Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque it is the largest historical mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the most representative Ottoman structures in the Balkans. Being the central Sarajevo's mosque since the days of its construction, today it also serves as the main congregational mosque of the Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque was built in 1530 as the central object of the Beg's endowment, which also included a maktab and a madrasa (Islamic primary and secondary schools), a bezistan (vaulted marketplace), a hammam (public bathplace) etc. It was the first mosque in the world to receive electricity and electric illumination in 1898 during the period of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The mosque belongs to the type of complex-spaced, multi-domed mosques and it is a represent of the Early Period of Classical Ottoman Architecture (sometimes referred to as Early Istanbul Style). The central rectangular space, framed by high walls and covered with a dome resting on pendentives, represents the spine of the structure, while lower extensions lean to it and expand the volume of the interior space. The qibla side of the mosque is extended with a rectangular space which is covered by a semi-dome resting on two highly developed muqarnas structures. They stand in function of pendentives, reducing the rectangular outline of the ground level to the near semi-circle shape in level of the semi-dome. This area houses central architectural elements with religious purposes: mihrab, minbar and kursi and, being open to the central space with a huge arch, represents the focal point of the mosque.

The exterior is dominated by the main dome, topped out only by a simple, yet monumental minaret. The entry side is marked with a portico resting on four wide columns and covered with little domes, only the central one, above the portal, being a bit greater than others, and resting on muqarnas-adorned pendentives, in contrast to others which are laid on simple, plain-surfaced pendentives. The monumental portal is richly decorated with muqarnas, as well as columns' capitels.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, Serbian forces purposely targeted many centers of the city's culture, such as museums, libraries, and mosques, and fired on them generally. As the largest and best known, the Beg's mosque was an obvious target. Having suffered a significant amount of destruction, the reconstruction of the Mosque started with foreign help in 1996, right after the war. The old and faded layer of Austro-Hungarian decoration was removed and, since remains of older, historical layers of decorative painting weren't found, a completely new interior was designed and applied by Bosnian calligrapher Hazim Numanagić in 2001/2002. Austro-Hungarian decoration, performed mostly in pseudo-Moorish style, remains only on the portal of the Mosque today.



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Founded: 1530
Category: Religious sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sophia S (6 months ago)
Stunning, breathtaking masjid + compound that made me feel like I was in Istanbul again. Beautiful calligraphy decorates the interior of the masjid, and there's a live mu'addhin once a day for Zhuhr prayer. Hope to return a few more times.
Tom Wilson (9 months ago)
This is the first time I paid for ticket to enter a mosque. I paid for entering Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona but it was still built and they needed money. However I don’t know why ticket is needed to enter this mosque. It is a religious site. This mosque is simple, nothing is impressive. Compared to mosques in Istanbul, this mosque is pretty simple. I am giving 4 stars because of my respect for religious places.
Ying Wah Chan (9 months ago)
Beautiful central mosque of Sarajevo. Just 3KM to enter. Come well dressed with shoulders and knees covered. Ladies will also need a headscarf which can be borrowed at the ticket office. Inside of the mosque is modestly decorated, nothing lavish, but truly beautiful and peaceful. Note there's special hours open for visits only when there's no service, so check the hours.
jeremy kalous (10 months ago)
Lovely mosque. Very typical simple Ottoman brick exterior with typical (though modern) beautiful interior
Mohammed Hossameldin Mosa (10 months ago)
Very beautiful ottoman style Mosque at the heart of the city. Very nice stop to have a relaxing break specially in hot days. The water fountain in the courtyard is very beautiful and decorated with very admirable Arabic script from Quran
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