Q8Sultana's Blog...

Generally I can be found roaming somewhere in the world. I'm originally from Hungary, I grew up in Kuwait, I did my BA in the States, my MA in the UK, and now work in Hungary, but still return to Kuwait regularly :o)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Weekend trip

This past weekend, a friend of mine suggested we check out this Islamic monument we have here in Hungary, called the Tomb of Gul Baba. Most of Hungary was under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire for 150 years after 1526, and so we have a few minarets and other remnants of Islam all over the country.
I took some pictures, and here's some info about the place, that turned out to be the only site in Europe that some Muslims come for piligrimage to (Sufis I think).
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Gül Baba was a Bektashi dervish poet and companion of Suleiman the Magnificent who took part in a number of Ottoman campaigns from the reign of Mehmed II onwards.
He is thought to have died during the first religious ceremony held after the Ottoman victory at Buda in 1541, or alternatively to have been killed during fighting below the walls of the city on 21 August. Suleiman declared him patron of the city and is reputed to have been one of the coffin bearers.
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In Hungary Gül Baba is known as the "Father of Roses" and is said to have introduced the flower to the country. However, this is probably a misunderstanding of the metaphorical use of the term which most likely refers to the dervish's status derived from his deep mystical knowledge of Allah, which made him a notably "fragrant" member of his order.
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Gül Baba's tomb was built between 1543 and 1548, on the orders of the third pasha of Buda, and has a shallow dome covered with lead plates and wooden tiles. It was left undamaged when the Habsburg armies captured Buda in 1686, but was converted into a Christian chapel by the Jesuits who renamed it "St. Joseph's Chapel".
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In 1885 the Turkish government commissioned a Hungarian engineer to restore the tomb and when the work was completed in 1914 it was declared a national monument. The site was restored again in the 1960s and ultimately in the 1990s and is now the property of the Republic of Turkey.
The mausoleum is the only site of Islamic pilgrimage in Europe. [Sorce]
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