Iconium was located near the Tarsus Mountains on a very high and very fertile plateau. This area contained a number of streams that provided water in abundance. Since Iconium was not conducive to military protection it became a very prosperous city of commerce. It also served as a very agricultural center. Iconium was also on the major trade route between Ephesus and Syria. Iconium also served as a major crossroad for the Roman Empire. Historical records tell us that five (5) major roads radiated from Iconium.
Christians remember that the events in this city played a major role in the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul. Acts 14 tells us that Paul and Barnabas arrived in Iconium after a contingent of antagonistic Jews drove them out of the city of Pisidian Antioch. Paul and Barnabas had been received well and had been successful in preaching to the Gentiles. The Jews had decided to kill the pair and when Paul and Barnabas learned of the deadly conspiracy they fled to Derbe and to Lystra, neighboring cities of Iconium. Again, Paul and Barnabas enjoyed great success in preaching in these cities.
Luke tells us in Acts 14 that the Jews from Antioch and Iconium persuaded the crowds at Lystra to stone Paul and after they did, they dragged his body of the city, supposing him to be dead. Many credible, reliable, and fundamental theologians (including myself) believe that Paul did die from the stoning. In II Corinthians 12:2 Paul speaks of being "being caught up to the third heavens and he entered into Paradise where he heard things that he could not share or speak of. We think when the Iconium's persuaded the people of Lystra to stone Paul and leave him for dead outside of the city this experience took place.