ancient times. Kirsehir became n the Middle Ages. the center of the
Ahi Brotherhood, a Moslem sect whose moral and social ideals played
an important role in the spiritual and political life of Anatolian
towns.Among Kirsehir's many fine Seljuk buildings are the Cacabey
Mosque of 1272 (a former astrological observatory), the Alaeddin
Mosque of 1230 and the Ahi Evran Mosque, near the tomb of the
founder of the Ahi sect. Out of town on the road toward Kayseri, is
the attractive Asik Pasa Mausoleum which was built during the period
of Mongol rule, in 1333. The Kirsehir Archaeology Museum houses
objects mostly from Kalehoyuk.
Within the surroundings
of Kaman, in the province of Kirsehir, is the important
archaeological center of Kalehoyuk, still being excavated. Near
Kalehoyuk in a center of Hatti and Hittite settlements is located
one of the largest parks in Turkey - Mikasonmiya Ani Bahcesi, which
contains 16,500 trees of 33 different species.
The road to
Nevsehir and Cappadocia passes through Hacibektas, the town where
Haci Bektas Veli settled and established his Bektas Sufi order in
the 14th century. The dervishes who followed the sect's tenets of
love and humanism were housed in the monastery which includes a
mausoleum and mosque. The complex is now a museum open to the public.
Honey and rose-colored onyx, plentiful in the region, were used by
disciples of this order and are known as Hacibektas stone. In town,
there are many exquisite onyx souvenirs for sale.
It is also worth stopping
to wander through the interesting Archaeology and Ethnography Museum.
Nevsehir, a provincial capital, is the gateway to Cappadocia. In the
town itself, the hilltop Seljuk castle, perched on the highest point
in the city, and the Kursunlu Mosque, built for the Grand Vizier
Damat Ibrahim Pasha, are among the remaining historical buildings.
The mosque forms part of a complex of buildings which includes a
medrese, a hospice and a library. An ablution fountain in the
courtyard still bears its original inscription. The Nevsehir Museum
displays local artifacts.