Townspeople and Treasure Hunters in Hungary Search for a Sultan’s Buried Heart

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tags: Hungary, Suleiman the Magnificent, Archeology

The site is believed to be where Suleiman the Magnificent spent his last night before 50,000 of his Ottoman soldiers sacked a nearby fortress defended by 2,500 Christians led by Miklos Zrinyi, a local Croatian-Hungarian nobleman.

According to legend, it was the final triumph attributed to Suleiman, the great Ottoman sultan, who died in his tent on the eve of the battle in 1566.

His grand vizier kept the sultan’s death a secret from his soldiers until after their victory, when his body was secreted back to Istanbul. Ottoman legends say Suleiman’s heart and other internal organs were buried in a golden coffin beneath the place where his tent stood.

The discovery last year of the camp site, and other Ottoman relics, has led researchers to cut dozens of trenches at the excavation site in Szigetvar, about 20 miles from the Croatian border, and attracted treasure hunters in search of the buried heart of Suleiman the Magnificent.

“We wanted to cast some light on those legends and restore the fame of the city of Szigetvar,” said Norbert Pap, the geographer and historian who has been leading the excavation.

Read entire article at NYT