Sivas, called Sebastea in Roman times, is 440 km (273 miles) east of Ankara and 220 km (137 miles) northeast of Kayseri (map). It was an important Seljuk
Turkish city, and has the
grand old buildings—excellent examples of Selçuk architecture—to prove it.
Today it's also a center of Turkish Alevi (Alawite) Islamic culture.
What to See & Do
If you come to Sivas, it will be to
see the Seljuk
monuments such as the Çifte
Minare Medrese (Seminary of the
Twin Minarets, 1271), the Ulu Cami (Great
Mosque, 1197), the Bürüciye and Şifaiye
Medreses, and the splendid Gök
Medrese (Celestial or Sky-Blue
Seminary, 1271). There are also a number
of Seljuk türbes
(cylindrical tombs) scattered about
A more recent historic building is
the site of the Sivas Congress,
convened by Mustafa
Kemal (Atatürk) on September
4, 1919, to rally the country to the
cause of independence.
architecture buffs (I'm
one) may make a special trip to
the city, but most people find
themselves passing through on
their way to somewhere else, such
as Amasya, Kayseri, Malatya (and Nemrut
Dagi) or Erzincan and Erzurum.
That's fine. You can break your
trip here, stay overnight,
see all there is to see in a half-day,
and continue refreshed the next
Sivas is a major transport nexus with
good, frequent bus service,
some train service,
and occasional flights by Turkish
Metro Turizm runs about eight buses daily between Kayseri and Sivas, taking 90 to 150 minutes, depending on the bus. At least six other bus companies run this route as well.
A high-speed train line is being built from Ankara to Sivas, but right now two daily conventional trains connect Sivas with Ankara, Kayseri and points east and south. The Vangölü/Güney Kurtalan Ekspresi is an evening train. The Doğu Ekspresi comes through Sivas in the middle of the night eastbound, and late at night westbound.
Sivas's Nuri Demirağ Airport is 23 km (14 miles) northwest of the city center, reached by Havaş airport buses, which also run to Tokat.
Distances & Travel Times
km (257 miles) SE, 7 hours
km (274 miles) W, 7 hours
km (137 miles) NW, 4 hours
Erzincan: 247 km (154 miles)
E, 3.75 hours
km (273 miles) E, 7.5 hours
km (121 miles) SW, 3.75 hours
km (154 miles) SE, 4 hours
Tokat: 107 km (67 miles) NW,
Ürgüp (Cappadocia): 274
km (170 miles) W, 4.5 hours
Yozgat (near Boğazkale): 224
km (139 miles) W, 3.5 hours
Seljuk Turkish Çifte
of Twin Minarets).
3302" is now
retired to a place of honor
in front of Sivas's railway