West of Cappadocia,...
West of Cappadocia, over the mountains, lies Kayseri, known as Caesarea in Roman times. The city spreads out at the foot of the extinct volcano Mt. Erciyes (3,916 meters).
In the winter months the ski center has excellent runs for downhill skiers, and several pleasant hotels cater particularly to skiers. Close to the Byzantine fortress, the 13th century Huant Hatun Mosque and Medrese, with the Mahperi Hatun Mausoleum, comprise the first Seljuk complex, the Huant Hatun Complex, in Anatolia. The Medrese is now an Ethnography Museum. South of the complex, stands the beautifully decorated Doner Kumbet of 1276, a Seljuk mausoleum of classic simplicity.
A major Seljuk city, Kayseri was an important center of learning and consequently, there are many medreses among the remaining historical buildings.Those interested in the Seijuk architectural form should see the Cifte (Giyasiye and Sifahiye) Medrese, the first Seljuk school of anatomy, and one which today is now the Gevher Nesibe Medical History Museum. And nearby is the lovely Sahabiye Medrese. Near the city's bedestan is the restored 12th centurv Ulu Mosque.
The Haci Kilic Mosque north of the Cifte Medrese dates from 1249. In the Cumhuriyet quarter, the 19th century Resit Aga Mansion houses the Ataturk Museum which displays Ataturk's personal belongings. Across from the Ataturk Museum, the historical Gupgupoglu Mansion is now an Ethnography Museum.
South of Kayseri, in Develi, stand three more important Seljuk buildings: the Ulu Mosque, the Seyid-i Serif Tomb and the Develi Tomb. Nearby, the Sultan Marshes, the habitat of many bird-species, are of interest both to ornithologists and nature lovers.
North of Kayseri, Kultepe, known in ancient times as Kanesh or Karum was one of the earliest Hittite commercial cities Dating from 2 000 B.C, Kultepe was also one of the world's first cities of free trade. Today, however, only the foundations remain. Many of the finds can be examined in the Kayseri
On the same road is Sultanhan, a caravanserai built by the Seijuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat in the early 13th century and a favorite stop for tourists.
Kapuzbasi Waterfall is 76 km south from Kayseri. In this beautiful natural site, seven different springs on the mountainside fall from heights ranging between 30 and 70 meters.
Kayseri is one of the most important carpet and kilim production centers in Anatolia. Bunyan is the most famous carpet production center and Yahyali is the most famous kilim production center.Rugs woven in finely knotted floral patterns continue a centuries-old tradition. Local production can be purchased in any of the Kayseri carpet shops
Source and thanks to About_Turkey.com</<>
the village of Elia Kazan
Very near to the city you can find a small village with the name of Germir.This is the birth place of the famous movie producer Elia Kazan .The most famous ottoman architect Mimar Sinan also is born very near of this small village .
The houses are very interesting .
Gateway to Cappadocia
Kayseri is one of the main gateways to the Cappadocia region, the other major airport being on the western side of the region at Nevsehir. I was just passing through, but I read that it's a successful business center with a thriving textiles industry. It's also relatively conservative religiously and is home to somewhat fascist political group. Despite this, it is said to be a friendly place for travelers.
All I can say is that its airport is small and easy to get in and out of quickly, the city looks somewhat modern from a distance, the mountain shown in this picture (Erciyes Dagi) is impressive and the roads are excellent!
Kayseri is about 80 kilometers from the heart of central Cappadocia (i.e. Goreme, Urgup, etc). You can arrange transportation to the village of your choice if you fly in on either Turkish Airlines or Onur (as I did), but be sure to arrange this at the time you book your flight. It should cost around 10 YTL for a shuttle van.
No tips here, but you're welcome to leave a comment if you'd like!
The Seljuk Empire of Rum spanned the ancient trade routes of Anatolia, the camel trails along which the riches of Persia and China had been carried to the markets of Europe, and vice-versa.
With trade came wealth, so the Seljuk sultans and the grandees of the empire worked to encourage, increase and protect commerce by road.
The great men and women of the empire endowed hans, or kervansarays (“caravan palaces”) along the Silk Road and other major routes. These huge stone buildings were made to shelter the caravaneers, their camels, horses and donkeys, and their cargoes, to keep them safe from highwaymen and to provide needed travel services.
The typical Seljuk caravanserai is a huge square or rectangular building with high walls of local stone. The walls are smoothly finished but devoid of decoration. Supporting towers or buttresses may be in geometric shapes (half-cylinder, half-octagon, half-hexagon, etc) and the outlets for roof runoff may be stylized animal heads, but otherwise the exterior is severely plain.
The exception is the main portal, which is elaborately decorated with bands of geometric design, Kur’anic inscriptions in Arabic script, and the sculpted geometric patterns of mukarnas (stalactite vaulting).
Walk through the main portal and you pass the room of the caravanserai’s manager and enter a large courtyard. At its center may be a mescit (small mosque or prayer-room), usually raised above ground level on a stone platform. (The mescit may also be built into the walls above the main portal.) Around the sides of the courtyard, built into the walls, are the service rooms: refectory, treasury, hamam (Turkish bath), repair shops, etc.
At the far end of the courtyard from the main portal is the grand hall, a huge vaulted hall usually with a nave and three side aisles. The hall is usually lit by slit windows in the stone walls and/or a stone cupola centered above the nave. The hall sheltered goods and caravaneers during bad winter weather.
Most caravanserais were built as pious endowments: a wealthy Seljuk gave money for the building’s construction and also made available a source of income to be used for its maintenance.
Caravans were welcomed into the caravansarai in the evening, and were welcome to stay free for three days. Food, fodder and lodging were provided free of charge, courtesy of the building’s founder. (Most caravans probably moved on the next morning.)
Nearly 100 (???) Seljuk caravanserais still exist along the Silk Road and other routes in former Seljuk lands. Many are in ruins, but some are well preserved and real treats to visit and explore.
The Sultan Han, grandest of all, is west of Aksaray on the Konya highway. The richest concentration of hans is along the Silk Road from Aksaray east to Nevsehir and Avanos: Agzikarahan, Tepesidelik Han, Alay Han, Sari
by Tom Brosnahan
Julie and Stacey Go to Cappadocia
In 1999, I brought my friend Stacey to Turkey to visit Istanbul and Cappadocia. We flew to Kayseri and spent five days around the region, staying in the town of Urgup. We set up the Cappadocia portion of the trip with the help of Argeus Travel (in Urgup), whom I can wholeheartedly recommend. They were amazingly helpful and came up with a fantastic itinerary for a very reasonable price. I found them on the Web and set up the whole trip via e-mail.