City of Ani is on a remote plateau, which overlooks the valley, creating a natural border with Armenia, in Northeast Turkey. Called “the city of 1001 churches” and ‘’the city with 40 gates,’’ Ani medieval city amazes people with residences, religious and military buildings, which are characteristics of medieval urban planning, built for centuries and mosques, churches and temples, which stand side by side. Ani City, where 100.000 people lived in the past, preserved its status as an important junction for commercial caravans and the Silk Road, under Byzantine, Seljuk and Georgian rules.
Ani Ruins were built in a triangular form due to the ground on which they are located. The reason for this is the objective of making it stand more solidly on the land it is built on. The most important gates of Ani Ruins, which have seven gates, are Kars Gate, The Gate with Lion and the Gate with Cistern. This great monument, made of black tufa and Khorasan mortar, stood against many sieges during wars. There are many city walls, churches and mosques in Ani ancient city. Also called ‘’the city of 1001 churches’’ and ‘’the city with 40 gates’’ Ani reminds Byzantium in its best times with its location, rising on a rock, its streets and adjacent houses. There is the silence of a graveyard now at the Large Cathedral, which was damaged heavily due to the Armenian earthquake, which occurred in the 90s and the Saint Prkicth or Kecel church as it is called sometimes, in the ancient site. Once upon a time, it was said that Ani was a world but the world is not Ani. The reason for honouring Ani this way is its multi culture, which comes from collecting various nations and religions in itself for centuries. Turks, Georgians and Armenians achieved to be in harmony like the instruments of an orchestra. When the intolerant world of today is considered, mosques, churches and Zarathustra temples, which stand side by side, amazes people. Ani deserves to be respected for this aspect.
King Gagik Church: Façade walls and dome of the building, made with circular plan in the southwest part of Ani in the street, going down to Bostanlar stream, have completely collapsed. Only the foundation walls and three columns in the interior are standing. It is thought that Gagik, who reigned between 990 and 1020 selected architect Trdat, who designed Ani Cathedral to build “one thousand year’’ church and the church was built possibly between 1001 and 1005 and between 990 and 1000 according to some other sources. The Small Bath: It is located in the north-eastern part of Ani on the level area above the inclined area, where Tigran Honents Church is located. The building, which was completely under the earth was covered by excavations, the building consists of a cold and warm areas with a rectangular plan in the west and a hot area with four iwans and rectangular cell. Earthenware water pipes, which supply the water for the baths on the walls of the interior have survived to the present day.
Tigran Honents (Dikran Honentz) Saint Krikor Church was commissioned to be built by a rich merchant named Tigran Honents and was completed in 1215. It was decorated by rich frescoes, which show Armenian Church tradition. Scenes from the life of Saint Gregory/Krikor Lusavorich which introduce the Christian religion to Armenians are seen in the frescoes. “I, servant of God, Tigran, son of Sulem Smbatorents from Honents family, had this monastery, I dedicated to Saint Krikor built in this place, through grace of God, for the long life of my masters and children, at the edge of the rocks and inaccessible because of the bushes, when powerful and capable Zachariah was the prince of the city of Ani in 664 (1215 A.D) and purchased from its owners using my legitimate fortune and ensured defence for it from all sides with great effort and expense. I had this church built in dedication to Krikor Lusavorich and had it beautified with many decorations.” “During the 450th (1001) year of the Armenian state… During the glorious reign of the king of Sarkis, Armenians and Georgians, honoured by God and the spiritual leader of Armenians, Gagik, I, daughter of Siunic King Vasak, the Queen of Katranide, entrust myself to grace of God and had this great cathedral, whose foundations were laid by Great Smbat, upon order of my husband King Gagik ...’’ Ani Catedral-Church of Virgin Mary-Fethiye Mosque Cathedral are considered as sources of inspiration for many features of Gothic architecture, which mostly became a dominating style in Europe after a hundred years. It was made completely of stone, i.e. concrete rough building was covered by developed masonry and multi coloured stones.