|exterior animal carvings on Church of St Gregory Ani|
We were urged regularly by our long-suffering leaders that the first thing we should do at each place visited was to be quiet, reflective and prayerful.
Photos could follow later. It has to be said that we didn’t always remember this advice.
|The church of St Gregory, Ani|
The sound was captivating, and a deeply spiritual moment for me and I suspect for many others. It was only afterwards when he had finished that I learnt he was singing the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic. None of us really wanted to spoil this moment for quite some while as we all stood, united as pilgrims, to reflect on the past history of this place, full of reminders of the glories of Armenian Christianity in another age long ago.
Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. And we all stumbled out from the gloom into the light with tears in the eyes of more than a few of us.
There is simply no shortage of information available about this site, in guide books, websites and web reviews from the many travellers who are drawn to this important place. Most stress that it takes 4 or 5 hours to do it justice, and advise carrying a picnic and a water bottle. For us it was cold, but at least sunny, and there is a perfectly adequate restaurant off site for lunch time refreshment.
More about all this tomorrow with lots more photos of Ani....
|more of the outside of the church of St Gregory of Tigran Honents at Ani|