Ani Turkey Travel Guide
Ani Turkey is a UNESCO listed site in far Eastern Turkey. Set on a vast empty plain Ani was the capital of Armenia and once rivalled Constantinople in power and importance and was an important stop on the Silk Route.
Once called the city of 1000 churches Ani boasted many churches, palaces, and fortifications that were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world.
Ani was sacked by the Mongols in 1236 and then devastated by an earthquake in 1319 from which it never recovered Ani was gradually abandoned and by the 17th century forgotten about.
Ani was re-discovered in the 19th century by travellers with descriptions of the site being published to the outside world.
In 1878 Ani became incorporated into the Russian Transcaucasian Region with excavation and exploration starting in 1892 sponsored by The St Petersburg Academy of Sciences.
During WWI many artefacts were saved by Armenian scientists before Ani was looted by advancing armies. In 1921 orders were given to ‘wipe Ani of the face of the earth” an order which fortunately was not followed.
During the cold war a permit was required to visit Ani as it sat on the Soviet – Turkish border.
Today the Turkish government has committed to rthe restoration of the site.
How To Get To Ani From Kars
There is a local bus which departs from next to Antik Cafe which is on the corner of Faikbey cd & Gazi Ahmet Pasa cd.
The bus leaves at 9am & 1pm and leaves Ani to return to town at 11:30 and 15:30 giving you have about 2 hours to explore the ruins
Bus Price: 14 TL return
Ani Turkey Map
Built in 1072 by the Seljuk Turks, using Armenian architects and artisans,the Manucehr Cammi is considered to have been the first Turkish mosque in Anatolia. It has a tall octagonal minaret and six surviving vaults and is fairly well preserved with great views across the river to Armenia.
Armenian Church of St. Gregory of Tigran Honents
Built in 1215 by a Tigran Honents, it is dedicated to St Gregory the Illuminator. Inside are frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible and Armenian church history.
Built in 1010 this is the largest surviving building in the Ani complex. Currently being restored the building is surrounded by scaffold however you can go inside and get a sense of the space and soaring interior. The dome fell down centuries ago and now it is a large hole in the roof.
Church of St Prkitch
Sitting in the middle of the Ani plain the Church of St Prkitch is a rotund well preserved bchruch that was the wealthy Pahlavuni family in circa 980AD.
The Church of the Holy Apostles / Kervansaray
The Church of the Holy Apostles (Arak Elots Kilisesi) dates from 1031, but after the Seljuks took the city in 1064 they added a gateway with a fine dome and used the building as a caravanserai – hence its name today.