Mosque of Pasha Qasim
|Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
|Belvárosi Gyertyaszentelő Boldogasszony-templom|
|Denomination||Roman Catholic (prev. Islam)|
|Former name(s)||St Bartholomew's Church (1220-1540)
Mosque of Pasha Qasim
|Years built||16th century|
The Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Hungarian: Belvárosi Gyertyaszentelő Boldogasszony-templom), formerly known as the Mosque of Pasha Qasim (Hungarian: Gázi Kászim pasa dzsámija, Turkish: Gazi Kasım Paşa Camii) is a Roman Catholic church in Pécs, Hungary, which was a mosque in the 16-17th century due to the Ottoman conquest. It is one of the symbols of the city, located in the downtown, on the main square (Széchenyi square). The current building, hundred steps both its length and its width, was built by Pasha Qasim the Victorious between 1543 and 1546. The mosque was converted into a church in 1702, after the Habsburg-Hungarian troops conquered the city. The minaret was destroyed by the Jesuits in 1766. It is still one of the largest Turkish buildings that remains in Hungary. It harbours the characteristics of Turkish architecture.
Standing at the highest point of Pécs's Széchenyi square, the mosque of pasha Qasim is the greatest example of Turkish architecture in Hungary. It was probably built in the second half of the 16th century. In the 1660s Evliya Çelebi, the famous Turkish traveller wrote of the overwhelming majesty of its view. A number of changes had been made on the building between the 18th and the 20th centuries. Its minaret was ultimately taken down but had been previously enlarged. Only the main square part remained of the original structure: the octagon drum, covered by a dome. There are arc windows in two rows on the façade of its south-eastern, south western and north-eastern part; 3-3 and 4-4 pieces. Inside the church, in the remaining plaster parts the Turkish decoration and inscriptions of the Qur'an are clearly visible. The Turkish pulpit and the women's balcony were destroyed and the mihrab is not the original either. The two Turkish bathing basins before the sacristies (today holy water) are taken from the former bath of the pasha next to the church. Today, the building functions as a Catholic church.
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