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GAZİEMİR

Gazi1Visitors driving between the small Cappadocian town of Güzelyurt and the underground city at Derinkuyu might like to consider stopping in Gaziemir, a sleepy agricultural settlement of dark-stone houses that is also home to an enigmatic rock-cut structure that locals describe as an underground city but which is just as likely to be a monastery that was turned into a caravanserai at a later date. 

A small park separates the two parts of the attraction with the part on the right certainly resembling a small section of "undergound city" on two levels. 

This alone would not be especially exciting but across the road you descend steps and pass through a tunnel under the road to reach a much more interesting complex of rooms opening off a central square.

This looks so like the outer part of the monastery at Eski Gümüşler, near Niğde, that it is hard not to draw comparision, especially as the complex includes not just a small church with apse and altar but also a wall with crosses incised into and a pool with steps down into it which is described as being for wine making but could just as easily be a baptistry for immersions.Gazi2

Exploring Gaziemir is fun, and will appeal particularly to people who suffer from claustrophobia in small spaces since there are few narrow tunnels or sections where you need to bend double as at Derinkuyu. The exception is the dark, doglegging tunnel that leads to what is described as a prison cell with absolutely so access to daylight at all. 

Elsewhere in the complex you will find holes carved out of the ground to support huge storage jars (some are still intact), mangers for animals and places where they would have been tied up, and what looks like a section where a refectory table like the one at Keşlik has been removed. 

But in the absence of written records it's all so much speculation.

Sleeping

The best choice of hotels in the vicinity is at Güzelyurt. There are two thermal hotels at nearby Narlıgöl but they are the sort of buildings Prince Charles would probably call "carbuncles".

Transport info

There are no buses to get you here so you will either need a private car or a tour that incorporates a visit to Gaziemir. 

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