Noraduz Khachkars (Cross Stones)
It was very difficult and actually not the right time to capture these beautiful cross stones because the light was inverse. I will try to post some more shots of these masterpieces of stone carving. The mountains in the background are Gueghamian mountains which contain many rock carvings of more than 4000 years of age.
Khachkars ("Խաչքար" in Armenian, literally meaning "cross-stone") are a uniquely Armenian form of art, which evolved into incredibly ornate form which reached its peak in the 12-13th centuries.
Perhaps some of the most intricate known Khachkars were designed by the great architect Momik. He also is credited with the design of the Areni Church and Noravank Monastery.
Khachkars are most commonly used as tombstones, but were sometimes used as memorials. The biggest khachkar cemetery in Armenia is the Noratus Cemetery, while the biggest in the world is in Jugha, in Nakhichevan.
Most khachkars do not depict Christ on the cross, but a few notable exception except. Most khachkars fall under the basic definition of a cross carved onto a stone. A few of the highly detailed and elaborate khachkars are called "lacework" khachkars. Khachkars which are freestanding crosses are called tevavor or "with arms" khachkars. Finally there are some examples of totem-pole style khachkars. The cross is usually the standard Armenian cross with two triple-loops on each arm of the cross, but can be simpler or vary.
Noratus (Arm: Նորադուզ)
Exiting E at a somewhat over-engineered cloverleaf intersection leads one toward Lake Sevan and the ancient village of Noratus* or Noraduz (5465 p). Turning right at the first street past the bridge leads to the S edge of town and S. Grigor Lusavorich church/Daputs Monastery of the 9-10th c., rebuilt by the 11th c architect Khachatur. Continuing straight into the center of village, the second left leads to the ruined S. Astvatsatsin church, a basilica built by Prince Sahak at the end of the 9th c., probably on earlier foundations. Outside the W door are intriguing carved grave monuments. On the E edge of town is a huge medieval-modern cemetery with an impressive array of early khachkars* =70= (40 22.40n x 045 11.05e), the largest such collection of khachkars in Armenia, as well as evocative modern funerary statuary. Continuing up the bare, windswept hillside beyond, there is a smaller cluster of khachkars around a medieval funeral chapel. Two km E of Noratus on the top of a hill is the Heghi Dar cyclopean fortress with a large tomb and two big inhabited caves. On a promontory N of Noratus is a large, well-maintained forest of antenna masts, ostensibly belonging to Armentel. A couple of km S of Noradus, near the former village of Artsvakar (formerly Ghshlakh, now a suburb of Gavar), are the Early Iron Age cyclopean fortresses of Ghslakh (near the lake), Zhami Dar (just W of Artsvakar) and Mrtbi Dzor (S of Zhami Dar).
Critiques | Translate
sam224 (6215) 2007-02-26 4:57
Very good saturation of colours for this lovely composition: I like the white peaks in the background, partially covered with clouds. The sheeps in foreground add life and dynamism to the image.
Good depth. Thanks for sharing
marjan (6279) 2007-02-26 5:28
hi Sayat, very interesting shot. Good OPOV and strong coloures. Good info and TFS
silverhead (1668) 2007-02-26 5:30
Sevgili Sayat tebrikler. Alan derinliği ve renk coşkusuyla çok başarılı bir çalışma olmuş. Fotoğrafı galeride gördüğümde Ahlat'tan çekilmiş bir enstantane sandım. Ne kadar benziyor ortam. Koyunları dağılmadan; küme halinde fotoğraflamanız, diğer taş kümeleriyle iyi bir uyum sağlamış.
hyasar (7773) 2007-02-26 12:55
yanindaki notla beraber cok hos ve bilgi veren bir fotograf olmus. Renkler, bulutlar, arka fon enfes olmus. ellerine saglik.
duru (164) 2007-02-26 13:38
bu ne guzel foto boyle. tebrik ederim. goz, kadraj, ışık hepsi 10 numara.
cok gezen cok gorur hesabi. biz de kiskaniyoruz. her yere yazin gitmis olmak, sert ışıkta foto çekmek iyice sıktı. bir de bu resme bak, kar var, bahar var, hayat var, geçmiş var. ne diyim. ellerine sağlık üstadım.
dokadak (11518) 2007-02-26 16:04
Tablo cizmissin hocam... tonlama, kompozisyon derinlik enfes... ellerine saglik
Deepforest (9260) 2007-02-26 16:06
nice scene and good composition. I like vivid colours.
nunenik (135) 2007-02-27 3:34
Besides the fact that part of my family comes from Noraduz, and many live there still, I can't help but comment on this shot. It's really amazing - the sky, the mountains, the khachkars.
The colours are great!
Maybe I can add a little bit to your already informative note, that the name "Noratus" (or Noraduz) actually is a transformed version of "Noratuns", which literally means "my new home".
Great shot of this historical part of Armenia!
SteveH (6309) 2007-02-27 4:41
Hi Sayat, Great shot of an interesting feature of Armenia. I like the composition in this especially the inclusion of the sheep, as Sam224 said. The BG and clouds looks a little soft perhaps resulting from PP? regards, Steve
KemaLMerT (12048) 2007-03-02 19:10
kompozisyon,renkler ve likenler.... Çok başarılı bir kare,
Angshu (56760) 2007-03-05 3:50
Lovely spectrum of colours you've got here. The lovely colours of the stones & the greens in the FG, to the white snow capped peaks in the BG this is indeed beautiful. I like your inclusion of the herd of sheep here. Your note is well written & highly educative. Well done friend
parbo (11092) 2007-03-08 12:33
Rust colored stains on stones are stunning in your photo with other beautiful objects. I like your way adding sheep’s while capturing crowded stones. Snowy mountain hills and green ground are perfect with your very informative note. Congratulations.
doubay (674) 2007-03-10 14:55
this is another beautiful and very interesting shots of your armenian series. The panoramic view over this fascinating place is really fantastic.
setenay (7706) 2007-03-14 12:31
Haziran ayına rağmen,arka plandaki karlı dağlar,muhteşem gökyüzü,tarih öncesi antik taş sütunlarla içiçe köy evleri ve yemyeşil yaylanın keyfini çıkaran koyunlarla harika bir kompozisyon.Bütün bu güzellikleri,Atavatanında yaşamanın heyecanının bende paylaşıyorum.Eline sağlık
verje (320) 2007-03-26 15:12
In one word: Enchanting !
Thank you very much for sharing this photo with us
capthaddock (28790) 2007-07-28 11:59
Hello Sayat - hem doga, hem tarih, hem de tarim, gökyüzü de enteresan, basarili bir karisim, Noraduz'a gitmedim ama 5 yil önce Ahlat yakinlarinda bunlara benzer taslar görmüstüm, Selçuklu mezar taslari diye tanitiliyordu.
marietom (34609) 2007-09-17 3:42
Superbe composition, cet endroit est étonnant !