January 26, 2021


Travel-Lickin' Good

Touring Aksaray, Working day 1: Historical settlements, bathhouses and the Pisa of Anatolia

With extra than 400,000 people, Aksaray is a midsize city positioned in central Turkey. In spite of currently being sandwiched by two of the incredibly touristic central Anatolian provinces of Nevşehir and Konya, the all round tourism inflow of Aksaray is growing steadily each individual day.

Let us discover the historic locations to see, natural wonders to visit and hidden gems to uncover in this city, sitting on the western frontier of the entire world-renowned Cappadocia location.


Our initial destination is Acemhöyük, a 5,000-12 months-old hill city located in the modern-working day city of Yeşilova. While Acemhöyük is a very little outside the house central Aksaray, it takes no additional than a 20-moment travel from the city to get there.

As a person of the largest historical settlements in Central Anatolia, Acemhöyük served as the cash of just one of the compact-scale kingdoms in the location throughout the period of the Assyrian Trade Colonies.

This city was an important hub for trade and commerce in ancient periods. The most incredible results in the location are the two palaces named Sarıkaya and Hatipler, which had been applied for administrative and royal needs.

The ruins of a palace at Acemhöyük, with Mount Hasan in the background, near the village of Yeşilova in the Merkez district of Aksaray province, central Turkey. (Photo by Argun Konuk)
The ruins of a palace at Acemhöyük, with Mount Hasan in the track record, around the village of Yeşilova in the Merkez district of Aksaray province, central Turkey. (Photo by Argun Konuk)

When I achieved the website, its gate was still left open, but there was no one around. A few minutes right after my arrival, Hüseyin, a 12-calendar year-aged resident of the town, approached and welcomed me. He informed me that his dad is the guard of the web page but given that he was a bit active, Hüseyin was going to give me a tour. He was a talkative boy, and during my go to, we chatted about quite a few distinct things.

“Abi (an informal way of addressing anyone in Turkish, this means “older brother”), I often wanted to be a medical professional but following investing time with the archaeologists who have been excavating in this article, I am much more intrigued in staying an archaeologist now,” Hüseyin stated.

He gave me a nice tour and amazingly understood a lot about the history of the region. Prior to we bid farewell, I desired to give him some pocket revenue for the time he used guiding me. He refused firmly and claimed: “I could hardly ever accept it, abi, it is my duty to be in this article. Have a safe excursion!”


Sultanhan Caravanserai was built in 1229 by Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat (Keyqubat I) of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum. his large construction is made up of two sections made use of in summers and winters, and it is the most significant caravanserai developed by the Anatolian Seljuks in Turkey.

The key gate to the caravanserai is adorned with meticulously carved, intact ornaments and styles that are of breathtaking magnificence. Sultanhan incorporates dozens of rooms, a cafeteria, bathhouse, kitchen and stables. At the middle of the open up-air corridor, you’ll find the mansion masjid (köşk mescidi), which experienced been utilized as a area of worship for centuries.

You can pay a visit to Sultanhan from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In situation you would like to reconfirm the traveling to hrs, right here is the number to attain the municipality of Sultanhan: +90 382 242 20 11.

Street art on one of the streets of Aksaray, central Turkey. (Photo by Argun Konuk)
Road art on one particular of the streets of Aksaray, central Turkey. (Photograph by Argun Konuk)

Aksaray Museum

Aksaray Museum offers a wide assortment of extra than 10,000 artifacts dating back to the Iron Age and Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk eras. Some of the noteworthy artifacts you will see at the museum are the skull of the young woman who was the subject of the world’s first regarded brain surgical procedure, instruments unearthed at Acemhöyük and things discovered at the Chalcolithic settlement of Güvercinkayası.

If you assume that you would have to go to Egypt to see mummies, Aksaray Museum will surely help you save you a large amount of time and energy. Mummies of people today and cats identified in Ihlara Valley and Çanlı Kilise (Bell Church) are on display screen at the museum, and are, in my impression, its most intriguing points of interest.

The final corridor of the museum offers visitors with considerable perception into the modern record of Aksaray. Classic attire, kitchenware, furnishings, jewellery, wood slippers, towels and weapons exhibited at the Ethnography Hall transport us back again to past hundreds of years and demonstrate how people today lived in Aksaray in the outdated moments.

Like each individual portion of Aksaray Museum, the historic artifacts at the yard of the museum as very well lead to the historical and cultural richness of the exhibition. Apart from stonework carved by the Hittites, there is a big quantity of grave steles, sarcophagi and vessels from many eras at the property of the museum.

Inside of the the latest COVID-19 constraints, Aksaray Museum can be frequented from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Mondays, the museum is shut.

Aksaray Grand Mosque

Located proper at the coronary heart of the metropolis, Aksaray Grand Mosque (Aksaray Ulu Camii) is also recognized as Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey Mosque. The development of the mosque was decreed and funded by Karamanoğlu Mehmet Bey (Mehmet I of Karaman), the notable ruler of the medieval Turkic Principality of Karaman (Karamanid Dynasty), who was also known to be a staunch adherent of the Turkish language. All through his rule, he issued a decree in the 13th century, a direct translation of which said: “From now on, no person in palaces, councils, community locations and on streets will discuss any language other than Turkish.”

The environment of the mosque are the liveliest locations of the town and the most effective location to witness the everyday lifetime in Aksaray. Soon after browsing the mosque, I would propose having a small walk all around the nearby streets.

I come across it useful to incorporate that the streets are pretty narrow in central Aksaray, thus, there are incessant site visitors jams. Acquiring a public parking location is just about extremely hard. To increase ease to your excursion, I would strongly endorse you leave your automobile in 1 of the lots of paid parking loads downtown.

The Zinciriye Madrassa has served many purposes, from an Islamic school to a prison to a wedding hall. (Photo by Argun Konuk)
The Zinciriye Madrassa has served several purposes, from an Islamic university to a jail to a wedding ceremony hall. (Photograph by Argun Konuk)

Zinciriye Madrassa

Irrespective of the actuality that no epitaphs or inscriptions ended up recovered to convey to us about when and by whom this madrassa was constructed, it is commonly believed that it was made for the duration of the era of the Principality of Karaman.

The record of this madrassa is a small complicated. In the course of the hundreds of years, the function that this historical composition was used for altered lots of moments. Right until the year 1916, Zinciriye Madrassa was utilized as an Islamic faculty, which was inside of the first goal of the structure. Concerning 1927-1945, it was turned into a prison. The madrassa underwent restoration in 1955, and afterwards on, it was applied as a element of the Museum of Niğde. In the subsequent decades, Zinciriye Madrassa served as a cafe and wedding day hall. Virtually a century later just after the final Islamic lecture was specified at this madrassa, in 2011, it was turned into a vacationer attraction.

For me, it was quite stunning to see that the artistic styles, ornaments and traditional adornments on the walls and doors are nonetheless pretty properly preserved as if they had been carved the working day before.

Even even though it is at the moment not open on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would counsel you choose a quick look at the Historical Pasha Hamam, which is the only energetic historic hamam in the town.

The Eğri Minaret, also called the Red Minaret for the color of its bricks, in Aksaray, Turkey. (Photo by Argun Konuk)
The Eğri Minaret, also termed the Purple Minaret for the color of its bricks, in Aksaray, Turkey. (Image by Argun Konuk)

Eğri Minare

It helps make me content to say that Aksaray has its individual edition of Pisa Tower. Eğri Minare (its literal translation in English is “slanted minaret”) has been erect in the exact same slanted posture for 800 years. Speculations allude to the simple fact that the minaret was designed this way, and it did not bend more than the a long time.

It is thought to have been created in the era of Sultan Kaykhusraw II (II. Gıyâseddin Keyhüsrev) in the 13th century. Eğri Minaret is also termed Kızıl Minare (Purple Minaret) by the locals because of to the point that crimson bricks ended up made use of in its design.