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Cathedral of Ani

Cathedral of Ani

36100 Ocaklı Köyü/Kars Merkez/Kars, Türkiye



Cathedral of Ani (Armenian: Անիի մայր տաճար, Anii mayr tačar; Turkish: Ani Katedrali) is the largest standing building in Ani, capital of medieval Bagratid Armenia, located in present-day eastern Turkey, on the border with modern Armenia. It was completed in the early 11th century by the architect Trdat and was the seat of the Catholicos, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, for nearly half a century. In 1064, following the Seljuk conquest of Ani, the cathedral was converted into a mosque. It later returned to being used as an Armenian church. It eventually suffered damage in a 1319 earthquake when its conical dome collapsed. Subsequently, Ani was gradually abandoned and the church fell into disuse. The north-western corner of the church was heavily damaged by a 1988 earthquake. The cathedral is considered the largest and most impressive structure of Ani. It is a domed basilica with a rectangular plan, though the dome and most of its supporting drum are now missing. Its use of pointed arches and cluster piers has been widely cited by scholars to have possibly influenced, or at least preceded, Gothic architecture. Like most Armenian buildings, the cathedral is built entirely from stone - a facing of extremely well cut and finished polychrome masonry hides a rubble concrete core. The plan is in the form of a domed basilica. This is a pattern found in Armenia since the seventh century. However, Trdat's design takes this old form to new heights of sophistication and originality.
it is known that building work started in the year 989 under King Smbat II (977-89) and was completed, after a halt in construction, by the year 1001 (or 1010 depending on the reading of the inscription) by order of Queen Katranideh (Catherine), the wife of King Gagik Bagratuni, Smbat's successor. The cathedral was the work of Trdat, one of the most celebrated architects of medieval Armenia. During the siege of 1064 the Cathedral held a symbolic importance. As the victorious Turks looted the city, one of them climbed the roof of the cathedral and tore down the large cross that rose from the top of the dome's conical roof. (It is said that this cross was later sealed under the threshold of a mosque so that it could be continuously tramped upon.) The Cathedral was then converted to a mosque and renamed the Fethiye Camisi, the Victory Mosque. It was returned to Christian usage in 1124, and inscriptions tell of restoration work carried out in the early 13th century. The devastating earthquake of 1319 brought down the dome and may have marked the end of the building's formal religious use.
The structure has been used as a church and as a mosque for a short time. In the history, the city Kars was an intercultural area for a long time. "Ani" is a ruined medieval Armenian city now situated in Turkey's province of Kars, next to the closed border with Armenia. Cathedral of Ani is th biggest and the most important structure in the area. considering the Catedral of Ani, many people visit the area also for religious tourism.
As a cultural and economic center, Ani did not lie along any previously important trade routes, but because of its size, power, and wealth it became an important trading hub. Its primary trading partners were the Byzantine Empire, the Persian Empire, the Arabs, as well as smaller nations in southern Russia and Central Asia.
The ancient city "Ani" can be visited by students and the catedral might be a part of this visit. the students should be informed about the historical importance of the structure before and during the visit.The city Kars has all transport devices to reach, but its far from big cities in Turkey.



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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.