Kayseri, located in the middle of Kızılırmak where the south part of Central Anatolia and Toros Mountains get closer, has a great historical bakground dating back to 3000 BC. Kültepe, one of the first cities in Anatolia and a critical route of Assyrian trade colonies, was established by Hattis, the local people of Anatolia before Hittites. Assyrians had founded commercial posts called “karum” by 2000 BC. One of the most
important karums was the Kaneš in Kültepe. The cuneiform clay tablets found in Kültepe really reveal about the history of trade in Kayseri. The city was under Roman rule in 17 AD. This period was known as "Caesarea in Cappadocia" named in honour of Caesar Augustus. When the Arabs arrived the city, they called the city as “Kaisariyah” as a result of adapting the pronunciation to their writing. However, during the Seljuk rule, it eventually became “Kayseri”. During the strong reign of the Seljuks, the trade routes were revived and developed.
The first Turkish-Islamic campus in Anatolia was the Hunat Hatun Complex which was constructed in honour of Hunat Hatun in 1276 and includes a mosque, madrasa, baths and a soup kitchen. In the period of the Anatolian Seljuks, a large number of historical works of art such as mosques, madrasas and in particular the monumental tomb, called the “Turning Vault”, were constructed and have survived to the present day. The historical Covered-Bazaar, which is the third largest in our country, still serves as a shopping centre in Kayseri. Kayseri Castle, the Turning Vault, and the ancient volcano Mount Erciyes are the main historical and natural symbols of Kayseri.
The first aircraft and textile industries in our country began in Kayseri. Kayseri is also famous for its hand-woven silk and wool carpets, soudjouk & pastrami, and manti (a ravioli-like dish served with yoghurt). The city has a population of over one million. The city consists of 16 metropolitan districts. Erkilet International Airport is a short distance from the city center. The city is also connected to the rest of the counrty with railway service. The transportation within the city depends mainly on buses, personal vehicles and light rail transit. There are 2 new generation post-modern sport venues. One is Kadir Has Stadium, which has the capacity of 33,000 spectators. The other is Kadir Has Sports Arena, which has a seating capacity of 7,200 people. There are 3 state and 1 private universities in the city. The state ones are Erciyes University, the first and the
largest one; Abdullah Gul University, started enrolling students in 2013; Kayseri University, a newly-established one. Nuh Naci Yazgan is a private university founded in 2009. In addition, Kayseri is an industrialized city with a lot of various factories and companies in Kayseri Free Zone. The city was one of the first trade fair sites in the world. The Kaneš and Karum ruins, centres of trade between the Assyrians and the Hittites, are 22 kilometres to the east of Kayseri’s Foreign Bazaar, which itself belongs to the Seljuk period and lies 80 kilometres to the south-east of Kayseri.
Besides possessing a great number of relics and ancient remains from the Hittite, Assyrian, Greek and Roman periods, the city also has a great number of Ottoman and Seljuk historical works of art and has always been a trade centre as well. A great many large historical inns and caravanserais exist in its vicinity and several of them are still spectacular places to visit. The Sultan Han, 45 kilometres to the east of Kayseri, the Karatay Caravanserai, 60 kilometres south-east of Kayseri, and Incesu Karamustafa Pasha Caravanserai, 20 kilometres west of Kayseri, are among the few that still exist.
Mt. Erciyes, located at height of 1800-3000m. and 25 km away from the city center, is one of the most attractive winter tourism centers in Turkey. Anatolian Wonderland, with a zoo within its body, is situated on an area of 180 decares. There are a lot of recreational activities to do as well such as ice skating, figure skating, and ice hockey etc. Mount Ali, one of the most important paragliding centers in our country, has characteristics of an international center for paragliding.
Cappadocia is a famous tourist destination located in the southwest of Kayseri. It has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features.
The Toros Mountains, which lie within the borders of the city, the Kapuzbashi Waterfalls near Yahyalı and Sultan Sazlighi (bulrushes), also known as “Birds’ Paradise” on the same route, are among the area’s natural wonders. Millions of birds, including 259 varieties, fly over or visit Sultan Sazligi every year. Kayseri, the centre of the Cappadocia region, is 80 kilometres from Göreme and 70 kilometres from the Soğanlı Valley, a picturesque valley of innumerable chapels, church halls, houses and tombs.