The madrasa is part of the Mahperi Huand Hatun complex, which also includes a mosque, a hamam (Turkish bath) and a mausoleum. The entire structure in build out of stone, and it was completed in 1238, under the name of Mahperi Hatun, the wife of Seljuk Sultan Keykubad I (1220-1237) and mother of Sultan Keyhüsrev II (1238-1246). Seljuk Sultans had madrassas built (usually as medical schools), named after their wives as well as themselves. The archaeological evidence indicates that the hamam is the oldest building from this structure.
The madrasa, which once taught Islamic Law, adjoins the mosque at its northwest corner. This was a Seljuk school, where people received education in culture, science and art. In madrasa, as in today’s high schools and universities, education was given in four main subjects; Religion and law, language and literature, philosophy and sciences. There was not an established period of time for education. Students would complete their education in different periods of time, since the requirement to complete education was to finish reading the school’s books. Educational sessions would start after the morning prayer and continue until the noon prayer. Then students would retreat to their study cells surrounding the courtyard.
They would usually have Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays off. Linked to mosques, first madrasas were special places for education either near these buildings or in them.
The entrance is a west facing gate, which opens onto an arcaded courtyard. The far end of the court is dominated by engraved patterns. Small doorways lead off either side to large chambers in the north and south corners (library, study room, and the tomb of the wife of the Seljuk Sultan) . Behind the columns on both sides of the courtyard are eight vaulted cells.
Today this madrasa it is no longer in use as a school, but as a traditional craftsman workshop for the Turkish ney, the Turkish Art Of Marbling (Ebru) or manufacture of traditional objects of leather or wool.
We were really lucky to listen to this wonderful demo of ney playing: