More than 1,000 years ago, Ani, the former capital of Armenia, was a thriving metropolis of more than 100,000 residents that rivaled the other great cities of the world. But after it was attacked by the Mongols in 1236 and further destroyed in an earthquake in 1319, the once-great city slowly fell into ruins.
The ruins, with massive ramparts, cathedrals, monasteries, mosques, and bridges, remain a stunning sight to this day. But it hasn’t always been easy to see them. A treaty between the Soviet Union and Turkey handed Ani over to Turkey, and soon after the Cold War made it nearly impossible to see it for many decades.
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