Konya [Iconium] City-Fortress

Konya [Iconium] City Walls

With the entry of the Seljuk State into Anatolia, the area of its domination began to expand gradually. During this period, there began to struggle with the Byzantines in order to seize Konya and its surroundings. As a result of these struggles, the Seljuks took the city of Konya and Gevele Castle from the Byzantine governor named Romanus Makri. Since then, Konya has been the center of the Anatolian Seljuk State. The castle of Gevele is very important both in terms of its location and its strategic location. Because of this, the city of Konya was generally defended from the Gevale Castle and was first met in the attacks on Konya.

The Konya Fortress is also believed to have been constructed in the Roman period. However, due to the restorations and addition of new sections, the fortress and the city walls, which are believed to have been built in 2nd century AD, have almost lost their original plans and their architectural features. Although they have reinforced it against the anticipated First Crusade, the Seljuks made initially almost no changes to the fortifications when they conquered the city. Today nothing is preserved from the city walls surrounding the Alaeddin Tepesi (Alaeddin Hill).

Physical changes in Alaeddin Hill and its close surroundings, in the second half of 19th century up to 1897, when the railway line is connected to the city. It shows the inner city wall [i.e.the “keep”] as constructed previously.

Especially during the period of Izzettin Keykavus I and Alaeddin Keykubat I restorations were made to the Byzantine walls substantially. During these restorations one of the first examples of an `exhibition’ in the history of museology occurred when the spolia and the Antique period materials found near the Alaaddin Hill were displayed on a stand set in front of the walls. In this way the Sultan synthesized his own culture with the preceding one. Even more, the fact that the materials used in the city walls were contradictory to Islamic philosophy was tolerated. Displaying spolia with erotic figures on the walls was a clear indication of Seljuk tolerance. Another significance is that it displayed iconography on the walls. During Medieval time sultans believed that this could protect their citizens from enemies. There are two kinds of enemy. One of them is the visible enemy – because they are human like them. The other enemies are the invisible ones, and the city could be protected from these by talismans. There are many medieval stories about talisman present in Islamic culture, i. e. Gog and Magog versus Alexander.

Byzantine Cities, Villages and Fortifications

Konya Museums and Ruins


Konya from Total War Medieval 2

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