The khatchkars are a part
of the Armenian art of sculpture
they express the Christian faith
and high culture
as well as the aesthetic sense
of the Armenian people.
The number of khatchkars in the Noratous cemetery reaches to several hundreds even a thousand. The khatchkars in the Noratous cemetery explain the phases of development of khatchkars beginning from the 10th up to the 17th centuries. Their series is completed with the works of the famous master, Kiram Kazmogh, whose khatchkars, according to preserved inscriptions, embrace the years 1551-1610.
The cemetery of Noratous lies on a hill, on top of the small village which is known from Ossip Mandelstam's "The journey to Armenia". But Mandelstam does not write about the immense number of carved stones, he tells about the shipyard and the workers. Well, we did not visit this shipyard, we wandered around the huge place and admired the stones.
A quiet place, some children playing, an old man looks after some cows between the stones, a peaceful sunday afternoon.
Some stones bear not only floral ornaments, they show pictures of men, animals and tell about historical events.
You can spend hours or days here and still you have not seen all the stones, and who will tell us their stories?
Khatchkars at Noratous