Cathedral / Church of the Holy Mother of God

Architecture & Buildings

Asia, Turkey, Kars merkez

The Cathedral of Ani (Armenian: Սուրբ Աստուածածին Եկեղեցի, or The Holy Virgin Cathedral; also called Armenian: Մայր Եկեղեցի, or Mother Church) is an Armenian church built in 1001 AD by the architect Trdat in the ruined ancient Armenian capital of Ani, located in what is now the extreme eastern tip of Turkey, on the border with modern Armenia. It offers an example of a domed cruciform church within a rectangular plan. The Cathedral of Ani is 100 feet(30,5 meter) long and 65 feet(19,8 meter) wide. The Catholicosate was relocated to the Arkina district, in the suburbs of Ani, and in 990, the talented architect Trdat completed the building of the Catholicosal palace and the Mother Cathedral of Ani. It was founded by the order of King Smbat II and was completed under the patronage of the wife of King Gagik I, Queen Katranide'. The cathedral was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. By its high art composition the Cathedral of Ani became one of the architectural masterpieces of Armenia. Some European historians of architecture, beginning with Josef Strzygowski, believe that the volume composition of the interior elements served to influence the development of European Gothic architecture in the 12th - 14th centuries. Following the Seljuk Turkish victories in eastern Anatolia, Sultan Alp Arslan in 1064 took down the crosses from the cathedral after entering the city; in 1071 it was turned into a mosque.