Konya travel guide
A unique combination of ancient mysticism and modernity, Konya is a holy place in the Muslim world as well as being a popular tourist destination. The pride and joy of many devout Turkish people, Konya is a sprawling medieval town, a vibrant town full of many different colours and flavours guaranteed to make a lasting impressing.
One of Konya’s many charms is its relaxed and peaceful atmosphere, no doubt due to the low number of private vehicles on the roads, despite being one of the largest cities in the country. As you read up on your city guide to Konya you will discover that Konya is surrounded by lush fertile countryside, making it a place of beautiful contradictions.
The Mevlana Museum is the ultimate highlight to Konya. The museum itself is located within a past tekke, a building from the Mevlevi dervish sect, which cannot be missed due to its recognisable turquoise coloured dome. The tekke, semahane and many of the other buildings in the complex were erected during the 15th and 16th centuries, commissioned by Sultans Beyazit II and Selim I. The fountain in front of the entrance is stilled used for religious ablations. You can pay a visit to the cells where meditations and prayers were performed by the dervishes; today you will see wax figures dressed up in authentic costumes in various poses in the cells to give you an idea of how life was like. But before dervishes could do this, they were required to spend 1001 days in the soup kitchens, which are open for viewing also. Another section well worth visiting here is the museum office, which has been transformed into a library containing 5000 books on theology.
Take a trip to the Karatay Medresesi. First built in 1251, this former religious school has been transformed into a museum showcasing a wonderful array of ceramics. However, the building itself is a work of art all by itself. You will find it to be a beautiful combination and blending of Classical Greek architectural designs and Arabic artwork. The dome is the most famous section of the building; its symmetrical tiled design representing the stars is truly a sight to behold.
If you have the time, pay a visit to the Koyunoglu Museum. The Konyunoglu family donated a wonderful collection of objects which are on display for the benefit of the public. You can admire some old pictures of Konya before venturing upstairs to the ethnography section. Here you will admire some old textiles, ancient ceramics and everyday objects people used centuries ago. The collection of musical instruments and antique rugs is well worth admiring.
Restaurants in Konya cater to all palettes and budgets but for a taste of traditional cuisine, mostly featuring mutton and bread, sample the delicious etliekmet. This tasty dish features meat and cheese, and reminds one of a Turkish pizza!
You will find an excellent selection of hotels in Konya, all ranging in style, price and location. Major western hotel chains, such as the Hilton, can be found here.
Konya is a city where the mystery and devotion of the past meets the present day. A unique combination of mysticism and modernity, Konya is a destination which cannot be forgotten.