DAMAT ALI-PASHA TURBEH

WHERE IS IT?

It's located in the upper town of the Belgrade fortress, not far from Mehmed-Pasha Sokolovic's fountain and the archaeological remnants of Despot Stefan Lazarevic's court, as well as the Cultural Monument Protection Institute.

IS THIS DAMAD ALI-PASHA'S TOMB?

It's not even Damad Ali-Pasha's tomb, nor is it infrastructure belonging to Serbia. It is in the ownership of the Turkish embassy and is an inalienable right of the Turkish state, and entrance is therefore prohibited. The turbe itself is named after the grand vesier of Sultan Ahmed III, Damad Ali-Pasha. However, reliable information regarding the location of his grave is unavailable, despite the existence of multiple sources testifying that he was buried in Belgrade in 1716.

WHO WAS DAMAD ALI-PASHA?

Damad Ali-Pasha was Grand Vesier of the Ottoman Empire from 1713 - 1716 during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III. The named Damad or Damat (meaning son in-law in turkish) was added to his name after he married Sultan Ahmed III's daughter. He led the Ottoman army against Austria, in the battle of Petrovaradin in 1716, where he was defeated and died shortly after being wounded. Some historical sources suggest that he was buried in Belgrade.

THE HISTORY

The modern turbe has nothing to do with the tomb of Grand Vesier Damad Ali-Pasha. It was built more than 50 years after his death, in 1784 as the tomb of a city official Izmet Mehmed-Pasha. Since the turbe was considerably damaged in the First Serbian Uprising, the Ottomans renewed it in 1819 and dedicated it in memory of Damad Ali-Pasha, who was believed to have been buried in Belgrade. There are sources claiming that the Vesier's personal seal keeper who returned to Belgrade as a tax gatherer following the end of the Austrian occupation (1717-1739) built the turbe above the grave of Damad Ali-Pasha. However, today the graves of Izmet Ali-Pasha and 2 city officials; Selim-Pasha (1847) and Hasan-Pasha (1850) are there.

EXTERIOR

The turbe, which is 7 meters tall, was built with stone as a one-room construction. It has a hexagonal foundation, which is 8 meters in diameter. After years of neglect, the Turkish Agency for International Cooperation and Development helped renovate the turbe, as well as Mehmed Pasha-Sokolovic's fountain and the small staircase in Kalemegdan in 2017.

Written by Iva Pešić

Translated by Filip Šuica