Karaman has been an important settlement for about 10.000 years due to its geographic location, its climate and plant cover. After the excavations and surface researches in the village of Suleymanhaci, the tumulus of Pınarbaşı, it has been found out that Karaman was a settlement in the epi-paleolithic period. In the excavations made in Canhasan I and Canhasan III tumuli, within the region of Karaman the village of Alaçatı and Pınarbaşı tumulus, findings important to the human history from the Neolithic period were discovered.


Research done on the surface of Kılbasan Sısan Tumulus and other tumuli, brought about many findings from the Bronze Age. During the Hittite Period Karaman was in the domain of a semi-independent state called Arzava. The city was a significant centre for trade and army at that time. On Mount Karadag, on the hill of Malahaç and Kızıldag are hieroglyphic inscriptions from the Hittite period. Furthermore, at a point on Kizildag looking over the plain and the Lake of Hotamis is a relief of Young King Hartapus of Hittite.


In 7 BC the city was invaded by the Phrygians and in 6 BC by the Lycians, at the end of the 6th century the city was dominated by the Persians. During the classical period Karaman, in the domain of Lykaonia was called Laranda. In 322 BC the successors of Alexander the Great, Perdikkas and Philippos destroyed and plundered Laranda during the Hellenistic Period. Later it was under reign of Antigon and Selerkos and remained under the Anatolian Hellenistic sovereignty until 1 BC. Laranda was under the dominance of the ruler of the local kingdom Derbe during the Roman Period and after the victory of the Galatian King Amyntos
became a part of Galatia. During this period Laranda was an important trade centre bound to the Lykaonia Union.

Jesus’ apostles Paulos and Barnabas together and then in 53 Paulos himself visited Derbe which is considered a holy place in the whole Christian world. During the Byzantine Period
Laranda was one of the important cities of Christianity. Among the ruins known as Binbir Kilise (1001 Churches) situated on various places on mount Karadag, are many churches, monasteries, houses, basilicas, chapels, tombs, cisterns and military constructions built between the 4th and 9th centuries AD.


The Manazan Rock Caves (houses) built into limestone and carved by humans, are on the way to Ta§kale and it was an important place of settlement during the Byzantine Period. Furthermore, the Çeşmeli Church in the city centre and Derekoy (Fisandon) church, used as a mosque nowadays, and the Yeşildere Church remained sound. In the 8th and 9th centuries AD Laranda was occupied a few times by Arabs but continued to be a part of the Byzantine sovereignty until the Seljuk period. After the conquest of Anatolia by the Seljuk Turks,
Laranda became part of Danişmendogullari and in 1165 AD Kiliç Aslan II annexed it to the Seljuk domain.

In order to secure the Mediterranean coasts of the state, Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat of the Anatolian Seljuks placed Karamanogullari, who came from the Avşar tribe of the Turkmen
(Oguz) in Karaman, Ermenek, Mut, Gulnar, Silifke, Anamur, Mersin, Alanya and Antalya.

Due to the weakening of the Anatolian Seljuk State and especially the defeat to the Mongols in the war of Kosedag, the Mongol calamity started in Anatolia. The Anatolian Seljuk State, which weakened after 1260 and could not dominate the region, was replaced by the Mongol sovereignty.


The Mongol occupation and the disorder raising in every corner of Anatolia led to the foundation of a state by Karamanogullari, who were more crowded than the other  principalities and skillful in military affairs. With the escape from Seljuks and Mongol sovereignty and the participation of volunteers, Karamanogullari gained strength and under the leadership of Kerimuddin Karaman, son of a Turkmen sufist Nure Sofi, and declared their independence and founded the Karamanoglu principality in 1256.

After the fall of the Anatolian Seljuk State in 1308 Karamanogullari dominated Konya and
its vicinity. Because they owned the Seljuk capital they claimed to be heirs of the state and struggled to gain a political union in Anatolia. For this reason, they fought against the Mongols for many years. Their domain reached the Mediterranean coast. In the early 14th
century Karamanogullari was the strongest principality in Anatolia. Its domain consisted of
Karaman, Konya, Sivas, Kayseri, Nigde, Adana, Antalya, Silifke, Anamur, Mut, Ermenek, Gulnar, Alanya, Gaziantep, Isparta and Beyşehir.

Another strong principality at that period was the Ottoman Principality. From the 14th century, these two principalities came face to face. Wars between the two principalities took almost 150 years. After several wars during the reign of Sultan Mehmet II (conqueror) the Karamanoglu principality came to an end in 1467 and became a part of Ottoman State. At first, Larende became a sanjak center bound to the province of Konya and during the reign of Sultan Suleyman the law-maker a county center. After the declaration of the Republic, the name of Larende which was subordinate to the province of Konya was changed to Karaman.
With the act number 3589 of 15 June 1989, it became the 70th province of Turkey.

With the aim of protecting and exhibiting the rich archeological and ethnographic works of Karaman and its vicinity, the collection of some works were started in 1961 and in 1980 the building still used today was opened officially. The museum is located in the city centre, Turgut Ozal Avenue, at the back of the Hatuniye Madrasah which is one of the masterpieces of the Karamanoglu period. Among the collections are rich works of art ranging from the Epi-paleolithic period to periods of each age. It has two exhibition rooms for archeological and ethnographic works. In 33 display cabinets of the exhibition rooms are in this order: works of art from the Neolithic period, calcolithic period, bronze age, classical age, Roman period, Byzantine Period, Seljuks Period, Anatolian Principality, Karamanogullari, Ottoman and Republican Period and in the four coins display cabinets from the Hellenistic, Venetian, Roman, Byzantine, Anatolia Principalities, Karamanoglu, Ottoman and Republican period are displayed in chronological order.


It was constructed as an exterior, middle and interior castle on a tumulus in the city centre of Hisar District. The exterior walls are completely destroyed, some parts of the middle walls and the interior walls remained up to now. The exact construction date of the castle is not known but it is estimated that it was built at the end of the 11th and at the beginning of the 12th centuries. The castle held a significant role during the Seljuks, Karamanoglu and the Ottoman periods. After the complete destruction by the Ilhans in the 13th century and Ottomans in 1468, the Castle was rebuilt. The interior walls have one gate opening to the west and nine towers, five of them are square, four round shaped. The towers have two floors divided by two wooden poles.



The castle, situated on the mountain, Basdag, towards the direction Mount Karadag near Kilbasan town has military buildings and a pool. The towers of the castle in the north of
Basdag are round and octagonal. Some parts which are assumed to be a place for accommodation for soldiers can still be found in the castle. Moreover, on the plains between the two peaks of Başdag are the ruins of military buildings. The buildings of Basdag have been used during the Roman and Byzantine periods.


Located in the north of Ermenek, the castle was built in the steep and high rocky shelters from
stones and mortar formed into protective crenellated walls. The castle has two entrances one of which was shaped by engraving rocks on the east and the other entrance was also engraved under a steep rocky place and leads to a stairs of 72 steps.


Located in Ermenek, the village of Gormeli in the east of mount Açıkkır, the northern, southern and eastern façade are constructed on a hill which is difficult to reach. It is one of the most critical castles of the Karamanoglu period. The two towers made of shear stones, rectangular shaped, vaulted and placed in the south, west and northwest corners are still sound.


The madrasah, situated in the centre of Karaman was constructed for Nefise Sultan, the daughter of Murad I (Hudavendigar) and wife of Karamanoglu Alaeddin Ali Bey in 1382.
The architect was Numan Bin Hoca Ahmet. The madrasah is a building composed of one nave and student cells and porches on the right and left of the hall. The portal made from white marble has geometric ornament scripts and floral decorations. On the left and right are two columns and two mihrab niches (place indicating the holy city of Mecca). The door is made from purple and white marble through a locking technique and has a low arch. The nave is covered with hexagon shaped turquoise black tiles up to 2 meters when it was first constructed. On the left and right of the nave are domed large rooms, the doors are like the portal ornamented and with geometric designs.



Tol Madrasah is in the Çinarli district of Ermenek. It is the first madrasah constructed in the Karamanoglu period. It was built under the patronage of Bedrettin Mahmut Bey’s son Emir Musa Bey, who was one of the rulers of Karamanogullari in 1339. The open hall is surrounded by a porch, on both sides are madrasah cells, on the southern side is a nave and on its right and left are domed spaces, in the entrance part are other vaulted rooms. In the room on the left of the nave are the tombs of Emir Musa and some members of his family. Above the portal niche of the madrasah are mukarnas designs, below is the inscription. The niches on both sides have rich designs. On the corners are intricated connections on the top are big kabere motifs and over it are again mukarnas fillings. The columns above the corbels are interwoven like ropes.


This small mosque made of shear stone and located in Karaman Turgut Ozal Avenue, is a work of the Seljuk period. It was made by Sadrettin Ali Bey, son of Ebu Bekir in 1247. The
building consists of two parts, that is a tomb and a mescid (small mosque).Opposite the entrance next to the stone mihrab niche are spiral columns.


It is in the centre of Karaman, district of Mansurdede. The mosque is planned to its width
and in the form of kufe. Constructed during Karamanoglu period in 1437 it consists of a smooth ceiling based on piled columns. Next to the columns holding the arches are corbels engraved. The Minber consists of wooden materials and contains geometric ornaments. The mukarnas ornamented brick minaret was made at a later period.



The mosque is located in the centre of Karaman, Imaret district. The building has a central dome and a high minaret. The space for the last prayers consists of two marble columns and three domes based on the side walls. On the left and right of the entrance door are two niches. Above the entrance on the marble arch is a mevlevi conch engraved. According to the sulus calligraphic inscription above the entrance, the mosque was built by Karamanoglu Alaeddin Ali Bey in 1370. At the left side of the mosque in a separated place, there are the coffin tombs of Mevlana’s mother, his brother and his relatives. The great Sufi Mevlana Celalettin came with his family to Karaman in the first half of the 13th century, married and stayed for 7 years in the city.



The mosque which was built in 13th century during the Karamanoglu period is in the centre of
Karaman, the district of Kirişci. The building has a central dome and is made of shear stone. The four columns hold the space for the last prayers and it has an oval dome in the centre and five round small domes on the sides. The central dome is reached through semi domes at the corners. The mihrab niche is decorated with geometric ornaments, motifs and nesih calligraphy. On the left are rectangular shaped zikr spaces with two arch openings, adjacent to the western wall is the tomb of Yunus Emre.



Located in the centre of Karaman, the Imaret district, this mosque is made of shear stone and closed hall and consists of a central dome and two floors. The inscription says that it was made by Karamanoglu Ibrahim Bey II in 1433 as a kulliyah complex. On the right façade is a minaret erected with a two colored shear stone sharafah, firuzah and turquoise colored tiles and geometric shaped palmet friz and designed with rope motifs, on the west side are the tombs of Ibrahim Bey and his two sons and on the north is a rich ornamented fountain. The tiled mihrab is displayed at the Çinili Kosk in Istanbul and the wooden two winged door ornamented with geometrical floral motifs and a lion and human motifs is exhibited at the museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts in Istanbul.



Situated in the centre of Karaman, district of Topucak, the mosque was constructed during the Karamanoglu period from 1374 to 1420. The flat roof based on square columns was later covered with roof tiles. Its plan is kufe width style and it has a short minaret. The floral ornaments above the entrance on the west façade also continue below to arch. On both sides of the door are halvah shovels engraved. The gargoyles made for the rain drainage are in the form of dragon heads.



The mosque is in the center of Karaman, district of Kulhan and was built in 1356 by Seyfeddin Hacibeyler. Kufe shaped, three naved width style, flat roof based on columns was later covered with roof tiles. On the low arched portal the frame of the inscription has rope motif decorations, beneath are complicated floral net designs.



Situated in the center of Karaman, district of Siyahser, the kulliyah was constructed as a mosque, lodge, charitable establishment (imaret), and tomb from shear stone. It belongs to the Karamanoglu period. The mosque which is the first part from the left has a smooth roof based on arched columns in three rows. The special signature of Sultan Abdulhamit II is engraved above the entrance. Adjacent to the north wall is the imaret part covered with vaults, three naves and central dome. In the centre there is a 12 edged şadirvan (a water tank with many fountains).



Located in the district of Hocamahmut, the mosque was constructed by Kaya Halil Bey, the
commander of Karamanoglu Suleyman şah and Alaeddin Ali Bey in the second half of the 14th century. The mosque has lost its original form and consists of a complex, that is a fountain and a tomb.


The mosque is in the town of Akçaşehir, Karaman Province, and was made from shear stones during the Karamanoglu period. The two naves parallel to the direction of Mecca (kible) have a kufe plan. The plaster contains rich stalactite ornaments. The ceiling above the mihrab niche has a colored and golden ornamented core. On the various parts of the wooden ceiling are unique designs. The place for the last prayers is based on six piled columns.


Situated in the town of Yollarbaşi, Karaman, the mosque was made during the Karamanoglu period, it was made from shear stone, width planned, in the form of kufe. The place for the last prayers is like a balcony from the building and there are five wooden columns the top of which are stalactite stone based and three are in front of the other two are in the back. The entrance door is made of a walnut tree and has nacre works. Above the mihrab niche which has stalactite plaster are two blue core tiles and 7-8 pieces of Karamanoglu tiles.


Situated in the town of Kazimkarabekir, the mosque is width planned made of unique stones of Kazimkarabekir and is one of the most beautiful works of the Karamanoglu period. The columns in the shape of cylinders and squares that hold the top are parallel to the kible wall. The place for the last prayers has a wooden ceiling and stands on stone based wooden columns. The parapet of the minber is ornamented with openwork technique and nesih calligraphy. The mihrap is covered with shear, mosaic, geometrical shaped tiles and around it are hexagonal tiles



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The mosque is in the town of Ermenek, District of Gulpazar. It was constructed from shear stones by Karamanoglu Mahmut Bey in 1302. In 1543 some parts were added to the building by Ishak Beyzade Haci Seydi Ali. On the door which is made of plane tree some calligraphic art examples can be seen. On the plaster ornamented mihrab are tiles of different shape and colours.



The mosque is in the city center of Karaman, Tapucak district. It was made by Nuh Paşa, during the Ottoman period in 1596. It has a central domed building of shear stone. The passage to the dome is provided by octagonal body from the outside and Seljuk triangles from
the inside. The place for the last prayers has three small domes based on two columns.



Located in the centre of Karaman, Ahi Osman district, the central domed mosque is made of shear stone. The place for the last prayers which is three domed based on columns was destroyed. The passage to the dome is provided by an octagonal body from the outside and Seljuk triangles from the inside. It was constructed by Cambazzade Kadi Abdurrahman Efendi during the Ottoman period in 1522.



The mosque is in city center of Karaman, Hisar district behind the Karaman Castle. It was made by Pir Ahmet, during the Otoman period in 1547. It has a central domed building of
shear stone.



This building is situated on the south to the road to Eregli, in Aşiklar Oreni. It is surrounded by swallows, a well and a large cemetery. Yunus Emre’s grandfather Ismail Haci come from
Horasan and settled down here.



Located in the city center, district of Kirişçi and adjacent to the Yunus Emre mosque, this tomb is completely constructed of shear stone and covered with barrel vaults. The entrance formed of one piece stone arch indicating to west is low. Inside Yunus Emre, Taptuk Emre, Yunus Emre’s son Ismail and his daughter lie in 4 sarcophagi.



It is situated in the city center, Fenari district. The central domed tomb is made of shear stone
and it is square planned, based on octagonal rim. Inside the building a nesih calligraphy inscription on a marble sarcophagus can be seen. The tomb was constructed for Karamanoglu
Ibrahim Bey’s chief judge Cambaz Kadi.



Located in the city center, district of Abbas, the domed construction is made of shear stones and has a square shape. The low arched entrance and the sharp arched windows characterize the tomb. It is assumed that the tomb was built for Emiruddin Bey, one of the last sultans of Karamanoglu principality.



Situated in the city centre, district of Abbas the tomb is made of shear stones and has a square form and a pyramid shaped dome. It was built for Kaya Halil, the chief judge of Karamanoglu. Inside the tomb lie Kaya Halil and his wife’s sarcophagi.



The tomb was constructed in the centre of Karaman, district of Imaret, adjacent to the right wall of the Imaret Mosque. This pyramid shaped domed tomb is made of shear stones and is erected in an octagonal body on a square ground. The rich stalactite portal consists of a low
arched white marble. On both sides column patterns and floral net motives can be seen. Inside the tomb in the centre are the sarcophagi of Karamanoglu Ibrahim Bey, on the right his son Kasim Bey, on the left Alaeddin Bey.



Situated in the centre of Karaman, district of Hisar this tomb is completely constructed of shear stones, has a multi-angled form and is covered with a dome from the inside and a cone from the outside. Below the dome an ayet (verse from the Koran) surrounds the facade. The stalactite portal is decorated with twisted columns on both sides, a low arch, floral net motives and nesih Arabic calligraphy over the entrance. The tomb was built for Karamanoglu Alaeddin Bey in 1388.



It is in the centre of Karaman, the city cemetery. Constructed of shear stones, in an octagonal form and a round dome the tomb’s facade is decorated with white and reddish stones pinned to each other. It is assumed that the tomb was constructed for the daughter of Ishak Bey, who was the son of Karamanoglu Ibrahim Bey II.



The tomb, located in the city centre, district of Siyaser behind the Karabaş Veli Kulliye, is
constructed from shear stones in an octagonal plan. Today the roof does not exist.



Located in the village of Balgusan, 18 km from Ermenek the construction consisted of a tomb, mosque, charity and a madrasah, but only the tomb could remain to this day. In the building which is made of shear stones the section for the graves is domed, the part for the prayer is barrel vaulted. Inside the tomb lie Karaman Bey and his relatives.



The bath is situated in the centre of Karaman, district of Imaret. The income of it was donated to the dervish lodging of Mevlana’s mother by Suleyman Paşa is assumed to be built in the middle of the 14th century. The central domed entrance hall consists of a cooling space. This follows the warm room and the washing rooms. Around a central sweat and massage platform are four open and four closed washing rooms and 12 basins.



Located in the city centre, district of Gazi Dukkan this bath was constructed during the Karamanoglu Period. The warm room is entered through a low arch. In the middle of the warm room is a stone fountain and it is covered with vaults. The closed washing rooms are domed, the open rooms are vaulted.



Situated in the centre of Karaman, district of Seki Çeşme the bath is supported by two props.
The soil ceiling covered small entrance follow the central domed changing rooms. The changing rooms lead to the warm room and from there a door on the left opens to the hot
room. A central sweat and massage platform, three open and three closed washing rooms and six basins can be found in this area.



This bath belonging to the Ottoman Period is not in a good condition. It contained two parts,
one for men the other for women, the main walls were built of stones, the ceiling of bricks. The original domed roof is fallen down.




This bridge is constructed on the Goksu River, on the Ermenek-Anamur-Gulnar main road. It is completely built of shear stones, two arches one of which is small the other big and the starting and finishing points are based on surrounding rocks. According to the inscription the construction took place during the reign of Mirza Halil Bey and Bedrettin Ibrahim Bey, the sons of Karamanoglu Mahmut Bey. The architect is Suleyman, the son of Yusuf.



The fountains in Karaman are constructed of shear stone, most of them have pointed but some
have round arches. Usually they have one arch and one façade and a deep niche. Inside the niches are the dates of construction and restoration and water basins, in front are water troughs. Most of them belong to the Ottoman Period.



Houses in Karaman are mainly based one a stone foundation, have adobe walls and consist of one or two floors. Due to this fact and that the reconstruction of the city took place in the old town, most of these houses disappeared. The traditional plan of a house includes a hall in the centre and two rooms on the left and right sides. In the rooms there is a fireplace, a panel,

a cupboard made of plaster and wooden materials. These usually have geometric and floral motives and are engraved with barock curved cutting techniques.

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