THE FALL OF ANI
THE RUINS OF THE CHURCH OF ST. GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR.
O N E O F A N I
'S M A I N B R I D G E S
Written by Gevork Nazaryan
The nomadic Seljuk Turks were thrown out of Central Asia and the first waves began to reach Armenia and Asia Minor in the second half of the XIth century. The Byzantines were not successful in checking the advance of the Seljuk hordes. In 1064, the Seljuks, under a prolonged and bloody siege managed to break into the city of Ani. After thoroughly looting the city of its riches, the Seljuk chieftain of Ani, Alp-Arslan sold the city to another Seljuk chief, Abulsuar, in1072. In the Battle of Manazkert (Manzikert) in 1071, the Seljuks scored a decisive victory over the Byzantine forces. Catastrophically for the Byzantines and the highly civilized Near East of the period, the Emperor Romanus Diogenes, who personally led the troops, was taken prisoner. After Manazkert, it was evident that the Seljuks were a serious force to be reckoned with throughout the Near East. Ani was ruled (with interruptions) by the Seljuk Shadadian clan until 1199.
AN EQUILATERAL CROSS RELIEF ON ONE OF THE ARCHES OF
T H E M O T H E R C A T H E D R A L
12 CIRCLES LEADING TO THE CENTER
THE 7TH SIGN OF LIBRA-SCALES OF THE ANCIENT ARMAN ZODIAC
REPRESENTING EARTH AND THE SETTING SUN IS ABOUND
THROUGHOUT TRADITIONAL ARMENIAN ARCHITECTURE AND WAS
PLACED IMMEDIATELY ABOVE WINDOWS [LUSAMUT -- ENTRY POINT OF LIGHT]
INCIDENTALLY OMEGA -- Ω THE LAST 24TH LETTER [OR 8+8+8 CHRIST
CONSCIOUSNESS] OF THE GREEK ALPHABET ESOTERICALLY STANDS FOR
PERFECTION/COMPLETION [ FROM ALPHA -- A -- THE BEGINNING]...
APOTHEOSIS CULMINATING THROUGH DEGREES OF SPIRITUAL ILLUMINATION.
ANI INSPIRED ARMENIAN WRITING DESKS INCORPORATED
INTO THE MONUMENTAL ALPHABET MURAL [PART OF A TRIPTYCH]
BY G. K.. NOTE THE UP AND DOWN GOLDEN TRIANGLES ENCIRCLING THE
SEVEN-RAYED STAR...KHANJIAN IN FACT WOULD SPEARHEAD REVIVAL OF BEAUTIFUL
ARMENIAN TRADITIONAL FURNITURE IMBUED WITH HARMONY [GOLDEN MEAN]
OF COLOR, FORM AND FUNCTION...INFUSED WITH COSMIC ARMANI SYMBOLISM.
ONE OF THE FOUR SURVIVING DESKS FROM THE RUINED LIBRARIES OF ANI.
ON DISPLAY IN ARMENIA'S MUSEUM OF HISTORY IN THE REPUBLIC SQUARE, YEREVAN.
PROFOUND SYMBOLISM MANIFESTED THROUGH GEOMETRY.
BEFORE THE CITY WAS DESTROYED
ANI WAS AN IMPORTANT CULTURAL CENTER
BEAUTIFUL MOSAIC  OF EMPEROR JOHN COMNEUS AND EMPRESS IRENE
TO THE RIGHT AND LEFT OF THE GREAT MOTHER WITH THE CHRIST CHILD.
BOTH ROYALS CAME FROM A LONG LINE OF
ARMENIAN EMPERORS AND EMPRESSES ON THE BYZANTINE THRONE BEGINNING AS
EARLY AS THE VITH CENTURY WELL INTO THE HIGH MIDDLE AGES.
ARMENIAN GENERALS AND MOUNTED CAVALRY WAS THE FIGHTING CORE
OF THE EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE FOR MANY CENTURIES. MOST OF THE LATER
ISLAMIZED JANISSARIES WERE OF ARMENIAN EXTRACTION.
COLORFUL MOSAIC FROM RAVENNA OF THE BEAUTIFUL ARMENIAN BYZANTINE
EMPRESS THEODORA [829-842] OF THE MAMIKONIAN NOBILITY WITH THE
TRADEMARK ARMENIC BIG BRIGHT EYES. WIFE OF EMPEROR THEOPHILE AND
MOTHER OF EMPEROR MICHAEL III.
BEAUTIFULLY EXECUTED LIFELIKE MOSAIC OF EMPEROR JUSTINIAN.
NOTE THE PIERCING VERY EXPRESSIVE BEAUTIFUL, STOIC ARMENIAN EYES.
THE ARMENIAN WARRIOR KING WHO WITH THE HELP OF
THE ARMENIAN ARISTOCRACY IN THE SIXTH CENTURY
REUNITED THE EASTERN AND WESTERN ROMAN EMPIRES BACK INTO ONE.
THE FLOOR PLAN OF ABUŁAMRENC‛ CHURCH OF ANI [XTH CENTURY].
This period marked the downfall of Ani as an important commercial and cultural center. Many master craftsmen and prominent members of the city were killed or captured by the Seljuks. Ani that once was a thriving hub of fine pottery, jewelry and other highly prized artifacts was relegated to a status of a mediocre Seljuk military fortress-outpost. As a result of which, Ani throughout the XIIth century was a primary target for offense and defense. The almost unceasing warfare and the change of rulers caused further damage to the stability and prosperity of the once important city.
FLOOR PLAN OF A CHURCH CARVED OUT INSIDE A CAVE BEDROCK
BRONZE CENSER FROM ANI. X-XITH CENTURIES.
ARMENIAN EQUILATERAL CROSS WITH MARKED EIGHT POINTS
AT TIPS + FOUR WITHIN [=12] LEADING TO THE CRUX AT
THE FIXED CENTRAL POINT.
BRONZE CANDLE STICK STAND IN THE FORM OF SACRED TRIPOD. XI-XIITH CENTURIES.
The heavy taxation imposed by the Seljuk tribal leaders began a steady outflow of its citizens to more safer and prosperous places. The trade routes and the passing caravans now chose alternative routes on their way to and from the Far East to the commercial centers of the West. The Shadadian rule was overthrown several times (in 1124, 1161 and 1174) by the resurgent Armenian headed by the remnants of Armenian nobility in the East. The most powerful of these, was the House of Zakar..
THE MAP OF SEVEN LARGEST AND MOST IMPORTANT
LIBRARIES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE CITY
THE CHURCH OF ST. GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR
ENGRAVING OF THE CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS [915-21] ON THE ISLAND OF AŁT‛AMAR
BUILT BY THE ARTSRUNIDS. ONE OF THE "RIVAL" CULTURAL ENDEAVORS
UNDERTAKEN BY THE VASPURAKAN KINGS IN THEIR COMPETITION
WITH THE CENTRAL POWER OF THE BAGRATIDS ROYALTY.
THE GENERAL PLAN OF K‛AŁENI FORTRESS.
BUILT BY KAMSARAKAN NOBILITY. FORTIFIED
AND EXPANDED UPON AN EARLIER ARARTIAN FORTRESS.
In 1199, Commander Zakare of the Zakarian house, liberated Ani from the Shadadian clan and made Ani the provincial center of the newly consolidated Zakarian possessions throughout parts of East Armenia. The Zakarian princes began to rebuild the great city of Ani. They reconstructed the old and built new churches, walls, caravan houses (hotels), palaces, baths and residential quarters.
FLOOR PLAN OF BATHS ADJOINING THE ROYAL PALACE.
RECONSTRUCTION BY T‛OROS T‛ORAMANEAN
ONE OF THE PORTALS TO THE CHURCH OF SURB GĒORG [SAINT GEORGE]
THE RESTING PLACE OF BAGRATID ROYALS
CHURCH OF THE SHEPHERD [SEE DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE FLOOR PLAN BELOW]
ONE OF THE DECORATED COLUMNS FROM TEKOR BASILICA
ONE OF THE DECORATED COLUMNS FROM ZVARTNOTS CATHEDRAL
RELIEF DECORATED WINDOW FROM ZVARTNOTS CATHEDRAL.
POMEGRANATES AND GRAPEVINES ARE THE QUINTESSENTIAL ORNAMENTAL MOTIF
GOING BACK TO THE PRIMORDIAL TIMES OF THE MASTER BUILDERS OF THE
SACRED HIGHLAND. THE GREAT DEVOTEE OF ANI ARCHITECT T‘OROS T‘ORAMANIAN
WOULD INSPIRE THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF YEREVAN - ALEXANDER T‘AMANIAN TO
ERECT THE ROSE-COLORED CITY OUT OF VOLCANIC FIERY ROCK...APPLYING
ONLY AND ONLY REVIVED SACRED ARMENIAN ARCHITECTURE OF THE
MASTER BUILDERS WITH THE APPROPRIATE SACRED PATTERNS AND SYMBOLISM...
The revival of Ani continued until the Mongol invasions that penetrated the Near East in 1236. The Mongol rule was short lived. New Turkic waves from Central Asia devastated Armenian cities and the countryside. Ani was not spared and sustained the same faith as other Armenian centers of civilization. The city would never again recover its former grandeur. By the XVIIIth century, Ani was virtually all but an abandoned city, a "ghost city" as the modern Turkish guides refer to the visiting tourists.
THE CURVED ARCHWAYS SUPPORTED THE CRITICAL MASS OF THE STRUCTURE
THE EVOLUTIONARY TECHNIQUES OF THE ARMENIAN MASTER ARCHITECTS
WERE COPIED AND CONTINUED IN GOTHIC STYLE THROUGHOUT EUROPE.
A SECTION OF THE INTERIOR OF THE MOTHER
THE CHURCH WAS COMPLETED IN 1035 AND SERVED AS A MODEL FOR
THE GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE THAT DEVELOPED IN THE SUCCEEDING CENTURIES.
THE POINTED ARCH [ETERNAL FEM. PRINCIPLE VULVA/YONI/EYE]
AND THE COLUMNS [ETERNAL MASC. PRINCIPLE PHALLUS/LINGAM/AXIS MUNDE]
ARMAN SACRED ARCHITECTURE. THE TEMPLE CHURCH, LONDON.
C A P I T O L F R O M J R V E Z H
C A P I T O L F R O M A R Z N I
C A P I T O L F R O M T' A N A H A T
In 1878, the Russian army and Armenian volunteer fighters liberated the Kars province from the Turks. The liberated province included the Holiest of Holies, the Holy Symbol of Armenia, "the center of the world," -- the Twin -- Peaked Ararat-Masis. The province also included the ruins of Ani. In 1919 the province of Kars formed part of the restored Armenian State - the Republic of Armenia - the First Republic, only to be yet again invaded and annexed by the Turks a year later. Ani today is within the boundaries of Turkey, slowly rotting away in front of the eyes of the civilized world and UNESCO. In 2003, a genocide of different kind -- of cultural monuments took place, in the ancient, medieval Armenian cemetery of Julfa (Jugha) in Nakhichevan.
DECORATED EQUILATERAL CROSS RELIEF FROM ANI
SOME OF THE DECORATIVE RELIEFS FROM THE GAGKASHEN CATHEDRAL
Ē. THE SEVENTH SACRED LETTER AS THE SPINNING WHEEL OF ETERNITY WAS
PLACED ON THE SACRED [NOW IN RUINS] CATHEDRAL BY THE MASTER BUILDERS
ALONG WITH ATOM/HYDROGEN ALONG WITH THE SEVEN BRANCHED
SOLAR LOTUS/SUNBURST, VULVA/WOMBS/EYES, PENTA-RINGS,
AND THE SYMBOL OF MACROCOSM [FIRE + WATER].
KHTSKONK MONASTERY COMPLEX BEFORE ITS DESTRUCTION...PAINTING BY
GEVORK AVAGYAN. THE KHTSKONK COMPLEX [40 KM. SOUTHEAST OF ANI ON THE
GORGE HEIGHTS OF TEKOR RIVER] WAS ERECTED BETWEEN IX-XTH CENTURIES
AND STOOD FOR MANY CENTURIES BEFORE 1966...WHEN THE CHURCH WAS ALMOST
COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED BY DIRECT FIRE OF TURKISH MILITARY ARTILLERY...
TODAY ONLY BUT RUINS OF ST. SARKIS CHURCH REMAIN OF THE ONCE VAST
COMPLEX THAT INCLUDED THE CHURCHES OF SS. KARAPET, STEPHAN, SARKIS
AND HOLY VIRGIN ALONG WITH KHACHKAR-MONUMENTS AND ADJOINING
QUARTERS. YET ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE ONGOING CULTURAL GENOCIDE
AGAINST UNPROTECTED HISTORIC ARMENIAN MONUMENTS
AT THE HANDS OF THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT AND ITS RULING MILITARY.
Imitating the uncivilized brutal behavior of the Taliban, the Azeri Turks, who like the former used the cloak of Islam (which always has been contrary to the "Turkish method" of destruction, Islam standing and representing first and foremost Culture) dynamited thousands of priceless khachkar-cross-stones, each bearing the superb marksmanship of ancient Armenian stone masons. The state-sponsored vandalism completely destroyed from the face of planet Earth yet another treasure of the ancient world. Again the world watched, or more precisely simply did not "see" (read: care), save for few principled individuals and organizations who sounded the alarm to the international community as the destruction was taking place in the opening years of the...Twenty First Century.
FLORAL PLAN OF THE CHURCH OF THE SHEPHERD
THE ARMENIAN MASTER ARCHITECTS ERECTED THE TERRESTRIAL
MIRROR OF THE CELESTIAL ARMENIC ZODIAC THUS UNITING
-- HEAVEN AND EARTH -- INTO HARMONIOUS ONE
RELIEF OF COAT-OF-ARMS FOUND AMONGST ANI'S RUINS DURING THE
EXCAVATIONS MARKED [CHARGED] WITH THE NAME SARGIS [FROM
TOP TO RIGHT] INSCRIBED WITHIN EACH OF THE SIX [THREE POINTED
UPWARDS AND THREE DOWNWARDS] SMALLER TRIANGLES OF THE
HEXAGRAM. SE [NUM. VAL. 2000] AYB [NUM. VAL. 1] AND RE [NUM. VAL.
5000] GIM [NUM. VAL. 3], INI [NUM. VAL. 11] AND SE [NUM. VAL. 2000]
WHEN ADDED THE NUMBER COMES TO 9015 WHICH WHEN REDUCED TO
ITS BASE NUMBER IS AGAIN SIX [THE NUMBER OF THE CHARACTERS
ADDS UP TO THE NUM. VAL. OF THE NAME]. THE FLOWER OF LIFE
FORMED BY SIX INTERWOVEN RINGS AT THE CORE.
A SIDE VIEW RECONSTRUCTION SKETCH OF THE MOTHER CHURCH
THE CHURCH IS NOW A RUIN SLOWLY ROTTING
It is almost certain that the faith of the ruins of Ani, and indeed thousands of other ancient, priceless Armenian cultural monuments that are outside of the care and protection of the Armenian people would receive the same faith at the hands of the Turkish "governments." The Turkish chiefs are not giving up their chance of making a "quick buck" from the ruins, before the fine architectural marvels of civilization fade away. They organize and lead tours of Western tourists trough the "ghost city" and describe the great "Christian wonders". The guides are specifically instructed by the government military generals charged with running Western Armenia (along with destroying last vestiges of Kurdish life in the southeast), to never mention ARMENIA or ARMENIANS in the guide books and to the visitors. The Turks are trying very hard to cover up the past and to rewrite history.
REMNANTS OF THE CHURCH OF THE SHEPHERD SLOWLY ROTTING AWAY
CULTURAL GENOCIDE AGAINST UNPROTECTED ARMENIAN MONUMENTS CONTINUES --
TO ERASE ALL THE TRACES OF THE INGENIOUS PEOPLE THAT ONCE LIVED HERE
AND BUILT SUPERB MONUMENTS OF BEAUTY AND BREATHTAKING INSPIRATION.
The European Union has made it clear that Turkish government has to have numerous fundamental reforms that will bring the country from the current military junta environment into a modern democratic state.
NINETEENTH CENTURY ENGRAVING OF THE RUINS OF THE
MAIN GATES LEADING TO THE CITY. AFTER THE "RENOVATIONS"
MADE FEW YEARS AGO BY THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT
A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE MASSIVE WALLS HAVE BEEN
IN FACT DEMOLISHED...
The Anti-Armenian policy of Genocide denial, support of Azeri aggression against the Armenian people and further destruction of the historic monuments is leaving this country, contrary to the wishes of many of its citizens, in the grips of the dictatorship of the military junta that has no place in the EU, the family of civilized nations of the world.
FURTHER READING | HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:
VIRTUAL ANI -- A TRULY GREAT SITE
SPECIFICALLY DEDICATED TO THE CITY OF ANI