Noratus is an ancient Armenian village located in the region of Gegharkunik, near the Lake Sevan, 90 km North of Yerevan. The village is famous for its cemetery of cross-stones (“khachkar” in Armenian), the largest cluster of khachkars in Armenia now days. The cemetery is spread over a 7 hectare field containing almost a thousand khachkars each of them depicting unique ornamentation. Armenian khachkar is a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross, having a sacred meaning. It is often decorated with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, botanical motifs and some scenes. They were believed to save people’s souls. There’s a wonderful legend related to the khachkars of Noratus. The legend says that during the invasions of Tamerlane (Timur Lenk) the villagers dressed the cross-stone to make them look like real soldiers. And it worked.

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