The Cathedral Fetiyhe Mosque and Mosque of Minuchihr in Deserted Ani, Turkey


The name, Cathedral Fetiyhe Mosque, appears to be a contradiction. Cathedral Mosque? Originally, this Cathedral was begun in 987 by Ani King Sembat I and finished by Katranide, wife of King Gagik I in 1010…View image. Designed by the famous Armenian Architect, Trdat Mendet who also restored Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia) in Constantinople, there were three entrances. One for the Patriach, one for the King and one for the people.

This Cathedral was turned into a mosque (“Feti” means conqueror) when Seljukid Aultan Ap Arslan captured Ani. All he had to do was add a mihrab, a semicircular niche that indicates the direction of Mecca to the faithful. There was very little to see inside the imposing and huge Cathedral/Mosque compared to the Church of St. Gregory but the orangey-tufa stone glowed in the sunlight.

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outside Cathedral of Feteye Mosque, Ani
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inside the Cathedral Fetiye Mosque, Ani, Turkey

 

Great views of both the deep ravines and Akhurian River that divides Armenia from Turkey but also remnants of the ancient bridge…View image….used to carry goods between Byzantium, Persia, Syria, and Central Asia on the ancient trade routes. Ani lies at the farthest eastern edge of Turkey.

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Ahkurian River divides Armenia from Turkey
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remnants of the old trading route bridge that led into Ani, Turkey

 

Next, the Mosque of Minuchihr, presumably named after its founder who was the first member of the dynasty that ruled Ani after 1072. A still intact minaret is the oldest surviving part of the mosque with the Arabic word Bismillah (“In the name of God”) high on its northern face. A customs hall to collect from caravans on the trade route may have stood here by the Mosque of MinuchihrOnly half of the prayer hall survives and out of all the magnificent sights in Ani, this was the most underwhelming except for beautiful stone coloring high up in an arch. Travels With Sheila thought Oz had said something about there once being more than one minaret. Mosques usually have only one minaret, two at the most. The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is one of the only exceptions.

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stone work and colors inside an arch of the Mosque of Minuchihr, Ani
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minaret on the Mosque of Minuchihr, Ani, Turkey

 

Just a few more sights in Ani…
Sierra Trading Post

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