Kayseri, Turkey. Photo: Jean & Nathalie.

Photo: Aranel Ciryatan.

City in central Turkey with 540,000 inhabitants (2004 estimate) at an elevation of 1,050 meters above sea level on the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes. It is the capital of Kayseri province with 1.1 million inhabitants (2004 estimate).

Kayseri is an administration and commercial center of the surrounding agricultural area. The city has been quickly industrialized and produces refined sugar, cement, textiles, home appliances, aircraft spare parts, machinery, and processed food. Of traditional activities, gold jewelry and carpets are the main products.

While Kayseri is well-connected with the rest of Turkey with road and railways it is the only large city within a diameter of 250 km. Sivas 300 km northeast is the closest large city. Kayseri has air connections with Istanbul.

Kayseri has several landmarks from its many lords. The black stone citadel was first built by the Romans but rebuilt by the Seljuqs in the 13th century.

Moreover, are there many octagonal and circular mausoleums, of which the Döner Kümbet from the 13th century is the most famous (see photo). There are many great mosques, the Ulu Camii (Great Mosque) from the 13th century is the most notable (see photo). Kayseri has 3 covered bazaars, the oldest from the 15th century, which is all very much active.

Near Kayseri lies the ancient HittiteAssyrian city of Kanesh, dating back to the 3rd millennium BCE, which holds thousands of clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions, telling us about the economic life of the period.

The Erciyes University which was founded in 1978 is a continuation of schools founded in 1206 and 1956.

Kayseri is the home of a strong Circassian community, speaking Kabardian.

Kayseri’s history goes back to the 4th millennium BCE. Its earliest recorded name was Mazaca from the 1st millennium BCE, while its Cappadocian kings called it Eusebia.
1st century BCE: Sacked by the Armenian king Tigranes 1.
18 CE: Renamed Caesarea Cappadociae by its new Roman lords.
4th century: The city becomes central in early Christianity when St. Basil the Great establishes an ecclesiastical center here.
1067: Captured by the Seljuqs, who rename it Kayseri.
1243: Captured by the Mongols, who rules it only for a short period of time.
1397: Comes under the control of the Ottomans.
1402: After that, the Ottomans are driven out of Kayseri by Timur Lenk, it comes under the control of the Karamanid Turkmens.
1515: Captured by the Ottomans.
1978: Erciyes University is founded.


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