Seljuk Palace

Far Northeast

Built into the western tip of Ani's defensive walls, this rectilinear palace has been so painstakingly over-restored that it looks quite out of place, though the portal's star-motif red stonework is handsome. Mind your footing inside – a few holes in the floor drop right through into the tall-vaulted dungeons. To explore these safely, start by descending from a double-back path on the exterior of the south side.

The same path, if you don't double back, leads to an intriguing, half-collapsed cave church, the most accessible of many around the Ani gorge.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Far Northeast attractions

1. Cave Church

0.07 MILES

Dozens of caves cut into in the cliff-like sides of Ani Plateau were made into chapels and hermit cells. The most easily accessible is this partly…

2. Church of Gagkashen

0.09 MILES

Even though the ruins of this once-enormous church are little more than its circular base and a jumble of column sections within, it is enough to grasp…

3. 'Underground City'

0.14 MILES

The cliffs and valleys all around the Ani plateau are riddled with hundreds of caves that guides have collectively dubbed Ani's 'Underground City'. Mostly…

4. Zoroastrian Temple

0.23 MILES

This ruined temple is thought to have been built in the 4th century AD, during a period of Sassanian influence from Persia. It might have been converted…

5. Kervansaray

0.26 MILES

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…

6. Church of Grigor Pahlavuny


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…

7. Ani


The ruins of Ani, 45km east of Kars, are an absolute must-see. Visitors enter through gigantic fortress walls that look like they fell off a crusader…

8. Arslan Kapısı


Just inside the Ani ruins is the sturdy Arslan Kapısı (or Aslan Kapısı – Lion Gate). Depending on which guide you believe, it was named after Alp Arslan,…