the best place to find unknown ottoman empire landmarks
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today
Egypt Today, egypt today
Last Updated : GMT 09:07:40
Egypt Today, egypt today

Hidden Romania

The best place to find unknown Ottoman Empire landmarks

Egypt Today, egypt today

Egypt Today, egypt today The best place to find unknown Ottoman Empire landmarks

Ottoman - Arab Today

The bright August sun began its descent in the sky. In the distance the sound of the Black Sea lapping against Dobrogea’s sandy coastline can be heard over the shrieks of children frolicking in its cool waters. It is summertime in Romania, and everyone is headed for the beach in Mangalia, a small town in the country’s southeast.
Well, not quite everyone. Elderly local Lutfi, an ethnic Turk is shuffling toward Mangalia’s historic center. His soft plimsolls move rhythmically as he nears the green gates of the Esmahan Sultan Mosque. There he lifts his wooden walking stick to greet his fellow worshippers, all local pensioners arriving for the early afternoon prayer.
They are the real-life relics of a Romanian history few travelers know.
I am a couple of hours, drive out of Romania’s bustling capital city Bucharest, where the country’s only piece of coastline meets the sea once known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as the “Hospitable Sea.” Most visitors to this former Soviet country come looking for Transylvanian Draculas or Ceausescu’s communism. I’ve come looking for Romania’s hidden Muslim heritage.
Lutfi is my first great discovery. His ancestors were brought here by the Ottomans. After the prayer, we both stand outside the mosque and he lifts his walking stick toward the brown tourist sign at the entrance, urging me to read the English text.
It tells me the small whitewashed mosque with a terracotta-roof and a single pencil-thin minaret was built in the 16th century by the Ottoman princess, Esma — daughter of Sultan Selim II and wife of the Grand Vizier Sokollu Mehmet Pasha. It also says that the region of Dobrogea was once a very tolerant place.
“In 1452, when Dobrogea got under the Ottoman domination, and the Turkish, Tatar, Bulgarian, Circassian, Gaguaz, Greek and Jewish peoples became a mixture of religious beliefs, the famous Turkish traveler, Evlia Celebi mentioned, ‘... go to Mangalia, which is the Kaaba Makkah of the wandering and poor people.’”
“Moscheee! Gooood!” Lutfi grins, seeing the look of astonishment now on my face. The sun bouncing off his tinted glasses.
Beside us, in the untidy foliage that surrounds the mosque there are a dozen or so slim tombstones in various stages of decay. The Persian script is still legible on some. Many are topped with high-ranking stone Ottoman headdresses and resemble proud soldiers refusing to wane. This had been no ordinary mosque.
Romania’s Muslim heritage stretches all the way back to the 11th century when Muslims arrived with the semi-nomadic Pecheneg Turks, who briefly ruled parts of Wallachia — the historic name for much of modern Romania. After that the influence was Tatar and Ottoman as the country became first part of the Golden Horde Khanate and then the Ottoman Empire during the Middle Ages.
Yet almost none of this heritage appears on the Romanian tourist trail. Locals head to Dobrogea in search of sun, sea and sand at the seaside resorts of Neptun-Olymp, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn, just north of Mangalia. Built during the communist 1970s, and with no further investment since, wandering around them is a nostalgic experience for a Western tourist. Their names are a nod to Romania’s attempts to align itself with ancient Roman culture.
Even in the regional capital, Constanta, the main monument by the sea is a statue of a Roman poet, Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid. He was banished here by the Emperor Augustus when it was called Tomis in 8CE. Ovid reportedly despised the place, pining for his beloved Rome, but that hasn’t stopped local authorities claiming him as one of their own. The city’s main university is also named after him.
Not far from Ovid’s statue lies Romania’s most important Muslim landmark, the Grand Mosque of Constanta, built on the site of the earlier 19th century Mahmudiyye Mosque. The modern Romano-Byzantine styled building with Egyptian architectural influence was commissioned by King Carol I in 1910 and is now the seat of the country’s Grand Mufti, Murat Yusuf, leader of Romania’s 65,000 Muslims (mainly ethnic Turks and Tatars). The mosque is also home to one of Romania’s most beautiful Muslim artifacts, the largest hand-woven Persian carpet in Europe — a gift from the last Ottoman Caliph, Sultan Abdul Hamid II.
Beside the main hall is a 164-foot minaret, which offers awesome views over Constanta’s historic old town, making the Grand Mosque extremely popular with local tourists. Local Muslims prefer to pray elsewhere.
About three blocks away, in a congested part of the historic center, surrounded by open air cafes, is the less aesthetically appealing Hunchiar Mosque. Square and plain in design, it is more Methodist church then mosque from the outside. The Hunchiar was one of the last mosques built by the Ottomans in Romania. Inside, I met another descendent of the country’s ancient Muslim communities, Saleh, a local geography student of Tatar descent.
After Asr (mid-afternoon prayer), we sat inside the dimly lit prayer hall, the glaze on the mehrab’s pretty blue tiles glistening with the shards of light coming through the grilled windows. Each tile was brought here from the town of Iznik in Turkey where they are produced.
“The Mangalia mosque is probably the oldest in Romania, and a very important one, but I think there is another one in the north that might be older, I’m just not sure,” Saleh said. “There are also lots of other historical Muslim things to see in Romania, but very few of these have been written about, so it is difficult to describe them.”
Saleh is right. Just north of Constanta is the town of Babadeg, where a tomb reportedly from the 13th century is dedicated to the Muslim holy man, Sari Saltik. It is Romania’s oldest Muslim monument. The town also has original Ottoman houses, a Muslim-era fountain and a historic mosque. He was unsure of the exact details and couldn’t tell me more, but that was no surprise. The Muslim history of Romania is truly a hidden one.

source: Arabnews


Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

the best place to find unknown ottoman empire landmarks the best place to find unknown ottoman empire landmarks

GMT 09:34 2019 Monday ,19 August

Live a positive and important atmosphere

GMT 06:36 2017 Wednesday ,05 April

Ericsson showcases latest demos at STC FUDEX 2017

GMT 13:59 2013 Monday ,30 December

Jesus was not born on December 25

GMT 00:04 2011 Wednesday ,04 May

World stocks rise after death of Osama Bin Laden

GMT 17:49 2011 Wednesday ,04 May

Glencore sets share price in year\'s biggest IPO

GMT 14:44 2016 Monday ,08 February

Health insurance bill still 'under societal debate'

GMT 07:15 2011 Wednesday ,30 November

Tokyo Motor Show opens

GMT 10:52 2012 Thursday ,12 July

Olmert charges were meant to foil peace

GMT 14:02 2011 Saturday ,24 December

Interior of Mercedes ML63 AMG

GMT 01:04 2015 Friday ,17 April

Qatar's emir condoles Saudi king

GMT 13:13 2011 Sunday ,14 August

Malnutrition ravaging Somali refugees in Ethiopia

GMT 08:20 2016 Friday ,13 May

Apple invests $1bn in China taxi app Didi

GMT 13:24 2012 Friday ,13 January

Mopar has parts menu ready for the Dodge Dart

GMT 11:04 2014 Sunday ,21 December

Sheikh Ghamdi’s victory

GMT 13:40 2016 Thursday ,08 December

Greenland's ice-free past exposes sea level rise danger

GMT 12:37 2015 Saturday ,08 August

Derek Shepherd's death was only way

GMT 07:40 2011 Saturday ,25 June

Australia-N.Zealand travel off due to Chile ash

GMT 18:54 2017 Thursday ,09 March

20 Militants Killed in Afghanistan Airstrike
 Egypt Today Facebook,egypt today facebook  Egypt Today Twitter,egypt today twitter Egypt Today Rss,egypt today rss  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube  Egypt Today Youtube,egypt today youtube

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

Maintained and developed by Arabs Today Group SAL.
All rights reserved to Arab Today Media Group 2021 ©

egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
egypttoday egypttoday egypttoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
egypttoday, Egypttoday, Egypttoday