Discover Cappadocia, home of Ihlara valley
Ihlara Valley is the most famous valley in Turkey for hiking excursions with its nature and cave churches. The valley is a 16 km long gorge cut into the volcanic rock very close to Guzelyurt Village, holds about 60 Byzantine churches, chapels and monasteries.
Ihlara Valley is one of the most famous valleys in Turkey. The valley opens itself out to you, revealing the secret of how it is a rare and tactful symbol of nature, humanity, history and art in harmony.
An eruption of Mount Hasan spewed out lava made up primarily of high basalt and andesite. When this lava cooled it formed deep cracks and declines that formed the Ihlara Valley. The waters flowing from the Melendiz Stream cut through the area, forming a wide and deep gorge. The elevation in some areas of the Ihlara Valley reaches 150 meters.
Through time, the walls of the deep gorge have been carved out into chapels, monasteries, shelters, churches and tombs. Similar to the underground cities, some of these shelters and churches are connected each other with passageways.
Thanks to the geomorphological make up of the Ihlara Valley, this area became a place where monks and hermits could retreat and worship. During times of war and invasion the area also became an ideal hiding place.
The best protected cave churches of Ihlara Valley;
Agacalti Church with cross plan, Sumbullu Church, Purenli Seki Church, Kokar Church, Yilanli Church, Karagedik Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church, Egritas Church, Bahattin Church.
Ihlara Valley, Guzelyurt, Aksaray
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