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Treasures of Karun

Nigde and Aksaray

Nigde, the Nahita of Hittite times, lies in a valley flanked by volcanic peaks and commands the ancient trade route from Anatolia to the Mediterranean. Nigde's castle owes its present form to the Seljuks, and the elegant Alaeddin Mosque dates from the same period. From the 14th century era of Mongol rule are the Sungur Bey Mosque and the Hudavend Hatun Mausoleum, an excellent example of the Anatolian tower-tomb. The 15th century Ak Medrese now houses the Archaeology Museum.

Ten kilometers out of town is Eskigumus, a Byzantine monastery and church with massive columns and frescoes. These frescoes, which date from the 10th and 11th centuries, are among the best-preserved in the region.

Bor, south of Nigde, was once a Hittite settlement. The town's historical buildings include the Seljuk Alaeddin Mosque and the Ottoman bedestan. Farther on, in the same direction, Kemerhisar is the site of the important Roman city of Tyana. A few more kilometers brings you to some Hittite ruins and a Roman aqueduct. The beautiful Aladaglar (Ala Mountains) National Park, perfect for mountain climbing, trekking and relaxation, is 50 km southeast of Nigde. One of the highest peaks is Demirkazik (3,756 m). The best place to start your excursion in the park is Cukurbag.

Most of the historical buildings in Aksaray, such as the Ulu Mosque, date from the 14th century. The Kizil Minaret is noted for its attractive decorative brickwork.

Two of the most famous caravanserais from the Seljuk period remain in the environs. Just 40 km west of the city is the well preserved Sultanhan Caravanserai built by the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat, and 15 km towards Nevsehir is the Agzikarahan Caravansarai.


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
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