İç Kale

Covering the large rocky eminence at the southern point of the Ani plateau, İç Kale is a jumble of tumbled stone, with faint vestiges of ancient palaces and walls that date back at least 1500 years – possibly even to Urartian times (8th century BC). Crowning its central hilltop is Ani's oldest church, dating from 622. It is curiously shattered in that the northern half looks fairly intact but the southern section has dropped away entirely.

Lower down to the southwest, but within İç Kale's walls, is a great viewpoint from which to distantly admire a picturesquely perched but out-of-bounds red-stone church that is almost all that remains of Kız Kalesi – a former fortress on a cliff-sided peninsula high above a curl of the Arpaçay Canyon.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Kız Kalesi Viewpoint

0.07 MILES

One of the best places from which to admire the impregnable Kız Kalesi site is from this viewpoint near the southern end of the İç Kale citadel ruins.

2. Manuçehr Camii

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Ani's 1072 Manuçehr Camii was built by the Seljuk Turks, using Armenian architects and artisans, creating a stylistic blend in what is considered to have…

3. Silk Road Bridge Supports

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Two unconnected brick towers are all that remain of a once important 9th-century bridge that formerly straddled the Arpaçay, the river that now forms the…

4. Church of Grigor Pahlavuny

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A well-preserved central landmark in the heart of the Ani plateau, this rotunda-shaped church with a conical roof was built in about 980 for the wealthy…

5. Kız Kalesi

0.42 MILES

Despite its name, 'Maiden's Castle', almost all that remains of Kız Kalesi is a red-stone church, probably dating from the late 10th century. It's off…

6. Ani Cathedral

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Completed in 1010, the grassy-roofed cathedral is the largest building among the Ani ruins. The building's elegantly finished stone walls are relatively…

7. Ebu'l Muammeran Camii

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The most substantial remnant of this 11th-century mosque is its minaret, now lying on its side with the spiral stairs inside clearly visible. It was…

8. Kervansaray

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The Church of the Holy Apostles (Arak Elots Kilisesi) dates from 1031, but after the Seljuks took the city in 1064 they added a gateway with a fine dome…