A day in Konya

by ChessBase
7/28/2012 – As a well-documented globetrotter, Sergey Tiviakov has visited capitals and exotic countries all across the world. During this time, he developed a deep-seated interest in Islamic history and culture. On his list of "cities to see", lay Konya, Turkey, home to mausoleums as well as numerous other artifacts. Enjoy this illustrated report in which he got to see the beard of Muhammad.

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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).

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