Old Mosques Beyond Sarajevo

Old Mosques Beyond Sarajevo

Mount Igman Mosque/War Mosque in Sarajevo

Igman mountain was the paradigm of the defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at that time on this place, soldiers of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina started to build mosque, who after the war became famous as The Igman War Mosque.

This mosque was built by the soldiers on their own initiative, in the pauses between regular defense missions. It was built by design of Osman Smiječanin, and today this is a kind of cultural monument.

For soldiers this mosque was the meaning and the truth of life, and not only the place where they practice prayer, but it was also the spiritual basis for the survival of the entire people, and a witness to its historical duration.

The construction of the mosque began on Wednesday, November 17, 1993.

The Work was done by Muslim soldiers from the first corps or division that have linked headquarters of Igman in the reduced military activities. The mosque has been built during winter whereby moving conditions were reduced because of snow. With huge effort and struggle of the soldiers, the work has been accomplished and the mosque was opened on the 5th of February 1994.

Reisulema Dr. Mustafa Ceric accompanied by Hfz. Ismet Spahic announced the opening. Present were commanders of military divisions representative of the government, foreign organizations and many Muslims that have been securing the corridor through Igman to Saravejo. Imams who participated according the schedule performed service in the mosque until the Peace agreement took place and the seized fire and the war operations where the Army left Igman area. The women’s prayer area in the mezzanine was used as an operating room during the war.

In certain periods the supervision of the mosque was abandoned, and a group of Muslims interested in the destiny of the mosque initiated reconstruction which was realized during 2000.

Igman war mosque
Igman war mosque (1)
Igman war mosque
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Igman War mosque
Igman war mosque (2)

Mosques near Sarajevo

Colored Mosque in Travnik

Although this mosque is officially called Sulejmanija, everyone in Travnik uses its longstanding nickname, a reference to its famous frescoed facade. The colors have since faded but the building remains notable for the bezistan (minibazaar) built into the stone arched arcade. There's been a mosque here, at Travnik's centre point, since the 16th century. Its current form dates from 1757, although it was largely reconstructed after a major fire in 1815.

It is the only mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a minaret rising from the left side of the building. Its said that its because the land to the right wasn't owned by the waqf/endowment of the mosque. It's also said that the Earth wasn't stable on the right side.

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Hadži Ali-Begova džamija in Travnik

It was built by Mehmed pasa Kukavica in 1757. Then destroyed by the fire and was restored by Ali Beg Hasanpasic in 1872 so in a way he is counted as a real founder.

Hadzi Ali begova dzamiya
Hadzi Ali- Begova dzamiya
Hadzi Ali- Begova dzamiya
Hadzi Ali- Begova
Hadzi Ali- Begova dzamiya
Hadzi ali -Begova dzamiya (1)
Hadzi Ali -Begova dzamiya
Hadzi Ali -Begova dzamiya

Hajji Alija Mosque in Počitelj

Hajji Alija mosque was built in 1563 by one “hajji-Alija, son of Musa” as recorded on the inscription above the entrance door. It is one of the most impressive Ottoman-period single-room domed mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the 17th century the mosque was repaired by Šišman Ibrahim-paša, and has been known since then by the locals as the Šišman Ibrahim-paša džamija/mosque. The mosque was restored in the 1970s then it was badly damaged in 1993, when the dome and minaret were destroyed. Restoration works financed by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina began in 2002.

Hajji Alija Mosque
Hajji alija mosque
Hajji alija mosque (3)
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Hajji alija mosque (1)
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Sherefudin’s White Mosque in Visoko

The White Mosque serves as the religious and intellectual centre for the community. Its geometrically simple plan encloses a complex, slope-ceilinged, skylit volume, pure, abstract, sparsely ornamented and painted white. The principal symbolic elements, mihrab, minbar, minaret and fountains, have a fresh folk art character subtly enhanced by the avant-garde geometries of their setting. Commending the mosque for its boldness, creativity and brilliance," the jury found it "full of originality and innovation (though with an undeniable debt to Ronchamp), laden with the architect's thought and spirit, shared richly with the community, and connecting

Sherefudin's White mosque (1)
Sherefudin's White Mosque (2)
Sherefudin's White Mosque (1)
Sherefudin's White mosque
Sherefudin's White mosque
Sherefudin's white mosque
Sherefudin's white mosque (1)
Sherefudin's White Mosque (2)

Mosques in Mostar

Karadoz Bey Mosque in Mostar

The Karađoz-begova džamija/Karađoz Bey Mosque is the largest and one of the most beautiful mosques in Herzegovina. Besides her tall and elegant minaret, it is the mosque is known for her beautiful dome. They built it in 1557-1558 after drawings of famous Ottoman architect Sinan. It falls under one of the most alluring mosques that Mostar can offer you. The mosque is listed as one of the national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is perfect for those who want to experience Islam as a religion and Ottoman architecture. Mehmed beg Karađoz donated mecena for this mosque and he was the main donor. Besides this mosque, he built madrasa, religious school, and many other buildings in Mostar.

Karadoz Begova Mosque (4)
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Karadoz Begova Mosque (3)
Karadoz Begova Mosque (1)
Karadoz Begova Mosque (1)
Karadoz Begova Mosque

Tannery Mosque in Mostar

This mosque was built between the 16th and 17th centuries, as desired by Hajji Kurt, member of the ancient Mostar Kurt family. Standing on the right bank of the Neretva River, about 100 metres from the Old Bridge, this mosque was next to the antique Tabhana, the district where leather processing workshops were once found; and this fact reveals the mystery of its name, deriving from the term Tabaci (leather tanners). 

A row of small shops and its location make the Tabačica mosque one of the most frequently visited in Mostar. Leather workers did not want to pray with people they didn’t work with because they could not remove the smell of the leather off them from years of work so they created their own mosque. A river flows through the middle of the mosque that the leather workers could see because the floor used to be glass. The only mosque in Mostar where religious weddings were held, that’s why there are tables right outside the mosque.

Tannery mosque in Mostar (1)
Tannery mosque
Tannery mosque in Mostar (2)
Tannery mosque in Mostar

Mosques near Mostar

Esma Sultana Mosque in Jajce

Constructed in 1750 and distinguishable by its size and oriental style, Sultan Esma’s Mosque is arguably the most valuable remains of the Ottoman period in Jajce.

It is located in the center of the town near the main street connecting the Travnik and Banja Luka gatehouses.

As the story goes, Esma Sultana fell ill and the doctors could not cure her. Esma turned to astrologists who told her that she would only recover if she built three endowments. So Esma sold her jewelry to pay for the construction of the mosque and two bridges over the Vrbas River. Sadly, she did not live to see the completed mosque.

Like most other mosques and Catholic churches in Jajce, the Esma Sultanija was completely destroyed in the war. (Interestingly, two of Jajce’s other mosques were spared because of their precarious hill-side locations.) When it was rebuilt, a memorial wall and plaque dedicated to the 328 victims of the 1992 military offensive was erected out front. A memorial for Christian victims is located directly across the road.

Sultan Esma mosque
Sultan Esma mosque (2)
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Sultan Esma Mosque

Carsijska Mosque /Stolac in Prijedor

The exact year of construction of the Čaršija mosque in Prijedor is unknown, it dates back to before 1840, with the assumption that the first mosque was built in this spot during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I (1730-1754). This is shown by the information provided by the inscriptions above the front door indicating the two earlier restorations of the mosque in 1840 and 1904. Čaršija mosque was declared a national monument in March 2003. After being destroyed in 1992, it was rebuilt in the same spot and the opening ceremony was held on 2nd August 2008.

Stolac Mosque (1)
Stolac Mosque
Stolac Mosqu
Stolac Mosque (2)

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2 thoughts on “Old Mosques Beyond Sarajevo

  1. I was wondering what is the wooden strip feature with the green ball that recessed into the wall in Sherefudin’s White Mosque? The feature where everybody kneels down to pray at?

    • Hi Shawn. Interesting question. The wooden strip is the Mihrab that points out the Qiblah which is the direction of the Kabah in Mekkah – this is the direction in which all Muslims pray. It’s done in a very artistic, abstract and modern way using beautiful Bosnian wood and the green color of Islam. It’s brilliantly done design-wise, but this may be why it’s a little difficult to identify ?

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