Konya is the eighth of largest Turkish city. It has a reputation as one of the most conservative and religious city in Turkey. In Konya lived founder of the whirling dervishes Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (Mevlana) Konya is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Turkey.
In the area Chatalheyuk archaeologists have been excavated settlements, in which, starting from the VII century BC people lived Stone and Bronze Ages. City acropolis became known when the Hittites and the Phrygians in VII BC. Then note here Lydians, Achaemenid, Alexander of Macedon and his generals.
After the arrival of the Romans Konya, renamed in Iconium, became the capital of the Roman province Lycaonia. Emperor Hadrian named the city in his honor – Colonia Aelia Hadriana Augusta Iconiensium. In Iconium preached St. Paul and St. Barnabas. Iconium and Lystra (present Hatunsaray, 30 km east of Konya) mentioned in the Gospel: “In Iconium they entered together into the synagogue and spoke in such a way that a great multitude” (Acts 14, 1). It was also the birthplace of St. Thecla.
In 8 – 9 centuries AD in Konya raided Arabs. But Islam came here only with the arrival of the Seljuk Turks. From this time Konya was the capital of Seljuk state for 12 and 13 century AD and was very well known because of life and creative work of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi (1207- 1273). He was the Persian Sufi poet, Muslim theolog and lawyer and also a founder of Sufi Mevlevi Order (mostly known for the Whirling Dervishes). His tomb is located in Konya where he spent the last fifty years of his life. Home of Mevlana (Mevlana Tekkesi) created after the death of Rumi and his followers and converted to a museum at Ataturk era. The monastery complex includes a mosque and a central building with the tomb of Rumi and sarcophagus of his followers. To enter the tomb, where lie the great sage and his father, to take off their shoes, while women cover the head with a handkerchief. In the halls of the museum display books (the great collection of Korans, and other samples of dervishes culture).
Modern Konya – an important industrial center of Turkey, especially here development of food and agricultural industry. Economic development little impact on the cultural outlook of the city, which is still considered the bastion of Islam in Turkey.