Aksaray city 78 km (48 mile) to Cappadocia and 232 km(144 mile) away from Ankara. It may lack any major attractions but Aksaray is an increasingly pleasant Central Anatolian town whose newly-appointed main square has a whiff of Northern Europe about it. The city is believed to stand on the site of the old Byzantine Archelais, the finds from which can be seen in the local archaeology museum.

Aksaray was established by the king of Cappadocia Archelaos and therefore it was named Archelais. After the battle of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071 the city then joint the part of Anatolian seljuks dominance and the great palace which was built with the white stones especially belong to this area gave the name to this city Aksaray (Ak = white, Saray = Palace, Pavilion in Turkish language).

First christians took shelter in this area from the multi god religious Roman Empire and built villages and settled in Ihlara valley, Goreme town and Gelveri, breaking and digging into the stones which were made out of the volcanic material that came from mount Erciyes , they built houses, churches , caves and some underground cities which covers their houses. Ihlara valley is one of the places we must see as it covers a great history, culture and art.

The Melendiz river flows through the centre of town and makes a good place to start exploring, with plenty of fine old Greek houses close by. This is also where you’ll find the Egri Cami (Crooked Mosque), a mosque buit in 1236 that features a tilted minaret, inevitably nicknamed the Turkish Tower of Pisa.

Follow the river to find the early 20th-century Vali Konagi which now houses the town’s rather good Ethnography Museum.

Near the main square, the Ulu Cami is a bit of an oddity, a Seljuk building that was extensively remodelled in 1408-9 when the Karamanogul dynasty held sway around it. It has a detached minaret build just after the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1925.

Also in the town centre is the Seljuk-era Zinciriye Medresesi, a lovely building pre-dating 1337 and with one of the elaborate portals typical of the period.

The nightlife in Aksaray is very quiet and because of this, the area tends to attract couples and mature travelers. If you choose to eat out, you will come across traditional restaurants which are a great opportunity to let your taste buds explore the delights of Turkish cuisine.

Aksaray is a town in which a lot of farming is done in miles and miles of fields so dishes tend to be fresh and mouthwatering due to the freshness of the ingredients used.

On the menu will be dishes such as Borek which is a pastry filled with various ingredients, Manti is a small dumpling that has been boiled or steamed and the sweet dish called Suclu taste a lot like rice pudding. The restaurants are, Tatseven, Agacli Restaurant, Belisirma Restaurant, Evil Eye Restaurant etc.

Aksaray good hotels are, Ihlara Hotel, Narligol Thermal Hotel etc.

There are 6 underground cities at Aksaray. Underground cities which are reflective of the daily lives on the earth surface are settlement areas which are used for hiding purposes in case of a probable attack, designed to continue living without climbing the earth surface during long-term invasions and include everything from barn to water well and from kitchen to graveyard.

Underground Cities of Aksaray

Cukuroren Underground City

Ersele Underground City

Gaziemir Underground City

Guzelyurt Underground City

Saratli Underground City

Satarli Saint Mercurius Underground City

Aksaray valleys which have many charms from walking-tracks to rock churches, from different land forms to many fruit trees, are ideal places to see the formations of fairy chimneys. Beside of capped, conic, sharp, mushroom shaped, columnar or sharp fairy chimneys, every valley has its unique color and vegetation cover. There are 3 valleys at Aksaray area.

Valleys of Aksaray

Ihlara Valley

Monastery Valley

Sofular Valley


We Recommend  : Kairos Travel  |  Unlu Hotel | Captivating Cappadocia
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