ANI – Orasul celor 1001 biserici

Cum se nasc orasele, cand, unde, si de ce ? Avem unele raspunsuri, nu toate.
Cum si de ce mor orasele ? De ce un oras ca ANI, ale carui ruine au fost nu de mult (re)descoperite in zona Caucazului, a fost distrus, parasit ? Cum poate sa dispara un oras, intre ale carui ruine au fost gasite ramasite a mai mult de 1000 de lacasuri de cult ? Daca am sti raspunsul poate ca am invata lucruri importante despre cum ar trebui sa ne protejam propriul nostru viitor.

Pentru cei interesati si in onoarea acestui mare popor care sunt armenii, reproduc mai jos, impreuna cu cateva imagini din ce a mai ramas din splendidul oras ANI, scurtul istoric al orasului asa cum l-am gasit pe

Did you know that the city of Ani was named as the City of 1001 churches?
Ani was also one of the ancient capitals of Armenia from 961 to 1045. During the reign of the Bagratid Dynasty from the 9th to the 12th centuries, Ani was a thriving community and acquired fame as being a Christian metropolis in Asia abounding with prestigious monuments.

As the capital of Christian Armenia, Ani was a flourishing artistic and religious center ruled by Christian kings. In fact, the city was gradually enriched with dozens of religious buildings such as churches, chapels, monasteries, along with royal palaces and mansions, baths, inns, bridges, aqueducts, and sewer systems. As the city grew, the planners were also building an underground Ani in case of a seige, and the remains of it bear witness to the existence of hundreds of houses, stores, food shops, tombs and monasteries, chapels, mills, stables, and reservoirs.

The city of Ani was considered an impregnable fortress due to its natural protective cliffs on three sides and strong massive walls on the fourth side. King Ashot I, first ruler of Ani fortified the city with added defensive structures which included a citadel and double line of ramparts. However, even with all these protective measures, because of Byzantine treachery, the city fell to the Seljik Turks in 1064, and in 1319, an earthquake completely destroyed the beautiful city.

The most flourishing period for the city Ani was the thirty-year period from 990 to 1020. It was during this period when Gagik I reigned, that the dynasty, the capital, the region and the Armenian renaissance in the arts and in politics was at its peak.

The capital’s economic, social and cultural boom went hand in hand with the expansion of architecture and building The Armenian art of building by experienced master builders using circular design, conical roof, clustered columns, ribbed vaults, and pointed arches produced some well known great cathedrals and churches of Mren, Mastara, Tekor, Ereruk, Garnahovit, Arudch and others.

From the architectural side, the “Ani school of architecture” had an influencing effect on the whole of Armenia.with regard to styles, designs and building typology of churches in the region. In fact the unique churches of Armenia may have held the seed of a great architectural style. Historians say that Armenian architecture had a great influence on the Balkan countries, and builders from Armenia may well have carried their new ideas as far as France and Italy.

The Cathedral, which was completed in 1010, was considered a marvel of architecture in the classic Romanesque design. The pointed arches and clustered piers of the cathedral were characteristic of western Gothic architecture. It is said that the design of this great cathedral occurred more than a century before the great European churches. It was also the opinion of many architects that the cathedral was the forerunner of the famous Gothic designs of Europe. Tiridates was the architect responsible for building the Ani cathedral.

Presently, the ruined city of Ani stands in a desolate part of northeastern Turkey not far from the Black Sea. Most of the churches in the city of Ani were destroyed by the 1319 earthquake, except the dome of the Ani Cathedral, which survived the earthquake and stood for another 500 years. It wasn’t until the earthquake of 1832 that proved to be the final deathblow to the dome.

In the nineteenth century the ancient ruins of Ani was used as the site of the annual spring reunion and pilgrimage point of the Armenians.

Religious and patriotic Armenians from all over the world, which numbered in the thousands, would camp together for weeks to rejoice in the glory of the past and share in their vision of the future. These reunions lasted well into 1910, until Turkey perpetrated the Genocide on the Armenian nation, and then Ani became silent. The irony is Turkey, who committed the dastardly act of Genocide, utilizes the world famous ruins of Ani as a tourist attraction, but states nothing of its past actions with regard to the Armenians.

Today, even though Ani stands in ruins, its past glory and splendor can still be seen even though the cathedral has crumbled to almost nothing. A chronicler left this description of Ani: “Princes with joyous countenances sit upon princely thrones, they are clad in brilliant colors, like gardens in bloom. . . The sound of flutes and cymbals fills one’s heart with comfort and joy.”

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