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Tourist Places To Visit In Konya
Konya is the 7th most populous city of Turkey. Once the capital of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rum (Anatolia), this cultural centre is famous for the Whirling Dervishes, a Sufi order founded by Rumi, a poet and philosopher from the 13th century. The city in Roman Times was known as Iconium and is one of Turkey's oldest cities. Some of the tourist places to visit in Konya are its beautiful mosques, monuments and museums that tell a fascinating tale of Konya's rich history. To know each in detail, keep reading.
Konya is known as the city of Whirling Dervishes. Mevlana Museum is a museum dedicated to this mystical dance and its spiritual leader, Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi, who was also a philosopher and poet of the 13th century. The museum is host to an extensive variety of relics and antiques. However, the most important exhibit is the tomb of Rumi. This museum is the perfect start into the spiritual and cultural side of Konya.
Tile Museum (Karatay Medresisi)
The Tile Museum exhibits a very impressive collection of Seljuk enamel tile work. The internal walls of the building showcase the beautiful Seljuk tiling and is definitely a must-visit. You can also find ceramic exhibits from various archaeological sites. The building was actually an institution (madrasa) founded in 1251 by Celaleddin Karatay from the Seljuk empire. The building was later on restored and converted into a museum. You will also find the tomb of Celaleddin Karatay here.
Alaeddin Tepe & Mosque
The Alaeddin Tepe was constructed on the site of the former citadel. It is located right in the city centre and is a popular hangout spot for the locals with beautiful gardens, open spaces and benches. At the top of the hill is the Alaeddin Mosque that was built in the 13th century - it is the oldest and largest mosque of Seljuk in Konya. At the foot of the hill is the excavation site of Alaeddin Kaykobad's palace.
Within walking distance and right in front of the Mevlana Museum is this beautiful domed mosque. The mosque was built between 1566 and 1574 and was commissioned by Sultan Selim II. It marks the end of the Ottoman mosque architecture. In the vicinity are a lot of cafes and restaurants, and a great place to spend a couple of hours in the evening, sipping coffee and absorbing the spiritual beauty of the place.
There are plenty of Mosques around Turkey but each one is a work of art and this one too will not disappoint you. Aziziye Mosque is a perfect example of the intricate beauty of Ottoman architecture. Both the interior as well as the exterior is beautiful with shades of Blue, Green and Gold. Don't forget to also check out the buzzing bazaar right outside this beautiful mosque.
Çatalhöyük is an excavation site and probably the most important one in the world! It was here that archaeologists uncovered the largest Neolithic site, with settlements dating back to 9000 years ago. If you visit in the summers, you might be lucky enough to see some live excavation and restoration work in progress. There isn't much to see currently, but the sheer historical importance of the site makes it worth the visit.
Konya Tropical Butterfly Garden
Located just 10 km from the city centre, this beautiful garden is a paradise for nature lovers. This man-made garden has a tropical climate inside, which makes you feel like you've stepped into a rainforest, though it's in the middle of a city! There is a huge variety of exotic butterflies and other insects. You can observe their transformational journey from a cocoon to a butterfly. It's highly educational as well for children. There is also a play area for kids along with beautifully landscaped gardens.
Sehitler Abidesi also known as The Martyrs Monument is a tribute to the Çanakkale war. In the independence war museum, the story of the war is told through murals, figurines and placards and also gives insights to the lives of soldiers and civilians during this period. Also within the complex is a marble structure with beautiful mosaics, which should not be missed.
Sultan Han Caravanserai
During the times of the famous silk route trade, there were many inns, known as Caravanserai, constructed on the road along the way. One such inn is the Sultan Han, which was built in 1229 on the trade route of Konya to Aksaray and into Persia. This caravanserai was destroyed in a fire but later restored and extended and became the largest caravanserai in Turkey. It is still well preserved and makes for an interesting visit. It was built in typical Anatolian Seljuk architectural style.