downtown Baku, Azerbaijan.


The church was built between 1863 and 1869.[1] It was robbed after Baku was captured by the Turks in September 1918.[2] In 1920 the church became the cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Diocese of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.[3] It survived through the Soviet state atheist policies of the 1920s and 1930s when all but two Armenian churches in Baku were destroyed.[3]

With the start of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Armenian population of Baku was forced to flee. The church was looted on December 25, 1989.[4]

From 1990 until 2002, the church's status remained undetermined. The library of the church consisting of 5,000 books and manuscripts has been preserved.[5]

Serious damaged caused by an arson attack in 1990 was repaired in 2004 during a renovation when the building was taken over by the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan to be used as one of its libraries. The former church was transformed into the archive department of the Department of Administration Affairs of the Presidential Administration of Azerbaijan.[6]

In April 2010 the church was visited by guests of a World Religious Leaders Summit, including Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow and the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church Karekin II.[7] The Armenian patriarch and the other high-ranking Armenian clerics prayed and chanted medieval hymns while in the church; Karekin II expressed hope that the church would oneday reopen for believers.[8]