Kayseri has historically been one of the most important trade centers in Anatolia. It is located to the east of Turkey's centre, and is positioned adjacent to the extinct volcano, Mount Erciyes. Kayseri is also well known for its textile and carpet industry, and has impressive monuments that reflect its history.
The history of the region dates back to the fourth millennium BC, with the oldest remains found at Kultepe. Kayseri was originally called Mazaka, which was significant under the rule of the Phrygians, and then renamed Caesarea in 17 AD in honour of Emperor Tiberius, when it was the capital of the Roman province of Cappadocia. The city was invaded by the Arabs in seventh century. The Seljuks took over in the late 11th century led by Kilic Aslan II, and then had a succession of crusading rulers: Mongols, Turkish chiefs and eventually Beyazit I in 1397. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1515, under Selim the Grim.
City Ramparts and Castle Kayseri, which is located at the centre of the city, were constructed in the third century. The Erciyes Ski Centre, which is in the eastern face of Mount Erciyes, allows visitors good facilities for skiing and accommodation, especially between December and May. Kayseri has always been a popular option as a base to explore Cappadocia. Aladaglar National Park also has a good route for trekking.
Cappadoccia, which is located in southwest of Kayseri, offers interesting landforms and historical boutique hotels and cave houses to tourists. Cappadoccia has many areas with unique geological, historic, and cultural features. Hot-air ballooning is also very popular in the region. The most important towns and destinations in Cappadocia are Urgup, Goreme and Ihlara Valley.
In respect of the cuisine of the city, tourists should sample pastırma, made from riped and salted sun and air-dried veal, sucuk, dry and spicy sausage, and mantı, a type of dumbling with yoghurt, sauce and some spices. The markets of Kayseri also boast a wide selection of carpets, jewellery.
Kayseri has two teams in the upper echelons of Turkey's professional leagues: Kayserispor and Kayseri Erciyesspor. Kayserispor compete in the Super League, while Kayseri Erciyesspor is play in 1. League, the second division of Turkish professional football.
Both play their home games in Kadir Has Stadium, a new and modernised stadium opened in 2009 with a capacity of around 33,000.