Mevlana Dergahı (Dervish Lodge) which is presently used as a museum formerly the Rose Garden of the Seljuks Palace it was given as a gift to Mevlana’s father Sultanü’l-Ulema Bahaaeddin Veled by Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad
When Sultanü’l-Ulema died on 12 January 1231, he was buried in the present grave which is in the mausoleum. This was the first burial ever to take place in the Rose Garden.
After the death of Sultanü’l-Ulema, his friends and disciples approached Mevlana and expressed their wish to build a maussoleum over his grave. Mevlana refused this request remarking “How could there be a better mausoleum than the sky itself?).However when he died on 17 December 1273, his son Sultan Veled accepted the request of those who wanted to build a maussoleum over Mevlana’s grave.The mausoleum called “Kubbe-i Hadra” (Green mausoleum) was built by the architect Bedrettin from Tebriz for 130.000 Seljuk dirhem (currency) on four elephant feet (thick columns). After this date, the construction activities never ceased and continued in stages up to the end of the 19th century.
Mevlevi Derhgahı (Dervish Lodge) and the mausoleum started to function as a museum in 1926 under the name of Konya Museum of Historical Works. In 1954 the display pattern of the museum was once more taken up and it was renamed as the Mevlevi Museum.
While the Museum originally covered an area of 6.500m² together with its garden, with the section expropriated later and designed as a rose garden, it has today reached a size of 18.000m²
The courtyard of the museum is entered from “Dervişan Kapısı” (The gate of the Dervishes). There are dervish cells along the north and west sides of the courtyard. The south side, after Matbah and Hürrem Pasha Mausoleums, terminates with the gate of Hamuşan (Sealed Lips) which opens to Üçler cemetrey. On the eastern side of the courtyard there are mausoleums of Sinan Pasha, Fatma Hatun and Hasan Pasha, the Samahane (Ritual Prayer Hall) next to them and the small mosque (mesjidt) section and the main building where the graves of Mevlana and his family members are also housed.
The courtyard is given a special flavor with the roofed washing fountain (şadırvan) built by Sultan Yavuz Sultan Selim in 1512 and the “Şeb-i Arus” (means nuptial night or the night Mevlana passed away) pool and the fountain which is located in the northern part of the court and called Selsebil.
“Tilavet” Chamber (Quran Reading And Chanting)
“Tilavet” is an Arabic word which means reading the quran with a beautiful voice and the correct rhythm. The room takes its name from its function in the past. At present it is used as the Calligraphy Department.
The calligraphy section contains the framed works of famous calliagraphs of their time such as Mahmud Celaleddin, Mustafa Rakım, Hulusi, Yesarizade as well as a gilt relief frame done by Sultan Mahmut II. The couplet in Farsi engraved on the silver door with the calligraphy of Yesarizade Mustafa İzzet Efendi says:
Kabetü’l-uşşâk bâşed in mekam
Her ki nakıs amed incâ şod temam
(Let this be the Kaaba of the minstrels. Who ever enters here in half, finds himself whole)
Huzur-ı Pir (Mausoleum)
The hall of the mausoleum is entered from a silver door which was donated in 1599 by Hasan Pasha, who is the son of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha. Here, the oldest copies of the famous works of Mevlana the “Mesnevi” and “Divan-ı Kebir” are displayed in two glass fronted cabinets. The mausoleum hall is roofed with three small domes The third dome which is also called the skin dome joins, the green dome in the north.
The hall is bordered with a platform on its east, south and north sides. In the north where there is a two level platform, the sarcophagi of 6 Sacred horasan men are placed. Right at the feet of these, the Target Stone, made for İlhanlı King Ebu said Bahadır Khan.
There are also two framed inscriptions which are important as they reflect the thoughts and philosophy of Mevlana. The first frame is in Turkish and says:
“Either seem as you are
Or be as you seem”
Second frame is a quatrain of Mevlana in Persian. In translation it reads:
“Come, Come who or whatever you are
Should you be an unbeliever, a Magian or a pagan still come
Our lodge is not a lodge of despair
With hundred repentions unheeded you may be,still, come”
On the high platform bordering the mausoleum hall on the east and south there are 55 graves, ten of which belong to ladies and the whole group belongs to the family members of Mevlana, and his father. There are ten other graves which belong to people such as Hüsameddin Çelebi, Selahaddin Zerkubi and Sheyh Kerimüddin who had reached high ranks in the sect of Mevlevi.
Right under the Green Dome there are the graves of Mevlana and his son Sultan Veled. The double hunched marble sarcophagus over the graves was donated in 1565 by Süleyman the Magnificent.The quilt embrodieried with gold thread placed over the sarcophagus is a Seljuk masterpiece and was made for Mevlana in 1274. When Süleyman the Magnificent had a new marble sarcophagus made over the graves of Mevlana and son, the original wood one was removed and put over the grave of Mevlana’s father.
Semâ-Hâne (Ritual Hall)
The Semahane section together with the small mosque was built by Süleyman the Magnificent in the XVIth century. Semah ceromonies were continued at this ritual hall until 1926, when the Dergah (Dervish lodge) was converted to a museum. The Naat Pew in the Hall, the place where the musicians set (Mutrib cells) and the sections for men and women are preserved in their original state, while metal and glass objects and musical instruments of the Mevlevi are displayed in glassed cabinets and rugs of historical value are hung on appropriate walls of the Semahane.
The small mosque or the mesjidt is entered from the Çerağ (apprentice) Gate. There are additional small entrances from the Semahane and the Huzur – Pir, the cemetrey. The place for the müezzin and the Mesnevihan Pew are kept in their original state.
Extremely valuable rug and wooden door samples are displayed on the south wall of the mosque and in 10 glassed cabinets put around this space, significant examples of binding, calligrapy and gilding are exhibited.
Rug And Fabric Section – Dervish Cells
There are 17 small cells, each with a small dome and chimney around the west and north sides of the front court of the Mevlana Lodge. These cells were built in 1584 by Sultan Murat III to house the dervishes.
Four cells to the right of the entrance gate are at present used as a ticket window and administration offices . The first two of the 13 cells to the left of the gate used as “Postnişin” and “Mesnevi-han” cells are kept in their origanal form and presented to the public.
The last two cells at the end are allocated to the very valuable book collections donated by Abdülbaki Gölpınarlı and Dr. Mehmed Önder, and they are used as a library.
The partition walls of the remaining 9 cells were removed providing two interconnected large corridors. In one of these corridors old rugs of historical value from regions famous for their rugs such as Kula, Gördes, Uşak and Kırşehir are displayed while the other has old rugs from districts of Konya such as Ladik, Karaman, Karapınar and Sille which are centres of rug weaving. Display windows built in the window and door sills of these cells display artefacts of Mevlevi ethnography such as “Pazarcı maşası”, “Mütteka”, “Nefir” which were transferred to the museum from the Lodge, and the extremely valuable Bursa fabrics from the museum collection
Matbah (Kitchen) Section
The kitchen is on the south west corner of the museum. It was built by Sultan Murat II in 1548. Until the lodge was converted to a museum in 1926 the meals were being provided from here.
This section was restored in 1990 and the display was rearranged with mannequins. Cooking, the basic function of the kitchen and the “somat” the special table routine is demonstrated with mannequins. Another such illustration was attempted, to show the other function of the kitchen which is related to the initiations of the novice, called “Nev-ni-yaz”, and involves practice of Semah