Khachkar or khatchkar (Armenian: խաչքար, pronounced [χɑtʃkɑɹ], meaning cross-stone) is a carved, cross-bearing, memorial stele covered with rosettes and other botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of MedievalChristianArmenian art found in Armenia.
The art of carving Khachkars has witnessed a rebirth as a symbol of Armenian Culture. Beginning within the Armenian Diaspora after World War II, Khachkars have been erected in places such as Poland, where in the cities Wrocław, Kraków, and Elbląg they were put in place as memorials to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide by the Polish Armenian Community. A further boost in the production of these monuments came about after Armenia resumed its independence with the Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
A large portion of khachkars, which were created in historic Armenia and surrounding regions, in modern times have become the possession of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and partly Georgia and Iran. As a result of systematic eradication of khachkars in Turkey, today only a few examples survive. Unfortunately these few survivors are not cataloged and properly photographed. Thus, it is difficult to follow up with the current situation. One documented example is the Khachkar destruction in Nakhchivan-1,2,3,4,5,6. One source says that khachkars are being damaged, neglected, or moved in Armenia.Reasons cited for moving these khachkars include; decoration, to create new holy places, or to make space for new burials.
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Photo taken in Sanahin, Alaverdi, Armenia
Misplaced? Suggest new location