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Ani (Armenian Անի; Greek Ἄνιον; Latin Abnicum; Tur. Ani; in modern Turkey, Ani is sometimes called Ojakli (Ocaklı) after the name of a neighboring village) is a ruined medieval Armenian city located in the modern Turkish silt of Kars, near the border with Armenia.In the period from 961 to 1045, Ani was the capital of the kingdom of the same name, the borders of which captured a significant part of modern Armenia and the east of Turkey. The city stands on a triangular hill formed by the gorge of the Akhuryan river and the Bostanlar valley, its location served as a natural defense. Ani is called the city of 1001 churches, several trade routes ran through it, and its religious buildings, palaces and fortifications were among the most technically and in the world.According to other sources, in the 11th century, at the peak of the city’s development, 100-200 thousand people lived in Ani, and the city competed with Constantinople, Baghdad and Damascus. In the 12th century, Ani was rebuilt by the Zakarian Armenian princely family and again became the center of Armenian culture. Ani was abandoned after the earthquake of 1319. The Ani Armenians established a number of colonies far beyond the borders of Armenia.StoryEtymologyArmenian historians, in particular Yeghishe and Lazar Parpetsi, first mention Ani in the 5th century. They described Ani as an impregnable Kamsarakan fortress on a hill. The city got its name from the fortress and pagan settlement of Ani-Kamakh, located in the Karin region of Daranagi. Ani was also known for some time under the name Khnamk (Armenian Խնամք), although there is no consensus among historians as to why he was called that. Heinrich Hubschman, a German linguist who studied the Armenian language, suggested that the word may come from the word "khnamel" (Armenian խնամել), a verb meaning "to care".Capital of the Ani kingdomBy the beginning of the 9th century, the former territories of the Kamsarakans in Arsharunik and Shirak, including Ani, were included in the lands of the Bagratid dynasty. Their suzerain, Ashot IV Msaker (806-827) received the title of Ishkhanats Ishkhan (Prince of Princes) of Armenia from the Caliphate in 804. The first capital of the Bagratids was Bagaran, located about 40 km south of Ani, the second – Shirakavan, 25 km from Ani, and in 929 Kars became the capital. In 961, Ashot III (953-977) made Ani the capital. During the reign of Smbat II (977-989), Ani grew rapidly. In 992, the Catholicosate also moved to this city. In the X century the population of the city was from 50 to 100 thousand people.The peak of the city’s development fell on the long reign of Gagik I (989-1020). After his death, a power struggle broke out between the two heirs, and the eldest, Hovhannes-Smbat (1020-1041), gained power over Ani. Fearing an attack by the Byzantine Empire, he proclaimed the Byzantine emperor Basil II as his heir. In January 1022, Catholicos Peter went to Vasily to convey to him a letter from Hovhannes-Smbat, in which he asked Vasily to ascend the throne after him. After the death of Hovhannes-Smbat (1041), Vasily’s heir, Michael IV, over Ani, but the new king of Ani, Gagik II (1042-1045), did not obey him. Several Byzantine armies tried to take the city, but all of their attacks were repulsed. In 1045, at the instigation of the Byzantine townspeople, Ani surrendered to Byzantium and a Greek governor began to rule in it.Cultural and economic centerAni initially lay apart from trade routes, but due to its size, power and wealth, it became an important trading hub. The main trading partners of the city were the Byzantine and Persian empires, the Arabs and small peoples in Central Asia and Russia. Ani turned into one of the largest cities in the world of its time.Pillage and desolationAni was attacked by the Byzantine army and was plundered by the Turks. About the attack of the Byzantines in 1044, the Armenian historian Vardapet Aristakes wrote: "During these days, the Roman troops invaded Armenia four times in their onslaught, until they turned the whole country into solitude by sword, fire and capture. When I remember these disasters, my spirit is embarrassed, thoughts stop, horror causes trembling in my hands, and I am unable to continue the story, for my story is bitter, it is worthy of great tears! "The Arab historian of the XII century Sibt ibn al-Jawzi wrote from the words of an alleged eyewitness that when the city was devastated by the Turks in 1064, all the survivors were taken prisoner and the number of prisoners was at least 50 thousand souls. Colophon of 1236 announcing the capture of Ani by the MongolsIn 1072, the Seljuks sold the Ani Sheddadids, a Muslim Kurdish dynasty. The Shaddadids generally pursued a peaceful policy towards the predominantly Armenian and Christian population of the city, having married several noble Bagratids. When the Sheddadids began to behave intolerantly, the population sent a request for help to Christian Georgia. The Georgians took Ani in 1124, 1161 and 1174, each time returning it to the Sheddadids. During the siege of 1124, Ani was defended by the national heroine of Armenia, Aytsemnik.In 1199, the troops of the Georgian queen Tamara took Ani and drove out the Shaddadids, the Armenian generals Zakare and Ivane were appointed to rule the city. The new dynasty was named Zakaryan. Prosperity returned to Ani, many buildings were restored and built, both fortifications and churches and other civilians.The Mongol Empire unsuccessfully besieged the city in 1226, but a decade later they were able to take Ani and destroyed a significant part of the population. Ani fell while the was absent from the city. Upon their return, the Zakaryans continued to rule the city, but now they were already vassals of the Mongols, not Georgians.By the XIV century, Ani was ruled by the Mongol dynasties of the Jalairids and Chobanids. Tamerlane took Ani in the 1380s. After his death, Kara-Koyunlu occupied the territory of Armenia, although the administrative center of the region was moved to Yerevan. In 1441 the Armenian Catholicosate was returned to Echmiadzin. The Persian Safavid Ani in the 1510s until 1579, when it passed to the Ottoman Empire. The city remained within the fortress walls at least until the 17th century, and then houses began to be built outside them.
By the middle of the 18th century, Ani was empty[прояснить]…ModernityIn the first half of the 19th century, European travelers opened Ani to the rest of the world, publishing their findings in scientific journals. In 1878 the Kara region, including Ani, was transferred to the Russian Empire. In 1892, the first excavations began, sponsored by the Petersburg Academy of Sciences and carried out by the orientalist Nikolai Marr. Excavations continued until 1917. Professional excavations have been carried out, revealing many buildings; measurements were made, the finds were described in the scientific literature. Urgent repairs were made to buildings that could soon collapse. A museum was opened in the Minuchihr mosque and a specially built building next to it. Residents of the neighborhood began to regularly travel to Ani, there was even a proposal to open a school in the city, set up parks and plant trees for the improvement of Ani.In 1918, the Ottoman Empire took Kars. When the Turkish army approached the city, about 6,000 items were taken out of the city by archaeologist Ashkharbek Kalantar. At the invitation of Joseph Orbeli, they added to the collection of the Yerevan State Museum of Armenian History.Nikolai Marr said that everything that remained in the city was either stolen or destroyed. When Turkey surrendered, Armenian specialists began to restore Ani, but Turkey’s attack on Armenia in 1920 led to the return of the city to the Turks. In 1921, the Treaty of Kars was signed, which secured the transfer of Ani to Turkey.In May 1921, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey ordered Kazim Karabekir „to wipe the monuments of Ani from the face of the Earth." Karabekir wrote in his memoirs that he refused to obey the order, but the destruction of all traces of Marr’s expedition presupposes its fulfillment.State of the artAni is a ghost town, abandoned for more than three centuries and locked inside the Turkish militarized zone on the border with Armenia. No one is watching the city, vandalism, earthquakes, amateur attempts at excavation and restoration are destroying the city.The Landmarks Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of sacred sites, points out that Ani should be protected regardless of jurisdiction. Since 2004, the ban on photographing the city has been lifted. Official permission to visit the city is no longer required.The Turkish Ministry of Culture announced that it was going to protect and restore the city.In October 2010, a report from the Global Heritage Fund, entitled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, was released, listing Ani among the 12 monuments most threatened with total destruction, citing poor governance and looting among the causes.The World Monuments Fund in 1996, 1998 and 2000 placed Ani on the list of the 100 most endangered monuments. In May 2011, WMF announced that it was starting the conservation of the cathedral and the Church of the Redeemer, together with the Turkish Ministry of Culture.Decor on the city walls of AniDecor on the city walls of Ani after the Turkish „restoration"In astronomyAn asteroid discovered in 1914 by the Russian astronomer G.N. Neuymin is named after the city.Panorama Panorama of the northern walls of Ani; April 2011In cultureMany songs and poems have been written about the city in the moments of its former greatness. „Let us press Anin at the burrows, we shall measure" (Armenian: Տեսնեմ Անին ո նոր մեռնեմ, „To see Ani and die") is a famous poem by Hovhannes Shiraz. Turkish-Armenian composer Chenk Tashkan set it to music.Ani is one of the most popular female names in Armenia.

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