Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 08 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Dominic
Aleteia logo
Travel
separateurCreated with Sketch.

This abandoned city was once known as “the city of 1001 churches”

ani2

Today, only awe inspiring ruins, surrounded by more than a kilometre of walls bear witness to Ani’s former, ancient splendour. At its zenith, the city had become the capital of the Armenian Bagratid kingdom, which covered most of what is now Armenia and much of eastern Turkey.

Daniel Esparza - published on 08/26/19

It once competed in splendor with Cairo and Constantinople, but all its inhabitants left in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Today, only awe-inspiring ruins surrounded by more than a kilometer of walls bear witness to Ani’s former, ancient splendor. At its zenith, the city was the capital of the Armenian Bagratid kingdom, which covered most of what is now Armenia and much of eastern Turkey.

Its geographical location made Ani a natural crossroad for abundant trade routes, and consequently the city prospered to the point of competing, in importance and beauty, with cities like Cairo and even Constantinople, and was well known for being “the city of the thousand and one churches.” Its churches, palaces and fortifications were among the most splendid and technically advanced in the world, in its day.

But its beauty was also, at least partly, the cause of its destruction: it was sacked by the Mongols in 1236, and then stricken by an earthquake in the early 14th century. Thus, the city, which had a population of around 200,000 citizens during its glorious days, eventually was reduced to a town, which was completely abandoned later on.

Today, the ruins of Ani — located in modern Turkey, in territory Armenians still consider their ancestral homeland — are constantly visited by tourists, although the World Heritage Fund and UNESCO have both indicated they are in critical condition. Reconstruction work has just recently begun, according to local authorities.

Tags:
ArmeniaTravelTurkey
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

jour1_V2.gif
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries


Top 10
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.