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 tomb tower. The 15th century Ak Medrese now houses the Archaeological Museum. Ten kilometres out of town is Eskigumus, a Byzantine monastery and church with massive columns and frescoes.
These frescoes, which date from the 10th and the 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 kilometres brings you to some Hittite ruins and a Roman aqueduct. Most of the historical buildings in Aksaray, west of Nigde and south of Cappadocia, 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 Agizkarahan Caravanserai. The Melendiz River, at Ihlara, has eroded the banks into an impressive canyon. Byzantine rock chapels covered with frescoes pierce the canyon walls. Some of the best known are the Agacalti (Daniel) Church, the Yilanli (Apocalypse) Church and the Sumbullu (Hyacinth) Church.
Guzelyurt is another valley with dwellings dating from prehistoric times. You can see the beautiful silhouette of Mt. Hasan rising like a crown above the town. The valley’s underground cities, buildings carved into the rock, interesting vernacular architecture, churches, chapels and mosques embody all of the characteristics of Cappadocia and give visitors a sense of historical continuity. A popular tourist destination, Guzelyurt’s hospitable residents, extensive accommodation and restaurants ensure a pleasant stay.