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With its thousands of years of civilization and cultural heritage, Kayseri has a special place not only in Anatolia but in the entire history of ancient Near East. Situated in the foothills of the Taurus mountains, stretching from east to west in the Anatolian plateau and located at the cross roads of natural roads running from north to south over the Taurus mountains, Kayseri has been home to various ancient civilizations from time immemorial due to this strategic geography provided by nature.
According to the scientific studies, it is established that this particular geography has been subject to uninterrupted settlements by various civilizations since the Late Neolithic Age.
Today, it is a modern and well organized industrial city with rich historical and touristic attractions thanks to its beautiful surroundings.
In Kayseri, industrial enterprises, first established as mere workshops, has rapidly turned into factories, while new educational institutions such as Erciyes University and modern urbanization activities have contributed to the commercial and touristic significance of the city.
The Must-See Places in Kayseri
Built in 1906 on the Kayseri Cumhuriyet Square by the order of Sultan Abdülhamit the Second, the Clock Tower has a square plan, made of cut stone and has a cylindrical shape inside.
Being the first city established by the Hittites -who came to Anatolia in 2000 B.C.- Kültepe is currently within the borders of modern Kayseri. As a result of the excavations made in Karum (Pazarşehir), right next to Kültepe, cuneiforms have been unearthed dating back to the Hittite period, which shed light to the commercial relationships conducted between the Assyrian merchants and Hittite natives. Kültepe saw uninterrupted settlement from 4000 B.C. until the end of the Roman Empire.
Kayseri has preserved its importance at every stage of the history and thus been subject to major forays and conquests due to its strategic and geographical location. For this reason, various tribes and states holding sway over the city took measures to defend it. The most important among such measures is the Kayseri Castle which still stands today in the city center.
Hunat Hatun Mosque
Hunat (Huand) Hatun Mosque, along with the other buildings that make up the külliye, is located in the most prominent spot of Kayseri, which attracts a great deal of visitors thanks to its architecture and ornamentations on its crown gate.
A grand mosque is like the heart of a city. All the social, religious and commercial life revolves around it. They are especially preferred for the Friday prayer. In this respect, they stand out among other mosques built in the city. Kayseri’s Grand Mosque fits this description and it is aptly located in the heart of Kayseri. It is as if the commercial and social life in Kayseri goes on around it.
It is considered as one of the early period Seljuk architectural works with its geometrical brick ornaments and long and narrow stalactite niches on either façade.
It was built for Shah Cihan Hatun -the daughter of the Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad the First- in Kayseri in 1276. Hence it is also known as Shah Cihan Hatun Cupola. The Revolving Cupola is located on the road to Talas and was declared as cultural heritage site in 1980.
Roman Burial Place
This burial place located in the north of Sahabiye Madrasah in the city center was excavated and restored in 1956. It is a typical Roman grave built of black stones. Due to the Islamic stones found inside, it is also believed to have been used as a Seljuk mausoleum as well.
The mausoleum of Seyyid Burhaneddin -the teacher of Mevlana Celaledding Rumi who spent the last years of his life in Kayseri- is one of the most visited mausoleums in Kayseri today.
Gıyasiye and Şifahiye Madrasah
This group of buildings, consisting of a madrasah and hospital which is also known as “Double Madrasah” due to its architecture, is called as Giyasiye Madrasah and Şifaiye (Hospital) in the historical records as it was commissioned to be built by Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev. As stated in its inscription, the madrasah and hospital built for Gevher Nesibe Sultan, the sister of Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev the First, are also known as Gevher Nesibe Sultan Madrasah and Hospital.
Surp Kirkor Lusuvoriç Church
There are seven churches in Anatolia that belong to the Armenian community. The most important and oldest of them all is the Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Armenian Church in Kayseri. Both the tourists visiting Anatolia, and those coming to the area for the Christian feast, and even the representatives of the government, intellectuals and tourism entrepreneurs wish to obtain information on this particular church.
The history of Talas is traced back to 1500 B.C. The county remained under the rule of Mazaks (around 1500 B.C.), Cappadocians (in 510 B.C.), Kayrus (in 312 B.C.), Alexander the Great (in 335 B.C.), Romans (from 37 B.C. to 1107 A.D.) and Turkmen who came to Anatolia following the conquest of Anatolia with Alpaslan’s victory over Romen Diogenes in 1070.
Located on the highway between Kayseri-Malatya, Karatay Caravanserai conforms to the classical Seljuk caravanserai plans. With its grooved and nodular supporting towers and castle-like monumental and magnificent appearance in distance, Karatay Caravanserai has a breathtaking architectural aesthetics thanks to its fine stonemasonry evident on all sides in addition to its crown gate.
Esma Hatun Mausoleum