Aksaray Province

Zinciriye Madrasa

Zinciriye Madrasa

Zinciriye Madrasa

One of the historical buildings of Aksaray Province oc Cappadocia area is Zinciriye Madrasa. Constructed by Yahsi Bey of the Karamanogullari (1336 – 1338), the building is made of cut stone and brick and is the type of madrasa with four vaulted rooms with one side open to the courtyard, three porticos and a courtyard. It is topped by a vault and dome, with an eight sectioned open top courtyard.

The entrance is by the eastern crowned door. Decorated with niches, the door is low arched. The vaulted rooms are cowered with plant and geometric motifs. Its portal is embellished with plastic art motifs which continued the Seljuk tradition.

In the southern vaulted room is the tomb of Dingoz Baba (Father Dingoz – 18th. C.). It has functioned as a madrasa to the current period and one of its peculiarities is that it has the appearance of a castle.

Zinciriye Madsara is a museum now.

Ulu Mosque

Ulu Mosque

Ulu Mosque

Ulu Mosque; According to the inscription the mosque, built on a crowded peak, was built architect Mehmet Firuz Bey for Karamanoglu mehmet Bey.

Ulu Mosque is built on a horizontal rectangular plan. The inner hall of the mosque is entered by the western gate, decorated with typical ornaments of the Anatolian Seljuk Principalities. The pulpit made of ebony is particularly vauable.

Kaya (Rock) Mosque; Another historical mosque of Aksaray Province of Cappadocia area is Kaya Mosque. Located in the centre of Guzelyurt and probably dating from the 14th C. the mosque was used by both Christians and Moslems. A large part of the wosque is hollowed out from rock and there is a part with a vaulted roof.

Egri (Crooked) Minaret; A Seljuk edifice built between the years1221 and 1236. The tower leans 27 degrees over. Because it is constructed of red brick it is sometimes refereed as the “Red Minaret”.

It has cylindrical trunk on a square base divided into parts by a narrow moulding. The bottom half has a zigzag pattern, the top half is covered in blue and green tile mosaic. There is one balcony and 92 steps. The mosque beside it is a later addition.

Selime

Selime Cathedral

Selime Cathedral

Situated 28 km from Aksaray, Selime is a town that was established at the end of the Ihlara Valley. Like Ihlara, Yaprakhisar, Belisirma and Guzelyurt there are rock cut churches here of which the most important is known as a Selime cathedral. The Cathedral has been hollowed out of the rocks on a rather elevated site. Inside tehere are two rows of rock columns. These columns divide the cathedral into three sections. The figurative frescoes of the largest religious edifice in Cappadocia, the 8th century. Kale Monastery, were painted at the end of the 9th century or beginning of the 10th century A.D. The fairy chimneys that can not be seen in other parts of the valley are also to be seen in other parts of the valley are also to be seen in the village of Selime.

Selime Sultan Turbe (Monumental Tomb)

The turbe, located in Selime town, has the architectural and decorative characteristic of an early period piece. A rare example of its type in Anatolia it has an octagonal base and is conical. In the turbe stonework and brickwork are interconnected. From the architectural style and materials it must date from the 13th century A.D.

Oresinhan

Oresinhan Caravanserai

Oresinhan Caravanserai

Oresinhan is situated 22 km along the Aksaray to Nevsehir highway. The han seems bigger than it actually is and visitors find that it has a mysterious atmosphere. It has an unusual design with five naves with embrasure windows. Centre dome and gate of inn are collapsed. There are sections each with 6 arches. Although there is no definite information it is believed that the han was built towards the end of the 17th C.

Aksaray Province

Ihlara valley

Ihlara valley

Aksaray offers the traveller unique journeys into one of nature’s showcases. It boasts beautiful geological formations and a rich history. It is a charming town at the heart of the Cappadocia region.

The Ihlara Valley is a wonderful example of nature, people, history and art being bound togother in one place. The innermost secrets of it come slowly to light when you begin to explore.

The first civilisation at Aksaray on the volcanic tufa-rock lands of Cappadocia was at Asikli and dates from 8.000 years B.C. At Asiklihoyuk (mound) is the oldest village belonging to the Neolithic Period in Anatolia and the Near East.

In its long history Aksaray has been the cradle to various civilisations. From 3000 B:C. to 2000 B.C. the Hatti tribes lived in Anatolia. During this period Assyrian merchants traded in this area.

Towards the end of the period of colonisation, the Hittites coming from the Caucasus around 1700 B.C. founded small city-states and made Anatolia into a military state.

In the 1st C. A.D. St Paul and the disciples began to spread Christianity provoking the polyheistic Romans. For the sake of safety the early Christians started to seek out less confrontational places to settle. Also many religious men seeking solitude came to this region.

Aksaray came under Seljuk sovereignity in 1142 during the reign of Kilicaslan II. At this time palaces, madrasas, lodged and caravanserais were built. Kilicaslan II. built a palace and changed the name from Arkhelais to Aksaray (lit. pure palace) and it became a virtual second capital city. The city did not allow bad people to enter. And because of this it was known as “Sehr-i Suhela” meaning the place where goog people live. Aksaray became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1470 when it passed to Ishak Pasha. After the conquest of Istanbul the city was under populated and many Aksaray people were resettled in Istanbul, which is the reason that there a district of Istanbul named Aksaray.

In 1920 Aksaray became a province. In 1933 that status was annulled and it became of the province of Nigde. On June 15th, 1989 it became a province once more. The region has been home to different religious artefacts found here belonging especially to the Islamic and Christian periods. Of hundreds of examples 29 have been chosen as being especially valuable from the point of view of religious tourism. Of these eight are Islamic, each a masterpiece in its own right that attract hundreds of thuosands of visitors. The examples are:

Ulu Mosque, Egri Minaret, Tapduk Emre Turbe, Seyh Hamid-i Veli Turbe, Kilicaslan Turbe, Yunus Emre Turbe, Selime Sultan Turbe and Kaya Mosque.