The family of Yakovali Hasan probably got its name from Dakovo in present-day Croatia. He fought at Oradea in 1660 and defended Pécs and Kanizsa against Miklós Zrínyi’s troops in 1664. He took part in the border demarcation works of the Peace of Vasvár in Transylvania. In the Ottoman Empire, some wealthy aristocrats had groups of buildings with different functions built close to each other, representing the power of the Ottoman invaders in the conquered city. Pasha Yakovali Hasan did so too, laying his own foundations in the 1630s. The building complex included a mosque and a monastery, which also housed an imaret (public kitchen) and a madrasa (religious college).
This is the only mosque in Hungary from the time of the Turkish occupation which has survived intact, including its domed interior and minaret. The minaret still stands at almost its full height. The interior boasts such a large surface area of well-preserved wall paintings that it attracted researchers from in the 18th century. Historic restoration and excavation of Ottoman architectural details were conducted between 1955 and 1961, when the building’s present form took shape. The Turkish state contributed to the opening by providing 16th-century interior furnishing.
The permanent exhibition, which opened in 2022, showcases the UNESCO-listed culture of the Mevlevi dervishes, such as the Turkish historical monuments of Pécs, through the Ottoman occupation’s history. It also brings us the magic of the “mysterious East” of yesteryear, showing its influence on today’s arts and crafts, music and culture. The “Hall of the Senses” affects all your senses, enabling you to immerse yourself in life under the Ottoman rule of the 16th and 17th centuries through sight, hearing, taste and touch, as if you were there yourself. The exhibition also commemorates the musician and restorer Tamás Kobzos , who was awarded the Kossuth, Liszt and Prima Prizes, as well as the Hungarian Heritage Award and the Golden Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit.
THE OTTOMAN PERIOD
On 29 August 1526, the Hungarian army led by Pál Tomori and György Szapolyai suffered a fatal defeat at the hands of Suleiman I, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. This was followed by successive Ottoman campaigns, which resulted in the central part of the country becoming part of the Ottoman Empire. Two years after the fall of Buda, in 1543, the Turks conquered Pécs, which was only liberated from Ottoman rule after the reconquest of Buda in 1686. In Pécs, the Turks ensured the military defence of the occupied territories and created the framework for everyday Muslim life: caravanserais, schools, baths, wells, dervish monasteries and mosques were built one after the other. Establishment of pilgrimage sites clearly shows the Ottoman Empire’s long-term perspective. One such site was the shrine of Idris Baba.
THE TÜRBE OF IDRIS BABA
The built heritage throughout the city of Pécs bears traces of the 150 years of Ottoman rule in Hungary. The Türbe of Idris Baba (a Muslim shrine) evokes a mystical atmosphere in the shade of maritime black pines and is still a place of pilgrimage for the Bektashi dervishes. The holy man, famed for his prophecies and healing work, is believed to have died in 1592, and a türbe was erected over his tomb. The building’s furnishings were donated by the Turkish state, its garden is decorated with a water fountain and rose cultivars grafted onto wild roses from the nearby woods. The guided tour will enable visitors to gain an insight into the life of the Bektashi dervishes and the everyday life of Pécs in the Turkish era. In the garden, visitors can also learn about the evolution and symbolism of Muslim gardens.
The exact date of the construction of Idris Baba’s türbe is not known. It was probably built in the late 16th or early 17th century. The Muslim burial chapel, which stands on the side of Rókus Hill, has an octagonal floor plan, with its walls and hemispherical dome made of rough stone. Its square windows have an ogee arch at the top, with a row of circular windows above. After the Ottoman period, it was converted into a Christian chapel; it was later abandoned and then turned into a powder tower, before becoming a dressing warehouse. Finally, in the early 1960s, it was restored and listed as a historic monument. It was then that the tomb carved into the rock under the türbe was discovered. The tomb containing the remains of Idris Baba lies beneath the floor of the structure.