Mimar Sinan Parkı

Near Cumhuriyet Meydanı in Kayseri’s city center is the pleasant Mimar Sinan Parkı. The park is named for the great Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, who was originally an Armenian or Greek Christian from Kayseri. A monument to Sinan is at the southern end.

Mimar Sinan monument in Kayseri, Turkey

Mimar Sinan monument

The park is full of trees and a beautiful pool with fountains, with the Gevher Nesibe Camii on the west end.

Mimar Sinan Parkı in Kayseri, Turkey

Mimar Sinan Parkı

In the middle of the park lies two of the most important structures ever built in Kayseri, the Çifte Medrese (Twin Medrese). Built in 1206, the complex, also known as the Gevher Nesibe ve Gıyasiyye Şifaiyyesi, was a gift to they city by Selçuk sultan Gıyasettin I Keyhüsrev in memory of his sister, Gevher Nesibe Sultan. The two adjacent buildings (hence the name Twin Medrese) served the entire community regardless of religion – one as a medical school and research center and the other as a hospital. It continues to serve in a medical capacity to this day as a medical history museum for Erciyes Üniversitesi. Another former medrese, the Avgunlu Medrese, sits nearby and serves as a café and book market.

Çifte Medrese in Kayseri, Turkey

Çifte Medrese

Çifte Medrese in Kayseri, Turkey

Çifte Medrese

Çifte Medrese in Kayseri, Turkey

Çifte Medrese

On the northeast end of the park is the Hacı Kılıç Camii. This Selçuk mosque built in 1249 has, like the majority of Selçuk buildings, some beautiful stonework on the entrance. The prayer hall features several arches.

Hacı Kılıç Camii in Kayseri, Turkey

Hacı Kılıç Camii

Hacı Kılıç Camii in Kayseri, Turkey

Hacı Kılıç Camii

Hacı Kılıç Camii in Kayseri, Turkey

Hacı Kılıç Camii

Across the street from the mosque and a block south, you can dig very deep into Kayseri’s history. A fully intact Roman tomb sits along the road.

Roman tomb in Kayseri, Turkey

Roman tomb

Just south of the park you’ll find the Kurşunlu Camii, built by favorite son Mimar Sinan in 1576.

Kurşunlu Camii in Kayseri, Turkey

Kurşunlu Camii

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