Ani view point

Ani is perched on the Akhurian river, across from the 9th-13th cc Armenian capital Ani. Much of it gone, still the city of 100,000 has ruins of churches, palace and walls enough to impress.




The Arakelots (Holy Apostles) church exact history is unknown, no founding inscription having been discovered on the building. It is believed to have been built for archbishops from the Pahlavuni princely family, who commissioned its construction. The Pahlavunis, related to both the Bagratunis and the old Kamsarakan nakharar dynasty, were a powerful allies and almost as rich as the Bagratuni kings, patronizing several religious orders and monasteries in Ani and Armenia. The earliest extant inscription is dated 1031, concerning the donation of land by a certain Abughamir Pahlavuni, who also commissioned (No. 53) S. Grigor Abughamir church nearby.  

The church has four apses in a cross form, with four chapels in its rectangle shell. A feature of churches from the 7th c., the four-apse (inscribed quatrefoil) design in this case has details unique to the 11th c.; the entry portals (in this case north and south) have doorways with monumental lintels adorned with a sculpted frieze of acanthus leaves and rows of  dentils. The dome construction used an innovative method of distributing weight and was lighted by the use of hollow clay “vessels” built into the structure. Like earlier churches its slate roof was decorated with pomegranate motifs. Also unique was the attention to detail in the four corner chapels, each with its own apse and a dome and drum, highly unusual for the time and perhaps a precursor of other structures that followed. 

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    How to reach Take the M1 highway towards Giumri and 11 km north of Maralik, where a road turns left to Gusanagiugh. Follow the directional signs past Gusanagiugh to the H17, then south to Haikadzor to the view point. From Yerevan is 100km and about 1 hour 15 minutes.

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