Yakutiye Medresesi

Top choice in Erzurum

Dominating Erzurum's central park, this handsome 1310 medrese (seminary) building features a minaret whose superb mosaic tile work wouldn't look out of place in Central Asia. Inside, hefty stone arches support a stalactite-vaulted ceiling portal that lets in filtered daylight. Duck beneath heavy stone lintels to reach assorted side rooms containing nicely curated exhibits on traditional regional crafts, costumes and local life.

But it's the building itself that's the real star, a fine (and rare) surviving example in Turkey of architecture from the Ilkhanate Mongol dynasty that ruled southwest Asia from 1256 to 1335.

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