Aksaray Ihlara Valley

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IHLARA VALLEY ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE

Ihlara Valley, which is located within the boundaries of the Güzelyurt district in Aksaray province, has a significant position among the canyons in the world. Unlike all other canyons, Ihlara Valley with a length of 14 kilometers, a depth reaching from place to place to 120 meters, and one thousand habitats have the characteristic of being the biggest canyon in the world where people had lived in history. Ihlara Valley has become one of the most significant cultural and civilization centers of the world in the past with hundreds of churches, and shelters made by the easy excavation of the rocks surrounding the valley and the formation of fairy chimneys. When you come out of the valley, you come across a unique beauty, fairy chimneys, and Selim (goodness) Cathedral. Mummies of cats were mummified in the region of Cappadocia, as in Ancient Egypt. A total of Seventeen mummies have been found in Ihlara Valley to date. Twelve of them are exhibited in Aksaray Museum and the remaining five are exhibited in Niğde Museum. The mummies generally date back to the 10th and 13th centuries. The embalmment of the cats was practiced in the name of “Bast”, the Goddess with the cat head. This ongoing tradition reached Anatolia and the tradition of embalming the cats was maintained in the Cappadocia region.

                                        

Ağaçaltı Church (Daniel Pantanassa)

The central position of the free Cross-planned structure is covered by a high circled dome placed on the squint, and the arms of the Cross are covered by the gable squint. The frescoes are dated back to the period before Iconoclasm or the period between the 9th and 11th centuries. The figures indicate scenes such as Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the three Maggies, Flight into Egypt, Holy Baptism, Koimesis (death of Mary), and Ascension.

Kırkdamaltı Church (H. Georgios)

It is located in Belisırma Village in Ihlara Valley. The church wthe ith irregular hexagonal plan has a flat roof, which is engraved in the concave form in the apse direction to the east. The collapsed apse is used as the entrance. The original entrance door is located at the northern wall. The church has been decorated by Lady Tamar who is the wife of Amirarzes Basileios in the period from 1283 to 1295 during which Sultan Mesut II and Emperor Andronikos II were reigning. The figures indicate the scene of Deesis, Metamorphosis, Ascension, and the image of Seljuk Sultan Mesut II.

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Summer
08:30-19:00 Saturday 08:30-19:00 Sunday 08:30-19:00
Box Office Closed 18:30
Winter
08:30-17:00 Saturday 08:30-17:00 Sunday 08:30-17:00
Box Office Closed 17:00

65 and over - Turkish citizens Free
Children ages 0-8 - Non-Turkish Citizens Free
Children ages 0-18 - Citizens of Turkey Free
Students (Studying art history, archaeology and museum departments in university) Free
All Adults (International and Turkish) 55.00TL
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Aksaray Ihlara Valley
aksaraymuzesi@kultur.gov.tr
+90 (382) 453-7483
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