Ahi Evran Social Complex
Ahi Evran-ı Veli was the founder of the Ahi Organization in Anatolia. He was a gifted scientist with knowledge in the fields of philosophy, medicine, and chemistry, and wrote volumes on subjects like tafsir, hadith, kelam, fikh and Sufiism.
Ahi means bounteous, generous, hospitable, brotherly and valiant.
Ahilik is a system of art, trade, solidarity, and assistance that emerged in Anatolia in the 13th century, becoming a union of artisans and craftsmen after the 18th century. In this sense, Ahilik is an organization established upon the principles of intellectualism, morality, science and industry, which preserves business ethics and protects the capital and the efforts of workers. It possesses aspects that resemble today’s cooperatives and trade unions, as well as systems such as social security, quality and price control. The Ahilik Organization had a significant impact on the establishment process of the Ottoman State.
The tradesmen who practiced their crafts within the Seljuk and Ottoman geography received a ‘license (icazetname)’ from Kırşehir, as it was the centre of the Ahilik Organization.
The Ahi Evran Social Complex (Ahi Evran Külliyesi), where the tomb of Ahi Evran-ı Veli is situated, is in the Ahi Evran quarter in the Kırşehir provincial centre. The Complex, believed to have been established in the 14th century as a simple zawiyah (zaviye), was the spiritual centre of Turkish craft specialists during ruling of the Ottoman Empire.
The Tomb of Ahi Evran was included in Türkiye’s UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2014.
Cacabey Astronomy Madrasa
Among the important historical structures in Kırşehir, the Cacabey Astronomy Madrasa (Cacabey Gökbilim Medresesi) was built by Nureddin Jibril bin Cacabey, the Governor of Kırşehir, in 1272. The madrasa offered studies in mathematics, astronomy and science.
The Cacabey Astronomy Madrasa attracts attention due to its unique architecture, featuring internal colonnettes representing the planets within the solar system, an observation shaft, a lightning torch and a 21-meter-high observation tower. It was one of the first centres to offer education in astronomy, and may even have been the most important of such centres.
The three colonnettes on the exterior of the madrasa are believed to represent the firing and launching positions of a rocket. The figures engraved on the crown gate of the madrasa are believed to symbolize the moon and the sun, while comments on the circular shapes on the right and left lower corner of the pediment illustrate the equatorial line and the skew of the axis.
The Madrasa, also the site of Cacabey’s tomb, is used as a mosque today. It is called the Cıncıklı (Glassy) Mosque (Cıncıklı Cami) by local residents.
In 2014, the Cacabey Astronomy Madrasa was included in the UNESCO Temporary World Heritage List under Anatolian Seljuk madrasas.
This contemporary promenade area is in the centre of Kırşehir, and within walking distance to important historical destinations. While it is a more recent addition to the city, it is immensely popular.
Believed to have been built by the Byzantines in the 10th or 11th century, Üçayak Church (Üçayak Kilisesi) reflects the characteristics of typical Byzantine church architecture. Both Catholic and Protestant sect members worshipped together in the church.
One of the Seljuk bridges in Central Anatolia, the bridge was built in the 13th century. It began to be called the Broken Bridge (Kesikköprü) in the 17th and 18th centuries due to bandits who cut caravan routes crossing over the bridge.
Broken Bridge Caravanserai (Cacabey Inn)
The Broken Bridge Caravanserai (Kesikköprü Kervansayarayı) is located next to the Broken Bridge (Kesikköprü), the most famous of the Anatolian Seljuk bridges.
Caravanserai were the first commercial accommodation areas in Anatolia. Caravans, consisting of people, cargo, and animals, were accommodated in these inns. The inns had an important place in social and cultural structures of the period, and are the precursors to today’s hotels.
The mansion is a rare example of civil architecture in Kırşehir that can still be seen today. It now serves as a Culture House (Kültür Evi), where Kırşehir culture and knowledge is kept alive for present and future generations.
Visitors can enjoy the local specialties of Kırşehir at the restaurant adjacent to the mansion.
Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeological Museum
There are over 100 mounds identified and registered in Kırşehir; these offer evidence that Kırşehir was used as a settlement in every period of history.
Kalehöyük is in the Kaman district of Kırşehir. The Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeological Excavation began in 1986; excavations conducted in Kalehöyük, a typical Anatolian mound, offered insight into the earliest settlement history of Kırşehir, dating from the Early Bronze Age.
The Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeological Museum (Kaman Kalehöyük Arkeoloji Müzesi) is next to the excavation site. Inspired by the rounded form of the Kalehöyük mound, the museum itself is built in the form of a mound. The design allows visitors to observe the excavation methods and the artifacts unearthed at the same time.
Next to the Kaman Kalehöyük Archaeology Museum (Kaman Kalehöyük Arkeoloji Müzesi) is the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Archaeology. The institute was established to conduct archaeological excavations and analyse information and artifacts obtained from research and excavations.
Adjacent to the excavation quarters is the Japanese Garden (Mikasanomiya Memorial Garden), the largest such botanical garden outside Japan, built by Japanese archaeologists working in Kalehöyük.
Japanese Garden (Mikasanomiya Memorial Garden)
The garden is next to the Kalehöyük excavation quarters in the Kaman district. It was built by the Japan Middle East Cultural Centre (Japon Ortadoğu Kültür Merkezi) in 1993, to commemorate the commencement of the Kalehöyük excavations by Altes Prince Takahito Mikasa, and to create a recreation area for the people of the region.
The Japanese garden (Japon Bahçesi) is the largest such botanical garden outside of Japan and attracts more and more visitors each year.
Mucur Underground City
There are numerous underground cities in the Cappadocia region. Dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries, many were built by early Christians for protection, shelter, and worship. One of these is the Mucur Underground City (Mucur Yeraltı Şehri) in the Mucur district of Kırşehir. The underground city lies seven to eight meters below the ground.
The underground city features many chambers, along with narrow corridors that connect the various chambers. Huge, flat circular stones were used to seal various chambers and the underground city also had ventilation chimneys that opened above the ground.
In addition, the underground city included places of worship, as well as stables big enough to accommodate sheep and goats.
Kepez Underground City
The Kepez Underground City (Kepez Yeraltı Şehri) is in the Mucur district of Kırşehir and considered one of the most well-ordered underground cities in the Cappadocia region. Kepez draws attention from visitors due to its architecture and its bicoloured soil structure.
The underground city consists of ternate groups of halls in rectangular form, and galleries and tunnels connecting these halls.
Dulkadirli Underground City
This underground city, which resembles the caravansaries of the Seljuk period in terms of its architectural structure and plan, differs from other underground cities with its plan features.
The underground city was used as a shelter in the early Christian period.
Lake Seyfe Bird Sanctuary
Lake Seyfe (Seyfe Gölü) is 220 km from Ankara and 36 km from Kırşehir.
There are several islands of various sizes in the lake, which is 16 km from Kırşehir's Mucur district. The lake is a habitat for thousands of birds. The mounds around the lake, the naturalness of the surrounding vegetation, and the view of the turquoise lake and flocks of birds offer an extraordinarily beautiful scene.
Observations and research identified the presence of 186 bird species in and around the lake. Flocks of birds – brightly coloured flamingos, in particular – create an amazing picture for bird watchers.
Hirfanlı Dam Lake
Known as the “Sea of Central Anatolia”, Hirfanlı Dam Lake (Hirfanlı Baraj Gölü) attracts attention with its views, beach, and social facilities. In addition, fishing is an important source of income in the villages around Hirfanlı Dam Lake.
The sand dunes and natural beaches on the shore of Hirfanlı Dam Lake are popular with vacationers. The dam banks of the Yeşilli, Uzunali and Karaduraklı villages are used as camping areas in summer.
Activities on the lake, including snorkelling, diving, sailing, rowing, and canoeing, are organized by rafting federations, youth camps, universities, and training centres.