Ani Ruins – Kars Overview
The ruins of the medieval metropolis of Ani, reached by a 30-minute drive from Kars, on a large site bounded by the Arpaçay, are in the proximity of the Armenian border. The ruins lay on an area stretching from the present day village of Ocaklı to the valley of Arpaçay.
Because it is located on the route of access between Anatolia and Caucasia, it was always been settled and became the site where different cultures skirmishes.
The Byzantine city started to be Islamized with the advent of the Seljuks in 1064. It was one of the entrances through which the Anatolian Seljuks, coming over Iran after 1071, came in Anatolia. Since 1989, there have been systematic researches, restorations and excavations at Ani, which has traces of the Anatolian Seljuks, Armenians, Georgians and some local cultures.
Some of the monuments worth seeing are the inner castle with the churches and palaces in it, the Maiden’s Castle, the city walls and gates, the Sultan’s Palace, the Cathedral (the Fethiye Mosque), monasteries and churches, the Mosque of Manuchehr, bazaars, baths, tombs, bridges, roads and the drainage system.