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Turkish relics in Hungary

Although settlements were destroyed and the state of war had become permanent, we cannot regard  the Turkish occupation period (1526-1686) as a time of destruction only.At the and of the period the number of population slightly increased. Muslim religious and cultural centres were establised. Due to the everyday- religious- and cultural life of  the approx. 50-80 thousand Turkish people, several new types of buildings were established in Hungary.

Among the buildings built  at that time Djamis were the most significant ones. The nicest example for a special type (octogonal  outside, round  inside,  domed) is the Djami of Gázi Kászim in Pécs. Another type of djamis is rectangular-based and covered with a pyramidal roof.  The Soliman Djami in Szigetvár is of this type. The arcitecural rank of a building was indicated by the number of minarets built next to it, for instance the Blue Mosque in Istambul has six minarets. In Hungary, the places of worship were built with one minaret, thanks to the reconstructions three of them can be seen now (in Eger, Pécs, and Érd). The türbe is also a religious building, (octogonal, domed tomb chapel) raised above the grave of leaders of high rank and that of the sultan. In Hungary there are only two examples of this type remaining( Pécs and Buda).

Out of the secular buildings, the most important ones were the baths which incorporated both thermal-baths built on natural springs and steambaths. Not only for ritual and hygienic importance, the baths also played a significant role in the social life and provided a permanent source of revenue. Last but not least their founders rised in popularity. The most diligent bath builder was Szokollu Musztafa with sixteen buildings (Rudas and Császár baths in Budapest).

By the Turkish occupation of Hungary the silhouette of the settlements changed quickly. The restoration after the reoccupation of the capital, Buda in 1868 was as fast as the change itself. During  the rebuilding of the  cities from the end of the 17th century and the later intensive urban planning of the 19th century many of the Turkish buildings disappeared.  Fortunately even today many architectural memories can be seen in Hungary, out of them we present the most important ones.



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