KONYA MEVLANA MUSEUM
The tomb of the great Turkish thinker and mystic philosopher Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is situated in The Konya Mevlana Dergah (dervish retreat) in Konya. It was turned into a museum in 1927. It contains objects pertaining to Mevlana and the Mevlevi order.
The Mevlana Tomb and Dergah is of Seljuk and Ottoman construction. Mevlevi writings say that the site of the Tomb and Dergah was originally the private garden of the sultan in Seljuk times. It was later presented to Mevlana's father Sultan'ul-Ulema by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I. Sultan'ul-Ulema died 42 years before Mevlana was buried in this garden. When Mevlana died on December 17, 1273 his body was brought here. It was buried beside his father. The construction of a tomb began during these years. The architect Tebrizli Bedreddin built the tomb with the financial help of the wife of the Seljuk Emir Suleyman Pervane, Gurcu Hatun, Emir Alameddin Kayser and Mevlana's son Sultan Veled. It was completed in 1274. It is thought that this first building was of cylindrical shape standing on four pillars with a conical dome. In 1396 and again during the time of the Ottoman Sultan Beyazit II repairs and additions were made. The interior was decorated with painted designs.
Today the Tomb rests on arches supported by four pillars, and is 25 m. in height. From the outside the body of the tomb is cylindrical in shape with 16 sections. It ends at the top with stone cornices, above which is a 16-sectioned conical spire. The whole tomb including the spire is covered with turquoise colored tiles. The tiles were replaced from time to time. For this reason it was called the Green Dome. On the side of the Dome in dark blue script are inscribed the Besmele and Ayet-ul-Kursi. On the top of the spire is a gold moon and star symbol.
On the west side of the Kulliye of the Mevlana Tomb and Dergah are the Dervish Cells. On the other three sides are walls. On the western side the main Dervishes Gate leads into the Mevlana Museum and Tomb. The gate to the south called "Bab-i Hamusan" leads to the Garden of Souls (Hadikat'ul-ervah), which was once a graveyard. The door to the north near the Celebi Apartments is called the Celebi Gate.
Entrance: The Main Gate leads into a marble courtyard with fountains for ablutions before entering the mosque. The Tomb Gate is also in this side. Its two doors are decorated with Seljuk motifs.
Tilavet Room (Calligraphy Section) : The Tomb gate leads into a small domed room, where the dervishes used to read the Koran. This room has now been arranged as the Calligraphy Section. Examples of works by famous calligraphers of the Ottoman period in the sulus, nesih, and talik styles are exhibited here. A silver door in the Tilavet Room leads to the Tomb. An inscription on the door says that the son of Sadrazam Sokullu Mehmed Pasha made it in 1599.
Tomb (Huzur-i Pir) : The silver door leads to the Tomb chamber which is called "Huzur-i Pir". To the right and on the opposite side of this three-domed chamber is a fairly high dais on which are sarcophagi. Two domes cover the two daises to the right. The Green Dome over the tomb of Mevlana is called the Kibab'ulaktab, which means the Poles Domes. The six tombs in rows of three, which divide the Semahane from the Mescid, are called the "Horasan Soldiers."
The stalactite filled dome in front of the sarcophagus of Mevlana is called the Post Dome. The oldest manuscripts of the Mesnevi (collection of poems by Mevlana), a gilded Divan-i Kebir (collection of lyric poetry), and the manuscript Divan of Sultan Veled are exhibited at the entrance to the tomb. They were in the cases in the center. The April Cup is a large bronze cauldron decorated with damascene figures and designs in gold and silver. It is also exhibited here. The Imperial Sultan Ebu Said Bahadir Han (1306-1335) had the April Cup made in Musul and presented it to the tomb of Mevlana in 1333.
One the right hand side of the room is a silver lattice separating the sarcophagus of Mevlana from the Huzur-i Pir. It is called the Silver Cage. The Maras Governor, Mahmud Pasha had the lattice built by the decorator llyas in 1579. On it is a silver plaque on which is inscribed a 32-distich poem in Turkish by the poet Mani. Under the lattice is a silver threshold with two steps. South of the Silver Cage right under the Green Dome are the marble sarcophagi of Mevlana and his son Sultan Veled. The sarcophagi are covered with gold embroidered covers presented by Sultan Abdulhamid II in 1894.
The wooden sarcophagus constructed for Mevlana is a masterpiece of Seljuk craftsmanship. Today this sarcophagus is over the grave of Mevlana's father Sultan'ul-Ulema.
On the west side of the Green Dome are the graves of Mevlana's wife and children, sheiks of the Mevlana Dergah, and descendants of Mevlana, and to the east there are more graves belonging to members of Mevlana's family. They total 65 sarcophagi in all. All the sarcophagi are covered with richly embroidered cloths.
Semahane : The Semahane is to the north of the Green Dome. It was built during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the Law Giver (or Magnificent) in the XVI century at the same time as the adjoining Mescid. The Semahane is the place where the Mevlevi dervishes do their ceremonial dance called the Sema. It contains enclosed areas both below and above for male and female visitors. There is a platform where poems in praise of Mohammad or asking his intercession (Naat) are read. There is also a special area for musicians. It is called the Mutrip Recess.
Today musical instruments, lecterns, candlesticks, lamps and Mevlana's clothes are exhibited in the Semahane.
Mescid : The small mosque of the Dergah, the Mescid, adjoins to the west side of the Semahane. The main gate to the Mescid opens onto the Dergah courtyard. The Mescid has a single balconied minaret and a marble sanctuary.
In show cases in the Mescid are exhibited illuminated manuscripts, kilims and carpets.
Dervish Cells : The Dervish Cells were built in 1584 by Sultan Murad III for the Mevlevi dervishes to live in. Each of the cells are to the west side of the tomb. They have a small dome and a chimney. The courtyard side of the cells has been closed off with a glass corridor. Today the first two have been preserved in their original state. The others are used as the "Carpet and Cloth Pavilion", where Seljuk Ottoman carpets and Ottoman period cloth woven in Istanbul, Bursa and Bilecik are exhibited.
Mevlevi Kitchen : The Dergah Kitchen is south of the dervish cells. The kitchen was enlarged during the reign of Murad III. It was also repaired in 1867. The kitchen is both the place where the dergah food was prepared. It is also a Chilehane (novitiate) where novice dervishes took their vows before entering the Mevlevi order. According to custom, during the 1001 days of their novitiate, the novices worked in the kitchen. At the end of this period a ceremony was held at which the novice was allocated a cell, and moved to live there.
Today kitchen utensils used in the Mevlana Dergah are exhibited in the kitchen.
Chelebi Apartment (Library) : Adjoining the south side of the tomb is a glass windowed room where the sheiks of the Dergah used to receive guests. It is called the Chelebi Apartment. The window, which looks onto the Tomb, is called the Niyaz Window or Supplicant Window. Today the Chelebi Apartment is used as the Library of the museum. It contains 6 thousand printed and manuscript books.
The museum also possesses three
private libraries containing books donated by Abdulbaki
Golpinarli, M. Ferid Ugur and Mehmet Onder.
Hall of Honour (Director's Office) : Adjoining the kitchen is a large hall called the Hall of Honour (Meydan-i Serif). Today it is used as the Director's Office. This hall was formerly used for conversations between the sheik of the Dergah and the dervishes. In 1867 the ceiling of this room was decorated with designs and pictures in oil paint. Besides this there is a single storied building on the north side of the courtyard near the Chelebi Gate. It was called the Chelebi Guest House, which was originally used as accommodation for visiting dervishes.
Fountain and Seb-i Arus Pool : In the courtyard of the museum is a fountain made of sky marble. It was built by Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1512. Sultan Mehmed III repaired the fountain in 1595. Sultan Abdulaziz also repaired it in 1868.
In front of the Kitchen is a six-sided marble pool which is named 'Celebration Night' (Seb-i Arus). The dervishes danced beside it on the anniversaries of Mevlana's death.
The Tombs in the Courtyard of the Mevlana Museum :
Sinan Pasha Tomb: This is a classic Ottoman tomb on the south side of the courtyard. According to the inscription it was built in 1574. It contains the sarcophagus of the Karaman Governor General Sinan Pasha.
Tomb of Murad Pasha's Daughter: This is north of the Sinan Pasha Tomb. It was built for the daughter of Karaman Governor General Kuyucu Murad Pasha, Fatma Hatun who died in 1585. It contains a marble sarcophagus.
Hurrem Pasha Tomb: This is on the east side of the kitchen. The vizier Ibrahim Pasha built the Law Giver it during the reign of Sultan Suleyman for the martyr Hurrem Pasha. It contains the graves of Karaman Governor General Hurrem Pasha and Haci Bey.
Hasan Pasha Tomb: This is south of the Tomb. It was built for Hasan Pasha who died in 1573. One of the north windows opens onto Mevlana's Tomb.
There is also a small domed tomb on four columns, which was built for the son of Mustafa Pasha, Mehmed Bey who died in 1534.
Ottoman period inscriptions and historical gravestones are exhibited in the courtyard of the Museum.
Mevlana Research Institute :