Kırşehir, formerly Macissus (also spelled Mocissus and Mokissus) and Justinianopolis, is a city in Turkey. It is the capital district of the Kırşehir Province. According to 2000 census, population of the district is 115,078 of which 88,105 live in the city of Kırşehir.


The history of Kırşehir dates back to the Hittites. The Romans called the city Macissus, and after the city was rebuilt by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565), it was renamed Justinianopolis. This name was retained until the end of Byzantine rule. The Turks took the city in 1071 and bestowed the current name. In Turkish, "Kır Şehri" means "Steppe City". It became the chief town of a sanjak in the Ottoman vilayet of Angora, which possessed 8000 inhabitants, most of them Muslims.

In the 19th century, Kırşehir was attached to the sanjak of Ankara. In the year 1921, Kırşehir was made capital of its own province. Kemal Atatürk visited the city in 1921 and 1931. Kırşehir was once known as "Parnassos" or "Mikissos". During the period of the Hittites, the basin of Kırşehir was known as the country of "Ahiyuva". This basin also took the name Cappadocia at the time of the Romans and Byzantines.

It became a province in 1924. On 30 May 1954, it was accepted as a district of Nevşehir. Later, the towns of Kırşehir were divided between Ankara, Yozgat and Nevşehir. In 1957, Kırşehir became a province again.

Ecclesiastical history

Under the Latin name Mocissus it remains a titular metropolitan see in the former Roman province of Cappadocia. Procopius (De ædif., V, iv) informs us that this fortified site, in north-western Cappadocia, was constituted metropolis of Cappadocia Tertia by Justinian, when he divided that province into three parts, and gave it the name of Justinianopolis. Nothing is known of its history, and its name should perhaps be written Mocessus. There is no doubt that the site of Mocissus, or Mocessus, is that which is occupied by the modern city of Kırşehir. This metropolis figured in the Notitiæ episcopatuum until the twelfth or thirteenth century. Only a few of its titulars are known: the earliest, Peter, attended the Council of Constantinople (536); the last, whose name is not known, was a Catholic, and was consecrated after the Council of Florence by Patriarch Metrophanes of Constantinople.

Kesikköprü Bridge

Kesikköprü is one of the bridges built by Seljuk Empire in Middle Anatolia. It is on the way of Kırşehir-Konya, about 20 km to the south of Kırşehir, and across the River Kızılırmak with its 13 parts.

In the inscription of bridge, it is written that the bridge was built by Atabeg İzzü’d-Din Muhammed in 646 of the Hegira/1248 of the Christian era during the rule of Keykavus, the son of Keyhüsrev.

The ones who came from İzmir and tried to reach Sivas and Erzurum from Tokat passed over Kesikköprü. We have learned that the inscription was sunken into the river in 1953. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it took the name of Kesikköprü due to the fact that caravan roads were invaded by the highwaymen.

The three lined-instruction destructed on stone base can be read hardly.

The inscription

Ressame bi imaret hazihil el kantara el mübareke (fi eyyam han) devlet es sultan el azam İzzü-d dünya ve ‘d Din Ebul Feth Keykavus bin Keyhüsrev Burhan Emirel mü’münin.

El Mevla el sahibul azam atabek el muazzam nazım mesalih il alem nasır el enam zübdetil eyyam izzeddin ebul meli Muhammed zahir Ali Selçuk ve emiril mü’minil azzellahu nasrahu ve ala kadrehu fi şuhuri sene sitte ve arbain ve sitte mie hamiden lillah ve musallian ala nebiihi Muhammed ve alihi vesellem teslimen kesiran.



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