Şifaiye Medresesi

Top choice in Central Anatolia

Dating to 1218, this was one of the most important medical schools built by the Seljuks and was once Anatolia's foremost hospital.

The decoration features stylised sun/lion and moon/bull motifs, blue Azeri tile work and a poem in Arabic composed by the sultan. Today the courtyard is chock-a-block with cafe tables while the surrounding eyvans (vaulted halls) are home to souvenir stalls.

Look to the right as you enter the courtyard to see the porch that was walled up as a tomb for Sultan İzzettin Keykavus I, who commissioned the building before he died of tuberculosis.

Come in the early evening as the sun sets and swallows swoop between the minarets of the neighbouring mosques and you could imagine yourself in Iran.