The Cathedral of Ani is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Ani by the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan in 1604. Restorations will begin this month for the cathedral, which is among 23 artifacts that have survived in the ancient ruins.
Ani, which has been dubbed as the “World City,” “City of 1,001 Churches,” “Cradle of Civilizations,” and “City of 40 Gates,” is one of the earliest settlements, dating back to 3,000 B.C.
Throughout history, the Saka Turks, Sasanian empire, Bagratid dynasty, Byzantine empire, Seljuk empire, Ottoman empire and Russian empire have reigned on the ancient site. The cathedral carries a separate meaning because it was the first conquest (“fetih”) in Anatolia, after which the first Friday prayers were performed in Anatolia when it became the Fethiye Mosque.
Bagratid King Smbat II laid the foundations for the cathedral in 990 A.D. and after his death, its construction was completed in 1001 A.D. by Queen Katranide, the wife of King Gagik I, Smbat’s brother and successor. It was later converted into a mosque by the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan.
Read more from source: Cathedral of Ani to be restored in Turkey’s Kars