Resor av en solo pakistansk tjej: Upptäck Rumi’s Konya

The ornately tiled Mevlana Museum

The ornately tiled Mevlana Museum, home to the tomb of 13th-century Sufi poet and preacher Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, has made this old Seljuk capital a major stop for any traveler heading east from the Mediterranean coast.

Most visitors time their trip to watch a performance by the whirling dervishes (twice weekly in summer; once a week the rest of year) in the birthplace of this Mevlevi Sufi sect.Konya’s Sufi connection has made its tourism name but there are plenty of things to do beyond the dervishes.

The central city is crammed with the surviving mosques and monuments from Konya’s grand era as Seljuk capital in the 13th century. Some, such as the Karatay Medresesi, have been painstakingly restored and turned into interesting museums that highlight the artistic accomplishments of the Seljuk era.

Outside the city itself, the stark surrounding plains are home to a host of attractions that will convince history-minded travelers to linger another night in town. Top of the list is the settlement mound of Çatalhöyük, where archaeologists unearthed one of the world’s largest Neolithic villages.

Konya, historically Iconium, city, central Turkey. The city lies at an elevation of about 3,370 feet (1,027 metres) on the southwest edge of the central Anatolian Plateau and is surrounded by a narrow fertile plain. It is backed by Bozkır Mountain on the west and enclosed by the interior edges of the central ranges of the Taurus Mountains farther south.


Konya is one of the oldest urban centres in the world. Excavations in Alâeddin Hill in the middle of the city indicate settlement dating from at least the 3rd millennium BCE. According to a Phrygian legend of the great flood, Konya was the first city to rise after the deluge that destroyed humanity. Still another legend ascribes its ancient name to the eikon (image), or the Gorgon’s head, with which the mythological warrior Perseus vanquished the native population before founding the Greek city.

After the collapse of the Hittite empire, the Phrygians established a large settlement there. It was Hellenized gradually from the 3rd century BCE and became a self-governing city, largely Greek in language, education, and culture. Some of the citizens, however, retained their Phrygian culture, and it was probably among them that the Jewish community stirred up opposition to St.

Paul, the Apostle, on his first visit, in 47 or 48 CE; he returned in 50 and 53. Iconium, included in the Roman province of Galatia by 25 BCE, was raised to the status of a colony by the emperor Hadrian in 130 CE and became the capital of the province of Lycaonia about 372.

The contemporary city

Until 1923 Konya was the most important city of central Anatolia, overshadowing Ankara. The southwestern part of the city has been redesigned, and a wide avenue leads through the western suburbs to the railway station, but the old city still survives to the east of the acropolis. Present industries include a sugar beet plant, flour mills, and carpet factories. Bauxite deposits were tapped by an aluminium-manufacturing complex established in the early 1970s. The city is linked by air with Ankara and by road with the principal urban centres of Turkey.

With its orchards, gardens, and monuments, modern Konya attracts a growing tourist trade. Its association with the Dervishes makes it a place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Christian monuments include the old church of Amphilochius inside the city and several shrines nearby. Konya is also the site of a teacher-training school; Yüksek Islam Institute, an institute of Islamic learning founded in 1962; and Selçuk University, established in 1975.

Battle of Konya,

Battle of Konya, (21 December 1832), conflict fought between the Muslim armies of Egypt and Turkey. It was an important moment both in the rise of Egypt, which, under Viceroy Muhammad Ali, was modernizing its armed forces and its economy, and in the inexorable decline of the Ottoman Empire.

Muhammad Ali in theory ruled Egypt on behalf of the Ottoman sultan and had sent his son Ibrahim Pasha to fight for the Ottomans in the Greek War of Independence in the 1820s. In 1831, seeing the weakness of the Ottoman regime and seeking compensation for the expense and losses of the campaign in Greece, Ibrahim Pasha led an army from Egypt into Ottoman-ruled Syria. By mid1832 Ibrahim had won control of Syria and Lebanon, but Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II refused to grant the Egyptians authority over these provinces. So Ibrahim resumed his advance, crossing into Turkey.

Mevlana Museum

The symbol of Konya is this tekke (Sufi lodge) complex that holds the tomb of the 13th-century religious leader, philosopher, and poet Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who founded the whirling dervish sect of Sufism. The museum is set within lovingly tended rose gardens, which you walk through to the ornate Dervisan Kapisi (Gate of the Dervishes).

Once inside the complex, you enter the Mausoleum, which is the focus of much devotional worship to this day. Mevlana’s Tomb is at the far end, flanked by tombs of close family and followers. The Semahane (hall where dervish ceremonies were performed) is just to the left and contains a museum of religious exhibits.

Across the courtyard from the Mausoleum is the lodge kitchen, which contains dioramas of dervish life and is connected to the Dervish Cells, where Sufi followers would have lived and which now contain exhibits on dervish lif

Tile Museum (Karatay Medresisi)

This old madrassa (theological college) was founded in 1251 by the Seljuk emir Celaleddin Karatay. The building was recently restored and is now an impressive museum showcasing Seljuk enamel tile work.

Although touring a tile museum may sound like a rather niche tourist attraction, the sheer beauty of the building makes this one of the top things to do on a Konya sightseeing itinerary. Its internal walls are covered in gorgeous examples of Seljuk tiling and there are also ceramic exhibits of excavated finds from nearby archaeological sites. In the left-hand room is the tomb of Celaleddin Karatay.

Of Sufis, saints and sultans

When you think of Konya, you think of Jalaladdin Mohammad Balkhi, more popularly known as Mevlana Jalaladdin Rumi. A 13th-century Islamic scholar and jurist of great regional renown, he was the son of Bahauddin Walad, a distinguished theologian and jurist in his own right. The Rumi that is revered the world over today as a Sufi mystic and poet, evolved from his encounter with Shams Tabrizi, a wandering dervish.

The relationship between the two men was a collision of two intellects engaged in a common quest for higher meaning, seeking beauty in the divine. The intensity of their spiritual connection, however, scandalized Rumi’s family and repulsed his entourage. When Shams disappeared without a trace one night (the circumstances of his fate would not be established until the 20th century) Rumi was beside himself. This loss and the longing that grew from it would create his most prolific and beautiful works of poetry.

Mevlana again and lunch with a view

The following day was Friday. I checked out from the hotel at noon, stored my luggage at the reception and headed once again to Mevlana Museum. This time around, I stood in a corner opposite the tomb, reading Rumi’s poetry on my phone and wondering what had brought each of the people around me on this pilgrimage to the great mystic’s abode.

When the call for Friday prayers issued forth, I headed to Selimiye Mosque. Despite its size, the mosque was overcrowded, at least the women’s section. Once prayers had concluded, and with time on my hands, I decided to take a leisurely lunch at Mevlevi Sofrası. To reach it,

you walk to the end of the square opposite the main entrance of the mosque and turn right. A colorful sign on a boundary wall advertises the restaurant, which is located on the terrace and has a panoramic view of the Mevlana Museum and Selimiye Mosque. As I climbed the stairs, I had no inkling I would be having one of my most cherished meals in Turkey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *