Karaman Tourist Attractions
Central AnatoliaSituation and ImportanceKnown as Laranda until the Middle Ages, Karaman lies in the lowlands of inland Anatolia halfway between Konya and Silifke.
Many important buildings remain from the period of its greatest prosperity when it was capital of the Karaman dynasty (Karamanogullari, 1275-1466) which ruled Konya for many years, succumbing eventually to Mehmet II. In 1190 Frederick I (Barbarossa) Holy Roman Emperor stayed here before crossing the Taurus Mountains on the Third Crusade.HistoryHistorical research suggests that Hittite Landa, an important commercial center and garrison town ca. 1300 B.C., preceded the Laranda that one of Alexander the Great's generals laid waste. Later, under Byzantium Laranda remained a garrison town against Arab incursions. Apart from a short period of occupation under Barbarossa and six years of Armenian rule, Karaman stayed under Seljuk control from the 12th century In 1220 the famous mystic Celâleddin Rumi sought refuge here from Afghanistan with his parents, until his father was summoned to Konya to become a theological professor. As the Seljuks' influence waned, the beylik of Karaman's fortunes improved. The first ruler Kerimüddin-Karaman a Türkmen timber merchant from the region around Mut and Ermenek took up residence in Laranda from 1255 to 1320, giving his name to the region. Before long the Karamans had occupied the Seljuk heartlands and in 1320 even moved the capital to Konya to claim and exhibit the Rumi-Seljuk's inheritance. However, the life-style of the Karamans was not the usual, refined Persian-Seljuk way in most beyliks, but the more austere ways of a nomadic existence. The Karaman ruler Mehmet Bey insisted on the use of Turkish instead of Persian as the language of the court and officialdom. Science and art were encouraged and Karaman retained the same status as Konya. The stable Karaman state was able to resist Ottoman pressure until 1466.
About 1371 Alaeddin Bey Karamanoglu endowed a monastery and a mosque for Mevlana's mother Mümine Hatun, where her tomb now lies. The adjacent Süleyman Bey Hamami (baths) were built in 1358.
Alaeddin Bey Türbesi
The Alaeddin Bey Türbesi in Karaman is a polygonal domed sarcophagus with a handsomely decorated portal contains the remains of the important Karaman prince, who was also the son-in-law of the Ottoman sultan Murat I.
This theological college in Karaman which is known as either the Nefise Hatun or Nefise Sultan Medresesi was built in 1387 by Nefise, the wife of Karamanoglu Alaeddin Bey. Note the imposing entrance porch of black and white marble. At the time, it was one of the most distinguished universities in the Muslim world. The founder's mausoleum can be found in the domed winter quarters, which is itself flanked by domed sections.
In the 12th century the Seljuks built the huge Karaman castle on the foundations of what was probably a Hittite site. It has been restored a number of times and is now in good condition. A stage for folk concerts has been constructed within the castle. In the mid-1970s one of the few preserved old town centers typical of central Anatolia could be seen around the castle. The houses consisted of single- or two-story flat-roofed constructions made of clay similar to those seen in Konya, but all but one of the old houses have since been demolished.
The Karamanoglu Külliyesi complex in Karaman was founded in 1433 and consists of a small mosque, a fountain in Seljuk style, a medrese (Ibrahim Bey Imaret), a printing press and Ibrahim Bey's türbe with a pyramid roof. The Koran school building is of particular interest as it picks up the compact Seljuk style of the 13th century Nestling against an open entrance hall stands a minaret with enamel tile decorations.
Yunus Emre Camii
Behind the Hatuniye Medresesi in Karaman stands a well-managed museum housing collections from Canhasan dating from Neolithic times to the present day. The Yunus Emre Camii the oldest building from the Karaman era (1349) contains the tomb of Yunus Emre (ca. 1280-1321), who is regarded as the most important exponent of Turkish literature with prose and poetry written in a language accessible to the common man.
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