The Greenest Point of Cappadocia – Ihlara Valley
Green Ihlara Valley is possibly the most stunning natural landscapes list in first three in Turkey. Situated in the Cappadocia region and formed thousands of years ago, the 14-kilometre gorge, reaches 100 metres deep in most places.
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.
The place that early Christians lived who escaping from Roman persecution
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.