From the 12th to the 13th century, Konya, the capital of the Seljuk Turks, ranks as one of Turkey's most important cultural centers. During this cultural, political, and religious development period, the mystic Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi founded a Sufi order known in the West as the Semazens. Mevlana's striking green-tiled mausoleum is Konya's most famous building. The former dervish school attached to the mausoleum now serves as a museum with manuscripts of Mevlana's works and various Sufi-related artifacts of the order. The Şeb-i Arus (Wedding Night) ceremony, held every year in the first half of December in memory of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, is a mesmerizing performance of controlled, trance-like spins or whirling dervishes by men in white robes.
The most crucial change in the life of Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi begins with his encounter with Shams-i Tebrizi. Shams opened up new horizons in Rumi's life and became his companion in his journey to become a true public lover. Shams-i Tabrizi Mausoleum and Masjid are adjacent in a large park east of Alaeddin Hill in Konya. The tomb is in the classical Seljuk numbers type. It is covered with a lead roof, which was covered later, and there is a large cist under the dome, which is believed to contain the body of Shams-i Tabrizi. Shams-i Tabrizi's Tomb and Masjid have an important place in the thought life of Hz. Mevlana is one of the most visited places in Konya.
Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden, Turkey's first butterfly garden and Europe's largest butterfly flight area was opened to visitors in 2015. The Tropical Butterfly Garden has a 7,200 m2 usage area. Services are provided in two main sections, the Butterfly Flight Area and the Insect Museum, in a 3,500 m2 sightseeing area. The construction used 630 tons of steel and a glass curtain wall cladding system with 1730 pieces of glass of different sizes. In addition, unique PVB material was used in the windows, allowing maximum passage of UV rays into the garden, allowing butterflies to orient themselves with the sun's rays as in their natural environment.
Located about 15 km from Konya city center, Sille has a special meaning for Anatolian civilizations and is an essential center of the early Christian period, where cultures lived together in history. It is a magnificent place with critical historical buildings (monasteries, churches, mosques, mansions, mansions, frescoed rock chapels, etc.) and natural beauties (reservoir, river, forest, etc.) dating back to the Neolithic Age. One of the most famous is the Byzantine church of Aya Eleni.
In 327 A.D., Helena, the mother of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine, stopped by Konya on her way to Jerusalem for pilgrimage, saw the temples of the first Christian ages, and decided to build a temple for Christians in Sille, 15 km from Konya, in the Selçuklu district. Aya-Eleni Church has been repaired for centuries and has survived to the present day.
Established in 2014 to appeal to all age groups, the park welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. Although the number of visitors decreased last year due to restrictions within the scope of the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) measures and "controlled social life" practices, the park offers a suitable environment for those who want to spend time outdoors with its large and open area.
Alaaddin Hill in the Karatay district of Konya is one of the most important prehistoric settlements. This hill's importance in art history, architectural history, archaeology, and historical science is endless. It is said that when Konya was the capital of the Seljuk Empire, Sultan Alaaddin asked the people to build a hill in the city's center to build a mosque. So, everyone in the town brought soil to the city's center and created this hill. Alaaddin Mosque, one of the most important historical monuments that has survived today, is located on the hill. Alaaddin Mosque was built during the reign of the Great Seljuk Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat on the site of Konya's old castle from 1221 and today dominates the Konya skyline. On one side of the mosque are the ruins of the Seljuk Imperial Palace.
Since 1955, Karatay Madrasah, which has been used as Konya Tile Works Museum, was built by Emir Celâleddin Karatay in 1251 during the reign of Seljuk Sultan İzzeddin Keykâvus II. The interiors of the madrasah are covered with mosaics and sheet tiles. Its architect is estimated to be Muhammed bin Havlan. The madrasah is made of Sille stone. The madrasah was built in the "Madrasah with a Closed Courtyard" style to teach hadith and tafsir during the Seljuk period. Its walls are made of stone, and its domes and vaults are made of bricks. It is located in the city center.
Ince Minaret Madrasa, also known as the Museum of Stone and Wooden Works, is in Selçuklu District. It is a single-story madrasah with a covered courtyard. It takes its name from the minaret in the northeast corner. It was built in 1264 by Vizier Sâhib Ata Fahreddin Ali during the reign of Seljuk Sultan İzzeddin Keykavus II to teach the science of hadith. The writings of the madrasah, considered essential examples of calligraphy, are crucial. Especially the portal is regarded as one of the rare designs where the paper is intensively applied.
Kyoto Japanese Park, which is a matter of curiosity where is located in Konya. It is a place that makes a name for itself with its beautiful atmosphere, breakfast, and food. Kyoto Japanese Park; is a living and recreation area in the Kosova neighborhood of Konya's Selçuklu district. This park, built after the sister city agreement signed between Konya Metropolitan Municipality and Kyoto City Municipality, has added a different atmosphere to the city.
Artifacts from the Neolithic, Early Bronze, Hittite, Phrygian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine periods are exhibited in this museum. Artifacts unearthed during excavations in Çatalhöyük, Canhasan, Erbaba, Sızma, Karahöyük, and Alaaddin Hill and Roman sarcophagi are displayed in the museum. The museum is a must-visit place in Konya.
Çatalhöyük, as one of the first settlements of the Neolithic age, sheds light on the dawn of human settlement with unique examples of the first interior architecture and landscape painting, as well as sacred objects of the cult of the mother goddess. Çatalhöyük Neolithic Site is where the first known settlement, urbanization, and animal domestication occurred. Since 2012, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This Site has outstanding arts and crafts dating back to 7400 BC with the first finds and has been an essential key to unlocking the mysteries of the beginnings of agriculture and civilization. It is believed that the social organization and urban plan of the Neolithic Çatalhöyük region represent the ideals of equality.
This ancient city is 45 kilometers southwest of Konya, in Hatunsaray (Lystra), in the Gökurt Village of Meram. Kilistra, which witnessed intense settlement during the Hellenistic and Roman periods and increased during the Early Christian Period, gained an architectural texture similar to Cappadocia. Kilistra stands out because it was an important place in the life of St. Paulus and contains architecturally valuable examples such as churches, chapels, monasteries, watchtowers, shelters, ancient roads, and ceramic workshops.
The Hittites left various material and cultural assets reflecting their state structure and social, economic, and religious life for about a thousand years. One is the Eflatunpınar Hittite Water Monument, located 22 km from Beyşehir District. The monument was built as a rectangular pool and fed by a nearby water source. The most striking part of the 30-meter by 34-meter collection is the high wall with relief figures rising on the north wall built with large stone blocks. On the south-facing surface, in the center, are the Storm God and the Sun Goddess. This monument is one of the rarest in its appearance, layout, and iconography and the technology and craftsmanship used during its construction. In 2014, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List as the Hittite Sacred Water Temple.
Numerous interesting Seljuk buildings are scattered around beautiful Beyşehir, located on the shores of the same lake, Turkey's third largest lake. In the southwestern region of the lake lies the untouched wildlife of the Beyşehir Lake National Park, Turkey's second-largest national park. The reflection on the lake at sunset creates eye-catching images with the boats touring the lake. Due to the reeds growing in the lake, a green texture emerges at certain times of the year. Therefore, the lake turns green.
Numerous crater lakes surround Karapınar, 94 km southeast of Konya, the most famous of which is the beautiful Meke Crater Lake with an island in the middle. When viewed from above, it appears as a black dot surrounded by blue water. Because of this image, the lake is considered the "Evil Eye of the World". On the north side of the road to Ereğli, 10 km from Karapınar, is Acı Crater Lake.
Karatay Lavender Garden, which became one of the most favorite places in the city after it was brought to Konya by Karatay Municipality in 2019, was opened to visitors. The Lavender Garden, which attracted great attention last year and was almost flooded with visitors, promises a visual feast to its visitors this year.