Grooved Minaret (Yivli Minare)

The Seljuk Turkish Grooved Minaret (Yivli Minare) is the traditional symbol of the city of Antalya, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.

Located right in the heart of the city near Kaleiçi,Kalekapısı, and Republic Square (Cumhuriyet Meydanı), you'll be sure to see the 40-meter (131-foot)-high symbol as you walk around Kaleiçi. Nicely restored in 1955 and again in 2010, the minaret still bears traces of its characteristic blue tile decoration here and there.

The müezzin's balcony is reached by 92 interior steps (not open to the public).

Minarets are built for mosques, of course, and there was in fact a 13th-century Seljuk Turkish mosque at the foot of the minaret, only a few ruins of which remain. But other elements of the mosque's külliye (complex of buildings) are here, along with various bits of marble and other stone from Roman and Byzantine times.

A square building hidden in the verdure was a hamam for the lodge of a dervish order. Nearby is the grand portal to a 13th-century medrese (theological college) built, like the Yivli Minare and its mosque, on orders of Seljuk Sultan Alaettin Keykubat I. The portal has been somewhat restored, and some of the walls of the building behind it are visible, but today it's filled with a jumble of souvenir shops.

Another portal opposite is smaller, and also led into a medrese, now completely gone.

—by Tom Brosnahan

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