For me the khachkar is one of the most powerful symbols of Armenia. A khachkar is a carved stone cross which can be set up at a site of devotion such as a church but also as a memorial in a cemetery or at a roadside. Some are over a thousand years old but still today master craftsmen are carving khachkars. The height of khachkar production was in the 13th and 14th century. Some are simple and some are ornate. No two are exactly alike. In short, they inspire because they focus attention on the cross, recalling the story at the heart of the Christian faith. Sometimes you sense that the cross is being discovered in the stone, a kind of pilgrimage for both the carver and the viewer. Here are a few examples of our favorite khachkars from around Armenia.
Here is a short video of a khachkar master and his words about the craft and the significance of khachkars are especially poignant.