The Lands of the Saracen eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 378 pages of information about The Lands of the Saracen.
wooden-wheeled carts to the meadows where they cut grass.  The old Turk accompanied us some distance, in order to show us a nearer way, avoiding a marshy spot.  Our road lay over a vast plain, seemingly boundless, for the lofty mountain-ranges that surrounded it on all sides were so distant and cloud-like, and so lifted from the horizon by the deceptive mirage, that the eye did not recognize their connection with it.  The wind blew strongly from the north-west, and was so cold that I dismounted and walked ahead for two or three hours.

Before noon, we passed two villages of mud huts, partly inhabited, and with some wheat-fields around them.  We breakfasted at another well, which furnished us with a drink that tasted like iced sea-water.  Thence we rode forth again into the heat, for the wind had fallen by this time, and the sun shone out with great force.  There was ever the same dead level, and we rode directly towards the mountains, which, to my eyes, seemed nearly as distant as ever.  At last, there was a dark glimmer through the mirage, at their base, and a half-hour’s ride showed it to be a line of trees.  In another hour, we could distinguish a minaret or two, and finally, walls and the stately domes of mosques.  This was Konia, the ancient Iconium, one of the most renowned cities of Asia Minor.

Chapter XX

Scenes in Konia.

  Kpproach to Konia—–­Tomb of Hazret Mevlana—­Lodgings in a Khan—­An
  American Luxury—­A Night-Scene in Ramazan—­Prayers in the
  Mosque—­Remains of the Ancient City—­View from the Mosque—­The
  Interior—­A Leaning Minaret—­The Diverting History of the Muleteers.

  “But they shook off the dust on their feet, and came unto
  Iconium.”—­Acts, xiii. 51.

Konia (Ancient Iconium), June 27, 1852.

The view of Konia from the plain is not striking until one has approached within a mile of the suburbs, when the group of mosques, with their heavy central domes lifted on clusters of smaller ones, and their tall, light, glittering minarets, rising above the foliage of the gardens, against the background of airy hills, has a very pleasing effect.  We approached through a long line of dirty suburbs, which looked still more forlorn on account of the Ramazan.  Some Turkish officials, in shabby Frank dresses, followed us to satisfy their curiosity by talking with our Katurjees, or muleteers.  Outside the city walls, we passed some very large barracks for cavalry, built by Ibrahim Pasha.  On the plain north-east of the city, the battle between him and the forces of the Sultan, resulting in the defeat of the latter, was fought.

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The Lands of the Saracen from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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