Niğde’s surface are: 2.303 km²
Niğde’s population: 364.707
Niğde’s districts: Altunhisar, Bor, Çamardı, Çiftlik, Ulukışla
It is thought that the city of Niğde’s former name was once Nahita or Nakita. This name also used in Ibn Bibi for the first time in history.
Former CHP Niğde Deputy Dr. Avram Galanti says in his book about the name: “Niğde’s oldest name is Anahita. It represents blessing and wealth.
Nakida was also used as Nekide from time to time, the very same name was also written as Nîkde with Arabic alphabet in the 14th century. With the republic age, it was transformed into Niğde.
Archeologic research and works made in Niğde, which has a past of 10.000 years, showed the artifacts up to Paleolithic Age. In the written history age, respectively Assyrian Commerce Colonies, Hittites, Phrygians, Persians, Macedonia Kingdom, Cappadocia Kingdom, Romans, Byzantine Empire, Anatolian Seljuq State, Eretna Principality, Karamanoğulları Principality and Ottoman Empire has reigned in ages. Niğde had been taken by Ottomans in 1470.
Places to Visit in Niğde
Niğde has a big potential in terms of tourism with its natural beauties, cultural artifacts, and thermal sources. Being a continuous 10.000-year-old settlement since present, Niğde has many different historical artifacts and buildings remained from Romans, Byzantines, Seljuqs and Ottomans. The most important cultural artifacts that remained from Romans are Roman pool and aqueducts which used to carry the water of the pool the old city center Kemerhisar.
The most important cultural wealth remained from Byzantines is Gümüşler Monastery. Alâeddin Mosque, Sungurbey Mosque, Ak Madrasah, and Hüdavent Hatun Shrine are among the places to see from the Seljuq Dynasty times. Ulukışla Öküz Mehmet Pasha Caravansary is the most important cultural and historical remaining that is from the Ottomans. The caravansary was also inspired by the “Han Duvarları” poem the great Turkish poet Faruk Nafiz Çamlıbel.
Niğde Ethnography and Archeology Museum
It was built in 1976. There are 12.000 different artifacts being shown from Antique Ages, Seljuq and Ottoman times. Akmedrese itself is also used as a part of the museum.
It is located in Gümüşler Village, being 8 km away from the Niğde city center. The monastery was built by Romans.
Niğde Castle was built on top of Alaaddin Hill’s north side, which a barrow. Since there is not any building tablet, it can’t exactly be known in which year it was built. But it is estimated that it was made in the 9th century by Byzantine Empire. It was reformed in time by Anatolian Seljuq emperors II. Kılıçarslan (1155-1192), II. Rüknettin Suleiman Shah (1196-1204) and I. Alâeddin Keykubat (1220-1237).
Building is made of an inner castle and an outer castle made of a thich walls which covers the houses and the inner castle itself. Inner castle and walls are built on the hill in the east side of the city, in the north-south direction. This hill is named as Alâeddin Hill since it also holds the Alâeddin Mosque. The castle lost its function today and there is only inner castle, Alâeddin Mosque (1223), Hatıroğlu Fountain (1267-68), Rahmaniye Mosque (1747) and Alâeddin Hill left in the area. Some houses and shops were built in the breechs of the walls later on. Niğde Castle can be visited today by anyone for free.
Niğde Clock Tower
In Niğde Castle, the tower in the southwest corner of the inner castle were demolished and a Clock Tower was built on top of it. It is consisted of 4 different parts, which looks like a minaret from the outside. Even though it has started to make clock towers in the 14th century in Europe, Ottomans met with clock towers in the 18th century. With a command sent to the governors for the name of Sultan Abdulhamid’s ascend’s 25h year anniversary, building clock towers in Anatolia fastened (1901-02). But only 50 of them are living today, including Niğde’s Clock Tower.
It was built in 1233 by Niğde banner lord Zeyneddin Basara during I. Alâaddin Keykubâd’s reign. It is one of the best protected building remained from Seljuq times that has a fascinating mihrab and minbar. It is the oldest mosque of Niğde and was made by Sıddık bin Mahmud the Architect and his brother Ghazi. Mosque’s east gate is covered with beautiful geometric patterns which was made of yellow face stone. It is one of the most precious buildings of Seljuq age in terms of mosque decoration. The minaret covered with checkworks is pretty remarkable. In a certain time of the year, a girl shade can be seen through the mosque’s door when the first lights of the day hits the door. A story tells that the architect of the mosque fell in love with the emperor’s daoughter and treats the patterns of the daughter’s beauty.
Sungur Bey Mosque and Shrine
It was made by former Niğde governor Sungur Bey during İlkhanid times. It was rebuilt after a fire in the 18th century. The building is quite rich in terms of architectural features and stonemasonry. There is a shrine which is in the octagon shape near the mosque that had two minarets in its origin.
Aladağlar National Park
It is located in the borders of Niğde, Kayseri and Adana. The park is only about 15 km away from the Çamardı distrcit of the Niğde. There are many camping areas, daily places to hang out and tracks for walking and climbing. In the rivers of the park, sportive fishing can be made throughtout the mountains and there is also a wildlife protection area.
What to eat in Niğde?
Niğde has a specific cousine thanks to its some special cooking techniques. Niğde tavası, pancar çorbası, kuskus pilavı, ditme, tirit, Niğde çanağı, papara, oğma çorbası, mangır çorbası are among some of the special meals of Niğde cousine. There is also some special desserts known as hüsmeni, halveter, köfter and pekmez.
Some other information about the city
Niğde’s economy is mostly based on agriculture. Most of the population is earn their living with agriculture. Apple and wheat production is so high in the city, which is known as Anatolia’s wheat storehouse. Niğde is famous with its “misket” apple that is sweet and juicy, therefore the city is the third biggest apple producer in Turkey. There are many apple gardens Bor, Çamardı and Kemerhisar in great sizes. Some other nourishment produced in Niğde are potato, legume family, garlic and sunflower. Grape farming is rising in the latest years as well. Mining is very famous in Niğde for around 50 years and after 1980s, industry has developed in the city. Today there are more than 50 different industry corporations working on different products like sugar, cheese, flour, butter, carpet and brick.
Traditional hand-knitting is very popular in Niğde for centuries. In fact, Niğde has a world-wide reputation for hand-knitting products.