Ihlara Valley


Location: Aksaray Province, Central Anatolia Map


Description of Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley is a beautiful area situated in Aksaray Province, Central Anatolia of Turkey. You can get here from Aksaray 40 mi (25 km) away. The closest settlement to this natural reserve is a town of Güzelyurt. Ihlara Valley is 16 km (10 mi) long. It formed after several eruptions of nearby volcano Mount Erciyes. This whole area of Ihlara Valley is famous for numerous ancient underground Ancient Roman and Byzantine Christian churches and monks' cells. Many of the ancient dwellings still keep its original colorful paintings. First Christians escaped to Ihlara Valley from the persecutions of the Ancient Roman empire. Good hiding space and good source of water and food allowed thousands of people to live here and hide from the authorities and numerous persecussions. Most famous religious buildings include Ağaçaltı Church, Sümbüllü Church, Pürenliseki Church, Kokar Church, Yilanli Church, Karagedik Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church and Egritas Church.