Kayseri, Turkey

The ultimate list: what to see and do in Kayseri

HUNAT HATUN MOSQUE is one of the most beautiful mosques in Kayseri. It is situated next to the Medrese and the tomb of the same name. It was built in 1237 in honor of Mahperi (Hunat) Hatun, the wife of Alaaddin Keykubat. Its plan is in the Basilica style of Anatolian Seljuks. The main gate is finely decorated. The minaret on the right was built recently.

HUNAT HATUN TOMB is octagonal-shaped. Each side of the tomb is crossed by a double band, which is elegantly decorated with delicate geometrical designs. The interior is very simple. The Mihrab is of stone and is one of the rarest Seljuk Mihrabs.

KURSUNLU MOSQUE was built in 1584 by Doğancı Hacı Ahmet Pasha, and designed by the famous architect Sinan. The mosque has been recently restored.

ULU MOSQUE (Great Mosque) was built by Melik Mehmet Gazi in 1142. This was the most splendid mosque of that period. The cylindrical minaret is covered in a very well-designed mosaic tile.

HACI KILIÇ MOSQUE AND THE MEDRESE was built in 1249 by Abdul Kasım Ali Tosil. The doors of the Medrese and the mosque are finely decorated.

TURNING TOMB was built in the middle of the 12th century. It belongs to Shah Cihan. It is twelve-sided, and its roof is shaped like a funnel. There are decorations on the tomb representing the Tree Of Life, on which there are twin-headed eagles with lions under them.

HUNAT HATUN MEDRESE is now used as a museum and was built by Hunat Hatun. Construction began in this Medrese in 1239. It was widely known as a cultural center during the time of the Seljuks and in the centuries that followed.

SAHABİYE MEDRESE was built in 1267 by Sahip Ata, one of the Seljuk viziers. The geometrical carving on the top and sides of the door represents one of the most beautiful works of the late Seljuk period.

GIYASİYE AND ŞİFAİYE MEDRESESİ. Giyasiye, the first medical school in Anatolia and Europe, and the hospital called ifaiye, were built in 1205 to obey the last will of Gevher Nesibe, the sister of Giyaseddin Keyhüsrev. A passage joins the two separate buildings, and the main gate is finely decorated, currently used as a Medical Museum.

SULTANHANI CARAVANSERAI, built by Alaaddin Keykubat, stands on the Kayseri Sivas highway. It is one of the finest Sejuk caravanserais. With its covered and open spaces and a tiny mosque in the courtyard – it is one of the most beautiful caravanserais in the Middle East.

KARATAY CARAVANSERAI is situated in the village of Karadayı in Bünyan, within Kayseri Province. It was built in 1255 by Celaleddin Karatay, one of the Seljuk viziers. It is well known, particularly for relieves on the pillars of the caravanserai.

KARA MUSTAFA PASHA CARAVANSERAI is located 35 km from Kayseri and was built in the 13th century. A mosque, baths, and a bazaar stand next to the caravanserai.

VEZİRHANI was built for merchants in 1727 by Damat Ibrahim Pasha and is especially noteworthy for its architecture. It is possible to buy carpets, wool, and cotton in Vezirhani.

SOĞANLI is 75 km southwest of Kayseri. In the valley, there are about 60 chapels, some of which have the natural rock cones above them carved into domes. It is also famous for its hand-made dolls. To get to Soğanlı, take a bus from Kayseri to Yeşilhisar first and then a minibus or a taxi from Yeşilhisar to Soğanlı.

AĞIRNAS UNDERGROUND CITY. It is estimated that some sections of this underground city were carved before Christ. From praying areas and drawings on the walls belonging to the Christian era, we know that this underground city was used between I – XIII A.D.

MOUNT ERCİYES is an ideal place for climbing and winter sports, approximately 25 km south of Kayseri. It is a gigantic and permanently snow-covered mountain, 3916 meters high. There is a chairlift, baby lifts, and a modern hotel on Erciyes. The best and easiest way to go to Mt. Erciyes is to take a bus from Kayseri to the village of Hisarcık and then a taxi from that village to Mt. Erciyes.

YAHYALI KAPUZBAŞI WATERFALLS are situated 76 km from Yahyalı and 207 km. from Kayseri. There are seven waterfalls with a height of 30-70 m.

GÜPGÜPOĞLU MANSION is one of the best preserved old houses of Kayseri. Güpgüpoğlu Mansion was built between 1419 and 1497, and it has got its present appearance with the latest additions. The Mansion, consisting of women’s and men’s rooms, is located in the Cumhuriyet district and has been used as an Ethnographic Museum.

SULTAN PANSION BIRD PARADISE: located about 70 km from Kayseri, it can be reached by turning left at the Kayseri – Niğde highway and driving for about 8 km toward Yahyalı. Research done in 1986 revealed the existence of 301 bird species, of which more than 80 breeds reside here. This marshy place has an area of 17.200 hectares and is one of the leading areas of wildlife in the world. Since it is on the migration route of birds, many birds incubate here. The area has been protected recently, and an observation tower and a bird museum have been set up in Ovaçiftlik.

ATATÜRK’S HOUSE (RAŞİT AĞA MANSION). Atatürk stayed in this house for three nights when he first visited Kayseri in 1919, which Raşit Aga built towards the end of the 19th century.

ERDEMLI, situated 69 km. from Kayseri, is on the road to Adana. Like Göreme, Ihlara, Soğanlı, and Zelve Valleys, this valley, with its churches, monasteries, and rock dwellings, is set in magnificent surroundings.

THE ŞAHRUH BRIDGE is in Sarıoğlan County and spans over the Kızılırmak River. It was built in the 15th century by Şahruh Bey.

THE TEKGÖZ BRIDGE is 30 km away from Kayseri and spans over the Kızılırmak River. It was constructed between 1202-1203 by Hacı Ali Şir Bin Hüseyin of Kayseri.

THE ÇOKGÖZ BRIDGE spans over the Kızılırmak River. It is estimated that this bridge was built between 1212-1215.

GÜLÜK MOSQUE is a beautiful monument consisting of a medrese, mosque, and a Turkish Bath complex. It was built by Ads z Elti Hatun in 1211, and its altar, covered with enameled tiles, is a fantastic piece of artwork.

KAYSERİ HOUSES are monuments of history and culture that carry past beauties with their architecture, decorations, and traditions. Still, unfortunately, most of them today have turned into ruins.

DOĞANLI UNDERGROUND CITY is in the village called Doğanlı and about 90 km from Kayseri.

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