Explore the Abandoned Eerie Ghost City on a Tour of Remote Ancient Ani

Ruled by a dizzying array of empires and kingdoms over the many centuries, from the Byzantines to the Ottomans the city of Ani once housed thousands of people and became a cultural hub and regional power under the Armenian dynasty of the medieval Bagratid. Today, it’s an eerie, abandoned ghost city that stands by itself on a plateau on the remote highlands in the northeast of Turkey, 45km away from the Turkish border city of Kars. With Ani tours walk around the numerous ruins, left to deteriorate for more than 90 years where the only noise you can hear is the wind howling through a ravine on the border between Turkey and Armenia.  Read More...

Explore the Abandoned Eerie Ghost City on a Tour of Remote Ancient Ani

Across the globe, all sorts of towns have long been abandoned by their residents, leaving the decrepit structures of a once-thriving place in their wake. Few of these ghost towns can stack up to Ani, one of the world’s biggest ghost cities. Established in the fifth century and was once a busy medieval metropolis referred to as “the city of 1,001 churches,” Ani is now little more than a cluster of abandoned buildings. Tour the Armenian city of Ani which was situated on several trade routes. The city of Ani was the crown jewel and capital of the Kingdom of Armenia, an independent state founded in 884 AD.

Over the years, the burgeoning city grew to an astounding 100,000 people, an especially impressive feat for the period. Throughout its five-empire rule spanning three centuries, Ani experienced all sorts of devastation from natural disasters to full-blown wars, and there was pretty much nothing it hadn’t seen. Ani was first captured by Turkish invaders, who enslaved and murdered the residents and when they were finished, they sold the land and its buildings to the Shaddadids, a Kurdish dynasty. In the 13th century, Mongol invaders attempted to capture the city of Ani but despite the widespread bloodshed, the city still somehow held firm, until 1319 when Ani finally fell. The city was reduced to just a village of people. Just as quickly as they’d arrived in the once-prosperous city, Ani’s residents were gone, leaving a ghost city in its wake.

Luckily, there were still pieces of it left for future generations to explore while on Ani ruins tours. While Ani became a popular regional tourist destination over the 19th century, World War I and the Armenian genocide diminished its popularity. With its beautiful churches, mausoleums, and chapels, this abandoned ghost city has once again begun to draw many interested visitors on tours of Ani. Among the beautiful ruins is the Menüçehr Mosque built roughly 1,000 years ago. Likewise, the Church of the Redeemer a structure made during the Armenian Bagratid Dynasty, which lasted from the 9th to the 11th centuries is another of Ani’s many tourists draws on tours of Ani.

Unfortunately, of its 19 tremendous archways, little remains but one of the more latest discoveries in Ani was in the 1900s when a group of archaeologists unearthed an ancient mausoleum buried beneath a church. The 12-sided chapel housed the remains of Prince Gregory Pahavuni of the Bagratid Armenians. Archaeologists also discovered the Church of St. Gregory of Tigran Honents and remain one of the most well-preserved structures in the city of Ani. Inside, the walls are lined with beautiful art depicting the life of Christ, as well as St. George the Illuminator. Ani had such a rich, albeit complicated, history and is a shame that such a beautiful place isn’t home to anyone anymore, but at least people can visit it and appreciate its beauty all these centuries later on a private Ani tour.

Let the Ani activities begin!

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