Seljuk Cemetery

Southeastern Anatolia

Ahlat's vast Seljuk cemetery, with stele-like headstones of lichen-covered grey or red volcanic tuff, is the third largest historic Muslim cemetery in the world and Turkey's largest. The headstones span the 11th to 16th centuries and are engraved with intricate geometric patterns, bands of Kufic lettering and floral motifs. Over the centuries earthquakes, wind and water have set the stones at all angles, a striking sight with Nemrut Dağı as a backdrop.

On the northeastern side of the graveyard is the unusual Bayındır Kümbeti ve Cami (Bayındır Tomb and Mosque; 1477), with a colonnaded porch and its own mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southeastern Anatolia attractions

1. Ahlat Museum

0.17 MILES

It's well worth sticking your head into this two-room museum, which houses well-curated exhibits of local archaeological finds. Displays include Urartian…

2. Nemrut Dağı (Mt Nemrut)

13.72 MILES

Not to be confused with its more famous namesake near Kahta, Lake Van's Nemrut Dağı (3050m) is an inactive volcano with a crater lake, to the north of…

3. İhlasiye Medrese

29.94 MILES

Bitlis' most important surviving Seljuk monument, the black-stone İhlasiye Medrese dates back to 1589. Two domed interior rooms are utilised as office…