Ihlara Valley


Ihlara Valley a township located in the Aksaray Province of Turkey. Ihlara Valley has a 16-kilometre gorge cut from the volcanic rock after eruptions of Mount Erciyes. The Ihlara Valley’s gorge is the unique home to rock-carved churches and underground dwellings. With nearly 100 in total, they line both sides of the gorge. The location of these churches and houses, hidden in the rocks, with their easy access to water, made them one of the first places for Christians to seek refuge from the Roman Empire.

There are several churches along the valley floor.  Kokar Kilise has beautiful frescos, a nativity and underground tombs.  Selime Monastery is a rock-cut structure, with a huge kitchen, a church with a gallery, stables with rock carved troughs and gigantic chimneys.

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