Gul Baba was a Turkish poet who is rumored to have brought roses to Hungary. Some mystery shrouds his death, but we know he died in 1541. Gul Baba's tomb was constructed by the Ottomans and is found on "Mosque" street on the Buda side. At one time this was a place for Islamic pilgrimage and currently belongs to Turkey. Although this site is not well known or world-famous, it is an interesting piece of history and of Hungary's past, so I encourage you to see it.
The Ottomans ruled over Budapest for a century and a half, but hardly anything remains as a reminder of their time in the city. One such reminder is the tomb of Gul Baba, a Dervish poet and constant companion of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Located on a quiet spot on the Hill of Roses overlooking Budapest, the tomb is now a shrine and place of pilgrimage for Muslims. In fact it's the northernmost Islamic place of pilgrimage in the world.
The tomb is peaceful, and in a very pleasant part of the city, in a grassy suburb away from the noise of the city, but still quite central. The tomb is now owned by the Turkish government, and is looked after by a small group of old men who sit drinking tea in the shade.
The Gul Baba monument is well known between european Muslisms communities as the northest pilgrimage site in the Old Continent. Maybe for all other people it couldn't deserve a visit, but Roses Hill (where this quiet Sanctuary has been built) offers one of most beautiful views of Budapest skyline. And gives the opportunity for an unusual walk in a green and elegant part of the town.
The Gul baba monument and tomb is located on a small hill very close to Margaret bridge on the buda side of the city.
Gul baba was an ottoman poet who died in Budapest on 1541.
As far as i know this is a holy place to Turkish people and when they come to Budapest they come to the tomb.
The streets near the tomb are narrow and steep , but the area is very nice.
Entrance to the tomb will cost you 500 Forint , Student 400 Forint and children 250.
He was a famous Turkish character that lived and died in Budapest. All Turkish tourists visit his tomb. It is a tradition to pray for the soul near graves in Islam.
I’ve read that he named (Gül is rose in Turkish) after from rose, because he is the one who brought first rose to Budapest. Also he carries a rosebud on his turban on his sculpture. It is also said his name comes from this rosebud. In both cases, we understand that he really liked rose.
His tomb has rose plants from Turkey, Isparta. It is a city famous with its roses.
This turbe (tomb) is in a nice neighborhood. It is surrounded by lovely houses in beautiful gardens. I think this means he had been loved and respected by the people of Budapest. And I am sure he is happy to be here.
Even easier to get there if you take Tram number 4 or 6, get off at the Budai Hidfo stop (the Buda side of the Danube), go 50 yards along Margit Boulevard, towards the hilly side, cross Torok (Turkish) Street, go up, turn right into Mecset Street, go up, cross the Rose Garden and there you are. It is definatelly one of the most interesting parts of the city.
This tomb can be found mid-way up Mecset utca (street) in Buda and is the resting place of a respected dervish and wise man, whose Turkish name means father of roses. Although as leader of the Bektash Order, he died soon after the capture of Budapest in 1541, Gul Baba is credited with introducing roses to Budapest and this apparently led to the naming of the Roszadomb (Rose Hill) district. As the most northerly place of pilgrimage for those of Islamic faith, it is also Budapest's only surviving religious building from the occupying Turkish era.
Mausoleum of Gul Baba (Rose Father), who lived in 16th century during the beginning of the Ottomans occupation.
Baba, revered as a saint, introduced Roses to Budapest. His tomb, located in a rose garden, is a Muslim place of pilgrimage.
This is the reconstructed tomb of Gul Baba, an Otoman dervish who took part in the capture of the city of Buda in 1541.
I did not think it was specially interesting so I did not visit it inside. For what I know it contains a sarcophagus with the remains of Gul Baba, an very little else...
The outside is not much more appealing, having just to mark it a dome like structure and a statue of Gul Baba himself.
It might be a place of interest for Muslims though, as it is a pilgrimage site.
Baba was a Turkish warrior-saint who acted as the army's Imam during the conquest of Hungary in the 1541 campaign. Some of his poems - Guldeste = Bunch of Roses - and some of his mystical prose survive. The original mausoleum was built by the Ottoman commander Mehmed Pasha. Today, the renovated tomb, topped with a copper roof, is one of the few reminders of the 150 years of Turkish rule in Hungary. This was the true highwater mark for the Ottomans. At the peak of Turkish times, there were 61 mosques in Buda alone. Defeat in 1686 led to Hapsburg renewal and a gradual, bloody rollback of the Turks. In its time, the tomb was a local center for Islamic activity. Today, it sits quietly on a back street of Buda high above Margarethe Island, visited by the odd tourist or two.
The famous Turkish traveller Evliya Celebi wrote in his "Book of Travels" in XVIIth century that Gul Baba came to Buda during the time of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent from Merzifon/Turkey.
"Baba bir kan-ı kerem sultandır
Degil elbette teh-i pir u geda
Merzifondan gelerek tuttu vatan
Şeyh Suleyman zamanı Gullubaba"
"A szultáni kegyesség bányája a Baba,
Nem marad üresen az öreg koldus,
Merzifunból jővén, itt hazát talált,
Szulejmán sáh idejében Gülli-baba."
This picture, called as Death of Gül Baba was painted in 1886 by the famous Hungarian painter Ferech Eisenhut. Gül Baba was presented as a very old man dying in the arms of his best friends. The rose which he carried in his hand drops down slowly. The masterpiece is furnishing today the saloon of the Hungarian Ambassador's residance in Ankara.
The famous Hungarian historiker J.Németh wrote the following article in “ Der Name Gül-Baba ” Körösi Csoma Archivum vol.II, 1926-1932.
“ Der Name Gül Baba ist in alter und neuer zeit, von Türken und Abendlaendern, immer als ‘Rosenfater’ erklaert worden. Diese Erklaerung beruht m.E. auf Volksetymologie; die ursprünglich Bedeutung des Namens ist “ Lache-baba” von Zeitwort gül- ‘lachen’. Einen Namen wie ‘Rosenvater’ können wir mit unseren Kentnissen der aelteren Osmanischen Namen kaum in Einklang bringen, dagegen sind namen wie ‘Lache-baba’ im Altosmanischen vorhande, und zwar gerade bei Derwischen. So bedeuted der wohlbekante Name Dede Korkut soviel wie “Erschrecke – Dede”.(Vgl.den petschenegischen Fürstennamen: Konstantinos Porphyrogennetos, De.adm.imp.37.) Ein anderer
altosmanischher Name ist İleri-Hoca ‘ Vorwaerts- Chodscha’ (s. Hammer, GOR. Register). Unweit von Sumen (Şumnu) (Bulgarien) ist die Türbe Gãlbäri-Sultan Türbesi (Gelberi/Gelbari ?) zu sehen. Gälbäri-Sultan war, laut Überlieferung, ein Derwisch aus Bochara, der bei der Eroberung der Gegend durch die Osmanen hier gefallen ist.(vgl.die Geschichte von Gül-Baba, der gleichfalls in den kaempfen, die im Zuzammenhang mit der Besitznahme Ofens durch den Sultan stattfanden, gefallen ist.) Der Name Gälbäri-Sultan bedeutet soviel, wie “Komm-her-Sultan”.
for more information please visit www.macaristan.org
The famous Hungarian historiker Gy. Gerö gave this information about Gül Baba in his article "Beitraege zur Geschichte der Türkischen Bautaetigkeiten in Ungarn “ Acta Historiae Artium XIV 1968
“ Das Grab des Gül Baba wurde aus sorgfaeltig behauenen Quadersteinen errichtet, den einzigen Fassadenschmuck bilden die glatten, vertieften Spiegelfelder.(Fekete, “ Török Müemlekek s.336 “ ) und die aus einfachen steinprismen gefüghten Tür- und Fensterrahmen. Den Bau krönt eine halbkugelförmige Kuppel, um denen Ansatz ein einfach geglidertes Steinzims laeuft. Von den das innere schmückenden einstigen Koranzitaden und sonstigen Inschriften, von denen manche von Evliya Çelebi selbst stammten, bleib nicht mehr erhalten. Der Gross teil der heutigen Einrictung ist eine Spende des Efkaf Humajun, der kaiserlich türkischen Stiftungsverwaltung aus der zweiten Haelfte des vorigen Jahrhunderts, waehrend die übrigen Einrictungsgegenstaende votrfgaben(?) der frommer Pilger sind. (Die gegenwaertig in der Türbe befindlichen Einrichtungsgegenstaende gelangten nach ihrer wiederherstellung 1962 wieder an ihrer platz.) “
A British traveller Dr. Edward Brown visited Budapest in 1673 just 10 years before the fall of Budapest into Austrian hands and wrote a book called "A Brief Account Of Some Travels In Hungaria, Servia “ London 1673
He is one of few travellers who gave us information about Gül Baba. Please not that Gül Baba was killed in action at Budapest 1541. and Gül Baba whom he mentioned is the leader of Tekke of Bektasi and was also called as Gül Baba.
“ During our Stay at Buda, we went into a Turkish Convent, where the Prior or Superior called Julpapa, or Father of the Rose, with some of his Brethren brought us in to a place like a chapel, and entertained us with Melons and fruit: at parting, we gratified them with some pieces of silver, which were kindly accepted. The Julpapa had his Girdle (kuºak)or Ceinture ( emboffed before with a whitish stone, bigger then the palme of my hand, which was a Galactites or Milke-stone; whereof they have a great opinion, because in their belief, Mahomet turned a whole River in Arabia into this kind of stone. “
Daniel Spitzer (3.Juli 1835- 11.1.1893) visited Gül Baba June 2nd 1878 and wrote his memories:
"Ich habe es auch nicht versäumt, das Grab des türkischen Heiligen Gül-Baba in Ofen zu besuchen. [...] Auf der Höhe sind Weingärten, von wo man zur Linken einen kleinen freundlichen Halbmond winken sieht, auf einer dicken geschindelten Kuppel, die einen unbedeutenden, ärmlichen achteckigen Bau bedeckt. [...] Eine Frau [...] hielt [...] dem türkischen Heiligen eine schwungvolle Lobrede, wobei sie freilich manche Uebertreibung seiner Verdienste sich zu Schulden kommen ließ, indem sie ihm beispielsweise nachrühmte, er sei schon über tausend Jahre todt. Dabei nahm sie ihre Schürze auf und wischte sich die Augen,und als ich sie zu trösten versuchte, daß wir ja Alle ins Grab müßten, ob wir nun türkische Heilige seien oder gewöhnliche Sterbliche, schluchzte sie:
I bin halt dem gnädigen Herrn gar so anhänglich. Unter dem gnädigen Herrn verstand sie den türkischen Heiligen [...] und indem sie tief aufschluchzte, fragte sie ihre Freundin, ob diese sich noch an jenen Fremden erinnere, der sich von dem Grabe nicht habe trennen können und schließlich jeder von Ihnen einen Gulden geschenkt habe. Die Gärtnerin vermochte sich glücklicherweise an den Fall zu erinnern.
If you know Turkish you may visit
www.macaristan.org to know much about Gül Baba