Nevşehir is a province in the central part of Turkey with its capital in Nevsehir. Nevsehir includes the area called Cappadocia - a very popular traveller attraction in Turkey. The famous town of Goreme is also located in Nevsehir.
This province is notable for a number of old churches from the Byzantine period. Nevsehir, (Greek: "Nyssa"), founded on the slopes of Mountain Kahveci in the valley of Kızılırmak (the ancient Halys) by the Hittites. The underground shelters around Nyssa and Goreme were originally built to escape persecution by the pagan Roman authorities. The Christian theologian and saint Gregory of Nyssa was bishop of Nyssa in the late 4th century AD. Many of the churches, hewn in the rocks, date from these early years of Christianity. Even when Theodosius I made Christianity the official religion of the Empire the caves offered protection for the local people during raids by the Sassanid Persians circa 604 AD and by the Islamic Caliphate circa 647 AD. And when Iconoclasm became state policy in the Byzantine Empire again the caves of Nyssa became shelters for those escaping persecution.
The present-day city owes its foundation to the grand vizier and son-in-law of the Sultan Ahmed III, Nevşehirli Damat Ibrahim Pasha who was born in Muskara and therefore took a great interest in its construction as a city. The small village with only 18 houses, formerly under the administration of Urgup, was rapidly transformed with the building of mosques (the Kursunlu Mosque), fountains, schools, soup kitchens, inns and bath houses, and its name was changed from Muskara to "Nevsehir" (meaning New City in Persian and Ottoman Turkish).