The Khatchkar (stone cross in Armenian) is an ancient stone carving art established in Armenia around the 9th century A.D. The art consists of carving the image of a cross in stone. The intricacy of the cross design ranges from the very simple, to the extremely intricate, with knotted intertwining designs, birds, vine trees, images of saints, scripture, and wings under the cross. The stone cross itself is used for commemorating important events in Armenian history. It also has aesthetic architectural uses.
The ceramic tile panel in the picture was painted by my grandfather Megerditch Karakashian, in the 1950's. It is located in the Armenian cemetery on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, and features a very intricate hand painted khatchkar.
The inscription under the Armenian cross tile below is in Armenian and says "May the holy cross protect us".
The Armenian Eye is a blessing for the house, and says in Armenian "May the Eye of the Lord be upon us."
Looking for Armenian alphabet handwriting?