Dominating Erzurum's central park, this handsome Mongol medrese (seminary) dates from 1310. The Mongols borrowed the basics of Seljuk architecture and developed their own variations, as seen on the facade and sides of the main portal that feature geometric, plant and animal motifs. The southern minaret sports superb mosaic tile work that wouldn't look out of place in Central Asia. The medrese now houses a museum with exhibits on traditional regional crafts and tableaux of a Koran study circle and an old Erzurum kitchen.
The small northern minaret either collapsed soon after being built or may never have been completed. Despite its asymmetry, the medrese is a fine (and rare) surviving example of architecture from the Ilkhanate, the Mongol khanate that ruled southwest Asia from 1256 to 1335. Beautiful mukarnas (stalactite) vaulting lines the dome above the inner courtyard.