Armen Arikian • Staff Writer
Khachkar: Symbol of Armenian Identity
Khachkars are Armenian works of art that feature detailed crosses, carefully engraved on an upright stone. Khachkars are a fundamental part of Armenian tradition, artistic expression, and history. However, the variety of khachkars is very large and each one has a unique meaning and purpose.
Khachkar.am serves as an educational source on the history of Armenian khachkars. The website also explains in further detail the process of making khachkars, their function, as well as their origin.
One of the main functions of khachkars is as a physical expression and praise of Christianity. The process of creating khachkars gradually began after Armenia’s adoption of Christianity in the 4th century. Many of these khachkars from the 7th-9th century still exist today, but not all are located in Armenia. Many of these khachkars were created several centuries ago in what used to be historic Armenia, but are now in present-day Turkey.
The khachkars in both Turkey and Armenia are endangered, many because of their age, while others are targeted for destruction by governments, such as the Julfa cemetery khachkars, destroyed by Azerbaijan. Khackhar.am presents related issues under the section “Endangered Khachkars.” In order to solve this problem, it is vital that Armenians are educated on the types of khachkars and their potential destruction.