OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
Nev?ehir is the principal town of the area, and it is rather typical of the others with its houses of the local stone. An attraction here is the Seljuk castle that was reinforced during the period of the Ottomans. The Kaya Mosque and the Kur?unlu Mosque are of interest. The later was built by the Grand Vizier Damat Ibrahim Pa?a in 1726. The complex includes a medrese, a hostel and a library. Ürgüp is further down the road from Nev?ehir, and it is a good central place from which to explore the sights of the region. It is laid out at the foot of a high cliff that is full of dwellings connected by tunnels cut out of the rock.
At Aç?ksaray, about fifteen kilometers out of Nev?ehir, churches have been hollowed out of the face of the rock. Continuing on this road to Gül?ehir, we find interesting colors in the rock formations. Here also are found the double sanctuaries of Kar?? Kilise. Furthur on, the road leads to Hac?bekta? and the seminary of the Bekta?i order of dervishes. Also found here is the burial place and medrese of the founder of this mystic religious order, Hac? Bekta? Veli, an Islamic mystic of the 13th century. Several caravanserais are seen on this road that continues to Aksaray. The most interesting and by far the best-preserved is the A?z?kara Han. This dates to the 13th century and is located at a distance of 15 kilometers from the city of Aksaray. The entrance to the caravanserai is especially noteworthy because of its size and decoration using stalagtites and geometrical motifs in the Turkish tradition.
The Valley of Belieirma, formerly Peristrema, is reached by turning left off the main road. Here we find a great many of the rock-churches so familiar in Göreme. A large monastic complex is located near by the village of Selime, at the entrance to the vcdey. Churches of special significance, and the best-preserved, are around the villages of Belisirma and Ihlara. Here the churches have been cut out of the face of a canyon that was worn down by the Melendiz River. They are decorated on the interiors with frescoes from the pre-lconoclactic period, running up until the 13th century. The valley holds some twenty or so churches, and the visitor might make the trip more worthwhile by employing a guide
The most important churches in this area include the Direkli Kilise or the Columned Church, the Sümbüllü Kilise or the Church of the Hyacinths. This one has especially fine interior frescoes. Others are the Y?lanl? Kilise or the Church with Snakes, the Purenli Seki Kilisesi or the Terraced Church, the Kokar Kilise or the Church with an Odor, and the E?ri Ta? Kilisesi or the Church with the Crooked Stone.
The region of Cappadocia is famous for its wine, and wine cellars may be visited in Ürgüp, Ortahisar and Üçhisar. A hotel In the area even has a tap, besides the two for hot and cold water, for wine. The best time for visiting the region is during the spring and autumn. The high altitude maintains a freshness in the air even during the hot summer months, however. The area is dry and always sunny and pleasant.