Aksaray

Aksaray is a city in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey and the capital district of Aksaray Province. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 236,560 of which 129,949 live in the city of Aksaray. The district covers an area of 4,589 km2 (1,772 sq mi), and the average elevation is 980 m (3,215 ft), with the highest point being Mt. Hasan at 3,253 m (10,673 ft).

Aksaray is a center in Cappadocia, in the Central Anatolian region. The province has many things to show in addition to wonderful surroundings. There are important historical buildings from Seljuk times, mostly from the 14th century, such as the Ulu Mosque and the Kizil (Egri) Minaret. The brickwork of the Kizil Minaret is elaborate. The Sultanhan caravanserai built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat is well-preserved, and the Agzikarahan caravanserai is the second important and famous monument from the Seljuk period, both built on the Silk Road.
Aksaray possesses the most frequently visited regions of Cappadocia, all of display which natural beauties mingled with the mysticism of history. Viransehir (Nora), which was the military center of Byzantines and Romans because of its strategic position, carries historical remains from Roman and Byzantine times. Ihlara is a 14 kms long fascinating canyon, formed by the Melendiz River. In this valley can be found Byzantine rock chapels used by the early Christians, similar to the ones at Goreme valley, cut into the canyon walls and decorated with frescoes. From these chapels the Agacalti (Daniel) Church, the Yilanli (Apocalypse) Church, the Sumbullu (Hyacinth) Church, the Purenliseki Church, and St. Georges Church are the most interesting ones. In the Guzelyurt valley, there are dwellings from the prehistoric periods and they are in an underground city form. In addition to these there are chapels and buildings carved into the rock. The Manastir valley, and the Sivisli Church which is one of the most interesting churches in the area, are the other attractive places.

One of the most spectacular views in Aksaray is the Hasan mountain, an ancient volcano, rising from the flatlands of Anatolia and touching some 3,200m (10,000 feet approximately). It is a great spot for mountain sports fans such as climbers and trekkers.

Accompanying these you will also find guest houses, restaurants and good hotels in the region. Many tours for Cappadocia passes by Aksaray.

On March 29, 2006, Total Solar Eclipse was seen in Aksaray at 14:00pm local time.



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