Late afternoon view from the roof terrace of the Asrav Konak. The name oft the village Güzelyurt means "nice homeland". In the village you can find traditional stone houses, underground cities and several cave churches. In the background you can see the Mount Hasan, which is one of the volcanoes responsible for the tuffstone, that had covered the area. On the rock just right of the small lake is the "Yueksek Kilise" (=high church), which is a testimony of the former Greek population who called the village Gelveri. In 1923 all Christians had to leave Anatolia. Today many Greek descendants of the former poulation visit the village once a year to do a friendship party with the Turkish inhabitants. Polititians could learn a lot here.
Cappadocia is a part of central Turkey. Eruptions of several volcanoes (e.g. Erciyes Dag, Hasan Dag) had covered the area with tuff. Erosion dug valleys and created an uncountable number of different shaped rocks. The tuff's ability to store water made the valleys much more fertile than the higher surroundings. After the arrival of the first people, they soon started to dig caves into the soft stone. By the time they developed the ability to dig cities into the underground with tunnels of several kilometers. A sophisticated pipe- and tunnel-system cared for fresh air and water, to enable the people to hide from enemies for a long time. In the 5th century hermits started to settle in the valleys and to paint their caves. In the next centuries more and more hermits and monks arrived and a rich cave-architecture with colourfull wallpaintings developed. The most famous are the churches of Goereme and the Peristrema Valley (=Ihlara Valley) between Ihlara and Selime. Today thousands of tourists from all over the world are visiting the area.