Ani (Armenian Անի ) is a for more than three centuries abandoned and now lies in ruins former Armenian capital.


Ani is located in the Turkish-Armenian border area on a plateau ( 1338 m) surrounded by a deep ravine and the river Akhurian ( armen. ) / APARCAY (Turkish ) (also Harpasus ), which forms the border between Turkey and Armenia today. Ani is about 42 kilometers southeast of the town of Kars located in the same Turkish province.


Ani is traced back to the 5th century Armenian fortress. 763 it came into the possession of Bagratides, in the 10th century it developed into a major town. King Ashot III. Bagratouni ( 951-977 ) made ​​Ani in 961 the capital of his Armenian kingdom. When she was in 1045 handed over to the Byzantines, who located on the northern Silk Road city was well known as "city of 1001 churches " and had more than 100,000 inhabitants.

On August 16, 1064 Ani was conquered by the Seljuk Turks, whereby it came under Islamic rule. Sultan Alp Arslan, the City - 1072 (already Ganja and Dwin ruling ) Schaddadiden, a Kurdish dynasty vassals, who held here until Ani once again fell at the end of the 12th century to the Christian Georgians. Between 1125 and 1209 they managed a total of five times to occupy the city. 1239 Ani fell in Mongolian hands. In 1319, the city's fate was sealed by an earthquake, and then the population in the 14th century - Ani now belonged to the realms of Aq Qoyunlu and Qara Qoyunlu - slowly but steadily declined.

After 1534 Ani was part of the Ottoman Empire and was 1878-1917 on the territory of the Russian Empire.

1892/93 and 1904 to 1917 took place the first detailed archaeological excavations at Ani under the direction of Nikolai Yakovlevich Marr Russian Orientalist.

Situation today

Today Ani is known a ghost town and especially for the surviving testimonies of Armenian architecture. The only "inhabitants" are Turkish border guards, occasional tourists and residents of the neighboring Turkish village Ocaklı.

Threatened by " restoration " culture vandalism, earthquakes, and more recently also by ground vibrations (caused by blasting in a quarry on Armenian territory ), but the future of this cultural monument is in question.

More or less get the parts for two sets of ramparts, the cathedral ( completed in 1001 or 1010), some churches and chapels, the citadel and a palace of the late 20th century are a "reconstruction" fell victim. The Armenian origin and the Armenian history of the city are concealed by official Turkish point, however; on a billboard is only the " Christian heritage within the Ottoman Empire " speech.

In the past, access to the town was partially possible only with the permission, as the area for a long time was a closed military zone. It was because of the location right on the border with Armenia partly on photography, and some parts of the brain area were not accessible to civilians ( 2001). In the course of the development of tourism, the largest parts of the city were made ​​freely available. Only the Citadel (Turkish Iç Kale) and the immediate border area are still closed military zone and may not be accessed.

The architectural " style of Ani " of the 11th century, several former monasteries to Ani and the Armenian province of Shirak attributed stylistically, including Chtsgonk, Marmashen and Horomos.


Ani was the seat of an Armenian Catholicos. Here are the remains of the Apostle Church.


Reminiscent of the city's named after her asteroid ( 791 ) Ani.