Mosque ruins hint at Süleyman shrine in Hungary
SZIGETVAR, Hungary – Anadolu AgencyA Hungarian excavation team claims to have found the ruins of an Ottoman-era mosque next to what it believes is the shrine of Süleyman the Magnificent in southern Hungary.
Norbert Pap from the University of Pecs in Hungary, who heads the research team, made the announcement June 22.
Pap recalled that when researchers last year announced they had found the shrine where the internal organs of the sultan were interred in 1566, he said they now needed to find a mosque and a dervish lodge around it. The latest discovery backs up his original claim, he said.
“Based on our research results, we have found the ruins of the mosque right next to the shrine,” Pap said.
“According to the information from that period, Sokullu Mehmed Pasha [grand vizier] had built a mosque next to the shrine of the Magnificent in Szigetvar [a town in southern Hungary],” Pap said, adding that the newly uncovered remains were bigger than the shrine and appear to be directed toward Mecca, as all mosques are supposed to be.
Pap said his team’s efforts to excavate the shrine complex, mosque and dervish lodge dates back to 2013, and the work was being carried out with the support of the Turkish Coordination and Cooperation Agency (TİKA).
Süleyman was the longest-reigning ruler of the Ottoman Empire.
Apart from military conquests in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, he instituted major legislative reforms and was a keen patron of the arts and technology.
The sultan died in 1566 during the siege of Szigetvar Castle.
Hungarians renamed the region as “Turbek” from the Ottoman word “türbe” meaning “tomb.”
Famous Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi, who visited the region in 1664, stated that a shrine, mosque and an Ottoman compound were present in the region.