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SİLLE

il1The pretty little village of Sille, just to the north of Konya, was once a Greek settlement strung out along a valley surrounded by craggy rocks.

Recently most of its attractive wood-and-stone houses and ancient monuments have been restored, making it a great place in which to while away a few hours.

Around town

The most conspicuous monument here is the huge Byzantine Church of St Helena that stands at the far end of the village near the last bus stop. Dating back to 371, it was extensively rebuilt in 1833 when Turkey’s minority populations were given permission to modernise their places of worship.

In the 1880s money from wealthy traders in İstanbul flooded in to pay for new frescoes. Now the building has been given a complete makeover and has been reopened to the public who flock in at weekends to admire the colourful wooden iconostasis and other fittings.

Before leaving don't forget to admire the dome, the brickwork and the chunks of Roman marble embedded in the walls.sille1

The inscription over the main entrance is written in Karamanlı with the Turkish language written in Greek characters.

Just a short walk away is a wall of rock studded with cave churches, the fading frescoes on their walls and the graves cut into their floors reminiscent of Cappadocia

Up on the hillside the restored Küçük Kilise (Small Church) offers a great viewing point for getting the lay of the land.

That done, you can stroll back through a village that will remind some British visitors of Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds.

il3The houses are delightful with geraniums brightening up their windowledges. The Çaybaşı Cami has aan attractive wooden porch which opens onto an interior with wooden columns and a very attractive wooden mihrab.

If you can do so, time your visit for lunch-time so that you can sit down for a meal at the inviting Sille Konak housed in one of the finest of the old houses. Bamya çorbası (okra soup) is just one of the local delicacies on offer.

On the outskirts of Sille as you return to Konya you will see the restored Arsenal building overlooking a large park to the left of the road. 

Sleeping

Konak Butik Hotel. Tel: 0332-244 9269

Sillehan. Tel: 0332-244 9100

Transport info

Sille is very easy to get to from Konya with buses leaving from the bus stand opposite at Alaadin Tepesi at the top of Mevlana Caddesi every half-hour.

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