Krikor (Grigor) Balakian’s Ruins of Ani
A Surprising Source for Armenian Architecture
KKrikor (Grigor) Balakian’s 1910 work, The Ruins of Ani (Ngarakrut‘iwn Anii Aweragnerun Badgerazart), documents the visit of the Armenian Catholicos Matt‘ēos Izmirlean (1845-1910) to Ani in 1909. Largely neglected by historians of architecture, The Ruins of Ani nevertheless offers an extraordinary account of the city and its monuments. After considering Balakian’s sources and scholarly perspectives, this paper explores his report on the buildings and the archaeological museum of Ani, highlighting discrepancies from the known record. Balakian’s often surprising remarks require careful scrutiny and cross-checking; at the same time, they highlight the value of any eyewitness source on Ani composed during the period of Russian control. .