Selime Monastery
Güzelyurt, Aksaray Province, Turkey

Carved directly into the rocks of Cappadocia, Selime Monastery is one of the region’s most fascinating cultural attractions. Experts believe it took more than 200 years to shape the monastery, beginning in the eighth or ninth century. The structure, which could house some 5,000 people, included a cathedral-sized church with stone columns, camel stables, living quarters, a missionary school, water well and a huge kitchen with a chimney. There’s a bit of a climb to get up to the monastery structure, and visitors are free to climb inside many of the structures as well. The view from the top looks out over the lunar-like landscape of Cappadocia.

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