The city of Konya in the Anatolian Region of Turkey is crammed with religious sites, museums and monuments. Visitors with interest in Turkish history will adore all that the city offers. From towering minarets to ancient archaeology and Whirling Dervishes, this is one area of Turkey no traveller will want to miss.
Begin an exploration at Mevlana Museum, also known as Mausoleum of Rumi. Set in beautifully tended rose gardens, it is home to the tomb of great Sufi thinker Rumi. The museum showcases fascinating manuscripts, musical instruments and Whirling Dervish exhibits. Visitors wishing to see the famous Whirling Dervishes in action can do so at Mevlana Cultural Centre a short walk away. The neighbourhood allows travellers to step back to a bygone era, with narrow streets and ancient architecture. Unmissable landmarks of Konya include Ince Minare Museum containing artefacts dating to the Ottoman and Seljuk eras, Konya Archaeology Museum and Alaeddin Hill. To gain peace and tranquillity, visitors can venture to Japon Parki. The pan-Asian designed park is sprinkled with ponds, pagodas and waterfalls. Grab a bite to eat in the restaurant and enjoy the picturesque views. Visitors keen to explore Konya’s shopping facilities can do so at Kent Plaza Shopping Centre. There are also several side streets in Konya where traditional shops sell handcrafted gifts and clothing. Just outside the city lies the ancient village of Sille, which dates back almost 7,000 years. Restored churches, mosques, traditional houses and shisha cafes tempt intrepid explorers to Sille from all over Turkey.
Visitors to Konya can walk to many attractions, as most are located in the city centre. Alternatively, dolmuş minibuses, trams, buses and taxis operate throughout. To reach Japon Parki, take the tram from the heart of the old city. Visitors staying in Turkey’s coastal resorts, or the capital, Ankara, can reach Konya by car. It takes just over three hours to drive from Ankara and around six hours from the seaside city of Antalya.
The ancient city of Konya is the centre of Sufi mysticism in Turkey. The city is historically and religiously significant. The capital of the Seljuk Empire, and home of Rumi or Mevlana, the Sufi saint who founded the Whirling Dervishes, it has much to offer travellers. Visitors interested in exploring the mystical, rich history of Turkey away from the tourist resorts and cities will find Konya an absolute delight.