Area: 14.294 km²
Population: 305.861 (1990)
Traffic Code: 51
The province of Niğde is located at the Cappadocian Region and the province is an important tourism center with its ancient cities, historical and cultural riches and Aladağ National Park.
Districts : Altunhisar, Bor, Çamardı, Çiftlik and Ulukışla.
How to Get
Highway Reaching to the Niğde Province via highway is possible from the entire country.
Telephone of the Bus Station: (+ 90 – 388) 232 35 37
Railroad The railway transportation from Niğde city center is executed via the connection of Kayseri – Niğde – Adana.
Telephone of the Railway Station: (+ 90 – 388) 232 35 41
Air Transportation The Kayseri Airport which is 130 km. away from Niğde is used for Air transportation.
Where to Visit
The province of Niğde and the surrounding lands are extensively rich in the field of ancient ruins. Most of the findings discovered at the excavations from these ruins are exhibited at the Niğde Museum.
The important ruins could be counted as, Köşk Tumulus ruins (Bor – Bahçeli Borough), Göltepe – Kestel ruins (Çamardı), Göllüdağ ruins (Göllüdağ), Porsuk Tumulus ruins (Ulukışla – Darboğaz), Tyana ruins (Bor – Bahçeli).
Kuşkayası Burial Ground This burial ground is located at the vicinity of Karaltı Borough, which is approximately at 40 km distance to Niğde. The rock tombs are lined among the two slopes of a valley located southwest of the borough.
Gümüşler Ruins and Monastery These ruins and the monastery is located in the borders of Gümüşler Borough which is 9 km. away from Niğde province. The monastery is one of the most beautiful and well preserved creations of the Byzantine art in Anatolia. The monastery was declared as an archeologically protected site in 1973 and is carved inside a vast and wide rock piece.
The church has four main pillars with the shape of rock cavity and the walls are covered with frescos. The strong and vigorous expressions of the frescos in the church, the present underground city, the great burial chamber, the accommodation areas carved in the large rock masses and increased defensive precautions express that the Gümüşler ruins and the monastery was one of the important religious center of its period.
MOSGUES AND MAUSOLEUMS
The main Seljukian and Ottoman period mosques which are well preserved in Niğde province are Alaaddin Mosque (1223), Sungur Bey Mosque (1335), Paşa Mosque (17th century), Kale Mosque (1747) and Hanım Mosque (1452). The Hüdavend Hatun Mausoleum remained from the Seljukian period, Dörtayak Mausoleum and Şerifali Mausoleum from the Ottoman period are the most important mausoleums of the province.
Alaaddin Mosque (Center): The mosque was constructed during the period of Great Seljukian Monarch Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat by the Niğde Governor Ziynettin Beşare in 1223 on the Alaaddin Hill which is located at the city center. The mosque reflects the entire delicacy of the Seljukian adornment art and is especially the first and the interesting samples in the architectural scope.
The richest section of the mosque is the portal of the mosque which was constructed according to the sampling of the traditional Seljukian lean to roof examples. The major property of the portal facing east is that the shadows of the sun light directed by the portal at a given angle, at a specified hour and the minute (only in summer seasons between 10.00 – 11.00) forms a shadow in the form of „ Crowned Woman Head“. The mosque has a separate importance among the Seljukian architectural creations with this property. The portal is named as the „Crown Portal“because of this woman head with crown and knitted hair.
According to the legend, the master constructing the mosque had fallen in love with the daughter of the Niğde Governor of the time, namely the princess. However the master has the consciousness that he would never marry with the princess. One day the Governor issues an order for the construction of a mosque in the city to the master. The master was also looking for a chance to tell his love to the princess. As to describe that his love to the princess would live forever, he processes the portrait of the princess excellently on the marbles of the portal. The old door of the mosque is exhibited in the museum. There is an epitaph in the form of reverse “T”constructed from the white marble on the door. The epitaph states that the creation was constructed in the year 620.
Hüdavend Hatun Mausoleum (Center): The mausoleum is located at the Niğde city center and is one of the rarest creations of the Seljukian art. The mausoleum was constructed by Hüdavend Hatun, daughter of IV. Rükneddin Kılıçaslan, son of II. Gıyaseddin Keyhüsrev in 1312. The upper sites of the windows are engraved with the embossed designs of birds with human heads and various animals. There is the depiction of a timid gazelle beside a lion and there is another depiction of a double headed eagle with wings open condition (this eagle is the symbol of the Seljukians).
The entrance to the mausoleum is via a portal which is splendid with the decorations and adornments. The mausoleum contains the tomb of Hüdavend Hatun whom had died in 1332 and two other tombs. The Mausoleum of Hüdavend Hatun, which does not have any artistic value, is one of the most important and most magnificent Seljukian creations in Anatolia.
Sungur Bey Mosque (Center): The Sungur Bey Mosque was constructed in 1335 by Seyfettin Sungur Bey, who was the Governor of Niğde during the period of İlhanlı civilization in the city center. The mosque has two main entrance gates located at east and north and a niche, and the original wooden embroidery of the northern gate is splendid.
Gümüşler Monastery (Center): The monastery is located nine kilometers to the city center and four kilometers to the Niğde -Kayseri highway. The Rock engraved monastery is one of the beautiful creations of the 10th century Byzantine art and is one of the most preserved creations that could still remain until the present day. The monastery is dated to the 10th century and there are symbols that the construction of the monastery had continued between 8th and 12th centuries. There are frescos that are extremely well preserved and wonderfully colored inside the church. The frescos depict the birth of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus, the introduction to the church, the apostles and the notables of Christianity. At the niche to the left of the Abscissa, “the Smiling Mary and the infant Jesus“is depicted. This fresco was determined to be the only smiling Mary depiction in the whole Anatolia.
CASTLES AND TOWERS
Niğde Castle The foundations of the castle was laid in BC 8th century at the Late Hittite Period and was restored in the periods of Roman – Byzantine, Seljukian and Ottoman periods.
Watch Tower The tower was constructed on one of the western ramparts of the castle.
Çiftehan Thermal Spring The thermal spring was located in the Çiftehan Borough which is located at 80 km. distance to Niğde province. The waters of the spring are both available for bathing and drinking purposes, and it is known that the waters of the spring is good for rheumatism, neural diseases, skin diseases, gynecological diseases, nourishment disorders. The facilities of the thermal spring are modern and have high accommodation capacities.
NATIONAL & NATURAL PARKS
Aladağlar 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.
The Aladağlar is the most convenient section of Toros (Taurus) mountains for mountaineering and trekking purposes.
The Bolkar Mountains are very attractive for trekking and winter sport purposes. Especially with the natural ski course reaching up to 7 km., the mountain pleases the visitors interested in tour skiing. The climbing to the Bolkar Mountains generally start from Darboğaz borough and a locality called Meydan located 8 km. above the borough of the Ulukışla district located at the skirts of Bolkar mountains.
The dominant climate in the Niğde province is the terrestrial climate displaying the properties of the Central Anatolia Region. The summer seasons are hot and dry, the winter seasons are cold and especially snowy.
It was understood from the executed archeological excavations that the Niğde province and the surrounding lands accommodate important settlement units between BC 3000 – 2000 years which is the Ancient Bronze Age. This period was called as Ancient Hittite Period. After this period, the province of Niğde and its vicinity had entered under the reign of Friesian, Persian, Alexander the Great, Roman, Byzantine civilizations.
Later on, the Niğde environ had entered under the dominance of the Seljukian, Mongol and Karamanoğulları civilizations, and finally had entered under the reign of Ottoman Empire in 1471.
Where to Eat
The Kitchen of Niğde had attained a self original characteristics with its cooking style of various nutrients with various flavors. Among the peculiar meals of Niğde; Niğde tavası (fried food), beet soup, couscous pilaf, ditme, tirit, Niğde çanağı, papara, oğma soup, mangır soup could be counted. The special and original deserts of Niğde province are hüsmeni (güllü), halveter, köfter and grape molasses.
Don’t Leave Without
– Visiting the natural beauties of Aladağlar and Bolkarlar, Kayaardı orchards and Narlıgöl lake,
– Visiting the Gümüşler Monastery with undisturbed frescos of Cappadocia, Ancient city of Tyana and Alaaddin Mosque,
– Tasting fish at the trout establishment located at the skirts of Aladağlar and Bolkar mountains and Niğde tava at the city center,
– Buying carpet and pileless carpet which are the most important hand crafts of Niğde Province
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Niğde
Archaeological Sites: 34
Urban Sites: –
Natural Sites: 7
Historical Sites: 1
Archaeological and Natural Sites: 4
Archaeological and Urban Sites: 1
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural Heritages: 286
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (388) 232 34 00
Fax: (388) 232 00 58
Niğde Museum Detailed Information Address: Niğde
Tel: (388) 232 33 97
Governorship : (+90-388) 232 23 12
Municipality : (+90-388) 232 35 55
Hospital : (+90-388) 232 22 22 – 232 22 23
Police : (+90-388) 232 32 22
Gendarme : (+90-388) 232 20 14
Provincial Directorate : (+90-388) 232 33 93
Niğde Governorship http://www.nigde.gov.tr/
Ulukışla Head Official’s Office http://www.ulukisla.kaymakamligi.8m.com/
Niğde University http://www.nigde.edu.tr/