Bagnair Monastery near Ani – Armenia

Bagnair – the ruins of a monastery located a few kilometers from Ani, near the modern village of Kozludzha.

According to legend, the name “Bagnair” translates to “Cave of the Fire Altar”. Before the Christian era, it’s believed that a Zoroastrian sanctuary was situated here. The monastery was founded in 989 AD by the Armenian prince Vagram Pahlavuni.

In the second half of the 13th century, the monastery was looted and abandoned by the Seljuk Turks. Still, many ancient Armenian inscriptions remain on its walls…

Photos 9-12 show how the monastery looked at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The aftermath of Turkish actions during and after 1915 can be seen in the pictures.

Of the grand monastery, only two walls remain. Kurds living in the village store hay there.

On the other bank of the stream running through the village, there stands another better-preserved small church. Its name has not survived. The Kurds use it as a storage space for bags filled with unknown contents.

Authors: Alexey Komshidi and

Materials provided by: Alexander Bakulin.

Translated by Vigen Avetisyan

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