Turkey In The City Infornmation

General information about Konya

Area: 38.183 km²

Population: 2.192.166 (2000)

Traffic Code: 42

Districts: Konya (center), Ahırlı, Akören, Akşehir, Altınekin, Beyşehir, Bozkır, Cihanbeyli, Çeltik, Çumra, Derbent, Derebucak, Doğanhisar, Emirgazi, Ereğli, Güneysınır, Hadim, Halkapınar, Hüyük, Ilgın, Kadınhanı, Karapınar, Karatay, Kulu, Meram, Sarayönü, Selçuklu, Seydişehir, Taşkent, Tuzlukçu, Yazlıhöyük, Yunak.

Konya is one of the first inhabited cities in the history of mankind, and still contains traces of many ancient civilisations which gives it the atmosphere of a museum city. Because of its locations in the middle of the barren Anatolian steppe, it used to be one of the most important trading centres on the Silk Road. The fertile land around the city means Konya is also the heart of Turkey’s grain industry, with farming a major industry. Steeped in tradition, it is one of the most conservative and religious places in the country, and best known as the adopted home of Celaleddin Rumi, the Sufic mystic who founded the Whirling Dervish sect. Today it is still a centre of Sufic practice and teaching, and one of the highlights for visitors is the Mevlana Museum, the former lodge of the dervishes.

Ancient Cities

Çatalhöyük: This ancient site, 50km south-east of Konya, is said to be the first settlement in the world with houses and sacred buildings dating back to 6800 BC. The remains were discovered by British archaeologists in 1958, and research shows 13 different strata with evidence of houses that had to be entered by holes in the roof as there were no streets. There is little left at the site, except the remains of mud brick houses, murals, plaster reliefs and pottery. Construction was from adobe, wood and reed, and most of the findings are now in the Konya Museum of Archaeology.
It is possible to get most of the way by minibus, then a taxi for the remaining 10 miles.

Clistra Antic City: The ancient city of Kilistra is 55km south-west of Konya, and was one of the first places that St Paul gave sermons. The area is famous for its archaeological carvings and buildings cut into the rock, the best examples of which are the Hadj Plank Chapel, Sumbul Church, Double Sirahane, and Great Water Cistern Chapel. The best way of getting to the area is by private transport, although there may be buses going part of the way from Konya.
Sille Aya - Elena Church: The tiny village of Sille, 8km northwest of Konya, has a long and interesting history. Helena, mother of Byzantine Emperor Constanine, stopped in Konya during her journey to Jerusalem for a Hajj pilgrimage in 327 AD, and after seeing the engraved temples here belonging to the first ages of Christianity, she too decided to construct a temple. The Sille Aya, or Elena Church, contains a rostrum and some fairly well preserved murals, which are unique works of art. It is thought that this church was in use until 1923. The village also has old stone bridges, other churches and the remains of frescoes. Sille is reached by bus number 64 from Konya.

Palace and Hans

Kubad - Abad Palace: Lying southwest of Beysehir Lake, the palace was constructed between 1226 – 1236 and is the oldest example of the theological school of Turkish Palaces.

Zazadin Han: This was constructed in 1236 and lies 25km northwest of Konya, on the road to Aksaray.

Horozlu Han: This Han was made in two different sections; one for a summer resort and one as a winter house. It lies 44km west of Konya.

Obrukhan Han: Obruk is around 100km northeast of Konya, and the Han is built in typical Seljuk style.

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