The Ince Minare Medrese (Seminary
of the Slender Minaret) is among Konya's
finest and most impressive
Turkish architectural masterpieces.
Located on the west side of the Alaettin
Tepesi hill near the Great
Karatay Medresesi, the Ince
Minare is one of Konya's must-see buildings.
Though built (1267) as a Muslim theological
seminary, it has been restored and
is now Konya's Museum of Wooden
Artifacts and Stone Carving. The
exhibits inside are significant, but
it is the building itself that you
come to see.
It's grand portal, heavily
and completely carved with Seljuk decoration
and Kur'anic inscriptions, is among
the finest of all Seljuk grand portals.
beautiful tiled interior
The minaret, partially destroyed by
a lightning strike in 1901, was exceptionally
tall (see the old photo below) and
finely decorated with typically Seljuk
Inside, the tile decoration is also
fine: in the dome, the squinches, and
above the windows. Only a fraction
of the tile decoration has survived,
but even that fraction is very impressive.
Exhibits within the museum include
elaborately carved wooden mosque doors
and decorative panels, marble panels
carved with typical Seljuk designs
of birds, lions, angels and double-headed
eagles and even a few elephants.
Keep in mind the building's original
purpose: the main hall,
with its restful, refreshing pool of
water, was the center of seminary
life. The large eyvans (alcoves) were
used for classes, the smaller rooms
as living quarters.
The Ince Minare Medrese is
open every day from 09:00 am to 12:00
noon and 13:00 to
17:00 (1 to 5 pm) for TL2.