The Konya Province spreads over high plateaus in the Central Anatolia Region. Having the largest area, the Konya Province, due to being on the historical Silk Road, has been one of the paramount trade and accommodation centers. According to mythology, the region (Ikonion) was known as the name of the figured monument of Perseus who cut off the head of Medusa hunting the city, then the Romans called the region “Ikonium” and during the Hazreti Omer times the Muslims called it as “Kuniyye”. Finally, when the Turks dominated these lands, they established a magnificent city called Konya.
Having the history dating back to the Prehistoric ages, the region has important settlements in the Neolithic, the Chalcolithic, the Old Bronze ages, too. The city lived through the rules of the Hittite, the Phrygia, the Lydia, the Persians in the 6th century BC, Alexander the Great in 4th century, the Seleucids, the Pergamon Kingdom, the Roman Empire, the Sassanids in the beginning of the 7th century, and the Byzantine Empire until the 10th century, on the other hand, it was subjected to the Muslim attacks. Konya became the capital city of the Anatolian Seljuk from 1097 to 1277, after it was captured by the Seljukians in 1071. Hereafter, the city, ruled by the Karamanid and the Ottoman Empire successively, is a special settlement with its historical and cultural assets and scenic beauties.
The counties of Konya are; Karatay, Meram, Selcuklu, Ahırli, Akoren, Aksehir, Altinekin, Beysehir, Bozkir, Cihanbeyli, Celtik, Cumra, Derbent, Derebucak, Doganhisar, Emirgazi, Eregli, Güneysinir, Hadim, Kulu, Sarayonu, Seydisehir, Taskent, Tuzlukcu, Yalıhoyuk and Yunak.
The Alaeddin Mosque, of which construction was started in the city center in the middle of the 12th century, was completed by Alaeddin Keykubat in 1221. The mosque has multiple based plan and dimensions of 86x57. The outer walls with bricks were established high. The cover system except for the front of the niche is the flat wooden roof, which is carried by the arches made of bricks and by the folding capitals over the folding columns. The inner surface of the dome and the pendants are adorned with the Seljukian tiles. On the façade of the mosque, it can be seen the geometric stonework special to the Anatolian Seljuks as the adornment.
The Iplikci Mosque and Madrasah on the Alaeddin Avenue were built after the year of 1201. It was expanded and restored by Hadci Ebu Bekir in 1332. Its niche with ceramic tile is one of the oldest examples of this style. Used by Mevlana Celaledddin Rumi for lectures, the building gains more importance with this feature.
The Sahip Ata Mosque (1258), made to an architecture Koluk Bin Abdullah built by the order of the Grand Vizier of Seljuk Sahip Ata, is the oldest wooden columned mosque, known, of the Anatolian Seljuk. The artifact, with the shrine and hangah completed in 1283, became a kulliye. The composition of geometric motifs, stars, curling tree branches, and rumi (Julian style) dominate the magnificent niche, which was adorned with mosaic tile, of the mosque. The body of the minaret, the sarcophaguses in the shrine, lattices with arches and hemstitches are all covered with the outstanding art of tile.
The architect of the Sadrettin Konevi Mosque and Shrine, built in 1274, in the Sheik Sadrettin district is conspicuous. The shrine in the eastern yard of the mosque is the only example of open shrine style for the present day. The figure of the shrine is similar to the Seljuk cupola.
The cover system of the Esrefoglu Mosque, built in Beysehir in 1299, was carried by forty five wooden columns. The building, with seven naves, is perpendicular to the niche wall and it has a small dome, inner side of it is adorned with tile mosaics and in the center of the middle nave, there is an open-top place, which might be described as yard. The stone, wooden, and calligraphy works, mosaic tile adornment reflects the maturity of the Seljuk art. The niche, covered totally with the adornment of the turquoise, dark blue and purple mosaic tile, is with its height of 6 m, width of 5, 50 m, one of the most magnificent examples of the tiled niches.
The Kulliye of Lala Mustafa Pasha in Ilgin consists of three sections as the mosque, the alms house and the inn. The kulliye was constructed by the Lala Mustafa Pasha in 1576 and its architect is accepted Sinan the Architect according to some sources.
The other important historical mosques in Konya are; the Serafettin Mosque, which was built by Sheikh Serafettin in the 12th century and then it was totally destroyed and rebuilt in 1336, Kadi Mursel (Hadji Hasan) Mosque dated to 1409, the Mosque and Shrine of Sems-i Tebrizi (1510), Tursunoglu (Tahir Pasha) Mosque, Selimiye Mosque, which is an example of the most beautiful classical Ottoman architecture (1558- 15567), the Kapi Mosque (the Kapu Mosque) dated to 1658, the Nakipoglu Mosque (1762), which has a square plan and a wooden roof, the Aziziye Mosque, which was firstly built in 1676 but rebuilt in 1874 when fired, the Piri Mehmet Pasha Mosque, the Hadji Fettah Mosque, the Ovalioglu Mosque (Celik Pasha), the Saray (Kisla) Mosque, the Sep Hevan Mosque, The Koprubasi Mosque, the Namik Pasha Mosque, the Amber Reis Mosque.
THE MESCIDS (THE SMALL MOSQUES)
The Mihmandar Hatun Mosque (1207), the Besarebey Mosque (1213), the Tas Mosque (1215), the Erdemsah Mosque (1220), the Little Karatay Mosque (1248), the Sircali Mosque, the Guduk Minare Mosque (1226), the Hasbey Darulhuffaz Mosque (1421), the Meram (Hasbey) Mosque, the Nasuh Bey Dar-ul Huffazi, the Hoca Hasan Mosque, the Beyhekim Mosque, the Bulgur Dede Mosque, the Ickaraaslan Mosque, the Terceman Mosque are among famous mescids.
The Sircali Madrasah, which drew its name from the adornment of tiled mosaics inside, and dated to 1242, has a symmetrical plan. Its unique porch is covered with vault, and two rooms next to the porch are covered with a dome.
The Ince Minareli Madrasah (Madrasah with Thin Minaret) (1258) has geometrically designed adornments of tiles both on pendants used for the crossings of the dome and on three surfaces of the dome. Constructed with the cut stones and bricks, the building has the corolla door surrounded by three molds and two decorative prominences. The sülüs calligraphy begins on the lateral margins of the door and continues as bands.
The Karatay Madrasah, dated back to 1251, was restored and converted to a tile works museum. The Madrasah, consisting of a porch and eight chambers under a dome, surrounding the middle space, and four corner spaces with their domes, has a balanced and symmetrical plan. Especially the building, accepted as important thanks to its tiles, takes attention with its double minaret corolla gate and stone adornments
The Tas Madrasah (1250) is an example for the madrasahs with open courtyards.
The other madrasahs are Altun-Aba (Iplikci) Madrasah, Lala Ruzbe Madrasah and its Hankah, Guhertas (Molla-i Atik) Madrasah, Kulliye of Tacu'l Vizier (madrasah, small mosque, and a shrine), Seref Mesud Madrasah and its Hankah, Kadi Hurremsali Daru'l-Hadisi, Kemaliye (Kucuk Karatay) Madrasah, Seyfiye (Bukalasi) Madrasah, Nizamiye (Nalinci) Madrasah, Atabekiyye (Atabey-Agazade) Madrasah, Pamukcular (Pembe Fumsan) Madrasah, (Madrasah) Dervish Lodge and Shrine of Ali.
The oldest mausoleum belonging to the Seljuk is the ten cornered Shrine of Kilicarslan II, which is built on the yard of the Konya Alaeddin Mosque. The body of the shrine is constructed with cut stones. The shrine had a plan of a prism with ten surfaces and it was covered with a pyramid of ten corners out bricks. In addition to these, the sarcophagus with eight ceramic tiles, a symbol for the Seljuk sultans, was put in the shrine.
The Mevlana Shrine, actually built only for the father of Mevlana in the year of 1230, converted to a dergah with the social and religious aimed additions to the main building after 1273. That "when we are dead, don’t seek our tomb in the earth, but find it in the hearts of men", was said by Mevlana, who was the founder of the Mevlevi Sufi Order and a humanist, a pacifist, and a great guide for people. Kubbe-i Hadra (the Green Tomb) was carried by the elephant’s feet (four colossal piers). Mevlana and his son Sultan Veled lie under the dome which has been adorned with motifs and calligraphy. Mevlana had said, “Is there a better shrine than the vault of heaven?” that’s why his shrine was built on the demand of Sultan Veled, his son. The inner surface of the shrine is adorned with plaster relief, embroidery worked as “kalem isi” and calligraphy. The sarcophagus of Mevlana is was a splendid wooden work of its time.
The appearance of the Shrine of Gomec Hatun, belonging to the Seljukian times in the Musalla graveyard, resembles a castle. There is a porch, adorned with mosaics, over pointed arches in the basement section. Having an octagon structure and a roof shaped as octagon pyramid, the Kesikbas Shrine, in the Kalenderhane District, is a good example of the classical Seljukian shrines.
The Shrine of Emir Sultan was constructed using cut stones in accordance with the octagon plan and the roof was figured as an octagon conical hat.
The Tac-ul Vizier Shrine around the Dede Garden was built by the Vizier Tac-ul Seyit; and it consists of a body structure shaped as an octagon, an octagon conical hat of bricks outside and a dome from inside.
The Shrine of Tahir and Zuhre, having a niche adorned with plaster relieves, belong to Tahir and Zuhre, a hero and a heroin of the legends, in the Bayhekim District.
The Ali Gav Zaviye (smaller tekke) and Shrine, constructed in the XIV century, is in the Tarla Disrict and it has a porch and four rooms.
The Shrine of Wise Burhaneddin Fakih, was located in the Burhandede District dated to 1454. It was structured as an octagon body over a square plan and built with a dome covered with bricks inside. The shrine has a marble epitaph and a sarcophagus.
The Tavusbaba Shrine, constructed simply with stone and bricks, is in Meram, which is an promenade area in Konya.
The Nasreddin Hodja Shrine, east to the city walls of Aksehir, has only left the main shrine in the middle for the present day. The death date of this famous Turkish humorist was written instead of 683 (1284) inversely 386 at the bedside of the marble sarcophagus. The shrine gained today appearance with the restoration in 1905.
The other shrines in Konya are; Sheikh Osman-i Rumi Shrine, Ateş- Baz Veli Shrine which is on the new Meram road and has a shape of Seljukian cupola, Esrefoglu Shrine in Beysehir, Emir Yavtas Shrine (1256), which is impressive with its stone adornments, in Aksehir, The Shrine of Ulas Baba, Fakih Dede Shrine, Emir Nureddin Cupola, Hurrem Pasha Shrine, the Daughter of Murad Pasha Shrine, Sinan Pasha Shrine, Kalender Baba Shrine, Siyavus Veli Shrine, Turgutogulları Shrine, Cemal Ali Dede Shrine, Guhertas Shrine, Karasungur Shrine, Akinci Shrine, Kara Arslan Shrine, Seker Furus Shrine, Seyfeddin Sungur Shrine, Sheikh Aliman Shrine and Zaviye, Hodja Cihan Shrine, Nalinci Baba Shrine , Sems-i Tebrizi Shrine and Sems Mosque, Sheikh Hasan-i Rumi Shrine and Zaviye , Sheikh Sadaka Shrine and Zaviye, Zahruddin Ali Shrine , Sheikh Serefeddin Shrine
PALACES, INNS, BATH HOUSES
The Alaeddin Mansion,
constructed using bricks through expanding one of the rampart of the Inner castle of Konya by Kilicarslan II, later restored by Alaeddin Keykubat ( the end of the 12th century), has left only the eastern wall for the present day. The building, surrounded by balconies, was standing over the outward extending big square consoles. The inner and outer surfaces of the mansion were adorned with tiles and plasters.
The Kubad- Abad Palace,
dating back to 1236, has dimensions of 50x35, having gardens, stable, and barracks in addition to the main palace, the employee section, was constructed by Alaeddin Keykubat on the Coast of Beysehir Lake and was an important complex with its adornments of tile, glass, and plaster. There are many rooms east and west to the courtyard, consisted of well-arranged stones. The palace section, consisting of big salon, the throne porch made of bricks, guest rooms, and harem, was reached through the courtyard. It was discovered during the excavations there were a shipyard on the coast of lake of the palace and remains of more 16 buildings. Being smaller than the first palace’s courtyard, the second palace, symmetrically planned, has still standing walls and vaults.
The Zazadin Inn,
located on the 25 km of the Konya- Aksaray road, was constructed in 1236. This inn with the courtyard, having length of 104 m, width of 62 m, came to the existence with the combination of summer and winter styles.
The Horozlu Inn,
was constructed in two styles as summer and winter in the year of 1248, is located on the 44 kilometers of the Konya – Beysehir road.
The marble entrance portal of the Sultan Inn (1299), on the road of Konya- Aksaray, is outstanding. Again, another Seljukian Inn on the road of Konya- Aksaray is Obruk.
The important bath houses in Konya are; the bath house of the Kulliye of Sahip Ata, the Mahkeme Bath House located between the Serafeddin Mosque and Sems-i Tebrizi Mosque, Meram Bath House built in the Beyliks times and located on the exit of the historical bridge in Meram promenade, the Meydan Inn built by the Subasi Emir Serafeddin in Aksehir in 1329, the Middle Bath House remaining of the Seljuk on the Ulu Mosque road, and the Old Bath House, which serves with its warmth and coldness sections, and (külhan) the boiler room even for today.
The most important works of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi (Jalal ad-Din Muhammed Rumi) (1207- 1273), who loved the people without any discrimination with respect to their religion, language, ethnicity and enlightened them, are; Mesnevi (Mathnawi), in which he, using also convenient stories related to the topics, tells his mystical opinions in poetic form in all six volumes of the book; Fihi Ma Fih’i (in it what’s in it), in which his discourses, he had made at the special meetings, about the topics like heaven- hell, earthly life- eternity, guide- disciple, love-sema (sacred dance, by turning) are gathered; Divan-i Kebir, in which his poems are gathered; Mecalis-i Seba, in which his seven preaches take place and Mektubat (Letters), in which he gives also explanatory information in his 147 letters.
Dergah of Mevlana was converted to a museum after the Turkish Republic came to existence. The most important artistic works of the time, in which Mevlana lived, are in this museum. Valuable manuscripts, examples of calligraphy and illumination, metal, glass and wooden works, instruments of Mevlevi music, rugs and carpets, belonging to Mevlana or to other Mevlevis, or brought in some ways to the Dergah are exhibited.
Another library, having 9116 printed books and 3705 manuscripts, is affiliated also to the museum. Between the days of 10- 17 December, the International Commemoration Ceremony of Mevlana (Sheb-i Arus) is organized. Because Mevlana had accepted the death to be reunited with the Allah, the greatest lover, instead of ceasing to exist, the death day ceremonies of him have been arranged under the name of Sheb-i Arus, namely, the wedding night.
In the museum, opened to service in 1962, the artifacts, belonging to the ages of Neolithic, the Old Bronze, the Middle Bronze (the Assyrian Trade Colonies), the Iron (Phrygia, Urartu), the Classical, the Hellenistic, the Roman, and the Byzantine are exhibited.
The three storey museum, started to service in 1975, has a photographer’s studio, storerooms for archives and historical works, the Carpet- Rug Section in the basement; the exhibition hall and conference room on the ground floor; and offices, the library, storerooms for artifacts in the first floor. In the exhibition hall, ethnographical pieces, which were devolved as purchase, gift, and transfers from other museums, and most of which belong to Konya and its neighborhood, are displayed.
The building on the Ataturk Avenue was constructed in the year of 1912. In the museum, opened to service in 1964, the clothes and furniture, used by Ataturk, and documents, photographs and newspaper cuttings, indicating the importance of Konya in the Turkish War of Independence, are exhibited.
Karatay Madrasah (Museum of EncausticTile Works)
The Seljuk Madrasah, constructed by Emir Celaleddin Karatay in 1251, has been a museum, in which the tile works of the Ottoman and Seljuk times have been exhibited, since 1955. Being open everyday except Monday, in the museum, wall tiles, tiled and glass plates found in the excavations of the Kubat- Abat Palace on the coast of the Beysehir Lake; and, belonging to the Seljuk and the Ottoman times, tiled and ceramic plates, kerosene lamps, plasters, discovered in the region of Konya and its neighborhood can be seen.
Ince Minare (Thin Minaret) Museum
In the building of Madrasah, which was built by Sahip Ata Fahrettin Ali, the Seljuk Vizier, in 1258, stone and wooden works belonging to the Seljuk and the Beyliks periods, have been exhibited since 1956. In the building, pendants used on the crossings to the dome and the inner surface of the dome were adorned with geometrical tiles. Constructed with the cut stones and bricks, the building has the corolla door surrounded by three molds and two decorative prominences. The sülüs calligraphy begins on the lateral margins of the door and continues as bands. The base of the minaret of the building, which has courtyard, porch, class, and student compartments as the inner spaces, was made of bricks covered with cut stones and the front façade of the building was adorned with leaves.
Sircalı Madrasah (Mausoleum Museum)
The symmetrically planned Madrasah, dating to 1242, has a unique porch covered with a vault, on the other hand, two rooms next to the porch covered with dome. Its corolla gate is monumental and glamorous. The building, one of the Seljukian Madrasahs with courtyard adorned with tiles, was opened to serve as museum in 1960. In the museum, the gravestones, belonging to the Seljuk, the Beyliks, and the Ottoman times are exhibited.
In the museum and the library, established by Izzet Koyunluoglu (1900- 1974), of a rooted family in Konya, the historical works he had collected during years, are exhibited with archeological and ethnographic artifacts. Being rich in terms of printed books and manuscripts, the museum has a house, belonging to Izzettin Koyunluoglu and after restoration, it was started to host visitors as an example for a typical Konya house, in the garden.
Aksehir Archeology Museum (Stone Madrasah)
In the madrasah, which was built under the reign of Keykubat II, the son of Keyhusrev II in 1250, the artifacts, belonging to the Hittite, the Phrygia, the Lydia, the Roman and the Byzantine ages, are exhibited today.
Aksehir Ataturk Museum
The historical building (1904- 1905), which was used as the Western Command Headquarters during the Independence war, was converted to the Ataturk museum by protecting the original characteristics of that day.
In the museum, established in the year of 1968, Turkish Islamic works are exhibited in the Ethnography section; the Hittite, the Phrygia, the Roman, the Byzantine, and the Ottoman works are exhibited chronologically in the Archeology section.
The scientific excavations, done in Catalhoyuk 12 km north to the Cumra County of Konya, showed that this place was the first collective settlement of the humankind on the earth. The scientists state, in terms of the discovered artifacts at Catalhoyuk, that the communities, of which population was almost 10 thousand in the years of 7000 BC, living in Catalhoyuk and the neighborhood were the oldest tribe in the world; that the first agricultural techniques, first oven, first textile, first trade, first ancient bank, first jewelry, painting and sculpturing, first usage of pottery and copper, first domestication of animals were all started here, too; and that the notion of property was firstly born here with usage of stamp, the oldest map of the world and the first landscape painting was found here, too.
The tumulus consists of two hills, which have different heights. Due to these two different heights, the tumulus, was discovered by J. Mellart in the year of 1958, was called catal (fork). Catalhoyuk is the one of the Early Neolithic settlements. Food production with storage of them, the domestication of animals, and the period of beginning to settle down are all called the Neolithic Age. This age is separated in two periods, the period with pottery and the one without pottery. After the discovery of the clay the pottery, the period with fired and variously figured clay is also taken in two periods, the Early and Late Neolithic periods. In the neighborhood of Catalhoyuk, existence of convenient soil for agriculture and husbandry, of forests and wetlands, of abundance of the obsidian seams, which was used in the instrument making were influential in the occurrence of a developed civilization.
The excavations in Catalhoyuk haven’t been completed yet. East to the tumulus, the 14 settlement layers, belonging to the Early Neolithic Age, were studied. From the excavations in Catalhoyuk, dating back to 6800- 5700 BC, the settlement was built in accordance with an arrangement. Lined up around the courtyards adjacently, all of the houses had the same rectangular plan, flat roofs, and they all were single storied, built without stone foundation. The hoses were built with sun-dried bricks, wood, and straws but, though all houses being adjacent, they had separate walls. The flat roof was carried by the joists over the wooden struts between the walls. The outer façade of the houses are blind walls, without doors, on defense purpose. Consisting of the 25 square meters living rooms, the kitchen, and the storage room, the houses had the same inner order. In the room, which didn’t have generally any doors, there were terraces, made of sun-dried bricks for sitting and sleeping, in front of the cook stone, oven and the walls. The niches in the walls, plastered and white colored, were painted red. The entrance and exit was done from the roof with the help of a ladder. Due to the adjacent walls, there weren’t ant streets, thus the access was also done over the roofs. Almost 50 houses in Catalhoyuk were arranged as a small temple. Stone tools, terracotta, the statuettes of the Mother Goddess, wall paintings, relieves, jewelry and the obsidian mirror, discovered in the excavations in Catalhoyuk, are exhibited in the Konya Archeology Museum and in the Museum of the Anatolian Civilizations. Carrying great importance for the Anatolian and World Civilizations, “Catalhoyuk” has fascinated the whole world with being the place of the beginning of the agriculture and husbandry, of domestication of the animals and with its Neolithic Aegean (New Stone Age) architecture.
In the tumulus, located in the Harmancik District and15 km southeast to the province center of Konya, 27 settlement layer, housed during the years of 3000 BC (the Old Bronze Age- 2000 BC, Age of the Assyrian Trade Colonies), were discovered.
Karahoyuk supplied us with the most important findings, about sealing works of the Old Bronze Age before the Age of the Hittite Empire, in the southern region of the Middle Anatolia. Some of the seals help in studying the early phases of writing in Anatolia. The hook mouthed earthenware jugs, cups, clover mouthed earthenware jugs, ritons, kerosene lamps shaped like a bunch of grapes, pitchforks like horseshoe are exhibited and protected in the Archeology Museum of Konya and these artifacts bring the features of their ages.
Monument of the Ivriz Rock
The well- protected relief, in the Ivriz Village of the Halkpinar County, was worked on the rock. On the relief, which was done on the request of the Var-pa-la-was, one of the kings of the region, the god Tarhunzas was described, and on the 4,5 meters relief, there is found the Hittite Hieroglyph. While the king was appreciating by extending to the sky with his doubled hands, god holds in one hand a bunch of grapes and in the other a wheat ear. On the epitaph of the monument, “I cultivated grape-vine tillers here, when I was a kid. God has protected them, and they give grapes now.” was written, as the speech of the king.
The Hittite Monument, 22 km away from Beysehir, describes the gods who are carrying the sky and relates the earth to the sky. It was carved on 14 big, lavender, rectangular blocks nearby a water spring. On the lateral blocks of the gods, successively standing demons, lion headed, hold the bronze symbol of the sun with their arms towards the sky. The same figures are repeated on the bigger blocks next to the others. Put up in the middle, two perpendicular stone have a figure of a woman and a man.
Another example of the above Hittite Monument, southeast to the Beysehir Lake, is in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Being one of the greatest rock monuments in the world, this artifact shows the God between two lions in a mountain temple.
Located in the Bolat Village in the Hadim County, the Bolat Ruins, called before as Astra, had settlements during the Hellenistic, the Roman and the Byzantine ages. The important entrance of the cave has came into being in the Geological time III. The remains are the necropolis south to the city, bouleterion west to the city, the church and the big building. In the necropolis, there are grave stells, on which bull heads belonging to the 3rd century, vine, bunches of grapes are seen, and pieces of sarcophagus. On the bouleterion, located on a high point, some parts of the cavea are still in well-condition.
Dug Underground Cities
In the underground city, 30 km away to Karapinar, there are stable, storage rooms, church, mills for grape-juice, milling stones, graveyards. It was used in the Byzantine Era from 7th century on.
The region, 8 km northwest to Konya, was an important center in the early Christian era. Being one of the oldest monasteries in the world, the White Monastery (Hagios Khariton) was established with chambers dug in the rocks and structures surrounding them in 274. It has a wide church, seems like dug in the rocks, 6-7 chapels, and a lot of chambers. The gravestones belonging to Mikael Hommenos and Abraham, the son of Mikaeles, are exhibited in the Archeology Museum in Konya.
Being one of the oldest churches in Anatolia, the Aya Elena Church, 8 km away to Sille, was established under the reign of the Emperor Konstantinus in 327 AD. The church, adorned with the paintings of the Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the apostles, was built with the well-arranged Sille stones, and restored many times until today. Through the northern gate of the church, which has chambers dug in the rocks at its courtyard, it is entered to the outer narthex. The main dome of the church, with three niches, is carried by the four thick ranks. A wooden preaching chair adorned with plaster and the wooden and plastered lattice separating the apses and the main space are extremely valuable artistic works.
Kilistra, located in Gokyurt nearby Hatunsaray southwest to Konya, it was understood that there have been settlements until the 3rd century. It joined to the colonial cities of Nykaoline during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus (6th century BC), and it became an important patriarchate center during the Christian period. St. Paul, with Barnabas, came to Lystra, on the King Road, and gave sermons to people. It was established chapels, churches and houses by digging the soft rocks like in Cappadocia, in the 7th century. The chapel with the cross plan belonging to the 8th century, the Hyacinth Church (Sümbül Kilise), mills for vine, big water cistern were discovered and restored.
THE OTHER CULTURAL AND TOURISTIC ASSETS
The Yerkopru Cave, being in a travertine tufa in the Goksu Valley and its waterfall, known as curing for some diseases, nearby the Hadim County, the Balatini Cave near to the Camlik County, 3 km northwest to Balatini, Korukini and Suluin Caves, Sakaltutan Cave which has a depth of 303 m in the Seydisehir County, having a length of 2000 m, the Susuz Cave, on which the flow of the underground water can also be seen, in the Susuz Village, Tinaztepe Cave, 35 km away to Seydisehir, Pinarbasi Cave south to the Beysehir Lake, the Big Duden Cave, having a length of 714 m, are the important canes in the Konya Province.
The National Park of Beysehir Lake
The Beysehir Lake is located 94 km away to Konya, 105 km away to Isparta and is the third biggest lake in Turkey. The alkaline water of the lake constitutes the fauna of fishes like carp, trout, flower fish, yellow fish, fresh water bass and water turtle, and snakes. Big and little islands in the lake are important for the birds nesting. The features of the lake are; its splendid scenic beauties, being a good shelter for the passage birds, having convenient coasts for the potential water sports and cultural assets dating back to the Seljukian Age. There are tours for the day and camping possibilities for the visitors, in addition to these, the Beysehir County is convenient for accommodation.
In addition to the Beysehir Lake, there are the other lakes to observe the bird species like Aksehir Lake, Eber Lake, Cavuscu Lake, Samsam Lake, Aslanapa, Hirfanli, Mamasun, May, Tersakan, Sugla, Kozanli Gokgöl and Kulu Lake.
Kocakoru Forest Nature Park
Having floristically rich structure in the Tarasci Municipality, the forest comprises trees like the Anatolian black pine, the Taurus fir, some species of oak and juniper.
Akgol Nature Preserving Area
This area, among the borders of the Eregli County, is important with the richness of the quantity and quality of the water birds.
Bozkir- Sariot Plateau, Harmanpinar Plateau, Sorkun Plateau, Ucpinar Plateau, Bolat Plateau, Kulu- Sinek Plateau, and Seydisehir- Susuz Plateau can be evaluated in terms of tourism.
The Meke Crater Lake, 8 km away to the Karapinar County, has an impressive appearance constituted by explosion of two volcanoes. The lake, also a bird heaven sanctuary, has also islets. There are also other craters like Acigol, Cirak Lake, and Meyil Lake.
The Natural Park of Beysehir Lake, the environment of the Meke Crater Lake, the environment of the Aksehir Lake, the plateaus of Seydisehir and Bolat are all convenient for walking in the mountains and in nature.
Being 500 years old and having 4,5 m perimeter, the fossil juniper is worthwhile to see as a scenic beauty. Apa Lake and Aksehir Lake are convenient for the angling, and the Beysehir Lake is convenient for the scuba diving. Due to the geographical structure of Konya and its neighborhood, riding bicycles has developed in the region. Between the 5- 9 September, international contest called Mevlana Bicycle Tour is organized in the province
In addition to the spa, east to the Ilgin City in the municipality borders, there are other spas like; Mansion Spa, Ismil Spa, the Lower Spring Water in the Asagicigil County dependent on Ilgin.
Konya cuisine is famous with bread with meat and tandoori. The traditional foods are “Patlican bayiltan”, “lahana kapamasi”; flans; flan with cheese and meat, tandoori sac, Sedirler and Tatar flan. There are also kind of halva like, halva with sesame, crushed sesame seeds, walnut, or Cogenil Sugar halva, halva with mulberry must or floured must. The desert of “Hosmerim” with clotted cream is famous.
The handicrafts like weaving, wood-working, leathering, copper working, making felts, spoon making, and jewelry were started by the Seljuk in Konya and then developed. The Konya spoons, made of cut, adorned and varnished trees like box, hornbeam, poplar, and used in the kitchens for many years, the Mevlana Candy, which is hard to beat but delicious, carpets and rugs can be bought as giftware special to Konya and Mevlana.
There are many activities in Konya. Visiting here during these times means meeting many activities, worthwhile to see.
Interesting local activities are Dudengolu Culture and Art Festival (30 June), Nasreddin Hodja Festival (5-10 July), Konya Fair (20 July- 15 August), Troubadour Fest (25-28 October), Commemoration Ceremonies of Mevlana (10-17 December).www.konya.bel.trwww.konya.gov.tr