Ani – some call it the City of 1001 Churches, others the City of Forty Gates. Yet no one has called it home for more than three centuries.
Abandoned by its once prosperous and powerful inhabitants, it is situated on the Turkish side of a militarised zone between the border of Turkey and Armenia.
The city of Ani is no stranger to death, destruction and desertion.
It is a ghost city today but once its Armenian inhabitants numbered close to 200 thousand. In its heyday it was a metropolis which rivalled Constantinople, Cairo or Baghdad as a center of culture and enterprise. Although it was never on traditional trade routes its sheer size and power commanded visits by merchants from all directions. Yet what happened to reduce this once magnificent and regionally dominant city to virtually dust?
The city is the victim of a colossal and centuries old struggle for power between various factions in the region. Founded in the fourth or fifth century AD the following millennium saw Armenians, Kurds, Georgians, Mongols and Turks struggle for and ascend to power in the city-state.
Almost each time a faction rose to power the city was ransacked almost to the point of obliteration. Ani finally wheezed its metaphorical last breath by the middle of the eighteenth century, exhausted to extinction, as it were, by the constant struggle for supremacy over its dominion.
Story by Kuriositas | Kuriositas.com << (read and view more here)
Ani (Armenian: Անի, Greek: Ανίον, Latin: Abnicum) is a ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city-site situated in the Turkish province of Kars, beside the border with Armenia. It was once the capital of a medieval Armenian kingdom that covered much of present day Armenia and eastern Turkey. The city is located on a triangular site, visually dramatic and naturally defensive, protected on its eastern side by the ravine of the Akhurian River and on its western side by the Bostanlar or Tzaghkotzadzor valley. The Akhurian is a branch of the Araks River and forms part of the current border between Turkey and Armenia. Called the “City of 1001 Churches”, it stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world.
At its height, Ani had a population of 100,000–200,000 people and was the rival of Constantinople, Baghdad and Cairo. Long ago renowned for its splendor and magnificence, Ani has been abandoned and largely forgotten for centuries.