Area: 16.917 km²
Population: 943.484 (1990)
Traffic Code: 38
Kayseri has been one of the most important trade centres of Anatolia over history. Located right in the centre of the country, it has the feel of a modern, busy city but also has a strong traditional and religious atmosphere. The setting is spectacular, with the mountains of Erciyes Dagi and Kara Dagi in the background, a snow-capped volcano and green fields, and the nearby Sultansazligi bird sanctuary. The city is also well known for its textile and carpet industry, and has impressive monuments that reflect its history. Kayseri has always been a popular option as a base to explore Cappadocia.
Districts : Akkışla, Bünyan, Develi, Felahiye, Hacılar, İncesu, Kocasinan, Melikgazi, Özvatan, Pınarbaşı, Sarıoğlan, Sarız, Talas, Tomarza, Yahyalı, Yeşilhisar.
How to Get
By Road: Because of its position in the centre of the country, Kayseri is well positioned on bus routes going east to west, and north to south. Services include several buses daily from Istanbul (12 hours), Ankara (5 hours), Bursa (11 hours), Izmir (12 hours), Konya (4 hours) and Urgup (90 mins). The main bus station is on the west of the city centre, and there are dolmuses running to and from the bus station.
Bus station Tel/Fax: (0352) 336 4373.
By Rail: There are two daily trains from Adana (7 hours) and Istanbul (12 hours), hourly from Ankara (9 hours), several weekly from Diyarbakir (20 hours), and one daily from Kars (24 hours). The train station is just north of the city centre.
Train station tel: (0352) 231 1313.
By Air: There are two daily direct flights from Istanbul. The Erkilet Airport is 4km to the city centre.
Airport tel: (0352) 338 3353.
Where to Visit
Kultepe (Kanis Karum) Literally meaning Hill of Ashes, this settlement dates back to 4000 BC and is 20km northeast of Kayseri. It composes of an Assyrian trading colony called Karum, and a tumulus 500m diameter and 22m high. The town of Kanis was prominent from around 2500 BC, and it was the centre of Anatolia’s most prominent kingdom. It is possible to pick out the houses, roads and shops from the site, which is accessible to visitors, and is opposite the tumulus. It is now a famous open-air museum, having been rediscovered in 1881. Excavations since then have unearthed items from Assyrian, Roman, Persian and Hittite periods, including letters on tablets of stone written in the Assyrian language which are the oldest written documents of Anatolia. The best of the finds are exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation in Ankara.
City Ramparts and Castle Kayseri Ramparts and Castle, at Cumhuriyet Boulevard are constructed on 3rd century, and narrowed & repaired in the middle of 6th century. Ancient castle of Kayseri city is composed of two parts: internal castle and external castle, composed of external ramparts and bastions.
Important mosques of the city are Ulu Mosque, Güllük Inn, Hacıkılıç, Kurşunlu and Kale Mosques, which are at the city center. Avgunlu, Çifte, Sırçalı, Şah Kutlu Hatun, Ali Cafer, Köşk vaults as well as Melik Mehmet Gazi and Seyyit Burhanettin mausoleums, which are at the city center, are the important ones.
Sahabiye Theology School, Hunat Theology School, Seraceddin Theology School, Köşk Theology School, Hatuniye Theology School are the important Theology Schools of Kayseri.
In the Erdemli Valley, which is 70 km away from Kayseri through Kayseri – Adana & nbps; monastery, churches and rock residential are the valuable places for visit.
Soğanlı Valley, in which there are about 50 rock churches and caverns is also an important tourism center.
Ulu Mosque (Sultan Mosque-Center): It is at city center, Cami Kebir District, just adjacent to Closed Bazaar. It is known as “Ulu Mosque” among natives, and referred as “Sultan Mosque” in former records. Ulu Mosque, is constructed between 1134 – 1143 by 3rd ruler of Danişmentliler, Melik Mehmet gazi, who made Kayseri his capital city. It is repaired during Seljukian Ruler, I. Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev period on 1205 by Yağıbasanoğlu Muzaffereddin Mahmut.
Güllük Mosque (Center): It is within the city, at south west of Düvenönü district, at Gülük Subdistrict. Danişmentliler belonging mosque and theology school composed this structure is constructed by Muzaffereddin Mahmut’s daughter, “Atsız Elti Hatun”, on 1211. Very beautiful tile mosaics adorned niche, is still standing as one of the pice of art of Seljukian tile art.
Lale Mosque (Center): It is at Lale District, and constructed by Lala Musluhiddin Paşa, and belongs to Seljukian period.
Ayetel Kürsi, which is written on seljukian style wooden niche is preserving its originality. Its minaret is constructed afterwrads, and there is a mausoleum at east and a hamam at north of this mosque.
Kurşunlu Mosque (Center): The mosque, which is constructed by Hacı Ahmet Paşa, is one of the pieces of art of Mimar Sinan, and has classical Ottoman architecture style, and constructed on 1585 according to its inscription. Marble masonry, niche, balcony and its pulpit is original.
Döner Kümbet (Center): This kumbert, which is constructed in memory of Princes Şah Cihan Hatun, is a piece of art, which draw attention with its uniquely characteristics. It is one of the most beautiful samples of Seljukian pieces of art in Kayseri. Various geometrical shapes, mythological creatures are carved as relieves on each side of polygonal shaped kumbet.
Kutluğ Hatun Mausoleum (Center): It is at east of Hunat Mosque. This kumbet, which is constructed with the order of Şah Kutluğ Hatun on 1349, is the master piece of its kind in Kayseri with big and adorned collonial structure.
Mahperi Hatun Mausoleum (Center): It is between Hunat Mosque and theology school, and a unique piece of art.
Sırçalı Kümbet (Center): Cylindrical shaped kumbet, is made up of cut stones with very smooth and master masonry.
Çifte Kümbet (Center): There are two kumbets on Sivas road and one kilometers away from Kayseri. One of these is demolished with no trace, and second one is well preserved and still standing today. It isconstructed on 1247 by herbrothers in memory of Melike Adile Hatun.
Soğanlı Valley Churches: Within the limits of the Soğanlı Valley Yeşilhisar district,it is 40 km southeast of Ürgüp. Composed of two sections, the valley had continiously received immigrants starting from the Roman Period. The rock formations resembling to cones on the slopes of the valley were used as cemeteries by Romans while Byzantines made use of them as churches.
There are nearly 50 churches and caves in the region. They can be listed as follows; Karabaş, Gök, Tokalı, Karanlık, Yılanlı, Kubbeli, Balıklı, Geyikli and St. Barbara Churches.
Karabaş Church (Yeşilhisar): It is located on the right slope of the Soğanlı Valley. Besides Karabaş Church, the rocky places located there includes graves and constantly inhabited residences of the priest. Having been dyed in different times with several techniques, the church dated XIth century.
On the walls of the church there are the descriptions of Deesis, Herald ,Birth, Presenting Jesus to the Temple,Metamorphosis, Curicifixion, his ascend from the cross, his descend to heaven and some other descriptions of the saints.
Saint Barbara Church (Tahtalı Church): It is at the end of valley lying through west from Soğanlı Village. On its walls, appearance of the Prophet, Deesis, Herald, Visit, proof of the virginity, voyage via Beytüllahim, Birth, Jesus’ descent to hell, seven sleepers and saint pictures are present.
Kubbeli Church: The church, whose domes are established with the adornment of Fairy Chimneys, shows an advanced architectural characteristic with its tonoz, abscissas.
HANS AND CARAVANSERAIES
Sultan Caravanserai Situated 50 km northeast of Kayseri, this was constructed during the reign of the Seljuk Sultan Alaattin I Keykubat, between 1232 and 1236. Its best features are the adornments on the door and internal architecture, especially the intricate snake motif on the mosque arches. It is the second largest caravanserai in Anatolia, and has been beautifully restored.
Karatay Caravanserai This caravanserai, in the village of Karadayi, was constructed in 1255 by one of the Seljuk viziers, Celalettin Karatay. Reliefs on the mausoleum and columns are great examples of Seljukian masonry. Inside the left portal is an unmarked tomb, decorated with animal figures, and the ceiling inside the tomb is painted blue to mimic the skies.
Kara Mustafa Pasa Caravanserai This huge caravanserai was part of a new town built in 1667 for Emir Kara Mustafa Pasa, one of the Ottoman viziers. The complex also contains a mosque and hamam, a medrese and bazaar with 30 shops.
Vezirhanı Damat Ibrahim Pasa constructed this two-layered inn, part of the city’s Kapali Carsi (Covered Market) in 1727. It has a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, which draws attention to the interesting architecture. It sells wool and raw cotton on the ground floor, and Kayseri carpets on the upper.
Bedesten There is a ceiling cover, composed of three bid domes and cupolas, of bedesten within the covered market. It is constructed on 1497.
Covered Market Kayseri Covered Market, which is one of the four biggest covered market of Turkey and has four entrance gates, is constructed by public on 1859.
Bayramhacı Thermal Spring This resort, 65km west of Kayseri, has 55 rooms and 140 beds and has two pools for men, and two for women. The water is between 38ºC and 40ºC, and is good for the treatment of rheumatism, skin, heart and blood circulation, respiration system and gynaecological disorders.
Tekgoz Thermal Springs With one pool each for men and women, these thermal springs, in the Yemliha district 33km from Kayseri, are at a temperature of 43ºC. The waters here are said to treat rheumatism, skin, respiration system, kidney and urethras, and gynaecological diseases.
Aladağlar National Park
Nigde – Aladaglar National Park
Location: The Aladaglar national park is in the province of Nigde, south of Kayseri, and lies 30km from Yahyali.
Transportation: The park is adjacent to the main highway from Nigde to Kayseri, and can also be accessed from Yahyali.
Highlights: Inside this huge park of around 55,000 hectares, the summit of Demirkazik at 3756m is the highest point in the middle Taurus mountain range. There is a huge range of flora and fauna, and visitors may fish in the streams full of trout. Wildlife includes wild goats, bears, lynx and sable.
The park has extremes of climate, with hot summers and very cold and snowy winters, with snow-capped peaks throughout the year. There is also a huge difference between night and day temperatures, with the lake usually freezing at night yet can reach up to 30°C during the day.
The most common species of plant life is black pine and cluster pine trees, with some cedar dotted between, and fir trees in the northern areas with higher humidity. The Alpine region, from the upper borders of the forest, has pastures with rocky areas and little variety of plant life because of the high altitude and slope.
Facilities: The park has been designated a protected area for wildlife, and there is a specific space for breeding animals. Camping is possible in the park, although there are plans to develop the area and improve the campsite, and create marked trekking and climbing routes. Trout fishing is allowed, and fish is also for sale from the trout production farms around the various rivers.
Sultansazlığı Protected Area
Kayseri – Sultansazligi Nature Reserve
Location: The area is between Yesilhisar and Yahyali in the province of Kayseri, and consists of four different locations: Yay Lake (3650 hectares), Kebir Sazligi (1900 hectares), (Sultansazligi (3300 hectares) and Otluk Alan (8350 hectares).
Transportation: The area is accessible via the 15km road off the Kayseri-Nigde highway.
Highlights: There are 301 different species of birds in the entire area, and is one of the most important incubation fields in Turkey with 85 species breeding here. The ecosystem is rare in that the salt and fresh waters co-exist, and it is the only place in Europe where crane, flamingo, heron and pelican are incubating together. The area is renowned as a shelter for many birds in danger of extinction, and many more migrate here in the winter. Species of animals and fish include water rat, bat, fox, rabbit, carp, watersnake, lizard, turtle and frog.
LAKE AND WATERFALLS
Kapuzbaşı The Yahyali Waterfalls 70km south of Kayseri, have seven different levels whose heights vary between 30 – 50 m, and fall into the Zamanti river and eventually to Seyhan. This series of waterfalls, one of the most important in the world regarding flow rates and heights, is something of a natural phenomenon.
The Erciyes Ski Centre lies at 2150m, on the eastern face of Mount Erciyes on Tekir Yaylasi (plateau), 25km south of Kayseri. The season runs between December and May, and there is a 140-bed capacity ski lodge, good courses, a ski lift and chair lift. Ski instructors and equipment are available.
Erciyes Ski Centers
KAYSERİ – Erciyes
Erciyes Dagi (3916 m.), the highest peak in Central Anatolia, rises 25km south of Kayseri. The peak of the mountain, an extinct volcano, is covered with snow throughout the year, and there is a 1km-long glacier in the northern region of the mountain. The ski resort is at the Tekir Plateau, on the northern slopes of the mountain and in addition to skiing, Erciyes is one of the most important mountains of the country for mountaineering.
Arrival: Erciyes is 40 minutes by road from Kayseri airport, and 30 minutes from the city centre. Most hotels organise transport to the ski area for their visitors.
Geography: The skiing areas on the eastern and northern slopes of the Erciyes Mountain are between the altitudes of 2200 -3100m. The best season for skiing is between late November and late April, with an average depth of approximately 2m of very powdery snow. The region has a terrestrial climate and the dominant wind direction is southerly and westerly.
Facilities: There are four government guest-houses and a private hotel, plus restaurants, bars, swimming pool, large café and medical facilities. Ski instructors and equipment rental are available. There is one chair-lift and two T-bars.
Trekking Aladaglar, Hacer Pass and Yedigoller regions are all good for trekking.
Kayseri – Mount Erciyes
Erciyes, with an elevation of 3916 meters, is a volcanic mountain whose summit is always covered with snow and fog, and has become synonymous with the city of Kayseri. This lava-spewing mountain, responsible for the ‘fairy-chimney’ rock formations in nearby Cappadocia, impressed the Meek people living at its base so much that their coins bear an impression of the mountain with lava boiling out of the top. The first person to successfully make the summit was W. J. Hamilton in 1837, and the first Turk was Miralay Cemil Cahit Bey in 1924.
Besides being a popular spot for mountain climbers, it is also one of Turkey’s best winter-sport resorts. From the top of the mountain, if the weather is clear, there is a stunning view of an area stretching from Cappadocia to the Taurus Mountains.
Location: South of the Central Anatolian city of Kayseri.
The Best Time for Summer Climbs: Between May and October.
Characteristics: An inactive volcano, it is the highest peak in Central Anatolia. On the northern slope there is a 700m mountain glacier, and on the eastern slope at an elevation of 2100-2900 meters, is the Tekir plateau which is a winter sports centre. The hike from the ski-lift to the campsite at Cobaninine takes about 2½ – 3 hours in winter. The climb from Cobaninine to Mola tasi, at the head of Seytan Creek, takes an hour, and climbing on cross-country skis is popular. From here, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach the summit of the smaller peak. In the winter months, there is a danger of avalanches in Seytan’s Creek and in the spring (May and June), it is necessary to wear a helmet because of the falling rocks.
Transport and Accommodation: Kayseri can be reached from Istanbul and Ankara by road, train and plane. There is a heated 100-bed mountain resort on the Tekir plateau, with telephone connection, and also a new 100-room hotel. Kayseri has a wide selection of hotels and restaurants.
Climbing Equipment: Crampon, rope, pick, helmet, a variety of safety gear (like an ice-auger, and hammer) and camping equipment
Climbing from the Tekir plateau: This is the safest ascent. The mountain resort, which can be reached via Hisarcik, is 25km from Kayseri. From the resort, the ascent and descent can be completed in about 8-10 hours. Climbing up the north-west face is a little more difficult but a very enjoyable climb. From Kayseri go to Hacilar and then Sutdonduran plateau (2850 m.) via Akinyurdu. Camp can be set up here.
of the Aladaglar National Park. There are tow bridges on the river, one of which is 1km long. There is also a good route on Kızılırmak area.
Air sports Kayseri has appropriate areas for air sports.
Micro light is a very basic motorized flying vessel. Micro light, which is very easy to learn and use with basic motor structure can be for single and two persons. Command panel and indicator table is not complex. There is no importance of landing and take off runways, it can land and take off within short distances.
Micro light, can fly without motor like delta wings and glider after take off due to its aerodynamic structure. In this way, it can fly for longer hours with smaller amounts of fuel – oil.
Micro light flight is performed in our country like all countries of the world. For flying with micro light in Turkey, you should apply to Turkish Aviation Organization or aviation clubs.
In the city, the climate is similar to that of the whole of the Central Anatolian Region. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are cold and rainy.
The ancient civilisation of the region dates back to the 4th millennium BC with the oldest remains at Kultepe, 20 miles from the city. Kanis was the capital of the kingdom and one of the most powerful in Anatolia. Kayseri was originally called Mazaka, which was significant under the rule of the Phrygians, and then renamed Caesarea in 17AD in honour of Emperor Tiberius, and was the capital of the Roman province of Cappadocia.
The city became a prominent cultural, artistic and trading centre from the 4th century, although it had a vulnerable defence, and in the 7th century was invaded by the Arabs. The Seljuks took over in the late 11th century led by Kilic Aslan II, and then had a succession of rulers from crusaders, Mongols, Turkish chiefs and eventually Beyazit I in 1397. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1515, under Selim the Grim.
Where to Eat
One of Kayseri’s most famous dishes is pastırma, made from salted sun-dried veal coated with a spicy garlic coating.
What to Buy
The markets of Kayseri have a wide selection of goods, from carpets, clothes, jewellery, and the famous pastırma.
Don’t Leave Without
– Trekking, skiing on Mount Erciyes
– Seeing rock churches within Erdemli and Soğanlı Valleys
– Picnicking at Kapuzbaşı Waterfalls
– Visiting Kayseri Castle and Medical History Museum,
– Sampling pastırma.
– Buying regional hand woven and Bünyan or Yahyalı carpets,
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Kayseri
Archaeological Sites: 97
Urban Sites: 2
Natural Sites: 7
Historical Sites: 1
Archaeological and Natural Sites: 1
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural Heritages: 583
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (352)2130431 Fax: 2322581
State Fine Arts Gallery Directorate
Cumhuriyet Mah. Tennuri Cad. Atatürk Evi KAYSERİ
Tel: (0 352) 222 04 56
Fax: 232 25 81
Archeology Museum Address: Gültepe Mah. Kışla Cad. No:2 – Kayseri
Tel: (352) 222 21 49
Ethnography Museum Address: Gavremoğlu Mah. Huani Hatun Medresesi – Kayseri
Tel: (352) 222 21 48
Governorship : (+90-352) 221 09 17
Municipality : (+90-352) 661 27 46
Hospital : (+90-352) 336 88 84
Police : (+90-352) 338 14 02
Gendarme : (+90-352) 611 21 11
Provincial Directorate : (+90-352) 222 39 03
Kayseri Governorship http://www.kayseri.gov.tr/
Kayseri Municipality http://www.kayseri-bld.gov.tr/
Kayseri Chamber of Industry http://www.kayso.org.tr/ksoweb/frames/main.html
Talas Municipality http://www.talas-bld.gov.tr/
Ödemiş Municipality http://www.odemis-bld.gov.tr/
Melikgazi Municipality http://www.melikgazi-bld.gov.tr/