As the epitome of the Mevlana culture, the province of Konya has a variety of assets worth the visit and numerous festivals not to be missed.
Çatalhöyük, with a history dating back to 5500 BC, is an ancient site comprised of 14 layers of settlement. Considered as the starting point of settled life surrounded with the earliest samples of house architecture and religious shrines, the area is of crucial importance to human history. You should not miss sightseeing the ruins of Çatalhöyük inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Karahöyük, with a history going back to 3000 BC, is one of the most important regions of ancient Anatolia. The ancient city of Kilistra is another site with a history of more than several centuries.
The cross-shaped chapel with natural-shaped structures reminiscent of Cappadocia, Sümbül Church, Great Water Cistern and wineries are among ruins still observable today.
Another important residential area is Siller. Among the many ancient monuments of the area, the Sille Aya Elena Museum is literally a work of art adorned with paintings and carvings.
The Kubadabad Palace, Ivriz Rock Memorial, Ak Monastery, Eflatunpinar Hittite Monument and the Seljuk Mansion belonging to different periods, are among the must-see structures of great significance.
Konya has also a variety of museums where you can see the traces and artifacts of the culture of the region which has evolved over the centuries. Museums like the Mevlana, Karatay, Atatürk, Ethnography, Archaeology, Koyunoğlu and İnceminare Museum as well as Sircali Madrasa and the Mausoleum of Nasreddin Hodja are among the most awe- inspiring historical sites.
Konya is also renowned as the city where Islamic religion evolved and was influenced by Rumi’s teachings. The religious structures that abound in the area are illustrative of the fusion of Islamic thought and Rumi’s Sufism. You can sightsee a variety of mosques such as Shams-i Tabrizi, Iplikçi, Aladdin, Selimiye and Kapur Mosque and visit mausoleums like Yeşil Mausoleum, Sultanlar, Gomec or Hatun Mausoleum. Especially Yeşil Türbe (Green Mausoleum), which belongs to the Seljuk period, has become synonymous with the city as it is the resting place of Mevlana and his father.
Konya province is also surrounded with natural formations such as caves where one can engage in speleology. Yerköprü, Körükini, Tinaztepe, and Balat Cave are some of the caves waiting for you.
You can take a relaxing bath at Turkish baths like Sultan Hamam, Meram or Mahkeme Hamam before visiting the restaurants offering the unique dishes of Konya. You can try the traditional dishes such as Bamya çorba (Okra soup) etli ekmek (bread with meat), kuru kabak sarması (dry zucchini rolls), fırın kebab (oven kebab), Cebic, bulgurlu domates kurusu (cracked wheat with tomato) and desserts such as sacarasi, lor tatlisi and vişneli tirit in almost all the traditional restaurants.
Alaeddin Hill, Meram Vineyards, Karapınar Desert and a variety of lakes like Beysehir Lake, Meke, Akşehir and Tuz Lake are among the natural wonders not to be missed if you want to enjoy the scenic landscape of the province.
Wouldn’t you like to visit Konya, Turkey’s primary city with the largest acreage?