Aksaray is built at the base of Mt. Hasan, on a large plain at a central crossing point for roads leading in all directions. It derives its name from the Cappadocian King, Archelaos and was an important town especially in the Roman Period. The name was changed to Aksaray by the Seljuks in the 11th century.
Important buildings include the 15th century Ulucami, Kizil Minare (Egri Minare), considered to be the oldest piece of Seljuk work, and the Madrasah of Zinciriye. Ihlara Canyon and Güzelyurt, some of the important areas in Cappadocia, are within the borders of the province of Aksaray.