"Black Spring" town                                  Population: 49,000

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For carpet dealers Karapınar was once a name to conjure with but until recently there was little reason for a casual visitor to visit the town.

Now, however, it’s well worth hopping on the bus from Konya to visit the Sultaniye Külliyesi, the mosque complex originally built for Yavuz Sultan Selim between 1563 and 1566 that dominates the town centre.

The mosque is attributed to the famous Ottoman architect Sinan and bears many of his familiar hallmarks including a cluster of domes.

His famous name was not enough, however, to protect the attendant buildings that were demolished and have only recently been rebuilt. Now the old shops of the arasta bazaar fronting the mosque are busy again and men sip tea in the sun in what was once the old imaret (soup kitchen).

The Valide Sultan Müzesi supposedly occupies the hamam named after Sultan Selim II’s mother Hürrem Sultan (the same Roxelana whose better known hamam in Sultanahmet Square is İstanbul’s most luxurious bathhouse) although you’ll be lucky to find it open.

Meanwhile a collection of fragments of ancient marble columns and capitals adorn the mosque garden.

Karapınar itself is a sleepy town whose old mud-brick houses have mainly given way to the usual concrete apartment blocks.

Curiously, the locals get about in little three-wheeler vehicles that will remind some visitors of Bangkok’s traffic-dodging tuk-tuks.arap1


Koçaklar Otel 

Just across the road from the mosque, this pleasant hotel has comfortable bedrooms, smart bathrooms and a large and cheerful breakfast room that turns into a restaurant later in the day. The walls are decorated with pictures of other local attractions.

www.kocaklarotel.com, Tel: 0332-755 6444, İnönü Caddesi

Transport info

There are hourly buses from Konya's  Karatay Otogar near the Aziziye Cami to Karapınar (96km). Book the bus back on arrival as space can be tight. If the bus to Karatay is full you may be able to get a seat on an inter-city bus - but in that case you'll end up back at Konya's main bus station rather then the Karatay one.

Day trip destinations




Meke Gölü






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