Güzelyurt, which means "beautiful homeland," embodies all of the characteristics of Cappadocia: open fields and pastures, troglodyte houses, underground cities, and monastery complexes all within smelling distance of the villagers' freshly baked bread.

The present-day village of Güzelyurt was settled by the early Christians under the name of Gelveri (or Karvali which wound up as Karballa) possibly after the hill of Calvary in Jerusalem. The village grew into an important center of early Christianity during the life of Gregory of Nazianzus, who built the church bearing his name (St. Gregorius Church) with the support of Emperor Theodosius in the 4th century. The pulpit however, dates to the 18th century, when it was donated by Czar Nicholas I. The spring waters in the courtyard (down about 36 steps) are still believed to be holy. The Saint Anargiros Church is a wondrously primitive collection of stairs, columns, arches, and domes all carved into the rock face (tip: head up to the highest point of the church for some spectacular views). The 13th-century St. George Church preserves frescos that include a depiction of the Selçuk Sultan. Just outside of the village is Monastery Valley (Manastir Vadisi), a 4.5km (2 3/4-mile) trek-cum-art history lesson sporting no fewer than 50 rock churches and monasteries.

There are several lookout points and cliffs from which to survey the village and the parade of passing cows, and as Güzelyurt is famous for its hospitality, it's more than likely you'll get stopped to share a pot of tea.

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