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This key Anatolian city is overlooked by the 3,916-metre Erciyes Dagi. With two peaks and two lakes, the volcano last erupted in Roman times, and today Kayseri is popular as a base for both skiing and hiking on its slopes, and Francis Ruseel, author of Places in Turkey, writes about it in our blog: The restless sightseer: A winter’s day in Kayseri. Renowned as a centre of learning, Kayseri is the birthplace of Basil the Great, one of five saintly children, and it was an important Seljuk town. This is a dynamic modern city with three traditional bazaars and several fine mosques and religious institutions, including the first Seljuk medical school, where there is now a museum of medical history. There is little left of Justinian’s 6th-century citadel, and the traditional Seljuk buildings are of black volcanic stone. An archaeology museum has cuneiform tablets from Hittite times and from Karum, the Assyrian trading post at nearby Kültepe. Gupgupoglu Konagi, a local family mansion dating from the 15th century, shows Ottoman life.
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