Kayseri

Kayseri (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈkajseɾi]; Greek: Καισάρεια) is a large industrialised city in Central Anatolia, Turkey. It is the seat of Kayseri Province. The city of Kayseri, as defined by the boundaries of Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality, is structurally composed of five metropolitan districts, the two core districts of Kocasinan and Melikgazi, and since 2004, also Hacılar, İncesu and Talas.
Kayseri is located at the foot of the extinct volcano Mount Erciyes that towers 3,916 metres (12,848 feet) over the city. The city is often cited in the first ranks among Turkey's cities that fit the definition of Anatolian Tigers. The city retains a number of historical monuments, including several from the Seljuk period. While it is generally visited en route to the international tourist attractions of Cappadocia, Kayseri has many attractions in its own right: Seljuk and Ottoman era monuments in and around the city centre, Mount Erciyes as a trekking and alpinism centre, Zamantı River as a rafting centre, and the historic sites of Kültepe, Ağırnas, Talas and Develi. Kayseri is served by Erkilet International Airport and is home to Erciyes University.

According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, as of 2011 the city of Kayseri had a population of 844,656; while Kayseri Province had a population of 1,234,651.Kültepe, one of the oldest cities in Asia Minor, lies 20 km away.
As Mazaca (Ancient Greek: Μάζακα)[7], the city served as the residence of the kings of Cappadocia. In ancient times, it was on the crossroads of the trade routes from Sinope to the Euphrates and from the Persian Royal Road that extended from Sardis to Susa during the over 200 years of Achaemenid Persian rule. In Roman times, a similar route from Ephesus to the East also crossed the city. The city stood on a low spur on the north side of Mount Erciyes (Mount Argaeus in ancient times). Only a few traces of the ancient site survive in the old town.

Hellenistic Times

The city was the centre of a satrapy under Persian rule until it was conquered by Perdikkas, one of the generals of Alexander the Great when it became the seat of a transient satrapy by another of Alexander's former generals, Eumenes of Cardia. The city was subsequently passed to the Seleucid empire after the battle of Ipsus but became once again the centre of an autonomous Greater Cappadocian kingdom under Ariarathes III of Cappadocia in around 250 BC. In the ensuing period, the city came under the sway of Hellenistic influence, and was given the Greek name of Eusebia (Greek: Εὐσέβεια) in honor of the Cappadocian king Ariarathes V Eusebes Philopator of Cappadocia (163–130 BC). The new name of Caesarea (Greek: Καισάρεια), by which it has since been known, was given to it by the last Cappadocian King Archelaus[6] or perhaps by Tiberius.

Roman and Byzantine Rule

The city passed under formal Roman rule in 17 AD. Caesarea was destroyed by the Sassanid king Shapur I after his victory over the Emperor Valerian I in 260 AD. At the time it was recorded to have around 400,000 inhabitants. The city gradually recovered, and became home to several early Christian saints: saints Dorothea and Theophilus the martyrs, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil of Caesarea. In the 4th century, bishop Basil established an ecclesiastic centre on the plain, about one mile to the northeast, which gradually supplanted the old town.[citation needed] It included a system of almshouses, an orphanage, old peoples' homes, and a leprosarium (leprosy hospital). The city's bishop, Thalassius, attended the Second Council of Ephesus and was suspended from the Council of Chalcedon 

A Notitia Episcopatuum composed during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in about 640 lists 5 suffragan dioceses of the metropolitan see of Caesarea. A 10th-century list gives it 15 suffragans. In all the Notitiae Caesarea is given the second place among the metropolitan sees of the patriarchate of Constantinople, preceded only by Constantinople itself, and its archbishops were given the title of protothronos, meaning "of the first see" (after that of Constantinople). More than 50 first-millennium archbishops of the see are known by name, and the see itself continued to be a residential see of the Eastern Orthodox Church until 1923, when by order of the Treaty of Lausanne all members of that Church (Greeks) were deported from what is now Turkey. Caesarea was also the seat of an Armenian diocese.No longer a residential bishopric, Caesarea in Cappadocia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see of the Armenian Catholic Church and the Melkite Catholic Church.

A portion of Basil's new city was surrounded with strong walls, and it was turned into a fortress by Justinian. Caesarea in the 9th century became a Byzantine administrative centre as the capital of the Byzantine Theme of Charsianon. The 1500-year-old Kayseri Castle, built initially by the Byzantines, and expanded by the Seljuks and Ottomans, is still standing in good condition in the central square of the city.

Islamic Era

The Arab general (and later the first Umayyad Caliph) Muawiyah invaded Cappadocia and took Caesarea from the Byzantines temporarily in 647.The city was called Kaisariyah (قيصرية) by the Arabs, and later Kayseri (قیصری) by Seljuk Turks, when it was captured by Alp Arslan in 1067. The forces of the latter demolished the city and massacred its population. The shrine of Saint Basil was also sacked after the fall of the city.[19] As a result, the city remained uninhabited for the next half century.[18] Later, during 1074–1178 the area came under the control of the Danishmendids and rebuilt the city in 1134. The Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate controlled the city during the period 1178–1243 and became one of their most prominent centers, until it fell to the Mongols in 1243. Within the walls lies the greater part of Kayseri, rebuilt between the 13th and 16th centuries. Kayseri was successively ruled by Eretnids. The city finally became Ottoman in 1515. It was sanjak center initially in Rum Eyalet (1515–1521), finally in Ankara Vilayet (Founded as Bozok Eyalet) (1839–1923).

Thus, there were three golden-age periods for Kayseri. The first, dating to 2000 BC, was when the city was a trade post between the Assyrians and the Hittites. The second golden age came during the Roman rule (1st to 11th centuries). The third golden age was during the reign of Seljuks (1178–1243), when the city was the second capital of the state. The short-lived Seljuk rule left a large number of historic landmarks; historic buildings such as the Hunat Hatun Complex, Kilij Arslan Mosque, The Grand Mosque and Gevher Nesibe Hospital.

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