Khatchkars (cross stones)

Very special are Khatchkars or stone crosses, an original form of Armenian national art. In a land with a bounty of stones, it should come as no surprise that artisans and craftspeople used this medium to express their talents. This form of expression, the Christian exaltation of the cross, began early in the 4th century A.D. and became a national art form in the 9th and 10th centuries. Initially they were crafted for salvation of the soul, but in the 12th and 13th centuries they were also used to commemorate historic events, such as military battles or the construction of a monastery. In walls of churches they honoured individuals who made significant contributions to the church in question.

Khatchkars can be found all over Armenia, they are beautifully decorated and none is similar to another.

At Noraduz, on Lake Sevan’s western shore, hundreds of examples dating from the 9th and 10th century can be found in the cemetery.


Khatchkar 2