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AKSARAY

Coordinate: 38º22’08.99’’K 34º02’15.19’’D Height: 973 m

 

Aksaray was called Garsaura in Cappadocia Kingdom. Last Cappadocia King Arkhelaos (36 B.C.-14 A.D.) rebuilt here and the name of the region became Arkhelais. The settlement which became a ruin because of the battles was reestablished by Seljuk in the 12th century. Kılıç Arslan II, who decorated the city with various structures, also built a white marble palace. Then, the city was called Aksaray after that. Just few of historical structures in Aksaray survived. Great Mosque was built by Karamanogullari, a strong Turkish principality, in between 1408 and 1409. The pulpit which was brought from a Seljuk mosque is a valuable example of Seljuk wood work. Another work of Karamanoğulları is Zinciriye Madrasah which was built in between 1337 and 1338. It is opened to visitors as Aksaray Museum.

Splendid examples of han and caravanserai architecture of Seljuk can be seen around Aksaray. These structures were built on important trade routes for caravans to accommodate. Ağzıkarahan, Öresin Han, Alayhan on Aksaray-Nevşehir highway; Sutanhan on Konya-Aksaray highway can be seen.

 

Sultanhan is located in 42 km west of Aksaray. It was built bay Aladdin Keyqubat I in 1229 and it was expanded in 1278. It has a magnificent portal decorated with geometrical motifs.

Must-see places

Oblique Minaret, Great Mosque.

Do Not Return Without Doing 

Food: soğanlama, okra soup, Çiğleme

Shopping: Taşpınar Carpet

Trips: Ihlara Valley and Güzelyurt, major centers of Cappadocia. 

Activities: Ihlara Tourism and Culture Festival, July. International Turkish-Greek Friendship, Brotherhood Cultural Festival, Güzelyurt, the first week of September.