Photographer's Note

The Ani Ruins of the old medieval capital lie near the Turkiye-Armenia border, close to the village of Ocaklı, some 45 kilometers east of Kars. The city is located on a triangular site protected on its eastern side by Arpaçay ravine. Ani City was the first camp site and business center on the Silk Road toward Anatolia. Ani City's history dates back to 5,000 B.C.

Menucehr Mosque is located in Ani Ancient City. Built by Ebu Suca Manucehr from Seddatogulları Government in 1072, the mosque attract attention as the first building to have been constructed in Anatolia by Seljuks.

It is among the most splendid works of Seljuks of Anatolia with its vivid stones of the view of mosaics and rich geometric decorations on its ceiling.

The mosque's west facade had completely collapsed by the end of the 19th century, but the ruinous building continued to be used as a mosque by local Muslim villagers until 1906. That year it was turned into a museum for Nikolai Marr's excavation finds. To make the building secure the open vaults on the western side were walled up.

The mosque is a rectangular structure, 18.5 metres by 15.7 metres. The entrance was at the northern end of the west facade. The interior comprised a rectangular prayer-hall whose roof was supported by six freestanding columns that divided the interior space into eleven compartments - only six compartments now survive intact. The designs of the ceilings over these compartments are different from each other, and are richly decorated with polychrome stone inlays.

The prayer-hall was lit mainly by five large windows; four with semicircular arches and one with an ogee arch. There are beam-holes on the exterior facade facing the ravine, above and below the large windows, suggesting that there was once a wooden balcony on the outside. Above the large windows are smaller rectangular openings whose main purpose seems to have been to illuminate the decorated ceilings. Similar small windows, called "upper lights" are common in Ottoman houses, particularly around Kayseri.

A tall, octagonal minaret stands at the northwest corner of the mosque. It has the Arabic word "Bismillah" ("In the name of God") written in Kufic lettering high on its northern face. A steep spiral staircase winds its way anticlockwise around a central pillar up to the top of the minaret.

(Was benefited for note guidelines from Repuplic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism / and VirtualAni / )

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Additional Photos by Seref Halicioglu (WepWaWet) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 355 W: 5 N: 629] (3798)
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