The ruins of Ani, the medieval Armenian capital, date back as early as the fifth century. Located along a major east-west caravan route, Ani flourished from the 10th-13th centuries. At its height, with a population of around 100,000, Ani was larger than any European city at that time. Ani suffered heavily at the hands of Mongol invaders during the 12th century, and from many earthquakes, including a particularly devastating one in 1319. Its territory has been disputed by Armenia and Turkey, with control passing back and forth between the two countries. Though most of Ani now lies in ruins, the fact that several thousand-year-old churches are still standing attests to the quality of early Armenian craftsmanship.
PUBLISHED: July 22, 2013