The Armenian Quarter, in the southwest corner of Jerusalem‘s Old City, is the smallest of the four quarters both by area and by population. The modern Armenian Quarter, accessed through the Zion Gate, is made up of churches, schools, residences, and historical landmarks, the heart of which is the St. James Cathedral.
The Armenians have for thousands of years inhabited what is now Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus Mountains. Neither ethnically Arab nor Jewish, the Armenians were converted to Christianity soon after Jesus‘s death. Armenians first settled in Jerusalem around 300 CE after making pilgrimage to the city for many years.
Between the fourth and eighth centuries, the Armenian population in the Holy Land grew and several Christian monasteries were built in the Armenian Quarter, and throughout the Holy Land. The Armenians hung on to their holdings in Jerusalem throughout history as the city has changed hands.
The Armenians are known for their beautiful tile and ceramics and many tile shops can be found in the quarter.