Welcome to the capital of the Anatolian Seljuk State!

A LAND OF HOYUKS, KONYA, IN THE NEOLITHIC AGE

Konya plain is situated on a land of 49500 kilometers. It is the land on which a revolution affecting all societies came into being in the past. With this revolution, humankind stopped living in caves and began to live in houses that they constructed. They, thus, had the chance of exploring the nature closely. After this pivotal revolution, they began to cultivate the land as well as having a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. "Catalhoyuk", where this vital revolution happened nearly nine thousand years ago, is just one of the other 360 hoyuks in the land of Konya. 45 kilometers away from the city centre, Catalhoyuk, is a neolithic excavation site where you may have an archaeological, historical and cultural trip. It is the only excavation site on the world in which you can walk around. 

A HOLY CITY IN BIBLE, KONYA

Konya is also known as "Iconion" in classical ages. In the holy book, Bible, Konya is named as Iconium. Especially, in the Acts chapter in Bible, the names of Paulus and Barnabas are mentioned in biblical towns such as Iconium, Lystra and Derbe. There are also tales about the important events in Konya, Lystra and Derbe during the missionary travels of Paulus in Anatolia. These towns, Konya, Lystra and Derbe are important to all Christians. One of them, Lystra/Kilistra, famous for its cisterns and wineries, is only 50 kilometers away from the city center and is called as the "Cappadocia of Konya" because of the view similar to the one in Cappadocia. Also, the church "Aya Eleni" in "Sille" town, which was built by the mother of the Byzantines Emperor Constantines, Helena, for the poor people of the town while going for pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 327 AD, is one of the most pivotal buildings of the time. The town "Sille" with its two-storey and authentic houses is a magnificent place for the visitors to get further information about the Christianity culture. 

A TURKISH-ISLAMIC CULTURAL CITY, KONYA

Having been the capital city of the Anatolian Seljuk State, Konya was one of the most important cultural centers of the 13th century. Mewlana Jelaleddin Rumi was a world famous philosopher and sufi of the time. The visit of Mevlana Museum, situated in the heart of the city, is indispensable during a classical city tour. The Alaaddin Mosque that is on the top of the Alaaddin Hill, being one of the best examples of the Seljuk Era and standing like an ancient pillar museum, is indispensable for a visit, too. A Konya tour without visiting "The Karatay Museum" and "The Inceminare Museum", two universities of the time helping Konya be a cultural city, is inconceivable. After a panoramic city tour, you will discover that Konya is a real outdoor museum. 

Dear Visitors!

Which places to visit in Konya 

The places mentioned below are important to visit during your stay in Konya and the vicinity. It's not an organized tour schedule. They are the locations suggested by your tour guide to visit.

1-A TURKISH-ISLAMIC CULTURAL CITY, KONYA

The Mevlana Museum - The Karatay Museum

The Inceminare Museum - The Alaaddin Mosque

2-A HOLY CITY IN BIBLE, Konya

Kilistra / Lystra / Hatunsaray - (The city mentioned in Bible.) 

Sille (An important center of the earliest Christianity Era.) 

3-A LAND OF HOYUKS, KONYA, IN THE NEOLITHIC AGE

Catalhoyuk ( The oldest neolithic excavation site of the world ) 

The Archaelogy Museum (A museum exhibiting Catalhoyuk Artefacts ) 

4-BEYSEHIR TOUR

The Esrefoglu Mosque (The most important mosque of Anatolia with wooden pillars)

Eflatunpınar (A Hittite Fountain)

The Cavus Suslu Mosque (An ornamented mosque with wooden pillars)

5-KARAMAN TOUR

Binbirkilise (A town with many church and basilica examples of the earliest Christianity Era ) 

The Karaman Aktekke Mosque (The tomb of Mawlana Jelaleddin Rumi’s mother, Mumine Hatun) 

Taşkale (Including granaries carved on rocks ) 

KONYA TOUR

THE MEVLANA MUSEUM

The green tomb, constructed by a Tabriz-based architect Bedreddin in 1278 five years after the death of Mewlana Jelaleddin Rumi in 1273, was built as a complex of buildings adjacent to a mosque. This building is the center of the Dergahs of Mevlevi and it has been expanded with the addition of other buildings. Consisting of two different parts, the yard and the closed area, the building has four different entrances called Kustuhan, Celebiyan, Hamushan and Dervishan. The mosque, the kitchen and dervish rooms, recite rooms, Whirling Hall and Huzur-u Pir are important sections of the building. It comes secondly after the most visited museum of our country, the Topkapi Palace. 

THE KARATAY MUSEUM

The Karatay Museum was constructed by the order of Seljuk Vizier Celaleddin Karatay in 1251. Nobody knows about the architect of the building. It’s one of the madrasahs whose yard is covered with a roof. The roof also has a dome which is ornamented with tiles and has a lantern. The tambour of the dome with 255th and 256th verses, the panels above the entrances of the student dorms are ornamented with 284th and 285th verses of the Bakara Sura in holy book, Quran, in Kufi writing style. The writing -255th verse of the same sura- on the arch of the eyvan is written in Sulus writing style. The tomb built for Celaleddin Karatay is at the end of the eyvan. The portal of the museum is one of the most magnificent stone works of the Seljuk Era. On the portal, ornamented with writings and patterns, the epigraph about the construction of the madrasah and the 19th verse of the Neml Sura are in place. The three sides of the surrounding of the entrance door are ornamented with special hadiths about the rules of everyday life. The madrasah, being used as a museum of Tile Works at present, is famous for the exhibited tile works of the Kubadabat Palace. These tile works are the oldest documents giving information about the existence of Turks in Anatolia. The madrasah, one of the most important cultural centers of the world in the 13th century, was established for the education of hadiths and Islamic comments.

THE INCE MINARELI MUSEUM

It was built by the order of one of the most important Seljuk Viziers Sahipata Fahreddin Ali in 1254. The architect of the museum is Keluk bin Abdullah. The museum is in the group of the museums whose yards are covered with a roof and the madrasah has one eyvan.The dome is supported with triangle tromps called as “Turkish Triangle”. The tambour of the dome is ornamented with the verse “El Mulku-Lillah” in Kufi writing style. The portal, one of the most magnificent works of the Seljuk Era, is ornamented with the suras of Feth and Yasin. There are student dorms on the right and left of the inner yard that has a pool in the middle. The madrasah currently serves as a museum of stone and wooden works. Many stone and wooden artefacts of the Konya Castle, documents about the Sejuk and Karamanogullari Eras, gravestones, relief works, wooden windows and doors are exhibited in the museum at present. It was founded for the studies of hadiths. 

THE ALAADDIN MOSQUE

It's on the Alaaddin Hill. The construction of the mosque had launched in 1120 and finished in 1220 in the reign of Aladdin Keykubat I. The architect of the mosque is Muhammad bin Havlan Ed Dımişki. In the mosque, there are 62 marble pillars remained from the Byzantines, Romans and Classical Ages. Therefore, the mosque resembles a ancient pillar museum. These pillars are linked to each other by arches and its roof is covered with wooden construction. Its present minaret dates back to the Ottoman Era. The pulpit of the mosque, made entirely from ebony tree and constructed by Ahlat-based Hacı Mengumberti in 1155, is one of the most magnificent wooden works of the Seljuk Era. The prayer niche of the mosque, built in different periods and from different materials, is so extraordinary that there is no example similar to it in Turkey. The roof construction of one of the two tombs in the yard was not finished. In the other, there are 8 tombs of different Seljuk Sultans. There is also an open cistern in the yard. 

THE IPLIKCI MOSQUE

 

The mosque was constructed by Eb-ul Fazl Abdulcabbar based in Tabriz during the reign of a pivotal Seljuk Vizier Semsettin Altun Apa in the early years of the 13th century. Being one of the oldest mosques of Anatolia, it was expanded by Somuncu Hacı Ebubekir in 1332. The inner of the mosque was divided into three different parts with two rows of abutments. The mosque has one door in the north, east and west directions. On the upper section of the southern axis of the mosque, there are three domes. Naves on the sides are covered with across arches. The mosque was in fire in the past and restored. In 1954, it was used as an archaeological museum. Today, a new marble prayer niche built in the 19th century stands in the place of the one covered with tiles in the past. 

THE SAHIP ATA MOSQUE

The mosque, built by the Seljuk Vizier Sahip Ata Fahrettin Ali in 1258, was designed as a complex of buildings adjacent to a mosque including a tomb, a hanigah, a bathroom, fountains and stores. The architect of the mosque was Keluk bin Abdullah. The wall of the mosque in the direction of Mecca, its prayer niche, most of its wooden pillars and its magnificent portal have remained still up to the present despite a fire in 1871. Having two fountains, the mosque's portal is great as it consists of the combination of stone, brick, tile and mosaic materials. The left minaret of the mosque had collapsed and its prayer niche is one of the most beautiful examples of its time. The most important section of the building is the hanigah which was built in 1279 as a hostel for good prayers of Allah and a house for Sufis. Square-shaped inner yard has three eyvans. Inner yard and cells on the corners are covered with domes and eyvans are covered with arches.

THE IVRIZ ROCK RELIEF

It's in Aydınkent, a town 17 kilometers away from the province called Eregli. The rock relief under the influence of Arami art style dates back to the late Hittite Era. The God Tarhundas and the King Warpalawas were depicted on the rock relief. In the hieroglyph writing between the depictions, the king says "I am the King Warpalawas. I myself planted these grape trees when I was a prince in the palace. May Tarhundas bless and make them fertile" 

THE ZAZADIN INN

It's on the road between Konya and Aksaray. It's only 23 kilometers away from Konya. When you wheel left 20 kilometers after Konya towards Aksaray and go straight for three kilometers, you reach there. It's a well-restored inn. It consists of a closed and an open area. The closed area is one thousand square meters and the open area covers two thousand square meters. It's 100m in length, 38m in width and it stands on a 3500 square meters land. The length of the walls is 285 meters. 13 abutments support these walls. One of these abutments is polygonal, two of them are semi-circular and others are square. There is a platform in the open area which was once used to load and unload camels. Kitchens, men's bathroom, soldier dorms, women's bathroom, a masjid, towers, rooms of servants, small service rooms, markets and sale stands are important sections of the inn. The roof of the inn is covered with lead and it weighs about 60 tonnes. 

SILLE

It's on the 7 kilometers northwest of Konya. By 1932, The Rum and Turks lived in the town. The church "Aya Eleni" in "Sille" town, which was built by the mother of the Byzantines Emperor Constantines, Helena, for the poor people of the town while her trip to Jerusalem for pilgrimage in 327 AD, is one of the most pivotal works of the earliest Christianity Era. A little part of it has remained up to day. The present church built in 1880 is the symbol of the town. On the western side of the church, the absis stands and it was built in the shape of a cross. Inner parts of the church are ornamented with the pictures of the Virgin Mary, Jesus and his apostles. Sille, with its authentic structure, caves and two-storey houses, is an interesting settlement to visit.

LYSTRA / KİLİSTRA

Lystra is an important city which is also mentioned in Bible. The Zeus Temple in Bible stands on this land. In the past, the people of Lystra were unable to defend themselves from The Homanat invasions, who were famous for their fighting with Rome and their aggressive characters, so they moved to Kilistra. 

Only 50 kilometers away from and in the southwest of Konya, Kilistra, on the King Road, is one of the most important settlements of the early Christianity Era. Lystra/Kilistra, famous for its cisterns and wineries and its church whose external design is in the shape of a cross, is called as the "Cappadocia of Konya" because of the view similar to the one in Cappadocia. It's a biblical place to visit. 

BINBIR KILISE

A place full with many churches and basilicas dating back to the Byzantines is on the foot of the Karadag Mountain and 50 kilometers north of Karaman. It's indispensable for the visitors interested in Christian Art and nature. 

CATALHOYUK

It's 45 kilometers away from Konya and in the Cumra Province. It's a neolithic excavation site in which you can walk around. It's the place where the humanity experienced one of the most pivotal revolutions throughout the human history through the passage from the late Paleolithic to the Neolithic Ages. With this revolution, humankind stopped living in caves and began to live in houses that they constructed themselves. So, they had the chance of exploring the nature closely. After this pivotal revolution, they began to cultivate the land as well as having a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. They achieved to domesticate some wild animals. One storey houses made from mud-brick have one room and a cellar. In the room, there is an open fire and places called platform 15 cm above the ground on which the people spend all their lives. The houses have no windows or doors. They are mobile ladders to climb down into the rooms through the small holes on the roofs. The walls of the houses are ornamented with unique pictures including religious subjects. Findings like seals made from baked soil and other findings made from stone, obsidian and bone which were all obtained from the excavations are exhibited in the Archaelogical Museum in Konya and in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. 

EFLATUNPINAR, A HITTITE MONUMENT

This hethitic spring sanctuary which dates back to the time of the hethitic empire (between the 13th and 15th century BC) is located in the east of the lake Beysehir. The facade, being 7 meters wide and 4 high, elevates at the northern side of the spring pond that has a size of 30 by 34 meters.The facade is decorated with with gods, several hybrid creatures and winged sun discs.

THE MONUMENT OF FASILLAR

The hethitic big sculpture is located close to the village Fasillar, in the county Beysehir/Konya. The hethitic big sculpture, carved from a large basalt monolith, is 2.75 meters wide and 8 meters high, and has a weight of 70 tons. It consists of a god statue (Teschup, the weather god of the sky) and two lion statues. Teschup is shown with a cap and and four horns. The two lion statues flank Teschup. He stands with one foot on a lion and the other on the mountain god. An upright copy of this big sculpture is shown in the garden of the anatolic civilizations museum in Ankara.

TASKALE

The Taskale Town, 46 kilometers away from and in the west of Konya, has many different natural and cultural beauties. The view of the 250 wheat granaries carved on steep rocks is fascinating. The grains stored in the granaries, where you may climb up by stepping on the holes on the rock, may be used for many years without getting rotten.

IKKUWANIIA

The land of Konya and the vicinity was called as Lukkawaniia by 2000 BC. Lukkawaniia is a Luwian word which means "The Luwi Land". Ikuwaniia is a city in Lukkawaniia. The name "Ikuwaniia" was first recorded in an agreement between the Hittite Emperor Tudhalia IV and Kurunta, his uncle's son. According to this agreement, Tudhalia IV shall have given to Ikuwaniia and Tarhundassa to Kurunta. 

Having being named as Kavania during the reign of the Frigs in the 8th century BC, the city was started to be called as Ikonion in the 5th century BC. During the course of centuries, Konya was known as Ikonium in the Bible and called Konia by the Byzantines, Kunia by the Arabs and Gonya by the current residents in the city. Briefly, Ikuwaniia, a Hitite word originated from Luwian, is the oldest name used for the city. It’s widely supposed that the word means “the land of the sheep”.   

Please, keep in mind the issues below:

Dear Visitors! 

All museums are closed to visit on Mondays except the Mevlana Museum. 

There is a free "Whirling Dervish" performance on Saturday evenings in Mevlana Cultural Center. 

"Catalhoyuk" is 45 and "Clystra" is 50 kilometers away from Konya. 

"Sille" and beautiful vineyards of Meram are both 8 kilometers away from Konya.

Beysehir is 90 kilometers away from Konya. 

Karaman is 119 kilometers away from Konya. 

The town "Taskale" (granaries) is on the 50 kilometers east of Karaman. 

Binbir Kilise is on the 35 kilometers north of Karaman.

Continental climate dominates in Konya, and therefore, it’s summer and dry in summer and rainy and cold in winter. 

Before you leave, be sure of that you’ve tasted “Etliekmek” (a pizza like local dish), “Fırın Kebab” (baked lamb beef), “Konya Gevreği” (a kind of crackers) and “Küflü Peynir”.


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