It takes an hour (about 50km) from Kars to the Ani ruins.
Ani is a ruined and uninhabited medieval Armenian city-site situated in the province of Kars, near the border with Armenia. It was once the capital of a medieval Armenian kingdom that covered much of present day Armenia and eastern Turkey.
The city is located on a triangular site, visually dramatic and naturally defensive, protected on its eastern side by the ravine of the Akhurian River and on its western side by the Bostanlar or Tzaghkotzadzor valley.
The church was built to house a fragment of the True Cross. The church was largely intact until 1955, when the entire eastern half collapsed during a storm.
The church probably dates from the late 10th century. It was built as a private chapel for a family. There are feint traces of frescoes on the roof and walls of the altar apse.
The construction of the Cathedral was started in the year 989, and was only finished in 1001. The cathedral is a domed basilica (the dome collapsed in 1319).
The interior contains several progressive features (such as the use of pointed arches and clustered piers) that give to it the appearance of Gothic architecture.
The mosque is named after the founder, Manuchihr, the first member of the Shaddadid dynasty that ruled Ani after 1072. The oldest surviving part of the mosque is its still intact minaret.