In the wake of the Armenian Genocide, Ani stands as an even more powerful reminder of Armenia’s losses and of its astonishing endurance, National Geographic reported.
“EAST OF THE Turkish city of Kars lies a complex of lonely medieval churches. Octagonal towers, crumbling walls, and fallen columns lay scattered across vast grasslands. In the gorge that drops away to the Akhuryan River—which forms Turkey’s border with the modern state of Armenia—is an ancient bridge, broken in the middle,” the source noted.
According to NatGeo, Ani was chosen to be Armenia’s capital in the 10th century.
“It became home to as many as 100,000 people, and was so richly endowed with sacred buildings that it came to be known as the “city of 1,001 churches,” said author Antonio Ratti. “Its strategic position along trade routes between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea made it an attractive possession, condemning it to centuries of invasion—and eventually, a long period of abandonment.”
“The medieval kingdom of Armenia once extended far beyond the modern boundaries of today’s nation. In ancient times these lands came under the control of the Persians, then the Seleucids, the Parthians, and the Romans. But as these different empires rose and fell, Armenian identity prevailed.”
“The serene ruins of the city, once swarmed by armies through the ages, has always been a special place for Armenians. In the wake of the Armenian Genocide, it stands as an even more powerful reminder of Armenia’s losses and of its astonishing endurance,” the author concluded.