This site is located on a secluded plateau of northeast
Turkey overlooking a ravine that forms a natural border with Armenia.
This medieval city combines residential, religious and military
structures, characteristic of a medieval urbanism built up over the
centuries by Christian and then Muslim dynasties. The city flourished in
the 10th and 11th centuries CE when it became the capital of the
medieval Armenian kingdom of the Bagratides and profited from control of
one branch of the Silk Road. Later, under Byzantine, Seljuk and
Georgian sovereignty, it maintained its status as an important
crossroads for merchant caravans. The Mongol invasion and a devastating
earthquake in 1319 marked the beginning of the city’s decline. The site
presents a comprehensive overview of the evolution of medieval
architecture through examples of almost all the different architectural
innovations of the region between the 7th and 13th centuries CE.