Covered in a dazzling snow blanket, the ancient Christian cathedral enthralls visitors in Turkey's picturesque Cappadocia region.
The Selime Cathedral, which is known to be the place where Christians held the first vocal religious ceremony 1,700 years ago, is located in Turkey's central Aksaray province and attracts many local and foreign tourists every year.
The Selime village is at the entrance of the Ihlara Valley and it is home to several churches, monasteries, caravan roads, hundreds of fairy chimneys, and unique scenery.
The largest cathedral in the Cappadocia region, the two-story Selime, was built after rocks were carved.
Living spaces in the cathedral, such as kitchens, barn roofs, and rooms, bear the traces of Byzantine art. Its walls feature depictions such as the ascension of Jesus and the Virgin Mary.
Visitors of Selime enjoy the picturesque view in winter as in every season and discover the region's historical, cultural, and natural beauties.
The Selime Cathedral, a favorite destination for tourists in the Cappadocia region, was visited by 543,000 people in 2019 and 240,000 people in 2020 despite coronavirus.
Marina Anisina from Russia, a tourist visiting the region, told Anadolu Agency that the cathedral is a "perfect" place with its history and nature.
"We met not only its natural beauty but also its historical texture. Snow added a different wonder," she said.
"I wanted to visit this area as it is an early Christian center. It's a wonderful place.
"We visited the Selime Cathedral. I was touched with it," she expressed.
Shapagat Altayeva, a tourist from Kazakhstan, explained that it was the first time she had been to Turkey. "Selime greeted us with snow. The snow was a visual feast for us."
Cappadocia is prominent for its unique "fairy chimney" volcanic cones, valleys, underground cities, and houses carved into the rock, as well as its churches, chapels, and shelters used by early Christians fleeing the Roman Empire.
The region is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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