Waqfs of Isa Beg Isaković

Waqfs of Isa Beg Isaković

Waqf (Endowment)

A waqf is an endowment of personal property to be held in trust and used for a religious purpose or the common good. The endowed property is inalienable and cannot be returned to the owner i.e the founder of the waqf. The founder (Wakif) of the waqf must ensure its long- lasting benefit.

The waqf is based on Sharia (Islamic Law), which is founded upon the Qur’an and Hadith, i.e. Islamic traditions relating to the Messenger Muhammad. The foundation of the waqf is officialized by an endowment charter called waqfnama.  

Emperor’s Mosque with the Isa-Bey Hammam

Architectural Ensemble

The ensemble consists of the mosque’s front and side porticos, the inner courtyard with sadrvan fountain, the Ulema - majlis building, the mosque graveyard with tombstones, Sheik Bistrigija’s turbe, the stone boundary walls, two entrance gates, and the Isa-bey hamman building.

There is no mention in Isa-bey  Isakovic’s vakufnama (deed of perpetual endowment of the Isa-bey mosque), but later documents refer to damage to the mosque in 1565, in the central section, to which two wings with arcades, known as tetimas, were added in 1800. In 1848, both wings were walled up and connected via a door with the central prayer area.

In 1910 the Ulema-majlis palace was built to a design by architect Katl Parzik, and the kutubhana (reading room, library), built in 1753, and the muvektihana (premises housing the official responsible for adjusting the clock to keep in line with prayer times), built in 1853/54, were pulled down.

Between 1980 and 1983, the painted decorations in the interior of the mosque were conserved and restored.

The burial ground beside the Emperor’s mosque contains the graves of viziers, munlas, muftis, sheiks, employees in the Emperor’s mosque, and other dignitaries of Saravejo.

The ensemble was damaged by shelling during the 1992-1995 war. Repairs were carried out the Emperor’s mosque in 1995-2000.

Emperor Mosque

The Emperor’s Mosque is Saravejo’s oldest mosque and one of the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is presumed that Isa Bey  Isakovic, the founder of Saravejo, had this place of worship built soon after the city’s founding in 1462 in honor of Sultan Mehmed II “the Conqueror”.  It is the largest single-sub dome mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina, built in the classical Ottoman style of the era. Sarajevo was attacked in 1460 by the despot, Vuk Grgurevic, leader of King Matija Korvina’s Hungarian troops. The mosque suffered extensive damage and a total reconstruction was carried out during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and it was at this time that the mosque took its current form.

During the period of Austro-Hungarian rule, some of the adjacent structures were knocked down and a new building was erected which would come to house the seat of the Reis-ul-Ulema, office of the Grand Mufti of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There is a cemetery behind the mosque where prominent Sarajevans were buried, such as Sheik Ibrahim Bistrigija; Mula Muhamed Emin and the Bosnian Muhafiz, Abdulah Pasha. It is believed that it also contains the grave of Isa Bey Isakovic.

Location: Obala Isa-bega Ishakovica Bistrik, Sarajevo 71000

1.1 emperors mosque
1.2 emperor's mosque
1.3 Emperor's mosque (1)
1.4 emperor's mosque
1.5 Emperor's Mosque
1.6 emperors mosque 1.3
1.7 emperors mosque
1.8 emperors mosque
1.9 emperors mosque

Isa Begov Hammam

The Isa-bey hammam, the oldest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was demolished in 1889 following fire and flood damage. The new Isa-bey bath-house was built in 1891 to a design by architect Josip Vancas.

The site has now become the Isa Begov Hamam Hotel, a 4-star accommodation very close to the old town of Sarajevo, just across the river. 

Location: Bistrik 1, 71000 Sarajevo

Isa Beg Hammam 1.1
Hammam 1.2

Up Next:

Waqfs of Gazi Husrev Beg

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