Cappadocia Kayseri

Kayseri Date Kayseri Turkey   Cappadocia Kayseri informations
Cappadocia Kayseri 
The town has always been an important political and economical center, even in the Hittite times, but if Kayseri itself was a Hittite city, its ancient name is not known. (In fact, it could be identified with several lost cities mentioned in Hittite documents.)

Known as Mazaca in pre-Roman times, Kayseri was already the capital of Cappadocia. Following its conquest by Emperor Traian, the Romans renamed it Caesarea.

Situated at the junction of several trade routes, Kayseri’s history was a turbulent one. There is hardly any recorded eastern warlord whose armies had not ravaged the region. The Assyrians, Sassanians, Persians, Saracens and more recently the Mongols had all left some traces of their destructive handwork upon
this city of wealth and culture.

In 1174, the Seljuks incorporated Kayseri in their sultanate and ruled it until the advent of the Ottoman Turks. Since the reign of Sultan Selim the Grim, Kayseri is a provincial capital.

The partly still extant city walls were erected during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian (A. D. 527-565). The surviving section of the fortress has an overall length of two hundred meters.

Naturally Kayseri is rich in historical and archeological relics and the excavations revealed the cultures of a conglomeration of races which had once populated the region.

Notable buildings erected by the Turks are abundant; the magnificent mosques, caravanserays, tombs, Islamic schools and public baths are meritorious rivals of the great Hellenic-Roman constructions. Built in 1135 by Melik Mehmet Gazi, the Ulu Mosque is of Seljuk style. Ornamental designs cover every inch of its surface. The Hunat Hatun Mosque was built in the memory of Hatun Sultana, the wife of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat, known as the builder of the most beautiful monuments in Anatolia, among them the splendid castle of Alanya, on the Mediterranean coast. The Hatun mausoleum is now a museum.

The Giyasie Sifaiye was the first medical school and systematically organized hospital not only in Anatolia, but probably in the world. It was founded in 1205, barely thirty-five years after the conquest of Kayseri.

The Sahabiye Mosque houses the second museum of Kayseri, where relics of the Seljuk past are displayed.

Not far from town we find two caravanserays, both constructed in rural Seljuk style, giving emphasis to visual beauty and architectural perfection—the Sultan Han and the Karatay Han. The village of Bünyan, off of the Malatiya highway, is a famous carpet center where some of the finest Turkish carpets are being knotted in almost every rural home.

A short way north of Kayseri, the village of Erkilet is an archeological site and nearby Gerhir has a subterranean complex, which is probably the northernmost one in Cappadocia.

Enterprising motorists may return to Göreme by traversing the Erziyes to the village of Develi. Partly asphalt, partly gravel and at some places bumpy, the road passes quite close to the cone of the 3916 meters high extinct volcano, the Roman Mont Aergeus (ca 12.000 ft). From Develi a good paved road leads to Ürgüp and Göreme.

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