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The positive impacts of the Ottoman invasion

Eger region

Naturally, the 150-year-long Ottoman rule left its mark on Hungary. When the parties were not actually battling, they influenced each other’s culture. The Turks loved construction. Whatever land they conquered, they started to build baths and religious buildings, mostly minarets. This is what happened in Hungary too. 

Dobó István Vármúzeum (Castle Museum)

For most people, Eger is the first town that comes to mind in relation to the Ottoman invasion. The Turks tried to take the Castle of Eger twice. In 1552, the Hungarians led by Captain István Dobó managed to repel the enemy excessively outnumbering the Hungarian troops, but in 1596, there was no mercy for the castle. Afterwards, the castle was ruled by the Turks until 1687.


You can enjoy a variety of experiences in its well-preserved structure. Visit the Sultan’s wax museum, take a look at the selected torture methods applied in the castle prison, and enjoy 3D time travel in the castle cinema. 


You won’t have to go too far from the castle to find the only minaret of the town that remained intact. If you like nice views, be sure to climb the 98 stairs leading up to the balcony of the 40-metre-high building. To make it a day trip, visit the 400-year-old Turkish Bath, invoking an authentic Turkish atmosphere both indoors and outdoors. Its cupola is covered with 200,000 pieces of gilded mosaics, offering a view to the bathing public nobody will ever forget. 


The heritage of the Ottomans in Hungary doesn’t just include sights to see. Our gastronomy has also been influenced. We have coffee and produce tobacco because of them. As pork wasn’t looted from the villagers by the Turkish soldiers, this was the era when it became a basic ingredient of Hungarian cuisine. Without the great Ottoman invasion, we wouldn’t be eating stuffed cabbage, ‘lecsó’ (Hungarian ratatouille) or ‘lángos’ (fried dough) today. 


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