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Situated on a plain between the great arc of the Kızılırmak river and the wide foothills of the mount Erciyes, Kayseri has been a significant cultural and commercial center for the Anatolian civilizations for enturies. Today, it is a modern and well organized industrial city with unique historical and touristic attractions.
The history of the region is traced back to the Ancient Hittite times. Settlement within the borders of the city starts from the Chalcolithic age and goes well into the end of the Roman Empire. During the early Hittite period, Kültepe consisted of two settlements, namely Kanish –the capital of Kanish Kingdom- and Karum -the marketplace of the Assyrian merchants-. The commercial significance of the region started during those times and still continues today. The region remained under the rule of various civilizations throughout the history. Although the exact settlement date is not known, Mazaka (Kayseri) gained its significance as a commercial center during the Phrygian rule. Today’s city of Kayseri (Mazak) is 22 km away from Kültepe. During the Persian rule, Mazak was the capital of Cappadocia, and thus remained under the influence of Persian culture for centuries.
While it was under the rule of Ariarethes the Third, the Kingdom of Cappadocia gained its independence and the name Mazaka was later changed to Eusebeia. Cappadocia became a Roman province in the first century B.C. With the division of the Roman Empire, the city first fell into the hands of Rome and then the Byzantine Empire. It later became a significant center for Christianity. Kayseri was conquered by the Persian Sassanid King Shah Shapur in the middle of the sixth century A.D. Having been subject to the forays made by the Arabs during the seventh and ninth centuries, Kayseri was conquered by İzzet Kılıçarslan the Second following the victory at Malazgirt in 1071 and it fell under the rule of Danishmend Principality for a brief period in 1075.
It became a province of the Turkish Republic in 1923 and was officially named as Kayseri. Today’s modern Kayseri is located 2 km north of Mazaka, which is the original settlement known as the old city or old Kayseri.
Bearing the cultural heritage of centuries, Kayseri is also renowned for various handicrafts including carpet and rug weaving, copper works and leather trade. Its beautiful surroundings, the snow clad Mount Erciyes, handicrafts and Kanish Karum make Kayseri a significant touristic destination.