When I tell my local friends that I’ll take a walk around the Turbe (tomb) of Gül Baba, most of them raise their eyebrows. Yep, Budapest-people hardly know this place, but try to ask someone in Turkey what it is! You’ll have better chances for an answer.
During Hungary’s 150-year-long occupation in the middle ages by the Ottoman Empire, it wasn’t only wonderful spas that were built. Of course, religious buildings were also established, like mosques, minarets and tombs for the most precious personalities. Such a holy person was Gül Baba, who is honoured till now, so this little chapel-like-building in the side of the Rózsadomb (meaning rose hill, since Gül Baba loved roses) is the northernmost Turkish place of pilgrimage.
Even I was surprised when I first arrived here. This place is like an island in the city. First of course because it is on a hill, so you must make some effort to reach it. Then (especially before the recent renovation) it is quite abandoned, you can reach the monument directly only by taking the stairs, so there is no traffic at all around. And after you arrive with some preconception about a historical monument with some spiritual atmosphere, you’ll spot an actual pilgrim who just took off their shoes when entering the tomb for a prayer.
Pro-tip: reach or leave the monument on Gül Baba utca, this cobblestone street bordered by old little houses that leads up the hill.