Saturday, October 6, 2007

Jesuits Turn Hungarian Mosque, Built From Stones Of Destroyed Catholic Church And Turn It Back Into A Catholic Church

This unusual building stands at the top of the main square of Pécs in southwestern Hungary near the Croatian border. During the Middle Ages, the spot was occupied by a large triple-aisled Gothic church named in honor of St. Bertalan. The Turks, who occupied Pécs in 1543, destroyed the church and used its stones in 1548-1551 to build the mosque of Pasha Gazi Kassim, the largest in Hungary. The Turks were completely expelled from Hungary by 1699, and the mosque was taken over by the Jesuits who added a chapel and sacristy, tore down the Turkish entry and minaret, and turned it back into a Catholic church where they served until the Suppression in 1773. It is still a Catholic church, the Inner City Parish Church, despite its exotic shape, two prayer niches facing Mecca, and atop its cupola an ecumenical symbol: a cross rising above the Turkish crescent moon. Original link (here)

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