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Photographer's Note

The Ani Ruins of the old medieval capital lie near the Turkiye-Armenia border, close to the village of Ocaklı, some 45 kilometers east of Kars. The city is located on a triangular site protected on its eastern side by Arpaηay ravine. Ani City was the first camp site and business center on the Silk Road toward Anatolia. Ani City's history dates back to 5,000 B.C.

The walls of Ani were built by Bagratid king Ashhot in 964 In 978 King Smbat II refortified the town with walls and after the Seljuk sultan seized Ani in 1065, Ebul Munechr refortified the walls again between 1064 and 1072.

The walls are undoubtedly the most visually impressive part of Ani, and give a unique character to the ruins. The line of double walls was built as a barrier to close the level ground between the ravines of the Arpacay river and the Alaca Cay valley.

The walls are constructed of a rubble concrete core with a thin facing of very exactly cut and jointed beige basalt. Red or black stone was used in some places to decorate the walls with patterns, crosses, heraldic or talismanic animals and symbols, and so on. (The first is an ancient European symbol of eternity, related to the swastica. The second is the heraldic arms of the Bagratid rulers of Ani).

Gates in the outer and inner walls are staggered. Assailants forcing an outer gate would be met with a solid wall flanked by towers, and confined to the narrow space between the walls, unable to manoeuvre properly or use a battering ram.

The Lion Gate was probably the main entrance to Ani. From here a street ran through the centre of the city, up to the base of the citadel. The gate was protected by twin towers - the right hand one is now heavily damaged but the left hand tower survives almost to its original height.

(Was benefited for note guidelines from Repuplic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism /www.kulturturizm.gov.tr and VirtualAni / www.virtualani.freeserve.co.uk )

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Additional Photos by Seref Halicioglu (WepWaWet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 355 W: 5 N: 629] (3798)
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