Friday, 01 December 2023
Discover the Mystery of the Historical Monastery in Konya

Discover the Mystery of the Historical Monastery in Konya

The Akmanastir Monastery, also known as Hagios Chariton or Deyr-i Eflatun (Eflatun Monastery), is located at the foot of Takkeli Mountain, 4 km west of Konya, within the boundaries of a military zone. Today, the monastery can be seen with two churches carved into rocks, a spring, monk cells, various rooms, and a platform.

The monastery is believed to have been founded by Saint Chariton in the second half of the 3rd century and the first half of the 4th century. According to two books, the monastery underwent renovations in 1067 and 1289, the latter being during the reign of Sultan Mesut. The dating of the main church to the 9th or 10th century indicates that the monastery evolved over time. The Ak Manastir has been studied by researchers including IV. Kyrillos (19th century), W. M. Ramsay and G. Bell (1905), F. W. Hasluck (1911), and S. Eyice (1964).

According to research, there is a large church dedicated to the Cave of Mary, six or seven chapels, monk cells, and a sacred well that was revealed by Saint Chariton as a miracle.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the monastery was in a dilapidated state and was visited by Orthodox Christians during the annual Chariton Feast celebrated on September 28th. Additionally, the monastery was also considered important by the Muslim population. This is due to the belief that Hz. Mevlana's son, who is believed to be Saint Chariton, was miraculously saved from falling off the cliff on the hill where the monastery is located. A mosque with a rectangular plan and a simple mihrab was built in the monastery, and it was also visited by the çelebi efendi, the head of the Mevlevi dervishes, every year.

The main church of the monastery is four-columned, with a closed Greek cross plan. It has three apses with a semi-circular plan and is entered through a door on the southern facade. The church, with a cradle vault covering, is illuminated by two windows on the southern facade. The church shows rough stone work and no trace of frescoes has been found.

The other church in the monastery is single-nave. The walls of the stable temple show decorations made of red ash paint. From the grave traces on the floor, it could be a cemetery church.

In addition to the churches, the monastery also has rectangular-planned spaces with oyster-motif niches in the walls, a rough stone ayazma and a cell for a monk. On the front facade of the monastery, which was created by leveling the hill, a large cross relief with small crosses in the arms of the cross and a hammer motif has been carved.

Researchers have found six inscriptions in the monastery. Two of the inscribed pieces are in the church, two inscribed tombstones are in the Konya Archaeological Museum, and the location of two other inscriptions, said to be at the entrance of a church, has not been determined.