The monuments of historical and cultural heritage are probably one of the most lyrical representatives of Armenian culture. Carefully chosen ornaments, gentle and fragile sculptures, sweet colors, supposed diligence and care, with the direct engagement of which these special personalities were created, made the monuments unique and luxurious in their own kind.

No unnecessary or pointless details: each pattern, sculpture and engravement has its value as a symbol of that particular historical period. When speaking about monuments we should separate the khachkar (cross-stone) making. Each khachkar has its uniqueness, through which it distinguishes from the others. The master directs the hammer, dictates his thoughts to the stone and consolidates the position of  Armenia in the treasury of world culture.

“Our khachkar-creators seem to have something to tell through the cross”, notices the khachkar-creator Varazdat Hambardzoumyan.

And as every year since 1983 (in Armenia since 1993), the International Day for Monuments and Sights is celebrated in different countries of the world this year as well. Every year “The International Council of Protection of Monuments and Sights” suggests a new topic for organizing the celebrations and events. The motto of this day is “Let’s save our historical homeland.”

The following Armenian monuments are included in the UNESCO World Heritage list:

  •  “Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries” (1996, 2000)
  •  “Cathedral and Churches of Etchmiadzin (St. Hripsime, St. Gayane, St. Shoghakat) and the Archaeological Site of Zvartnots temple” (2000)
  •  “Monastery of Geghard and the Upper Azat Valley” (2000)

All the monuments of  Armenian rich historical and cultural heritage are compelling. All we have to do is to cherish and to  pass them on to future generations.

“Caring for the rich heritage of historical monuments should be taught from kindergarten and school. The problem is not only in the propaganda of radio, television or any other means.  School-age children should definitely be taken on trips and campaigns, they should be shown  that it is not allowed to litter around the historical monuments, to light candles on khachkars, to distort the inscriptions, to engrave something on the walls of churches or fortresses, etc.

When you ask the villagers why a new grave was built near the 700-800-year-old historical monastery, they get surprised: there is a grave next to it, is there any difference whether it is 1000 or 10-year-old grave?

It doesn’t occur to people to understand that it is a historical layer with its environment, which must be preserved as it was and as it has reached our times.”

Sasun Danielyan

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Author: Anna Manukyan © All rights reserved. 

Translator: Sona Simonyan