A day in Konya
By Sergey Tiviakov
I have been to many important cities all over the world, including the capitals of numerous ancient kingdoms, but Konya for a long time was on my list of “cities to visit”. Finally my dream came true when I was invited to take part in the Turkish League in July 2012.
Konya is an ancient town, mostly known as the Capital of the Empire of Seljuqs and a place of pilgrimage because of the Mevlana Mausoleum (order of Dervish).
The central Square of Konya, next to the Citadel Hill
Over the course of my numerous trips to Iran I have become deeply interested in Islamic history and culture. So a visit to Konya was an excellent opportunity to widen my horizons. On the rest day I invited my friends Elisabeth Paehtz, Adriana Nikolova and Anastasia Savina to join me on a tour to discover the hidden treasures of Konya.
Next to the central square there is magnificient mosque, a park, and a fountain full of swans
Rixos hotel, host to the excellent tournament, and a five-star venue, is situated on the outskirts of Konya. After the 40-minute tram journey we arrived at the center of Konya, close to the Citadel Hill, built solely as fortification before the invasion of Mongols, led by Genghis Khan, at the beginning of the 13th century.
Here is the İnce Minareli Medrese. A 'medrese' is an Islamic school.
Next is a well-known Ali Gav Turbesi, or Ali Gav's Tomb, similar in style to the towers I saw in May in Naxcivan. Also we can see there the ruins of the ancient Greek town of Iconium which was in Konya.
Here I am trying to read the Greek inscription on a column in front
Our journey then continued to the Alaeddin Mosque, built in 1235 on Alaeddin Hill
Elisabeth Paehtz couldn't miss the opportunity to literally cool
her head in the water. It is scorching hot in Konya, over 36 Celsius
during the day, possibly even hotter.
Elisabeth and Anastasia (or simply Nastya) are good friends
From Citadel Hill you have an excellent panorama of Konya
Inside the unfinished tomb, still in the complex of the Citadel Hill
Me and Adriana in front of the Alaeddin Mosque
Stopping on the way at the Konya Municipal Building
And tasting traditional Turkish ice cream made a la Ottoman style
Just a little bit more?
Finally we came to the Mevlana Mausoleum, now Museum and a place of pilgrimage
The map of the area
Elisabeth and me posing in front of Mevlana Mausoleum
A very nice photo of the four of us together just before entering the Mausoleum
Besides the numerous tombs in the complex it is also a holy
place for all Muslims since it has a very important relic: hair from
the beard of Prophet Muhammad.
One of the many tombs in the Mevlana Mausoleum
An example of how the Dervish lived before
We almost bought a hand-made Konyan carpet. Luckily, I have
good experience buying Persian carpets, so we were not fooled
by the high price asked.
Adriana poses with a potential new shawl (yes, it is a crocodile)
Turkey is a paradise for all those who like sweets.
Tired but satisfied we returned to our hotel to continue our difficult life as a chess-player...(said entirely tongue-in-cheek).