Ihlara is a township with own municipality in Aksaray Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is situated at about 40 km (25 mi) from the province seat of Aksaray and near the town of Guzelyurt. The township is famed for the nearby valley of the same name, Ihlara Valley, which is a 16 km (10 mi) long gorge cut into volcanic rock in the southern part of Cappadocia, following several eruptions of Mount Erciyes. Through they valley flows Melendiz Stream. What is unique about this valley is the ancient history of its inhabitants. The whole canyon is honeycombed with rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period. Due that the richness of the watering possibility and its hidden form and easily to hide structure it was the first settlement place of the first Christians escaping from the Roman soldiers. In the Ihlara Valley there are hundreds of antic churches caved in the volcanic rocks. The most known churches are Agacalti Church with cross plan, Sumbullu Church, Purenliseki Church, Kokar Church, Yilanli Church, Karagedik Church, Kirkdamatli Church, Direkli Church, Ala Church, Kemerli Church and Egritas Church.