And Shems Tomb
15th December 2016
We were very busy that morning, since we were going for breakfast with the Irainian family we had met at the same point Shams and Rumi had met. There wasn’t much snow that night so the streets today weren’t as snowy, but the weather was much colder…minus three to be precise!
We drove into the city centre and parked opposite the Mevlâna museum. Their hotel was very, very nice and was also right in the city centre, right next to the museum. Sara, was very glad to see us, and soon, the whole family were welcoming us into there breakfast lobby. Through the windows, there was a great view looking down onto the large square where the Mevlâna museum and the Selimiye mosque are.
After breakfast, we went to the Mevlâna museum with Sara and her family. They were all looking forward to seeing Rumis tomb, and this would have been there last chance since they were leaving for Iran that evening. Because they wanted to do their praying and goodbyes we said we would meet them outside of the hall, and be showing Geoff the dervish cells.
He was very surprised by the age of all the antique Seljuk and Ottoman books, prayer beads, prayer mats, and clothes. After their praying, they came out to meet us, and we went with them to see the supposed Shems Tomb. I say “supposed”, because when Shems disappeared for the last time, he was literally never seen alive or dead again!?
According to contemporary Sufi tradition, Shams mysteriously disappeared: some say he was killed by close disciples of Rumi who were jealous of the close relationship between Mevlâna and Shams, but according to certain evidences he left Konya and died. The small, square mosque that was situated between the Aleaddin mosque and Mevlâna museum, behind the Serefeddin mosque was packed with people from all around Turkey and the Middle East.
Inside, we had to take our shoes off, and we were pushed in by the force of all the eager and noisy tourists. There were men and women praying on both sides of the mosque, and many women were wearing the colourful headscarves and hijabs.
Afterwards, we walked back to the entrance of their hotel, and said our goodbyes to the kind Iranian family, and went for a walk. Geoff went to check on the dogs back at the hotel.
Situated between the building quarter and the bathroom quarter and just before the garage quarter in the dark back streets of Konya hides the archaeological museum.
The rather dusty Archaeological Museum houses interesting finds from Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic settlement situated close by to Konya including the skeleton of a baby, buried wearing anklets and bracelets made of stone and bone. Other artefacts range across the millennia, from Chalcolithic terracotta jars to Hittite hieroglyphs, an Assyrian oil lamp shaped like a bunch of grapes, and bronze and stone Roman sarcophagous’s, one narrating the labours of Hercules in high relief carvings. Also inside, are artifacts dating back from the 7000 years before Christ! In the open area of the museum there are several scargophaguses, inscriptions and even some Ancient Greek and Roman sculptures.
The archaeological museum is quite an eye opener, it looks most unassuming from the outside and is situated in humble slightly scruffy surroundings but when you open the doors and walk in everybody’s reaction was ” Wow!” In fact out of all of the museums throughout Greece and Turkey, this one houses some of the oldest exhibits. Most unusual and very interesting.
We then stumbled upon the Sahip-i Ata Mosque. Sahip Ata who gave his name to both the mosque and the complex in general, was an important and successful Seljuk of the time. Unfortunately what remains from the mosque today is only the amazing gate, beautiful minaret colored in turquoise and the mihrab made of impressive tiles; the rest is all renovated. You will immediately be mesmerized on your first glimpse into that area, because of the beautiful blue tiles, that decorate the indoor family graveyard. Built in the thirteenth century, and a similar design to the İnce Minare Medresesi and Karatay museum, the Sahip Ata Mosque is in the backstreets of Konya, near to the Archeological museum.
We traipsed through more back streets amongst the hustle of afternoon shoppers trying to find a kebab shop with a closed door. Wishing to sit down to eat in the warm somewhere………soon we found a lokanta and he started cooking us our tasty kebabs…. It started to get a little smokey in there due to the coals they were cooking on….. So he opened the doors to let the smoke out!!!!!