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Konya is famous for being the location of Rumi's tomb, and is also known throughout Turkey as a very religious and rather conservative city. Its religious attractions draw Muslims on pilgrimages and Turkish schoolchildren on trips, as well as foreign and local tourists. The city is experiencing a boom in popularity that coincides with the surging interest worldwide in the Sufi mystic poet Mevlâna Celaleddin Rumi and the rise to power of a moderate Islamist government in Turkey. During the annual Mevlâna festival that takes place each December, Konya is transformed by an influx of pilgrims—and other curious souls—who come from around the world to honor and observe the anniversary of the Mevlâna's death. At other times of the year, Konya is a fairly quiet and even provincial city, and you can probably see most of the sights in about a day. Note that the dervishes do not whirl regularly outside of festival time, and you're more likely to see them in Istanbul than in Konya. That said, the Mevlâna Museum, which holds Rumi's tomb, is an impressive site. The city also has a long and interesting history, including its stint as the capital of the Seljuk Empire from the mid-12th through the 13th century, and some notable mosques and other buildings date back to that period.
Konya at a Glance
- Alaaddin Camii (Alâeddin Mosque)
- Arkeoloji Müzesi (Archaeology Museum)
- İnce Minare – Taş-Ahşap Eserleri Müzesi (Museum of Stone and Woodwork)
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