Nev?ehir is a town (pop. 85.634) in Central Anatolia in the K?z?l?rmak valley and is situated (altitute 1250 m.) on the slopes of Kahveci Mountain. Its history goes back to an age long before the birth of Christ. It used to be called Nyssa and then Mushkara.

The Hittites who lived in the period 2000-1200 B.C. in the region to the north of K?z?l?rmak, spread then beyond the natural boundaries formed by the river. After the collapse of the Hittite kingdom, Nev?ehir came alternately under the protection of the Assyrians and the Phrygians. In 546 B.C. the Persian emperor Cyrus took Nev?ehir and the rest of Anatolia was soon conquered.

With the defeat in 33 B.C. by Alexander the Great of the Persian Empire, all of this territory was added to his empire. Later, the Cappadocian kingdom, already in possession of Ni?de and Mazaka (Kayseri) as its capital, took also Nev?ehir.

In the 1 st century B.C. Nev?ehir fell under Roman egemony, which was followed by that of Byzantium. And it is from the Byzantine period that the largest number of historical monuments (rock churches, underground shelters) have survived to our day. In the early years of Christianity, converts to this new religion took refuge and continued their missionary work secretly in approximately hundred underground shelters and temples at Derinkuyu, Kaymakl?, Gölcük, Do?ala and T?rhan. After the recognition of Christianity by Constantine in 313, these underground caverns were used solely as shelters during the invasions of the Sasanids and the Arabs.

In later years, when these caves had lost their importance as places of refuge, hundreds of churches were built in the rocks at Göreme, So?anl?, and Ihlara. Stories from the Bible were used to decorate the interior of these churches.
After the defeat of the Byzantine emperor Roman Diogenes by Alparslan at Malazgirt (Manzikert), Nev?ehir fell in Seljukid hands. A later Seljuk sultan, Kuluj Arslan II, divided his domain among his eleven sons; Nev?ehir fell to his son Mesut, who lost it to his brother Rükneddin in 1204. After the total downfall of the Seljukid empire in 1308, the llhanids took Nev?ehir. Their rule was followed by that of the Karamanl? and Dülkadir principalities and finally by the Ottomans when Yavuz Sultan Selim put an end to the Düikadiro?ullar? rule.

In the XVII century Damat Ibrahim Pasha became both the Sultan's son-in-law and his Grand Vizier. He had almost the whole town rebuilt and called it Nev?ehir (New Town). The inns, public baths, medreses and the very interesting Kurshunlu Mosque all date from Ibrahim Pasha's time.

In 1954 it ceased to be part of the province of Ni?de and became a province itself. Apart from the unique underground cities, "fair cnimneys", rock churches, underground monasteries and old caravanserais, Nev?ehir is also known for its carpets and wines.


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