Lovely Greek Village of Sille in Konya
If you're searching for a trip to Konya, drive to the little village of Sille, where a rock face full of cave dwellings and chapels overlooks bendy-beamed village houses in several states of decay and a few bridges across the dry river which is a channel who carries water from time to time.
The reason for this peaceful coexistence was Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi, who was the witness of a miracle that happened at the nearby Orthodox Christian monastery of Saint Chariton. In the Turkish language, the monastery is now called Ak Monastir and is translated as, "White Monastery". Jalal al-Din Rumi constructed a small mosque inside the Saint Chariton Monastery; he asked the Turks not to hurt the Greeks of the village, and assigned to the Greek villagers the task of cleaning his own tomb. The Turks respected Mevlana's commandment. Several firmans from the Sultan were sent to Konya Turks, which reminded to them of their promise not to hurt the Sille villagers. The coexistence of Sille Greeks with the nearby Turks remained very peaceful, that is why the villagers managed to preserve for over eight centuries both their native Greek language and their Orthodox Christian religion
The domed Byzantine St Helen's Church, near the last bus stop, was reputedly founded by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. After renovation, sometimes it's locked – ask for the key at the security office just below the church (next to the cafeteria). There are some wonderful-faded wall frescoes hidden behind an altar painted with pictures of the saints.
None of the cave dwellings and chapels are in good condition, but they worth exploring. Even if it’s not as large as Cappadocia, it’s the same kind of cave formation which was formed by mother nature. In order to see this magically shaped-peaceful cave town, a day trip with a guide can be satisfying as well.
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