Name of Monument:

Ince Minareli (‘Slender Minaret’) Madrasa

Also known as:

Ince Minareli Madrasa Stonework Museum


Konya, Turkey

Date of Monument:

About hegira 658–63 / AD 1260–5

Architect(s) / master-builder(s):

Kelûk bin Abdullah.

Period / Dynasty:

Anatolian Seljuq


Sahib Ata Fahreddin [Fakhr al-Din] Ali (d. 687 / 1288).


Some of the rooms of the madrasa are no longer extant. However, an idea of its original plan can be gleaned from the surviving portion as well as from early 20th-century photographs. The madrasa was built on a rectangular area measuring approximately 23.60 m x 20.30 m. The east part of the north side is adjoined by a single-domed mosque with a two-bayedportico for latecomers. On the south-east corner of this portico is a minaret with two şerefes, i.e. balconies. A portal whose foundations measure approximately 5.50 m x 7.00 m extends outward from the middle of the madrasa's eastern wall. The rooms of the madrasa are arranged on the north, south and west sides of a domed courtyard. The rooms to the north and south are the students' cells, on the west side there were two winter classrooms with a classroom-iwan in between them. The outside buttresses which support the iwan's west and south walls are known to have been built when Avlunyalı Ferid Pasha was governor of Konya in 1317 / 1899, after the winter classrooms had collapsed. The winter classrooms, the mosque and all the students' cells except for two on the east side of the north wing, are in ruins. The minaret of the mosque was struck by lightening and collapsed above the first gallery in 1319 / 1901.
The portal in the centre of the east side differs from other portals of the same period in both its form and its decoration. Built of stone, it is decorated primarily with inscriptions but also with geometric and floral motifs. The two artichoke motifs in the spandrels of the main niche of the portal are interesting. In addition, on the side of the portal are two rosettes in which the architect of the building has placed his name: one has 'work of Kelûk' ('amal-i Kelûk), the other 'son of Abdullah' (bin 'Abd Allah). Between the pointed-arch entranceway of the portal and the madrasa's courtyard is an entrance chamber with a cross-vault.
The dome over the courtyard of the madrasa is supported by fan-shaped pendentives. Below the dome, whose top section is left open, is a square pool in the centre of the courtyard. While the building's exterior is built of stone, the interior sections are made of brick. The entrances to the students' cells, which no longer survive, are walled off. The classroom-iwan in the centre of the courtyard's west side is covered with a barrel vault. Each of the winter classrooms on either side of it, which also no longer survive, had a dome rising on Turkish triangles, insofar as we can reconstruct them.
The decorative work in the madrasa occurs in the portal, the courtyard dome and the walls of the rooms facing the courtyard. The portal and the foundations of the minaret are decorated with stone carving using inscriptions and floral and geometric motifs. The decoration of the windows' tympana above the entrances to the students' chambers, the base of the dome and the triangles making up the fan-shaped pendentives, consist of inscriptions and floral and geometric motifs executed in tile-mosaic. The geometric decoration on the body of the minaret and on the surface of the dome is achieved with both glazed and unglazed brickwork.
The madrasa was converted into a Museum of Stonework in 1956.

View Short Description

Most of the madrasas of the Anatolian Seljuq period have one room serving as a masjid. However, Ince Minareli Madrasa has a separate masjid adjoining it on the outside. This domed masjid is preceded by a two-bayed portico and a slim minaret with two balconies, hence the name 'Slender Minaret Madrasa'.

How Monument was dated:

The exact date of construction is not known, although endowment charters exist for the madrasa and the mosque dated 663, 664, 666 and 679 (1265, 1266, 1268 and 1281 respectively). It is known that such documents were usually prepared within a few years of the construction of the relevant buildings. For this reason, it can be assumed that the madrasa was built and functioning in 663 / 1265, the date of the first endowment charter. Taking this date into account, we can date the construction of the madrasa to around 658–63 / 1260–65.

Selected bibliography:

Ferit, M., and Mesut, M., Selçuklu Veziri Sahip Ata ile Oğullarının Hayatı ve Eserleri [Lives and Works of the Seljuq Vezir Sahip Ata and His Sons], Istanbul, 1934.
Konyalı, İ. H., Abideleri ve Kitabeleri ile Konya Tarihi [History of Konya, with its Monuments and Inscriptions], Konya, 1964.
Kuran, A., Anadolu Medreseleri I [Anatolian Madrasas I], Ankara, 1969.
Sözen, M., Anadolu Medreseleri-Selçuklu ve Beylikler Devri [Anatolian Madrasas – Seljuq and Emirates Period], Vol. 2, Istanbul, 1972.

Citation of this web page:

Yekta Demiralp "Ince Minareli (‘Slender Minaret’) Madrasa" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021. 2021.;ISL;tr;Mon01;8;en

Prepared by: Yekta Demiralp
Translation by: Barry Wood, İnci Türkoğlu
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: TR 10