Sivas – City of Madrasa

Sivas is the provincial capital of Sivas Province in Turkey.  According to the 2007  Turkish census, its population was 296402. The city lies at an elevation of 4,193 feet (1,285 m) in the broad valley of the Kızılırmak river, and is a moderately-sized trade center and industrial city, although the economy has traditionally been based on agriculture. Rail repair shops as well as a thriving industry of manufacturing rugs, bricks, cement, and cotton and woolen textiles are all important for the economy of the city. The surrounding region is a cereal-producing area and with large deposits of iron ore, which are worked at Divriği.

Sivas is also communications center to the north-south and west-east trade routes to Iraq and Iran, respectively. With the development of railways, the city gained new economic importance, as it stands at the junction of several railways and highways and is linked by air with Istanbul via Ankara, as well as an important rail line linking the cities of Kayseri, Samsun, and Erzurum.

A cultural hub as well as an industrial one, Sivas features many monuments of 13th-century Seljuk architecture. Mavi Medrese from 1271, Şifaiye Medresesi from 1218 and the Çifte Minare Medresesi from 1271 with its intricately carved facade and minarets are among the most noteworthy edifices. The oldest mosque is the Great Mosque dating from the Turkmen era. Near Sivas lay the Armenian Christian monastery of the Holy Cross, with its royal throne and other relics. It is now entirely destroyed

Ulu Camii (Mosque) completed in 1196, is famous for its simplicity and it is a showcase for the Seljuk Turks’ architectural success. The city is also famous for its Medreses (Madrasa). Gök Medresesi (the Celestial Madrasa) and Mavi Medrese were built in 1271. On the other hand, Sifaiye Medresesi was completed earlier, in the eve of the second wave of Turkic immigration to Anatolia, in 1218 and the with its intricately carved facade and minarets are among the most noteworthy edifices carries on the traditional Seljuk Medrese plan.

The city also contains some of the finest examples of the Ottoman architectural style. Kurşunlu Hamamı (Bath) which was completed in 1576, is the largest bath in the city and it contains many details from the classical Ottoman bath building. Behrampaşa Hanı (Caravansaray), was completed in 1573 and it is famous for its lion motives around its windows.