Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visiting teh Alaeddin Keykubed Camii (Mosque) in Konya

July 14

We are in Konya now, a very conservative city of about one million people. All of us are dressing more conservatively, avoiding shorts and tank tops and trying to basically cover up more flesh...

We visited this mosque today. It had a very different flavor from the many mosques we visited in Istanbul and other cities. This is a Seljuk mosque, which means it is a pre-Ottoman Turk worship space. A fascinating aspect of this mosque is that the constructors used what they could find in the creation, and there are numerous old Roman pillars withing the structure of the mosque. It is also unusual because the dome is not centralized, thereby causing spaces for prayer that are not necessarily in view of the dome and the beautiful tile work around the Mihrab -- the niche in the wall that marks the direction of Mecca. The prayer halls are usually laid out so that most people can view the Mihrab, but that was not the case in this mosque.

In the photos, you'll also see a step structure, often made of wood. This is called a Minbar, and this is always to the right of the Mihrab, used by the Iman to deliver sermons during Friday services.

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