This place is located on one of the oldest streets in Yerevan named Arami. Here you are going to find a uniquely interesting workshop spot. While you’re approaching it you’ll start hearing the sounds of the metal tools drumming on the stone. Last time I went there, I was surprised to discover that this is a very meditative sound. Indeed, it is, for it gives birth to a cross-stone which is a richly ornamented rectangular piece of stone curved with an image of cross. You can almost meditate before this engraved stone just by looking at its meandering patterns, intertwining with one another, finding and losing each other on the surface of the stone, never repeating each other. Can you imagine that? There are thousands of cross-stones in Armenia and none are alike.
Armenians started to create cross-stones in the Early Middle Ages. The earliest known example is dated back to 879 AD and it is still standing in the village of Garni. These commemorative stones are still being made in Armenia by local masters and you can find the most famous artisans in this studio that has been enlivening Arami street for more than 20 years.
Once you go there, you can find several masters simultaneously working on tuff stone. If you have already been in the countryside, you may have already seen old cross-stones called khachqars in Armenian. Now take your chance to observe how these masterpieces are being created. The sculptors will not mind you watching them work.