A delegation of EU ambassadors to Turkey was impressed by an archaeological site in Turkey’s northeastern Kars province, Ani, also known as “the world city” or “cradle of civilizations”.
According to the UNESCO website, Ani, which is next to Turkey’s closed border with Armenia, was the capital of medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides in the 10th century.
Also called “the world city”, “the city of 1,001 churches”, “the cradle of civilizations”, and “the city with 40 Doors”, the ancient city was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2016.
“I am so happy to be here. It was a great pleasure to see the old history under the sun and blue sky,” Christian Berger, head of the EU delegation to Turkey, told Anadolu Agency.
There are many historic, cultural places in Turkey, Berger said, and added in Turkish: “Ani’ye hayran kaldim,” meaning “I admire Ani.”
Latvia’s ambassador to Turkey Peteris Elferts said he will recommend Ani in his country, adding that Ani is a symbol of coexistence of different cultures in Turkey.
Located along Turkey’s border with Armenia, the site, including Islamic architectural work from the 11th and 12th centuries, was the capital of Armenian emperors in 961-1045 A.D. at the time of the Pakradouni Dynasty.
The first settlement in Ani dates back to 3,000 B.C., and it has been home to nearly two dozen civilizations during history.
Tourists show great interest in the Mosque of Abul Manuchihr — the first Turkish mosque — as well as the Amenaprgic Church, and Ani Cathedral.