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Ani Cathedral (Church of the Holy Mother of God), Turkey

Ani Cathedral is located on the southern edge of Ani city. It is considered to be the queen of Ani and some specialists say that it is adornment of Caucasian architecture of that time. As evidenced by a number of sources, the construction of the temple began in 989, during the reign of King Smbat II (977-89). Construction works have been suspended but later was recommenced with the help of the wife of Gagik Bagratuni Katranideh, and was finally completed by 1001. The architect of the cathedral is famous Trdat, who was also the architect of St. Sophia. In 1064 the Seljuk Turks besieged Ani, and one of them climbed onto the roof of the cathedral and overthrew the Big Cross from the dome. Later, the cathedral was turned into a mosque and renamed the Victory mosque (Fethiye Camii). They say that this cross was later sealed under the threshold so that the Cross could be continuously and easily tramped upon. In 1124 the cathedral once again became a Christian shrine. According to one of the inscriptions, in XIII century, there was made reconstruction. However, in 1319, during a devastating earthquake the dome fell down and later, during the earthquake in 1832, collapsed the drum of the dome. Crack in the northwest corner was caused by the earthquake of 1988, which also caused serious damage in the southwest corner, by 1998, part of the roof was beginning to collapse. . Currently, there is a risk of total collapse of the western facade of the cathedral.


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