Khachkar Cross-stone


Khachkar or Cross-stone is an extraordinary phenomenon in Armenian Art. The master used the cross to express his own feelings and dreams. The khachkars are the best creation of Armenian Architecture equal to other architectural buildings (Rafael Israelian).

Symbols and meaning of khachkars

Khachkar is a medieval Armenian piece of art, monument-memorial with cross images, ornamental patterns, and vertical standing stone, faсade straightened to the west. It contains the main Christian conception of Jesus Christ's redemption. The main element is the cross as Christ’s promised heavenly spiritual paradise and salvation sacrament. Khachkar served as an icon for Armenians.

Already in the 4th century, people used Khachkar as a separate monument or fastened on the walls of the churches.  The Armenians used it also to immortalize the military victories and important historical events.  At the same time, cross-stones were an inseparable part of churches, monasteries, chapels, sources, bridges and other historical buildings. They were used in cemeteries as gravestones for the salvation of the dead person. On them were written important information and facts about Armenia.

The history of the first khachkar

The first khachkar dates back to the 879 (Garni), already contained the main symbolic elements of cross-stone. In the medieval period, Armenians used red, white and blue colors also grape clusters. The red color symbolized the blood of Christ.

There are other types of khachkars called “Savior” which carved the crucifixion of Christ in two ways. In the 12th century in khachkars appeared a new ornamental which was pomegranate with its branches. The pomegranate means the ancestors of Armenians, Abraham, Isahak, Hakob. The Khachkar Art is considered to be an abstract symbol of Art completely having the symbol of a sacrament. It has just a theological role and aim.