Hizir Ilyas Kiosk

Erkilet (Kayseri) Turkey



This small Seljuk pleasure pavilion, also called the "Hidirellez", was probably used in the summer to escape the heat and to enjoy the countryside. Located in Erkilet, a northern suburb of Kayseri, it is built atop a large Hittite burial mound, and can be seen from a great distance away.


This summer residence was built by Sultan Giyaseddin Keyhsrev II in 1241. The original inscription plaque is now lost.


The plan consists of a central corridor giving access to several vaulted rooms and a decorated mosque immediately to the right of the entry. To the rear, a staircase leads up to a terrace providing a spectacular 360 degree view over the entire Meshediyye Plain and the city of Kayseri. Due to this strategic view, the pavilion must also have served as a military observation post.


The distinctive feature of this kiosk is its white marble entry gate, comprised of 2 panels with a geometric polygonal pattern and 2 side niches. This entry door rivals with the finest han portals of the era. It is the only marble portal known in Seljuk architecture.


Built of finely-cut stone, the Hizir Ilyas Kiosk is a rare example of Seljuk civil architecture. The kiosk was saved from razing in 1994, and is currently being converted into a cafe-night club. The combination of its historical and dramatic setting, dazzling white portal, constant cool breezes, beautiful view and the absolute silence of the setting confer a magical atmosphere.




general overview, 2005



view from the kiosk over the city of Kayseri and Mount Erciyes

view from the kiosk over the Maşadiyye Plain






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