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Photographer's Note

The Ani Ruins of the old medieval capital lie near the Turkiye-Armenia border, close to the village of Ocaklı, some 45 kilometers east of Kars. The city is located on a triangular site protected on its eastern side by Arpaçay ravine. Ani City was the first camp site and business center on the Silk Road toward Anatolia. Ani City's history dates back to 5,000 B.C.

Descriptions of Ani often mention the "underground city", the "rock city" or the "subterranean city". The rocky cliffs around Ani are formed from layers of soft tufa stone under harder basalt - an ideal situation for cutting chambers into. These chambers had various functions. Some were tombs, some were storage warehouses, some were dovecotes, some were houses, some were religious establishments. Sometimes they are on several levels, linked by internal staircases. Most are entirely carved out of rock, but many originally had rubble masonry or timber frontages.

They are scattered throughout all the cliffs that encircle Ani, but are most densely concentrated along both sides of the Alaca River Valley that borders the western edge of the city. This is the ancient "Valley of the Flower Gardens".

The caves were studied by Russian archeologists in 1915. They investigated around 500 "units", including 30 churches, 8 groups of tombs, and 16 dovecotes.

Close by, further down Alaca River Valley , is a large complex of caves. It was probably a monastery and comprised many rooms on several levels. A large section of these caves collapsed during the 1989 earthquake,

(Was benefited for note guidelines from Repuplic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism /www.kulturturizm.gov.tr and VirtualAni / www.virtualani.freeserve.co.uk )

erhanterzi, bazal, mfonda, Ferrus, Greg1949, fayeulle, meyerd, arhangel has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Seref Halicioglu (WepWaWet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 355 W: 5 N: 629] (3798)
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