For a Wonderful Experience
near Mevlana Musem:

Categories: mevlana, sightseeing

Ali Yıldırım


Mevlana Museum, under the shade of the Kubbe-i Hadra (Green Dome), houses the resting place of Hazreti Mevlana, as well as many relics left by him and his companions, and the chambers where dervishes ascended in their spiritual journeys during a thousand nights of hardship. It is situated on the land where a grand tree of faith and love has grown.

Hz. Mevlana and the Museum

The Sultan of Hearts, the great thinker, Hüdâvendigâr Mevlânâ Muhammed Celâleddin. Contrary to the chaos and darkness of his time, throughout his life, he turned people’s attention from the material to the spiritual, from the arrogance to the soul, from death to love. At every moment, both his actions and the words from his lips overflowed with love for Allah and affection for Muhammad Mustafa (peace be upon him). When permission to carry his coffin was not granted to Christians and Jews at his funeral, they said: “If you saw Ahmed (peace be upon him) in him, we also knew Jesus and Moses (peace be upon them). Let us carry it.” Today, even seven hundred and fifty years later, the museum of Hz. Mevlana is overflowing with his admirers from all around the world.

The Tomb and Kubbe-i Hadra (the Green Dome)

After the burial of Hazreti Mevlana, the sarcophagus was built and expanded with marble during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, and it was covered with a shroud made of silk fabric. This shroud was renewed by Sultan Selim III and Abdulhamid II. In 2018, however, it was removed, and the sarcophagus was restored to its original form.

The columns and walls upon which Kubbe-i Hadra (the Green Dome) rests are adorned with raised calligraphy and intricate decorations. Notably, there are striking images on two columns believed to depict 16th-century Konya.

Tomb Entrance (Recitation Room)

The room currently serving as the tomb entrance was originally used as the Recitation Room before the Mevlana Monastery converted into a museum. In this square-shaped room, Mevlevi dervishes used to recite the Qur’an. It now houses the works of renowned calligraphers from the Ottoman era and exhibits pieces from the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II.

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“Kâbe-tü’l Uşşâk Bâşed in Mekâm;
Her ki Nâkıs Amed incâ Şod Temâm”

(This place became the Kaaba of lovers. Whoever came imperfect left as whole.)

This couplet, belonging to Hazreti Mevlâna, was written by the calligrapher Yesarizâde Mustafa İzzet Efendi.

Story of Sultan Murad IV and the Prayer Beads

Under the great sarcophagus lies the burial chamber where Hazreti Mevlânâ is interred. According to legend, Ottoman Sultan Murad IV expressed a desire to enter this room, which can be accessed by a staircase at the side of the sarcophagus. However, the Mevlevi Dervishes vehemently opposed this, no one had entered the room since Mevlânâ’s passing. Consequently, the Sultan threw his prayer beads down through an open window of the room, but he was not allowed to retrieve them himself. Instead, little girl was asked to retrieve the prayer beads for him. When the girl returned, she had become mute, and the exact nature of what transpired remains a mystery.

My guide mentioned that the window described in the story is behind this black lid. It is covered with silver paint.

The Patience Stone

The reason it’s called a “Patience Stone” can be understood by looking closely at the picture. It’s made from a single piece of marble. Inside the spherical part, there is another sphere. It is suspended at the transition point to the area that was formerly used as the semahane (whirling dervish hall) in the mausoleum.

Museum Courtyard

The courtyard of the Mevlana Museum is surrounded by the mausoleum, dervish chambers, and kitchen. The central fountain, known as the şadırvan, was commissioned by Yavuz Sultan Selim upon his return from the Egyptian campaign.

In the Selsebil, it can be observed that the nine basins are arranged in the following sequence from top to bottom: 1-2-3-2-1. It symbolizes the concept of unity (vahdet), where the number originating from one (unity) increases (kesret) and returns to its origin (vahdet) by reaching at the bottom. It was built in the 19th century.

Dervish Lodge Gates

The Mevlana Museum has four gates on its four sides.

Dervishân Gate: This was the most frequently used gate of the lodge. All the dervishes undergoing training would enter and exit through this gate. It is located on the western side and bears the seal of Sultan Mahmud II.

Çelebiyan Gate: This is the northern gate. It acquired its name because Hazreti Mevlânâ’s descendants (Çelebis) used this gate as it was close to their homes. Today, this gate serves as the exit from the museum.

Hâmuşân Gate: It translates to the “Gate of the Silent.” Dervishes who spent their lives in service at the lodge would be laid to rest in the Üçler Cemetery through this gate upon their passing. It is located on the southern side.

Küstahân Gate: Also known as the Def (Depulsion) Gate. This gate got its name because those sent away from the lodge were directed to this gate. It is located on the western side. Today, museum visitors enter through this gate.

Matbah-ı Şerif (the Nobel Kitchen)

“Matbah” means kitchen. In the dergah (Sufi lodge), this was the place where meals were consumed, but in Mevlevi tekkes (Sufi lodges) and zawiyas (Sufi prayer and gathering spaces), the kitchen had a special significance and was a place where a deep culture was cultivated.

For a student seeking admission to the Mevlana Dergah, the first stop was the “Saka Postu,”  in Matbah-ı Şerif. Here, the student would spend three days in contemplation amidst the smells of food, without eating or drinking. They would realize whether they were ready for the challenging training that would last a thousand and one nights and would be assessed by Kazancı Dede and other senior members. If accepted, their shoes would be placed facing inward as a sign of admission.

Following this, an eighteen-day period of kitchen assistant duties would commence. Afterward, they would “dress,” meaning they would be given the attire of the kitchen tenure, and their training lasting a thousand and one nights would begin. The work they did would be inspected, often redone repeatedly, and they would receive continuous training without leisure time. Sometimes they would be scolded or offended, testing their patience. If a prospective dervish couldn’t endure the trials and became a “çile kıran – breaker of the discipline”, they would be sent away through the Def Gate.

The mannequin in the visual appears to have not been accepted. Individuals who were not accepted would be sent away through the Def Gate on the eastern side.

In Mevlevi culture, the “Matbah” holds significant importance. The stages of the thousand and one nights of spiritual hardship were overcome in this section. Those entering would bow their heads (offer salutations) as a sign of respect. Loud talking and laughter were not allowed here. After each meal, a prayer of gratitude would be offered, and preparing and serving God’s blessings to others were seen as an honor.

Dervish Chambers

Dervish Chambers” are rooms allocated for Mevlevi Masters (Dedeler) where they engage in learning, remembrance (zikir), and contemplation. If a dervish completed their spiritual trials, they could be assigned one of these rooms. The Sertarik (the Master Chef) also stayed in these rooms. There are 19 dervish chambers under 19 domes.

Mevlana Müzesindeki Bazı Eserler

Hazreti Mevlana’s Books and Robes

Mesnevi: This is Hazreti Mevlânâ’s most important work. It consists of 25,618 couplets and is filled with stories of saints and lovers. It also contains anecdotes from various civilizations such as Iran and Rome.

Fî-hi Mâ Fîh: It means “in it what is in it”. It contains Hazreti Mevlânâ’s speeches made at different times and places. It was compiled after his passing.

Divân-ı Kebîr: It contains various poems by Hazreti Mevlânâ. Its language is Persian, but it also includes poems in Arabic and Turkish.

The white robe is an inheritance from Hazreti Mevlânâ’s father, Sultan’ul Ulema Bahauddin Veled.

Other Selected Works