Güzelyurt City

Güzelyurt means `beautiful country' in Turkish. Güzelyurt city is situated in the north-west with a population of 12,000. it is a charming little town which is surrounded by citrus groves. Their wonderful heady scent is itself a good enough reason for a visit in blossom time. See map of Güzelyurt.

Güzelyurt is one of the richest agricultural areas of North Cyprus, famous particularly for the citrus (orange, lemon & grapefruit) and strawberries. They thrive in Güzelyurt's fertile red soil. A large portion of the citrus fruit is exported, and the rest is made into fruit juice and canned for local consumption as well as export. The town was founded by the Spartans, who brought with them the worship of Aphrodite. In the middle ages, the city was referred to as Morphou, and also Theomorphou. The Morphou area grew more than half of Cyprus's citrus fruits.

Visit the former monastery of St Mamas, originally Byzantine with Gothic establishments. St Mamas is popularly known as the patron saint of tax avoiders. He was a poor hermit, and when the authorities tried to tax him, he evaded them. Soldiers were sent out to capture him, but on the way back to the town, he saw a lion attacking a lamb. He escaped the soldiers, saved the lamb and jumped onto the lions back and rode into town. His bravery earned him exemption from tax, hence his traditional attribute. The church is an icon museum now, and the images of St Mamas on his lion are quite amusing. No one at that time had seen a lion, so the iconography is not exactly lifelike.

Güzelyurt is interesting to those who want to see a traditional part of North Cyprus. You can enjoy your holiday in the peace and quiet of its natural surroundings. Güzelyurt is an ideal picnic spot for those who want to escape from the noise and rush of the city life. In spring, the light breezes scatter the white orange blossoms, and you can smell the fragrance from all around, while in other seasons the golden oranges and lemons shine on the trees. Güzelyurt is also famous for its annual Orange Festival, which is a major event lasting two weeks.

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