History of Konya, Rumi’s house

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Konya, one of the oldest and most renowned cities in Anatolia, jewel of the Seljuks who transformed it into their capital and the home of Rumi

The words of Ibn Battuta

“Among the shrines of Konya I remember the mausoleum of the shaykh and pious imam, the pole of the mystics Jalal al-Din, known as Mawlana and much venerated, to which a brotherhood of Anatolia, the jalaliyya, which bears the first name.”

Ibn Battuta

Konya, the city of the Icon

The area around Konya is among the most anciently populated in all of Anatolia, so much so that the first remains found date back to around 3000 BC; it will then be occupied around 1500 BC. by the Hittites and after about 300 years by the Peoples of the Sea. From the 8th century it will pass to the Phrygians, then to the Cimmerians, the Persians and finally to Alexander the Great; on the death of the latter it will end first among the possessions of Seleucus I, then among those of the Kingdom of Pergamum, and finally to the Romans, who will inherit this kingdom.


Precisely in this period it is linked to the name of the city, which would be linked to the word “Ikonion”, which would refer to a sacred icon present in the city, probably depicting Perseus with the head of Medusa; under the Romans it will change several names, but this will continue to be the best known and known for a long time. According to the Acts of the Apostles, Paul of Tarsus and St. Barnabas visited this center several times, which for a long time was to be a bishopric.

Turks, Rumi and Ottomans

Starting from 1084 Konya was conquered by the Seljuks who from 1097 to 1277 made it their capital, elevating its architecture and beauty. The accumulated prestige was so great that, with the onset of the Mongol invasions, many intellectuals and scholars of Central Asia decided to migrate to Anatolia, often putting Konya at the center of their desires. The most famous of these migrants can only be Jalāl ad-Dīn Mohammad Rūmī, better known simply as Rūmī or, especially in Turkey, as Mevlana, who settled here with his family in 1228, giving life to his brotherhood of whirling dervishes. .


With the fall of the Seljuks it was first conquered by the Karamanids and, starting from 1420, by the Ottomans. Under the latter he lived a long period of peace and grace, so much so that the province was often entrusted to the young sons of the sultan, whose most famous were undoubtedly Cem Sultan, son of Mehmed the Conqueror, and Selim II, the son of Suleiman the Magnificent. At the outbreak of the Turkish War of Independence it became an important aeronautical headquarters, but at the end of the conflict it suffered particularly the “Exchange of population”, as many Greek Christians lived around here and their forced relocation instead brought many Muslim Albanians.

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