Ince Minaret Madrasah: 13th-Century Seljuk-Turkish Masterpiece

Konya is a city of 2.2 million residents in central Turkey. It is primarily known for its rich Islamic history and boasting some of Turkey’s most fascinating mosques. In this article, I want to talk about Ince Minaret Madrasah, which is one of the most beautiful pieces of Seljuk-Turkish era Islamic architecture.

What you’ll find in this article

  • History of Ince Minaret Madrasah
  • Information for visitors
  • Where is Ince Minaret Madrasah?

History of Ince Minaret Madrasah

The madrasah was built in the year of 1265 (some sources say 1264) by Sahip Ata Fahrettin Ali, who was the vizier of Seljuk Sultan, II. Izzeddin Keykavus. Sahip Ata Fahrettin Ali was an influential state official. He was one of the major patrons of Konya’s architecture in the following years after the city’s recapture from the Mongols.

Madrasah (madrasa) means “Islamic school or facility where religious education is given”. As a result, this structure was used as an educational institution for centuries.

A quick trivia: The Turkish name of the madrasah is “İnce Minareli Medrese” which translates as “Madrasah with thin minaret”

Ince Minaret Madrasah served as an important school and a hub of Islamic studies in Konya until the end of the 19th century. Historical sources show that between 1876-1899, it went through a thorough restoration. In 1901, a lightning struck the madrasah, causing the minaret to collapse and damaging the roof.

Ince Minare Medrese Museum central room (photo by Dosseman / commons.wikimedia.org)

In 1936, a long period of restoration work commenced. Since 1956, this historic structure is the location of the Museum of Stone and Wood Art, where you can see many old artifacts comprising of stonework from past centuries in recent history.

Konya’s Ince Minareli Madrasah, as seen from the citadel in 1884. The minaret which the madrasah is named after collapsed when it was struck by lightning in 1901 (Source: Robert G. Ousterhout: John Henry Haynes – A Photographer and Archaeologist in the Ottoman Empire 1881–1900 S. 89)

Ince Minaret Madrassa is among the finest examples of ancient Seljuk-Turkish stone masonry, especially the main gate with its breathtakingly beautiful Islamic art and ornaments. I have visited dozens of historic structures built by the Seljuk Turks, and I would say this one is my favorite.

Information for visitors

The entrance to the museum is TL 15 (about 1$). You can visit it from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday.

Ince Minaret Madrasah is a must-see in Konya.

*You access the most up-to-date tourist information by clicking here

Front view of Ince Minaret Madrasah (photo by Bernard Gagnon / commons.wikimedia.org)

Where is Ince Minaret Madrasah?

The structure is located in downtown Konya. It is very accessible. In case the map widget doesn’t work on your device, click here to see the location of Ince Minaret Madrasah.



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