A Gateway on the Silk Road
Kars, the Historic Crossroads
Kars, a city with roots tracing back to the Bulgarian Turks of the “Valatur” tribe, holds a distinct significance in Turkey’s history. Established around 130 – 127 BC by settlers from Dagistan, north of the Caucasian Mountains, Kars derives its name from the subdivision “Karsak.” Positioned along the Silk Road, Kars maintained its importance for centuries.
ANI ANTIQUE CITY A Treasure Trove of History
Ani Where Cultures Converge
Founded by Karsak Turks along the Arpagay River, Ani stands as a testament to cultural convergence between Turkey and Armenia. This ancient city boasts 10 churches, 1 bridge, 3 ruins, and numerous building foundations. In 1064, Seljuk Sultan Alparslan contributed significantly, constructing a palace, caravanserai, mosques, and Turkish baths. The lion relief at Ani Ruins’ main entrance symbolizes Seljuk triumph in 1064.
MENUCEHR MOSQUE A Seljuk Masterpiece
Ebu Suca Manucehr’s Legacy
Built in 1072, Menucehr Mosque holds the distinction of being the first mosque constructed by the Seljuks in Anatolia. Commissioned during the reign of Ebu Suca Manucehr from Sedatogullari, this 2-storey mosque is a striking example of Anatolian Seljuk architecture Turkey Private Round Tour. Adorned with colorful mosaic stones on the ceiling and intricate geometric ornaments, it stands as a testament to the Seljuks’ artistic prowess.
ST. PIRKITCH CHURCH A Marvel in Ruins
Glimpse into History
Constructed between 1034-1036, St. Pirkitch Church reflects the architectural brilliance of its builders. Built by the son of Abugremrizents Daklavi and the grandson of Gregor, the church features two stepped domes. Despite its partial destruction due to a thunderbolt, its remnants tell a tale of a bygone era.
YOUNG GIRLS CHURCH A Unique Gem
Situated outside the city walls, the Young Girls Church is perched on steep rocks along the Arpagay River. Built in the trefoil shape Read More about Decoding Tombstone Symbols
, it stands as one of the last structures from the Bagratid Kingdom, showcasing circular dome architecture.
THE BIG CATHEDRAL A Majestic Heritage
Commenced during the reign of King Sembat I and completed in 1010 by Gagik I, the Big Cathedral in the heart of Ani Ruins is an architectural marvel. Crafted from “tuf stones,” this basilica-designed cathedral, adorned with three entrance gates, served as a mosque during Seljuk rule in 1064.
SELJUK SULTAN PALACE A Cliffside Wonder
Perched on the northwest cliffs of Ani, the Seljuk Sultan Palace, a 3-storey structure, offers a breathtaking panoramic view. The ground level, restored in 1992, harks back to the 12th century, showcasing the grandeur of Seljuk architecture.