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Kayseri, which has a history of 6000 years, is one of the oldest settlements in Anatolia.

Being on the silk route, Kayseri has maintained its importance throughout history due to its strategic location. It used to be known in its past as the center of commerce, but with appropriate investment it has become one of the leading industrial cities. Recently, Kayseri has also attracted attention not only for its natural beauties but also its financial possibilities/ opportunities.

There are direct flights to Kayseri from İstanbul. It is also possible to reach Kayseri by rail or bus within a few hours from various centers.

Part of delight of Kayseri is that it centres around its most beautiful old buildings, and that these still play an important part in the everyday life of the place. The nature of buildings that have survived bears witness to the social conscience of the early Muslims, particularly of the Seljuks. Koranic teaching forbade excessive concern with private houses, and very few of them have survived. Instead the buildings of real notein the city are those which served public welfare and communal activities, especially exemplified in mosque complexes that included schools, soup kitchens and hamams.

Other buildings still integral to Kayseri’s life are the covered markets, where commercial activity- as conspicuous now as it was for the first Assyrian settlement-is most obvious. The prominence of commerce can be ascertained by the fact that there are three covered markets in the town center, all dating from different periods. The Bedesten was built in 1497.The Ulucami or Great Mosque is constructed under the Danişment Turkish emirs in the first half of the 13th century. The mosque, which can be entered from three sides, is still remarkably good condition. The best known of the mausoleums in Kayseri is the Döner Kümbet, a typical example probably dating to around 1275, built for Şah Cihan Hatun. Mysteriously the name of the monument means turning tomb, although it doesn’t turn and never has done. The tomb is decorated with arabesques and palmetters, and a tree of life with twin-headed eagles and lions beneath.


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The Museums

Near the citadel in the town center, the külliye of Hunat Hatun was the first mosque complex to be built by the Seljuks in Anatolia. It consist of a mosque (1237-38), and one of the most beautiful examples of Seljuk architecture in Turkey, the thirteenth-century medrese. This former theological college has an open courtyard and two eyvans (vaulted chambers open at the front) and nowadays houses the city’s ethnographic museum Hunat Hatun, Greek wife of Sultan Keykubad.

The archaeological museum certainly the best museum in the region, containing some of the most interesting artefacts to be found in Cappadocia. The first room deals with the Hittites, their cuneiform writing and hieroglyphics, and includes a fascinating Hittite rock relief from Develi and the head of sphinx. The rest of the museum is mainly dedicated to finds from the excavations of Kültepe.

The Güpgüpoğlu House, just inside the city walls is a restored Ottoman family home dating from the fifteenth century. It’s been arranged as a museum of ethnography.

The surroundings of Kayseri

Mt. Erciyes is only 30 km away from Kayseri, which has one of the nicest ski-runs in Turkey.

Sultan Sazlığı, which is world famous for birdmatchers and 301 different species of birds and is one of the bird paradises in the world, is in Kayseri.

Aladağlar National Park, whose major parts are also in Kayseri, is visited with great interest by an increasing number of people each year.

The Kapuzbaşı Falls, The Hacer Forests and the Seven Lake District are wonders of nature with their diverse natural features.

Soğanlı Valley, which is an important extension of Cappadocia region, is famous for its churches carved into rocks. Authentic hand made linen dolls in the region also attract attention.

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