Beyşehir, the “city of the prince,” is 92 km (57 miles) west of Konya on the shore of Beyşehir Lake (map).
Travelers stop here for two reasons mainly: to visit the wonderful Eşrefoğlu Mosque and to dine on fresh fishfrom the lake.
The Eşrefoğlu Camii (esh-REHF-oh-loo jah-mee; 1296-1299) is the finest example of the Seljuk Turkish flat-wooden-ceiling and wooden column-style of mosque construction in Anatolia. As the plaque in front reads: “It is a wooden mosque museum in terms of its superior wood and tile workmanship.”
A grand Seljuk-style carved stone portal leads to a beautifully tiled interior portal, then into the main hall. This lofty space is a forest of tree-trunk columnssupporting a flat roof of tree-trunk rafters. In the center is a pool, open to the sky above when it was built, but now covered with a glass roof to keep out the elements.
Carved wood, inlaid and painted wood decorate the beams and rafters. The capitals of the columns are carved as well.
At the far end the mimber (prayer niche) is a masterwork of Seljuk light-and-dark blue tilework, especially the mukarnas (nichework) at the top.
The mosque has been beautifully restored, and is a delight to explore.
To or From Cappadocia
It’s certainly worth stopping in Beyşehir to see the Eşrefoğlu Camii if you’re passing through on your way to or from Pamukkale, Ephesus or Antalya. More…
Excursion from Konya
Visitors to Konya should consider making it a morning excursion: you climb from the Konya plain into the mountains, over passes of more than 1500 meters (5000 feet) elevation, through fertile farming country (sugar beets are a prime crop), past three small old ruined caravanserais, and down to the broad lake with jagged mountains forming a backdrop on its far side.
Hotels & Restaurants
For lunch, stop at any of the small lakeside restaurantsto enjoy the local çipura fish.
For overnight, try the new (2010), 3-star Ali Bilir Otel, Dalyan Mh. Bilir Sk. No:1 Beyşehir, KONYA
Tel: +90 (332) 512 04 55, -56
Fax: +90 (332) 512 04 57
Distances to & From Beyşehir
Afyon: 148 km (92 miles) NW, 3 hours
Antalya: 232 km (144 miles) S, 4 hours
Denizli (Pamukkale): 327 km (203 miles) W, 5 hours
Eğirdir: 141 km (88 miles) W, 2.5 hours
Isparta: 177 km (110 miles) W, 3 hours
Konya: 77 km (48 miles) E, 1.25 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan
|Seljuk Turkish Architecture|