Konya‘s Sırçalı Medrese (“Glazed Seminary”) takes its odd name from its “glazed” mosaic tiles of the Seljuks’ favored light and dark blue.
As with most Seljuk Turkish buildings, you pass through an elaborate portal to enter the medrese. To the right after you enter is the türbe (tomb) of the medrese’s founder, Bedreddin Muhlis, who had the seminary built in 1242.
Unlike Konya‘s two other famous medreses, the Great Karatay and the Ince Minare, the Sırçalı Medrese‘s main interior space was not covered, but open to the sky. This presents a completely different ambience to the visitor.
As with the other medreses, there is a lofty eyvan for study in hot weather, and students’ cells on either side.
The Sırçalı Medrese, is now Konya’s Museum of Gravestones. The old Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman gravestones are mildly interesting to non-specialists. It’s the medrese itself that you come to see.
Walk south from the Alaettin Tepesi (hill) in the center of Konya along Sırçalı Medrese Caddesi to reach the medrese, then continue south along the same street to visit the Sahip-i Ata Mosque Complex and the Archeological Museum.