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Turkey 2015

A very diverse trip combining a bit of the Mediterranean, a lot of Cappadocia and a dash to the Armenian border for the ruins of Ani.

We made our way back to Istanbul along the shores of the Black Sea with a few stops inland.

Check our Turkey 2015 pages for our itinerary, a few stories and many pictures.

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Path: Photos > The Ancient City of Ani
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The Ancient City of Ani

 

(vero;2020-April-18)

Ani was first mentioned in the 5 th century but the town really flourished between 961 and 1045, as the capital of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom. Located at the crossroad of several trade routes, Ani developed a rich infrastructure with fortifications, palaces and many churches and was known as “The City of 1001 Churches”. At its height in the 11 th century, Ani was one of the world's largest cities counting around 100,000 inhabitants.

The town was sacked by the Mongols in 1236 and suffered badly from a devastating earthquake in 1319. The city never really recovered after that and was gradually abandoned, losing all its past significance. It had disappeared from the map by the 17 th century and was only re-discovered by European travellers in the first half of the 19 th century.

We were a bit disappointed by “the stuff on the ground”: most buildings are heavily damaged, some reduced to crumbling empty shells. We have dedicated a separate photo gallery to the Tigran Honents Church, the best preserved of all buildings. In fact what makes Ani unforgettable is its location: on a desolate plateau framed by steep canyons, at the border between Turkey and Armenia, with views of Mount Ararat in the distance it makes for an impressive and evocative backdrop to the few buildings on the ground.

The medieval walls of the city of Ani and the Kars Gate. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/walls/">Click here for more details</a>.
Between outer wall and inner wall of the medieval fortifications. From left to right: the citadel on a hill, the cathedral and the minaret of the Minuchihr Mosque. The southern facade of Ani's cathedral. Construction of the structure began in 989, completed in either 1001 or 1010. The dome and the drum supporting it collapsed in the 1319 earthquake. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/cathedral/">Click here for more details</a>. Detail of the cathedral's southern facade. Ani cathedral seen from the West. Circular window on the cathedral's western facade. The cathedral seen from the East with the church of St Gregory of Abughamrents on the right. Inside the cathedral. Inside the cathedral, the person in the middle gives an idea of the scale of the building. Architectural detail of the cathedral. The Minuchihr Mosque built at the end of the 11th century. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/minuchihrmosque/">Click here for more details</a>. Inside the Minuchihr Mosque. Inside the Minuchihr Mosque. The rests of the citadel on a hill. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/citadel/">Click here for more details</a>. Ani is located on top of a plateau framed by canyons where people have been carving caves and troglodyte dwellings. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/caves/">Click here for more details</a>. View over to Armenia with Mount Ararat in the background. One of the canyons skirting Ani's plateau. From left to right: the Minuchihr Mosque, the eastern facade of the Cathedral and the Church of St Gregory of the Abughamrents. The Church of St Gregory of the Abughamrents dating from the late 10th century. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/abughamrents/">Click here for more details</a>. Inscription on the outside of the Church of St Gregory of the Abughamrents. St Gregory of the Abughamrents. The dome inside the church of St Gregory of the Abughamrents. A church with a view: crumbling rests of King Gagik's Church. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/gagikashen/">Click here for more details</a>. Crumbling rests of King Gagik's Church. Bas-relief of the Georgian Church depicting the Annunciation. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/georgianchurch/">Click here for more details</a>. The Church of the Holy Apostles <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/apostleschurch/">Click here for more details</a>. Inside the Church of the Holy Apostles. Inside the Church of the Holy Apostles. Inside the Church of the Holy Apostles. Inside the Church of the Holy Apostles. Inside the Church of the Holy Apostles. The Akhurian river: Turkey on the left, Armenia on the right. Remains of the bridge over the Akhurian river. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/bridge/">Click here for more details</a>. The Monastery of the Hripsimian Virgins. The monastery is thought to have been built between 1000 and 1200 AD, near the height of Ani's importance and strength. <a target="_blank"  href="http://www.virtualani.org/virginsconvent/">Click here for more details</a>. The Akhurian river. Turkey on the left, Armenia on the right.

Go back to Panoramas of Cappadocia or go on to Ani's Tigran Honents Church or go up to Photos


$updated from: Photos.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:29 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$