The Ancient City of Ani
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.
$updated from: Photos.htxt Sun 13 Dec 2020 16:00:07 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$