Before the Ottomans ruled Konya, the city was the capital of the Selçuk Sultanate of Rûm, a powerful empire that dominated Anatolia for nearly 300 years. The Selçuks arrived in Konya and made it their capital in the late 11th century. They left several architectural treasures, mainly in the form of mosques and religious schools.
I started at the Alâeddin Camii, a mosque at the top of a hill, Alâeddin Tepesi. It’s the most important Selçuk building in the city. Just outside of the gate to the mosque is a ruin with an ugly protective cover. This is the Kılıçarslan Sarayı, the remains of the Selçuk palace built by Kılıçarslan II.
Across the street on the north side of the hill is the Karatay Medresesi, a religious school built in 1251 by Celaleddin Karatay. It now houses a Selçuk tile museum. It’s well worth visiting the museum to see the tiles and the renovation of the building. It was a pleasant surprise.
Following the hill to the west side is another former religious school, the İnce Minareli Medrese. Built in 1279 by Sâhib Ata Fahreddin Ali, it now houses a Selçuk and Ottoman stone and wooden artifact museum.
The museum isn’t as impressive as the Karatay, but the renovation is nicely done and the collection is interesting. I especially liked the wooden doors.
To the south of the hill mixed into the backstreets is the Sırçalı Medrese, a religious school built in 1242 by Bedrettin Muslih. It now houses a tombstone museum. I was only able to walk around the courtyard. The bright blue Koranic script aligning the walls was stunning.
A walk south from the Sırçalı Medrese is the Sahib-i Ata Camii. The mosque was originally built in 1285 then destroyed by a fire in 1871 and rebuilt.
Attached is the Sahib-i Ata Vakıf Müzesi. The museum was originally part of the mosque complex built in 1285. It was restored and is now a very interesting museum of religious artifacts.
The museum also contains some nicely restored tombs. The tile work is phenomenal. Click here for a virtual tour.