Ani Ruins is a unique travel destination that you will surely have heard of. Kars is the most popular travel route of recent times. Thanks to the fast rising trend of the Orient Express, it has a destination you can enjoy. Would you like to explore Ani Castle and the history of Ani Ruins by examining the Eastern Express or car rental options?
History of Ani Ruins
Historical Ani Ruins are one of the first things that come to mind when it comes to Kars. The ruins are located at the end of the village of Ocaklı, approximately 40 kilometers from Kars. It is an old medieval city that unfortunately remained just a part of it within our borders on the west bank of the Arpaçay River, separates Turkey – Armenia borders. When you come to the ancient city of Ani, it is the Arslanlı Gate, one of the most important city walls with 7 gates and walls.
There is a 4-line inscription documenting the conquest of the city by the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan in 1064 on the bastion on the east side of the walls next to the Arslanlı gate. Ani City walls are the most prominent work that welcomes you when you come to the ancient city. When you enter through the Arslanlı Gate, I am sure that the primary thing that strikes your eye is the Great Cathedral, also known as the Fethiye Mosque.
The architect of the church is Architect Tiridat, who built the dome of the Istanbul Hagia Sophia church for the second time. Although the structure of the church is in Gothic design, you can see that it is in the form of a cross when you look up. With the conquest of the Seljuk Ruler Alparslan, the church was turned into a mosque and the first prayer was performed here. The half-destroyed building right next to the Fethiye mosque is the Saint Prkitch (Keçel) church. The Gagik Church, built by King Gagik, draws attention with its circular structure, but unfortunately most of it has been demolished.
When you enter the ancient city, one of the most preserved structures is the Poladoğlu Church. The sundial made with carving technique on the south side of the structure, which has a cylindrical hexagonal side column, is remarkable. The Tigran Honents (Illustrated) church attracts attention with its cross-shaped architecture, but I think its most important feature is describing the events of Jesus’ birth and death with frescoes when you enter.
The Ebül Manuçehr Mosque, located on the southern plateau at the entrance of the ancient city, is the first Turkish mosque built in Anatolia. It is a place I would definitely want you to visit in the ancient city of Ani. It is a wonderful feeling that the minaret has survived until today.
The ruins of the currently destroyed Silk Road bridge on Arpaçay are quite surprising. It was the first entrance for the Silk Road to reach Anatolia. Although most of the ancient city, which is known as Ani Ruins today, is destroyed and some of its ruins remain today, the Ateshgede temple, Seljuk caravanserai, Virgins monastery, Georgian church, Small bath and Kaya chapel are the places to be seen.
Where are the Ani Ruins?
I would like to remind you that a suitable shoe for you to visit the ancient city spread over a wide area and it will take you approximately 2 hours, but it will be enjoyable. I saw many ancient cities in my country, but the Ani Ruins were very impressive. Kars has many riches to discover. You can rent a car with Yolcu360 and visit this beautiful city as you wish. Do not hit the road without checking the rental car prices.