1. bookVolume 13 (2021): Issue 2 (August 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Struggle for Memory: The Khachkar Field of Julfa and Other Armenian Sacred Spaces in Azerbaijan

Published Online: 27 Sep 2021
Page range: 185 - 213
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
15 Mar 2013
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

During the last century, the Armenian Church and nation have lost most of their sacred spaces. One of the most peculiar cases is the history and afterlife of the khachkars (crossstones) of Julfa. The cemetery of Julfa was known for its endless unique khachkars and other monuments, constituting an exceptional sacred space in terms of spirituality and art history. The area was systematically and entirely destroyed by Azerbaijan in 2005. In the 2010s, Armenians reacted to the destruction by reviving the memory of Julfan khachkars by erecting their replicas to various locations in Armenia and other countries. As khachkars are supposed to be unique and unrepeatable, this struggle for memory requires an interpretative analysis. The problematics became urgent after the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war when hundreds of Armenian monasteries, churches and sacred monuments were left under the control of Azerbaijan. There is no reason to assume that their fate in the long run will be any better than the hundreds of already demolished Armenian churches and monasteries in Azerbaijan.

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