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Çatalhöyük, Yunuslar Historical Site, St. Chariton (Ak) Monastery, Gevale Castle, and Sille Aya Elena Museum have been chosen as five important cultural assets in Konya Province within the scope of TOURiBOOST project. The first of these cultural assets, Çatalhöyük is the most important example of Konya's rich prehistoric cultural accumulation.Konya is one of the first places where human communities were settled in the Neolithic period due to its rich water beds and fertile soil.Çatalhöyük,the most important Neolithic settlement in the city, which houses many Neolithic tumulus,is considered as the first city in the world.Çatalhöyük, which was inhabited 9000 years ago, is located about 50 km away from the city center of Konya.The city, which was inhabited for 2000 years, is thought to have a population of approximately 8000 people.In the city, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012, archaeological excavations that have been going on since 1961 yielded very important findings on the lives of prehistoric people.Çatalhöyük in which has not been carried out enough tourism activities against all this importance is the first cultural asset to be handled within the scope of the project.

Yunuslar Historical Site, one of the settlements that put forward the rich Roman period of Konya, is chosen as the other cultural asset discussed within the scope of the project.The ancient name of the settlement is Pappa Tiberiapolis, which is located to the west of the Iconium on the Sebaste road, known as the King's Road.The city, which is now under the modern village settlement, was discovered by researchers in the early 20th century.Heracles sarcophagus, which was found in the region in 1958 and moved to the Konya Archeology Museum, presents the rich history of the city. In the front face of Heracles Sarcophagus, which was made of Dokimeion marble and considered one of the most important sarcophaguses example from Antique period, 12 tasks of Heracles have been carved.In the region, a Roman Villa was uncovered by the recent investigations.Consisting of a dining room with exedra and various spaces, the villa has rich mosaic decorations. Located nearby of the Yunuslar and thought to be associated with the city's defenses, Balkayalar Castle is the another important feature which was handled within the scope of this project with it’s monumental passage (potern) and the Kybele worship area. This region is very important in terms of being an area that is thought to have occurred in the battle of Myriokephalonbetween Byzantine and Seljuks.

St. Chariton Monastery is the third important cultural asset within the scope of the project.The monastery, which was built in the form of rock carvings, is a work that the good relations between Christians and Muslims in Anatolia can be tangibly seen, as well as its rich the architectural features.The monastery, which enlarged with the development activities between 9th-10th centuries AD, has had various repairs and construction works during the Seljuk and Ottoman periods.The presence of a mosque belonging to the Anatolian Seljuk period in the monastery, which is also mentioned with various events related to Mevlana, distinguishes the structure from many other structures.

Gevale Castle is another cultural asset considered within the scope of our project.The castle is important in terms of being the main element in the defense of the city of Konya, having rich architecture and small finds, being a very close position to the city center of Konya, and offering a great city panorama. In the castle located at the summit of a hill dedicated to St. Philip, can be seen the traces of Ancient, Byzantine and Anatolian Seljuk periods. Excavations carried out in recent years, very important small finds have been yielded and discovered temples, secret passage, Seljuk Palace, baths and cisterns.

Sille Aya Eleni Museum is the last cultural asset within the scope of the project.Thought to have been built by Helene, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, during her holy cross journey to Jerusalem, the museum took its present appearance with the repairs that executed in the Middle Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Dedicated to Archangel Michael, the building is considered the most important religious center in the region.Today, the building is a museum where rich wood, plaster and wall paintings can be seen.


Çatalhöyük, accepted as the world’s first known city, is located in Çumra district of Konya. It is one of the most important settlements of the Neolithic period. The Höyük is dated to 8000 BC and consists of two parts as east and west. It is estimated that approximately 8,000 to 10,000 inhabitants were lived in this settlement which consists of spaces built adjoined to each other and mostly have two-room spaces. The entrance of these places is located in the ceiling and there is a cooker and sitting platforms inside. The presence of goddess figurines and intensely wall decorations in some places suggest that these spaces are used in temple function.

Archaeological excavations have been carried out since 1961 in this settlement which have murall paintings made of black colors with red ocher on the walls such as hunting scenes, warriors, the explosion of Hasan Mountain, and different geometric motifs. A large number of portable works have been uncovered in these excavations. Today, beside a large part of these works are in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Konya Archeology Museum has also a very important finding. A 1-year-old baby was buried in the form of a hoker (a fetus in the womb) in this grave. Although the baby died at a very young age, her parents gifted beaded bracelets on both her arms. Besides being one of the important findings of Çatalhöyük, It is also valuable in terms of creating the identity of an individual belonging to the Neolithic period.

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One of the most beautiful Roman sarcophagi found in Anatolia, the work was unearthed in 1958 in an excavation at the Yunuslar Village on the Konya-Beyşehir highway. Heracles’ twelve tasks have been engraved on the sarcophagus, which is understood to have been made for a very important person with both material quality and craftsmanship. In the scenes built on an arched architectural background sitting on fluted pillars, Heracles’ Nemea Lion, Lerne Hydra, Erymanthos wild boar, Keryneia Deer, Stymphalos Lake Birds, King Augeias Stables, Creta, Queen Hippolyte’s Arch, Geryoneus’ Flour Cattle, Diomedes‘s Mares, Dog Kerberos and Hesperis’ Golden Apples duties are engraved in high relief. The village, where the sarcophagus is found, was known as Pappa Tiberiopolis. The sarcophagus was one of the most important monuments discovered in the ancient settlement where some architectural stone works and inscriptions were found and it is dated to the first half of the 3rd century.

A stopping point between the Mistea-Iconium of the Via Sebaste (Imperial Road), the settlement was first discovered in the early 20th century. Located in Pisidia, the city gained a status as a city during Tiberius. In the settlement, which also suppressed its own coin, architectural plastic pieces and inscriptions belonging to various monuments were found by conducted research. After an illegal excavation, a Roman villa was also uncovered with a recent rescue rescue excavations. It is understood that the structure, which has rich mosaic decorations, was used with various changes during the Byzantine period.

The Balkayalar, located in the northeast of the city, must be related to the defense of the city and Via Sebaste. The fortress, which is under the ground today, was built on a peak of rocky peaks. On the northern slope of the fortress, there is a potern with monumental staircase and a sacred worship area built on the bedrock. The castle and its environs are considered to be one of the most important battles of the Middle Ages, the Battle of Myriokephalon.

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The monastery, also known as Hagios Chariton or Deyr-i Eflatun (Eflatun Monastery) is located at the foot of the Takkeli Mountain which is in the 4 km west of Konya. The monastery consists of two churches carved into the rocks, holy spring, monk cells, various places and a podium. The monastery, which was thought to have been founded by Saint Chariton in the 4th century, was repaired in 1067 and 1289, as understood from the two inscriptions. It is said that in the monastery, which was examined by IV Kyrillos, WM Ramsay, G. Bell, FW Hasluck and S. Eyice in 19th - 20th centuries, there are a large church dedicated to the Cave of Mary, six or seven chapels, monk cells and a holy well discovered miraculously under the level of the soil.

It is known that the monastery, which was in ruins at the beginning of the 20th century, is visited by Orthodox people every year on September 28 at the feast of Saint Chariton. The monastery is also important for the Muslim people. According to a story, the son of Hz. Mevlana fell from the cliff on the hill where the monastery was found and was rescued by a person believed he was Saint Chariton. This caused to build a masjid in rectangular plan in the monastery and to be visited it by Çelebi Efendi who is the leader of Mevlevi dervishes.

The main church of the monastery has a cross in square plan with four supports. The church, which was entered with a door on the southern facade, has three apses with a semi- circular plan. The church, which has a barrel vault cover, is illuminated by two windows on the southern facade. A rough stone workship was seen in the church. The wall paintings of the church have not survived. The other church in the Monastery was built with a single nave scheme. The ornaments made of red ocher can be seen on the walls of the church. From the traces on the ground, it can be thought that this place could be a grave church.

In monastery, there are rectangular places which have niches with oyster motifs on the walls, the healing springs (ayazma) made of rubble stone, and a monk cell. Today, there are some pieces with inscription which belong to the monastery; two of them are in the monastery and two as grave stone are in Konya Archeology Museum. The gravestones belonging to individuals from the Komnenos family show that the monastery was a place where the graves of important Christians were in the Seljuk period.

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Located about 9 km. west of Konya, Gevale Castle is at the top of Takkeli Mountain, which has a height of 1710 m. It is claimed that the first construction of the castle dates back to the Hittite period. Beside this, the traces of the Classical, Ancient, Byzantine and Seljuk periods can be selected in the castle. The castle, which also contains graves and places carved out of rock in its foothills, has taken on important tasks in the defense of Konya. It is understood that the hill which was also known as Saint Philip Hill in the Byzantine period has a religious importance and connects to Sille with a historic road having the ruins of the various monasteries.

During the Seljuk period, the castle, which had a palace Sultans go to hunt and fun, was used by the Seljuk Sultans in Crusader and Byzantine invasions. The castle which became an important target in the Ottoman struggle with Karamanoğulları during the period of Fatih was destroyed by Gedik Ahmet Pasha. Today, cisterns and various places can be seen in the castle where the fortification walls and towers resisted the devastating effects of time, In the excavations conducted under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Çaycı with the cooperation of Necmettin Erbakan University, Art History Department, Seljuk Municipality and Konya Museum, important architectural works and many small finds belonging to Byzantine, Seljuk, Karamanogulları and Ottoman periods were uncovered.
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The structure known as the Hagios Mikhael or the Great Church is located on the edge of an old small stream in Sille. Is is said that according to the inscription on the entrance door of the monument, dated to the Byzantine period, was built in 327 by Emperor Constantine’s mother Helene during his journey to Jerusalem and was repaired in the periods of Second Mahmut and Abdülmecit. In the west side of the church which was built in a cross in square, there is a narthex and stairs leading to the galleries. There is a magnificent iconostasis built by wooden masters brought from Istanbul in front of the apse in the interior of the building. The icons put here were taken to Greece, lost and moved to the Konya Museum.

In the center of the building, there is a dome on a high drum supported with four pillars. Gilded stucco ornaments in baroque style and frescoes made in 1880 can be seen on the interior of the church. In the frescoes; Saint Georgios rides a white horse and Saint Minas at the two sides of entrance, in the dome Christ as pantokrator, in the drum of the dome two saints with Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena, in the pendentives four gospel writers, on the north, south and east arches angels with the twelve apostles, on the west arch Marry, the baptism of Jesus, the angel, eating of forbidden apple by Eve, and expelling of Adam and Eve from Eden were presented. On the eastern cross arm; on the ceiling God, at the bottom of the semi-dome Holy Spirit, at the beginning of vault four gospels writers and at the inner surface of southeastern pillar Michael were presented.

Another decoration used in the structure is the brick ornaments on the outer face of the dome drum. In the three-brick strip in the drum made of cut stones there are zig zag, herringbone and sun motifs. The drum decorated with slim blind arches placed between each window. The church which has a Turkish inscription on the entrance door written with the Greek letters (Karamanlica) was used as military depots and for treatment of the wounded soldiers in the First World War The restoration of the church, which was in ruins until recently, was carried out by the Seljuk Municipality. Today, the church serves as a Museum.
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