THE MOTHER CHURCH OF ANI
The Beautiful Mother Church of Ani or St. Mary's Church was one of the greatest cultural achievements during the Bagratid reign. Many travelers and visitors to the City of Ani called the Mother Church the Jewel of Caucasus. The construction of the church began during the reign of Smbat II in the year 898 and was completed during the reign of Gagik I, in the year 1001 by famous architect Trdat, who incidentally also rebuilt the dome of the famous Church of Aya Sofia [Divine Wisdom] of Constantinople by the special invitation of the Emperor. The Mother Church of Ani was covered by beautiful frescos and ornaments from the biblical motifs and as well as from the history of the Bagratuni house. It was one of the biggest architectural buildings in Ani and the ruins of the Mother Church to this day retain a great degree of majesty and grace.