Ani is a ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city in Kars Province founded on far east of Turkey at the beginning of the 9th century, in Armenian border. It was the capital of medieval Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia until the 11th century Byzantine conquest, covering today much of Armenia and Eastern Turkey. Natural disasters and invasions of the Mongols and then Tamerlane destroyed much of Ani, resulting in an appearance of a medieval town surrounded by the remains of its imposing walls.
Ani Ancient City was abandoned and largely forgotten for centuries but still reminds us of its glory and dignity with reddish brown colored buildings and impressive fortified walls still encircling the ruins of several churches, mosques and caravansarais.
Ani is primarily known for its magnificent monuments based on Armenian architecture. The ancient city houses several churches, cathedrals, palaces, and fortifications which were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world. The surviving churches and the remnants of the city walls attest to the high quality of Armenian stonework during the Middle Ages. The medieval ruins spread over an extensively large area displays excellent examples of the Armenian civilizations. The ancient city also has the oldest mosque of Turkey from 1041 as well.
If you wish to see the past of the Armenian history, you should definitely incorporate Ani to your Eastern Turkey tour. Kars is the right place to start your excursion to Ani, approx. 45 km distance from the city.