September 7, 2016 - 16:43 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The recent discovery of the tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent, considered the greatest Ottoman ruler, has raised hopes of a tourism boom in one of Hungary's most impoverished areas, AFP reports.
From hammam baths and crumbling minarets to battle site memorials and ruins of mosques, traces of the country's 150-year-long stretch (1541-1699) in the Ottoman Empire are not hard to find in Hungary.
But many Hungarians see them as relics of a dark period during which the country's flourishing renaissance era was extinguished.
As a result, few of the Ottoman monuments have so far been promoted by the Hungarian authorities.
Suleiman's case could change that, however.
Experts confirmed in July that excavations begun two years ago in the struggling town of Szigetvar, close to the Croatian border, had revealed the tomb of the 16th-century ruler.
Suleiman died aged 71 on September 7, 1566, during an epic battle with the mainly Croatian defenders of Szigetvar castle that depleted his forces hoping to quickly advance on Vienna, the capital of the Habsburg Empire.
On Wednesday, September 7 senior government officials from Hungary, Croatia and Turkey joined thousands of visitors to Szigetvar to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the siege.
"This town is dying, young people are leaving or have already left for Germany or London, but Suleiman can bring in jobs, income, and tourists," said Norbert Pap, head of the team of researchers whose excavations uncovered the tomb.
"Szigetvar may be on the periphery now, but 450 years ago it was on the main street of European history," Pap, a geographer and historian at nearby Pecs university, told AFP.