Beginning from the second half of the 9th century, as a result of the weakening of the Arab Caliphate, political power was restored in Armenia and new kingdoms were formed: the Bagratuni in Ani, the Ardzrooni in Vaspurakan and those of Kars and Syunik. All this contributed greatly to the progress of national culture. From the 9-10th centuries, the Armenian cities of Ani, Lori, Kars and Van began to flourish; monasteries and cloisters were founded (Tatev, Sevan, Gntevank, Sanahin, Haghpat, Oromos), which at the same time became important centers of spiritual culture. There was a renaissance in architecture, the painting of frescos and sculpture (Tatev, Akhtamar, Gntevank, etc.), which had not only Christian but also secular significance. It is in this period khatchkars appear.