Noratus

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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