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sako-ps152 Որոտնավանք Khatchkar-Vorotnavank | by Sako Tchilingirian
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sako-ps152 Որոտնավանք Khatchkar-Vorotnavank

Vorotnavank was destroyed multiple times by foreign invasions as well as an earthquake in 1931 during which S. Karapet's dome collapsed. In 1104 Seljuk-Turks attacked the monastery and the nearby fortress of Vorotnaberd (3 km southeast). Ivane Zakaryan liberated them and gave control of Vorotnavank and Vorotnaberd to Liparit Orbelian of the Orbelyan family. The monastery was repaired and made funcionable during this time. Other foreign invasions included the Mongol-Tatars (1236?) and later Timur Lenk in 1386. An underground passageway was connected to the fortress of Vorotnaberd, and was used during sieges by invading armies. Reconstruction efforts have been underway since 1980 and are nearly complete.

khatchkar referred to as Armenian cross-stones (Armenian: խաչքար)


The first true khachkars appeared in the 9th century, during the time of Armenian revival after liberation from Arab rule. The oldest khachkar with a known date was carved in 879.


khachkars were erected for the salvation of the soul of either a living or a deceased person. Otherwise they were intended to commemorate a military victory, the construction of a church, or as a form of protection from natural disasters.

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Taken on July 14, 2012