A Medieval Armenian City In Eastern Turkey
Ani is located right at the border of Modern Turkey and Armenia. The site is ruined and has not been inhabited for centuries. It is about 45 km from modern day town of Kars in the highland of Eastern Turkey. The site of Ani is one of the most amazing one in the Eastern Turkey. Old Armenian churches, cathedrals some palaces and mosques make this site a remarkable place to visit for its medieval architecture and history.
Ani was the capital of Armenian Bagratid Kingdom from 961 to 1045 when the city fell to Byzantine Empire. Later Ani was conquered by Seljuk Turks n 1064. Due to its location being on a crossroad of trade routes such as Silk Road, the city had flourished in medieval times. Some of finest example of Armenian architectural examples are here.
The town used to be known as the city of 1001 churches. Apart from well preserved Armenian churches and cathedrals, remains of mosques, inner castle, palaces, fortification walls as well as a Zoroastrian temple can be seen today. It is one of the most important historic site to visit in Eastern Turkey.
There are flights from Istanbul and Ankara to the town of Kars. From Kars there is no public transport to the site but hiring a taxi. You may not find any shop in the nearby village so I would suggest to take some water with you. You may also bring with you a picnic lunch would you wish to spend more than a half day. It is a vast site and a good 3 hours walking tour should be enough for Ani. Ani has always been the highlight of our Eastern Turkey Tour. The site is dotted with well-preserved old Armenian churches that are great example of medieval Armenian architecture.