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Güzelyurt, formerly Gelveri, is a town and district of Aksaray Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey, at a distance of 45km from the city of Aksaray. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 16,836 of which 3,775 live in the town of Güzelyurt. The district covers an area of 322km2, and the average elevation is 1485m.This area is part of the ancient region of Cappadocia, near the Ihlara Valley.HistoryCappadocia has an important place in the history of Christianity and Gregory of Nazianzus lived in the area. A historically large Greek population existed in the area until the 1924 population exchange (see Cappadocian Greeks), when they were replaced with the Turks from Thessaloniki and Kavala.Places of interestGüzelyurt is known for having three underground cities and over 50 churches carved into the rocky volcanic landscape including: Ihlara Valley Monastery Valley, "Manastır Vadisi" Fairy Chimneys, "Peri Bacaları" Antique Greek houses Ahmatlı Church St. Anargiros Church, "Sivişli Kilise" Koç Church Cathedral of Selime The rock monastery of Selime, one of the largest religious buildings in Cappadocia. Red Church, "Kızıl Kilise" - a 5th or 6th century church in the village of Sivrihisar Analipsis Church, "Yüksek Kilise" (High Church) on the hill of Analipsis. Stone age relics have been found nearby. St. Gregorius Church, "Kilise Cami" - another rock-hewn church, in use today as a mosque St. Spyridon Church, "Kızıl Kilise" - another red church in the vicinity of Güzelyurt. Other places of interest include: The tomb of Selime Sultan in the village of Selime. Linseed House, "Bezirhane" in the village of Belisırma. Ziga thermal springs, "Ziga kaplıcaları" is located in the village of Yaprakhisar very close to Ihlara Valley. An underground city is situated in Gaziemir village of Güzelyurt.Plan my day in Cyprus using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.
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