Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Ani, Turkey

Ani is a ruined medieval Armenian city now situated in the Turkish province of Kars and next to the closed border with Armenia.

Ani seen from Armenia.jpg
The ruins of Ani. [By haigoeshttp://www.panoramio.com/photo/17749526, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

It was first mentioned in the 5th century and abandoned in the 17th, Between 961 and 1045, it was the capital of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom that covered much of present-day Armenia and eastern Turkey. Called the “City of 1001 Churches,” Ani 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, the population of Ani probably was around 100,000.

AniMap.gif
Plan of the city. [By www.armenica.orgwww.armenica.org
Original upladed to en.wikipedia: en:Image:AniMap.gif, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

Long ago, renowned for its splendor and magnificence, Ani was sacked by the Mongols in 1236 and devastated in a 1319 earthquake, after which it was reduced to a village and gradually abandoned and largely forgotten by the 17th century. Ani is a widely recognized cultural, religious, and national heritage symbol for Armenians. According to Razmik Panossian, Ani is one of the most visible and ‘tangible’ symbols of past Armenian greatness and hence a source of pride.

Marr archeological dig of Ani.jpg
In 1905–06, archaeological excavations of the church of Saint Gregory of King Gagik were undertaken, headed by Nikolai Marr. [Public Domain, Link]

Ani-Cathedral, Ruine.jpeg
Cathedral of Ani. [By User: Hansm at wikivoyage shared, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

20110419 Church of Redeemer Collage Ani Turkey.jpg
The Church of the Redeemer (Surb Prkich). [By User:GgiaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

Ani.mosque.jpg
Manuchihr Mosque, west view. [By The original uploader was Acarvin at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., CC BY-SA 2.5, Link]

Ani townwall.jpg
The walls of Ani showing a defensive tower. [CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

Double-Walls-Northside-Ani-Armenia-1885.png
1885 engraving showing the walls of Ani. [By Unknown. Uploaded by Ohannes Kurkdjian – Originally from the British illustrated newspaper, The Graphic, Saturday, September 26, 1885. Downloaded from http://www.virtualani.freeserve.co.uk/thegraphic/index.htm, Public Domain, Link]

Ani saint gregory church.jpg
Church of St. Gregory of the Abughamrents; in the background is the citadel. [CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

Tigran Ani.JPG
Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, western side. [By Ego – Own work, Public Domain, Link]

AniStGregory.jpg
Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents, drum and dome. [By DoronOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

Ani St Tigran fresco.JPG
Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents – frescoes on the southern wall: the Dormition. [By Ego – Own work, Public Domain, Link]

Ani St Tigris fresco 3.JPG
Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents – frescoes. [By Ego – Own work, Public Domain, Link]

Ani - Tigran Honents frescoes.jpg
Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents – frescoes. [By mx. – http://www.flickr.com/photos/manastasov/2850794439/in/set-72157607340773833/, CC BY 2.0, Link]

Ani The Raising of Lazarus.JPG
Saint Gregory of Tigran Honents – frescoes on the northern wall: the Raising of Lazarus. [By Ego – Own work, Public Domain, Link]

Cave fresca3.jpg
Fresco on the ceiling of a cave church (supposed tomb chapel of Tigran Honents) outside Ani. [By en:User:Esavithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Cave_fresca3.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

20110419 Ani North Walls Turkey Panorama.jpg
Panoramic view of north walls of Ani, April 2011. [By GgiaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link]

Songs and poems have been written about Ani and its past glory. “Tesnem Anin u nor mernem” (Տեսնեմ Անին ու նոր մեռնեմ, Let me see Ani and die) is a famous poem by Hovhannes Shiraz. It was turned into a song by Turkish-Armenian composer Cenk Taşkan. Ara Gevorgyan’s 1999 album of folk instrumental songs is titled Ani.

Ani security fence.jpg
Armenia to the left, Turkey to the right. [By Enrico Kolina – Ani photo gallery, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link]

The Ani security fence was constructed in 2002 around the uninhabited medieval city of Ani which is situated in the Turkish province of Kars along the border with Armenia. After the construction of the fence, the local villagers were forbidden to graze their livestock within Ani, which has led to the ground becoming rapidly overgrown with vegetation. Opponents to the fence claimed that the construction process gave scant concern to the importance of the site and caused considerable damage to archaeological remains.

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