|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 Archaeological Museum.
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
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.