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NIGDE-TYANA

 

NİĞDE

It was understood from the executed archeological excavations that the Niğde province and the surrounding lands accommodate important settlement units between BC 3000 - 2000 years which is the Ancient Bronze Age. This period was called as Ancient Hittite Period. After this period, the province of Niğde and its vicinity had entered under the reign of Friesian, Persian, Alexander the Great, Roman, Byzantine civilizations.

Later on, the Niğde environ had entered under the dominance of the Seljukian, Mongol and Karamanoğulları civilizations, and finally had entered under the reign of Ottoman Empire in 1471.

The province of Niğde and the surrounding lands are extensively rich in the field of ancient ruins. Most of the findings discovered at the excavations from these ruins are exhibited at the Niğde Museum.

The important ruins could be counted as, Köşk Tumulus ruins (Bor - Bahçeli Borough), Göltepe - Kestel ruins (Çamardı), Göllüdağ ruins (Göllüdağ), Porsuk Tumulus ruins (Ulukışla - Darboğaz), Tyana ruins (Bor - Bahçeli).

Kuşkayası Burial Ground This burial ground is located at the vicinity of Karaltı Borough, which is approximately at 40 km distance to Niğde. The rock tombs are lined among the two slopes of a valley located southwest of the borough.

Gümüşler Ruins and Monastery These ruins and the monastery is located in the borders of Gümüşler Borough which is 9 km. away from Niğde province. The monastery is one of the most beautiful and well preserved creations of the Byzantine art in Anatolia. The monastery was declared as an archeologically protected site in 1973 and is carved inside a vast and wide rock piece.

The church has four main pillars with the shape of rock cavity and the walls are covered with frescos. The strong and vigorous expressions of the frescos in the church, the present underground city, the great burial chamber, the accommodation areas carved in the large rock masses and increased defensive precautions express that the Gümüşler ruins and the monastery was one of the important religious center of its period

 

TYANA

Kemerhisar (formerly Kilisehisar) lies 25 km/16 miles South of Niğde and is scattered over three hills on the site  of the ancient town of Tyana. Semiramis, the legendary queen of Assyria  and founder of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, is thought to have been instrumental in establishing Tyana, which dates from 1200 B.C. as a late Hittite principality, named Tuhana after the decline of the Hittite Empire. In the second half of the 8th century B.C. one of the rulers was Varpalavas whose stele can be seen in the İstanbul Arkeolojical Muzeum. Ancient remains  on the site include a Doric marble pillar on the “Hill of semiramis” and fifteen linked marble arches (“kemer”, arches) of a Roman aquaduct. A path leads from the South of the site to the Baths of Kemerhisar which is mentioned in ancient writings. The warm water (15 oC/60 oF) containing sodium hydrogen carbonate, magnesium carbonate and salt was drunk for its healing powers. The site also comprises a bthing pool.

Ancient Tyana, or what remains of it today, is located about ten minutes away from downtown Bor. Driving south, on the highway back to Ulukışla, almost on the outskirt of Bor, one enters the town of Kemerhisar, a small town that stretches in an east-west direction. The ruins of Tyana are located on the northern edge of Kemerhisar anda are nothing more than an ancient aqueduct said to have been constructed by the Hittites and subsequently operated by the Greeks and Romans.

There is a legend about Tyana. It seems that at one point in its history, an eastern king named “Nimrud” paid a visit to Cappadocia to consult with a Tyanaean prophet and holy man. Whwn this Nimrud expressed doubt about this holy man’s ağabeylities, the holy man performed several miracles to convince King Nimrud. When this holy man caused the water on the aqueduct to flow backwards, uphill, Nimrud doubted him no longer. Today there are two mountains in Turkey named after this King Nimrud, one near Lake Van and the another in southeastern Turkey.