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.


King Gagik’s Church

King Gagik’s Church

The remarkable King Gagik’s Church of St. Gregory (S. Grigor Gagiki) is based on the great cathedral at Zvartnots, the so-called “Millennium Church of Ani, mentioned in the chronicles of Stepanos of Taron:

"It was in this time, the end of the 1000th year of Our Lord's incarnation, in the time of Emperor Basil, when Gagik, King of Armenia, received the notion of erecting in the city of Ani a church like in size and form to the great church at Vagharshapat, dedicated to St. Gregory,  then in ruins".

- Stephanos Asoghik of Taron

It is thought that King Gagik (r. 990 to 1020) chose the architect T’rdat (who designed the Cathedral of Ani) to build his "millennium" church, and it was probably erected between the years 1001 and 1005 (some books say between 990 and 1000). T’rdat's design for the church was a circular gallery around a four-apse central building with rounded walls, which closely resembled the fallen Zvartnots masterpiece.  However, like its original, the structure was never very stable, and despite attempts to strengthen the building, it soon collapsed. Later houses were built over the structure, some using the masonry, and it was forgotten until the 1906 excavation uncovered the foundations.

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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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