Mevlana Rumi Museum in Konya

More than 3 million tourists visited the Mevlana Rumi museum in Konya

The museum dedicated to the 13th-century Sufi mystic, one of the most revered figures in Turkey, is already the 2nd most visited by tourists in the country, just behind Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

The museum located in the Anatolian city of Konya dedicated to the figure of the 13th-century Sufi mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin al-Rumi, one of the most revered figures in Turkey, received during the past year 2019 about 3.5 million tourists, which represents an increase of 23% compared to 2018 and its highest record in the last ten years.

In total and according to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, the museum dedicated to Rumi last year welcomed 3,464,000 visitors including both Turkish and foreign tourists: in this way it becomes the second most visited museum in the country, only behind Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Among foreigners, the main visitors came from Iran, China, Taiwan, the United States and South Korea.

Mevlana – derived from the Arabic Mawlana, which means “Our Lord” – was born in 1207 in the province of Balj, located in present-day Afghanistan although at that time it was a province of the Jorasan, that was part of Persia. He died in the Turkish city of Konya on December 12, 1273, a date called the Şeb-i Arus or “Meeting Night” for consider it the date on which Mevlana ascended to the Heavens and met with God (Allah, in Arabic language).

He is considered a great mystic, poet and philosopher, and his influence has been enormous in Persian, Turkish, and Central Asian literature. Although throughout his life Mevlana left a great legacy of works in prose and verse, he is mostly known for the Masnavi Ma’navi (“Spiritual Verses”), considered one of the greatest creations of Persian literature and Islamic mysticism .

His tomb in Konya was opened to the public in 1926, and from 1954 was consecrated as a museum, being visited every year by tourists from all over the globe. Mevlana Rumi inspired the founding of the Sufi order Mevlevi, known throughout the world because its members practice meditation through the Sema ceremony, in which they turn on themselves tirelessly to achieve ecstasy and union with God.