Kilistra takes visitors to the past
The ancient city of Kilistra, which was inhabited in the 3rd century B.C. and draws attention for its Cappadocia-like texture, is home to a cross-planned chapel, the Hyacinth (Sümbül) Church, and a large water cistern.
Kilistra, which grew rapidly during the early Christian era, is located on the historic King’s Road and was heavily settled during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
The ancient city, located about 50 kilometers from the city center of Konya, is located within the boundaries of Gökyurt neighborhood in the district of Meram.
Kilistra has an important potential for religious tourism with architectural examples such as churches, chapels, monasteries, scout houses, shelters, ancient roads, and is waiting for visitors to see its unspoiled texture thanks to its location far away from modern settlements.
Professor Fetullah, Selçuk Arık, University Faculty of Geology Engineering member and head of the Geology Engineers Chamber Konya Branch, told state-run Anadolu Agency that Kilistra had records dating back to the 3rd century B.C.
The historic settlement has traces of many civilizations going back to the ancient Roman era, said Arık.
“The area is mainly home to rock-carving structures. The Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism carried out work here. During the work, the Cross-Planned Chapel and the settlement areas were found and they were opened after the cleaning work. But it is still waiting for support,” he added.
Kilistra can be considered as a secret spot on the route, said Arık.
“There is a line going from this area to Beyşehir. On this line people lived in volcanic carved structures just like in Cappadocia. Maybe they used it for defense purposes,” he said, adding that rock-carved structures were excavated by humans and had been preserved until today.
“During the examinations we made in the region we saw a fracture that descended from the top to the bottom of the chapel. There are erosions around this fracture. We think the region needs to be protected a little more. Life in the area continues. Kilistra is inside the Gökyurt residential area. Locals still use their historic buildings to store their food. We could construct residential areas like the ones in the past,” Arık said.