Although it is located on a flat geography in the middle of the country, Konya is actually a very deep city. If you are interested in Rumi's teachings and want to dive into an intense history route, we say "travel the world, see Konya". Let’s start to tell! But first, let's mention Konya's precious value Rumi and talk about his relationship with the city briefly.
Born in the city of Belh in Khorasan at the beginning of the 13th century, Mevlana's real name is Muhammed Celaleddin. Derived from Mevla and meaning "Our Lord", he took the name Mevlana during his teaching years in Konya. The name Rumi (Anatolia) was added to his name later because he stayed in Anatolia for a very long time. The Islamic scholar who died on December 17 in 1273, came to the age of 21 and buried in Konya, where he spent most of his life. The whole world now recognizes and respects the philosophy of Mevlevi, who was born and grew up in Konya with him.
Exploration Guide of Konya
Of course, you won't go back without eating meat loaf (etliekmek), but Konya's sightseeing route is so crowded that let's hit the road first and drive until you're hungry!
1 - Take a Journey with Rumi in the 13th Century, Watch the Semah
He is the scholar of every century, not of a single period. We also recommend that you read his most important work "Mesnevi" to have information about Mevlana's teachings. In Konya, you can visit the Mevlana Museum and tomb (Kubbe-i Hadra), as well as the Şems-i Tebriz Mosque and tomb.You can also see the eight-stringed violin, the sphere and patience stones on which he taught astrology, as well as the first copy of the Mesnevi in 1278 at the Mevlana Museum.
The traces of Mevlana in Konya are not limited to these points, there is also the spiritual dimension of the work, which is the “semah” performances. Please watch the 1-hour show organized by Konya Municipality every Saturday at Mevlana Cultural Center. For time planning, you can get information from the institution's web page.
2 - Now Journey to the Stone Age! Visit Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük is the place where the doors of a hidden world are opened. Because this mound dates to the end of the Stone Age, and most of us know about this 9,500-year-old period only from the Flintstones cartoon. If you want to enter a historical corridor and see how the first settlements of people were, go to this mound, 11 km from Çumra district. This place was also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012. If you are curious about the finds from the mound, we recommend that you visit the Konya Archeology Museum, which is our second largest museum after the Istanbul Archeology Museum.
3 - Meet the Seljuk – Ottoman Art
Our ancestors had a very fine, very elegant and very different art. They built the dazzling structures with their architecture and stonework so solid that they survived for centuries. In Konya, you can see most of these works on Alaeddin Hill, which overlooks the city. Alaeddin Mosque, which is the highest of Konya, which is a plain land, is one of the most important mosques of the Seljuk period, and the rulers and administrators of the period are in their tombs in its courtyard.
One of the other structures on the hill is the Karatay Madrasa, which was built by Emir Celaleddin Karatay in 1251 and is considered the doyen of tile art. You will also be amazed by the stonework on the door of the Ince Minaret Madrasah, which dates back to 1260.
Now, it is time for Ottoman Period! Aziziye Mosque, one of the most beautiful works of the period, was first built in 1671. Sultan Abdulaziz had the mosque rebuilt in 1867 on behalf of his mother, Pertevniyal Sultan, after a great fire and badly damaged. This baroque-style mosque is the coolest and most decorated mosque in Konya, both with its embroidery and its dome. You will not be able to get enough of taking pictures while visiting the mosque in the center of the city.
4 - Witness the Lifetime Story of Butterflies at the Tropical Butterfly Garden
We are sure that you will feel warm while visiting this garden, and see things through rose-colored glasses. The climate in this huge area of 385,000 m2 is truly tropical; or rather it is planned as well. The garden, which hosts about 6,000 butterflies from 15 species and is full of meaningful stories such as a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, is full of butterflies in flight. Although it's called a garden, this is actually Europe's largest butterfly area and you can visit it every day except Monday.
5 - Enter the Exciting Atmosphere of the Science Center
It's really exciting, because this is a huge facility that deals with the sky, the earth, in short, all kinds of science. In this huge facility, which is the first science center opened with the support of TÜBİTAK in our country, you can participate in workshops, conduct experiments in the laboratories with experts, visit the exhibitions, watch 3D movies, and examine the movements of the sky. Of course, the target audience is primarily children and youth, but its doors are always open to adult scientists as well. If you are going to Konya with your child, we say that you should definitely stop by.
6 - Find the Sweet Serenity at the Kyoto Japanese Garden
The Japanese passion for gardening and success in landscaping is well-known! But you don't have to go that far to see a Japanese garden. The Kyoto Japanese Garden in Konya adds utterly different beauties to your route with its aesthetics and soul-soothing green symphony. This is the biggest and most colorful of the gardens arranged in this concept in our country, and its most colorful times are in April when the cherry blossom trees bloom. You can have an open buffet breakfast in the morning.
7 - See Meram Vineyards
This is the greenest place in steppe Konya. The pleasure promised by this corner of nature, where the creek passing through it adds a distinct beauty, is "peace" in a succinct definition. Evliya Çelebi, who traveled and saw everywhere and wrote a huge Travel book, must have loved this place so much that he referred to it as Bağ-ı Meram in his book. If you have children, parks have been built in Meram Vineyards where they can play and have fun. You can also sit in the cafes by the creek and listen to the sound of the water, or you can rent a bicycle and tour around.
8 - Explore Sille
The name of Sille, which is a feast-like village with a 5000-year history, derives from Sylla and means "Water Fairies".In the village, which carries traces of life from every period of history, you can visit the Hagia Elena Church, which was left from the Christians, and the mosques built within the Islamic period. You can get a historical pleasure as if you are in an open air museum. Sille Village is in the Selçuklu district of Konya.
9 - Have a Tea by the Lake Beyşehir
If you come in winter, this is a very attractive lake where you will encounter the exact same frozen lake views of the Nordic countries. Beyşehir Lake is also called "Konya Sea" and its shores can turn into a beach in summer. Cycling or walking on the shore of this lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in our country, is also good for the soul.
10 - Now it's time for Konya Flavors, Don't Return without Tasting the Flavors
Konya, the inventor and the leader of Etliekmek. It's not like lahmacun, its long shape covers the whole table. It's not like a pastry, it's more like a pita. But one thing is very clear, the taste is amazing! Of course, you need to leave a spacious area in your stomach to taste other delicacies such as lamb tandoori, bıçakarası, tirit, oven kebab, okra soup, cezerye.