The history of Armenia has twelve historical capitals, amongst which Ani is one of the most famous. In the historical territory, Ani was the last independent Armenian state under the reign of the Bagratid Armenian kingdom. Ani stood on various trade routes and its many religious buildings, palaces, and fortifications were amongst the most technically and artistically advanced structures in the world. Ani was called “the city of 1001 churches” and was one of the world's largest cities, with a population that ranged from 100,000 to 200,000.
Ani's architecture, grand public buildings, and particularly the city's double wall are notable for the impact on the development of the Gothic architectural tradition that spread throughout Europe in the following centuries.
Church of St. Grigor Lusavorich (the Illuminator), built in the ancient city of Ani, is now on the site of the border outpost in the settlement Jrapi of the Leninakan border detachment.
The church was built in the 9-10th centuries (and is the only surviving church of the 9th century located on the territory of the Republic of Armenia). The churchis located on the right side of the Akhuryan river. However, after the Spitak and Leninakan earthquakes, the main dome was damaged, the cross installed on the church collapsed and is now located at the foot of the central cathedral in Gyumri.
On the top of a rocky hill, on the left bank of the Akhuryan River, about 1200 meters above sea level, there is the Church of St. Shushanik. The church can only be approached from the east along an impassable rocky road, from the southwestern apse. From the north and north-west, the area is surrounded by steep cliffs and borders with Turkey. The church, erected as a memorial chapel and was built not far from one of the capitals of the Bagratid dynasty - Bagaran (Arsharunik region of the Ayrarat province of Greater Armenia, which is now the Armavir marz of RA).
Presumably, it was built up by Ashot Bagratuni immediately after his accession in 914 AD. According to the Kurds living there, the damage to the church was caused by Turks, like u89o
These unique churches are significant for the Armenian cultural and historical heritage.
After the loss of so many historical monasteries and churches, as a result of the Artsakh war, the preservation of the historical and cultural monuments of Armenia, which are still within our reach, is now of an equal importance as the preservation of our identity.
Therefore, our goal is the restoration of the unique historical monuments of our country. Continuing the development of one of its key activities, i.e., the development of culture, the Tovmasyan Foundation has undertaken to organize the reconstruction of the old Armenian churches, reviving the centuries-old monuments. Any contribution to this treasured project is of a great importance. United, we can preserve, and pass on to the future generations, the ancient evidence of our homeland’s beautiful culture and history.
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