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Three Ottoman Empire-era monuments worth visiting in Hungary

  • Mészégető Marcsi
We can recommend the country's Ottoman heritage not only for those interested in history, but also who would like to explore the peculiarities of a culture different from our own. Relax in the pool of a Turkish bath, climb to the top of the tallest minaret or explore pilgrimage sites still popular among Muslims.
We can recommend the country's Ottoman heritage not only for those interested in history, but also who would like to explore the peculiarities of a culture different from our own. Relax in the pool of a Turkish bath, climb to the top of the tallest minaret or explore pilgrimage sites still popular among Muslims.

1. Eger minaret

When Eger was conquered in the 17th century, the northernmost European building of the former Ottoman Empire was built. It is no surprise that the 40-metre-high minaret, which is the best preserved in Hungary, is one of the most popular attractions in Eger. A spiral staircase leads up to the top of the tower, which we would not recommend climbing if you dread tight spaces. For everyone else, it is a must to peer out from the 26-metre-high balcony. The sightseeing tour continues in the castle, where the well-known battle scenes from Géza Gárdonyi's work come to life.

2. Djami of Malkoch Bey

One of the emblematic pieces of 16th century Islamic-Turkish architecture can be found in Siklós, located near Pécs. In 1993, the reconstruction of the building was rewarded with the Europa Nostra Awards, and the restoration was assisted by researchers of the Ethnography Museum of Ankara, who restored the space to its original state using various sacred objects. The sanctuary is still used today by the local Islamic community as a place of prayer, and it also serves as an ethnographic museum for tourists.

3. Mosque of Pasha Qasim

The enormous mosque in the main square of Pécs is an integral part of the Mediterranean milieu of the town. The former Muslim sanctuary is now a Roman Catholic church, but its appearance and orientation still retain the characteristics of Turkish culture. The fonts of the sanctuary, for example, were taken from the baths of Gazi Qasim Pasha, which once stood next to the church. This is not the only Ottoman monument in Pécs: Tomb of Idris Baba, the Mosque of Pasha Yakovali Hassan, the baths of Pasha Memi and the famous Turkish Fountain are also among the must-see sights in Pécs.

4. Turkish monuments in Szigetvár

The unique ‘Török-Magyar Barátság Park’(Turkish-Hungarian Friendship Park) is one of the main attractions in Szigetvár, which is one of the most important locations of the Turkish period in Hungary. The memorial park is a frequent stopover for Turks travelling westwards, but it is also regularly visited by traditionalists from Szigetvár. Besides the park symbolizing peace between the two peoples, built on the 500th anniversary of the death of Sultan Suleiman, the ‘Török Ház’ (Turkish House) in Szigetvár is also worth a visit, the only surviving caravanserai in the country. According to some sources, the building was once used for educational purposes, others claim it was used for hospitality. 

5. The Mosque in Esztergom

A few hundred years ago, the sounds of the muezzin filtered through the walls of the former mosque, which now servers as a café and exhibition space. The building is protected as a historical monument, and when excavating it, archaeologists also found pieces of the former mihrab (praying booth), which were used in its reconstruction.

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