Aksaray, Turkey

Aksaray, on the western edge of Cappadocia, is a transit town with several interesting old buildings from the Seljuk Turkish and Beylik (post-Seljuk period).

Anyone traveling between AnkaraKonya and Nevsehirmight consider stopping in Aksaray for lunch, fuel or a tea or toilet break (map). The Orhan Ağaçlı Tesisleri at the intersection of the nort-south and east-west highways has all these as well as fuel, shops, auto repairs and even a motel. There are also a few servicable hotels in the city center if you need to stay the night.

The sights of Aksaray (AHK-sah-rah-yee, alt. 980 meters/3215 feet, pop. 110,000) include its Ulu Cami(Great Mosque, 1408) built in the post-Seljuk Beylik period, the nice Aksaray Museum housed in the Zinciriye Medresesi (Chain Seminary, 1336), and the Kızıl Minare Camii (Mosque with a Red Minaret, 1236).

Next to the mosque stands its eponymous red Eğri Minare (Leaning Minaret). Because of settlement at its foundations the minaret does have a distinct lean to it, earning it the name “Aksaray’s Leaning Tower [of Pisa].” The thrill from seeing this local wonder dissipates in seconds.

Aksaray is a major way-station along the ancient Silk Road, which means there are impressive Seljuk Turkish caravanserais to the east and west of it. The nearest is the Ağzıkarahan, 10 km (6 miles) to the east; the enormous Sultan Hanı, largest of the Seljuk caravanserais in Anatolia, is 42 km (26 miles) to the west. More on caravanserais...

Also near Aksaray is the Ihlara Valley, with its dozens of tiny Byzantine churches. A few pensions and inns near the valley host visitors, or you can stay in Aksaray, or visit Ihlara on a day trip from CappadociaMore…

Bus or car is the only way to get to Aksaray. More…


Aksaray Transportation

The Silk Road

Towns of Cappadocia

Cappadocia Hotels

Cappadocia Restaurants

Excursion: Ihlara Valley & Underground Cities

Cappadocia

Central Anatolia

Where to Go

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