Information-Analytic Agency
A ug 31 2009

The specialists of the Tourism Department, Government of the
Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) discovered ruins of a church and
khachkars (cross-stones) on the slope of a hill in the village of
Krkzhan, to the south of Stepanakert.

The village of Krkzhan is famous for its archeological
finds. Archeologists found pitchers there before, and different
articles can be found during construction work now. It is noteworthy
that, in his book entitled Artsakh, Archbishop Markar Barkhudaryan
mentions St. Stephen Church located there. The old residents of
Krkzhan told about the church, but the young ones have not seen it.

During the Soviet times the rapidly increasing Azerbaijani population
in the village was ousting the Armenian elements toward Stepanakert.

The newly discovered building is evidence of Azerbaijanis' attempts
to blot out every trace of an Armenian church and cross-stones. The
church was probably used as a cattle shed, and the cross-stones were
broken to pieces, say the specialists.

Sergey Shahverdyan, Head of the Tourism Department, said that an
archeologist will be involved in the cleaning work at the church. At
present, the specialists plan to clean the 12 meters high and five
meters wide church building (a limestone structure with a baptistry)
as well as the cross-stones and prepare them for the 10th anniversary
of the re-establishment of the Armenian Church in the NKR.