From 1267, this former Kuran school now functions as a nice shopping centre.
It is also named ‘Sahip Ata Medresesi’, after the Seljuk vizier who had it built during the Ilhanlı domination over Anatolia (1243-1335). These ‘Ilhanlı / Ilkhanids’ are Iran based Mongols, who defeated the Seljuks at the Battle of Köse Dağ in 1243 and annexed their territory.
On the picture: Under the eight rows of muqarnas arch moulding are a few verses in elegant calligraphic (Arabic) script. Above the muqarnas vaulting: the white marble ‘kitabe’ (building inscription) of the medrese, mentioning its builder and the date.
Muqarnas is a stalactite-like decoration initiated in Anatolia by the Seljuk (in the 11th – 12th century). They imported it from Iran. Later on it continued to be used in the late-Seljuk architecture of the Beyliks (14th century) and by the Ottomans up to the 19th century.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen
Sources: ‘Kayseri Kültür Varlıkları Envanteri’ (Kayseri Belediyesi 2008)