tomb of Gül Baba-Budapest
Photo: Wikimedia Commons by Civertan

Turkey and Hungary renewed the tomb together in 2018, and the building has received many awards since then. Now, it got a gold in the 2020 FIABCI World Prix d`Excellence Public Infrastructure category while a silver medal in the contest’s Heritage category.

We reported HERE about the story of Gül baba and his tomb. According to Magyar Epitok, the Ottomans built the tomb in the 16th century to hold the mortal remains of a Muslim dervish, Gül baba. We do not know when he was born, but Sultan Suleiman sent him to Hungary. Some say that

his name means Father of the Roses

because legend holds that he introduced the flower to the country. However, roses were already in Hungary by the time of the Ottoman invasion. His name can also be a corruption of Kel Baba, meaning ‘Bald Father’.

Gül Baba was an Ottoman philosopher, poet, and writer who was at the same time a Muslim monk and a Bektashi dervish. He took part in many Ottoman invasions in Europe from the reign of Mehmed II onwards. Reportedly, he died in Buda, in 1541, and, allegedly,

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent was one of the coffin-bearers during his funeral.

The tomb is now Budapest’s oldest historical building since it is more than 450 years old. Authorities renewed it in 1962 and 1996, but by the mid-2010s, it became obvious that the building needed a complex renovation.

The main goal was not only to renew parts of the building but to renovate the neighbourhood of it as well, and to cooperate with the local government and Turkey in doing so. Magyar Epitok says that thanks to the project, Hungary could preserve one of its most important cultural heritages and was able to breathe new life into that previously neglected part of the city.

The park surrounding the tomb is open for everybody, and there is a Mediterranean hanging garden, a lot of benches, and a beautiful well. The constructor placed many new plants in the garden, including 400 roses. The compositions

offer different experiences for visitors in each terrace

of the hanging garden. Not surprisingly, the landscape architect of the project won the Best Landscape Architect Award of 2019.


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