AKSARAY

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Although contemporary writers tend to place Cappadocia within rather restrained boundaries, we may rightly accept Aksaray as Cappadocia’s important western frontier town, thus also returning the Valley of Ihlara into its rightful historical position.

Green and cool during the summer, Aksaray was already a major commercial center during the Seljuk era, where several important caravan routes converged. The town preserved its eminence during the Ottoman and Turkish Republican periods. Aksaray’s Seljuk and Ottoman past with its magnificent monuments became the heritage of all civilized mankind.

One of the prominent historical relics is the 13th century Agzikarahan caravanserai the entrance of which is a genuine gem of Seljuk architecture. In the past, the inner court featured a small mosque, the kitchen, pantry, the quarters of the personnel and a row of spacious chambers to accomadate the travalers overnight.

The second principal Seljuk edifice is the 4.500 square meter Sultan Han caravanserai along the Aksaray-Konya road. It was a fortified refuge reinforced with towers featuring slots for archers. Its massive building blocs were cut and fitted together with great precision. The serai was put into service in 1299 and accomodated travelers for a long period after the conclusion of the Seljuk era.

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