In our series, we are introducing beautiful mosques from different countries. This time, the mosques we will get to know are in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
They say, “Flying from the ground towards the sky, somewhere midway, not below, not above.” This description fits Kušlat Mosque, located on a hilltop between Konjević Polje and Zvornik, built by Ottoman soldiers who came to conquer these lands. The mosque, which was burned during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and renovated in 2013, is reached by following the forest paths, just as it used to be. Known as the “Symbol of Conquest,” the mosque is known to host Friday prayers during the Ramadan month.
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Mostar
Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque, built in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Koski Mehmed Pasha, the defterdar (financial administrator), in 1618, stands tall despite all the historical damages it endured. Located in a position from which you can admire the historical Mostar Bridge and the beauty of the Neretva River, Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque is a beautiful Ottoman structure with a small garden that allows us to enjoy all these beauties.
Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, Sarajevo
Situated in the heart of Sarajevo’s Bascarsija, considered the heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque was built in 1530-31 and is part of a complex (külliye) even though not all of it has survived to this day. The tradition of calling the prayer from the minaret still continues at Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque, and as per the will of Gazi Husrev-bey, recitations are performed every day after the midday prayer. According to the inscription on the tombstone, Gazi Husrev-bey, who is known to have passed away in 1541, was succeeded by his kethüda (steward) Murad Bey, who was laid to rest in a modest tomb beside Gazi Husrev-bey.
When Evliya Çelebi visited these beautiful lands in 1660, he spoke about Husrev Pasha Mosque, mentioning the large congregation it had and how heated water was provided through the ablution taps in winter, providing us with valuable information about the mosque. Despite undergoing changes and losses over the passing centuries, Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque has managed to regain its former splendor each time and now greets us with all its grandeur.
Alaca Mosque, Foča
There are other mosques with the name Alaca in some Balkan countries, but Foča Alaca Mosque, built in 1550 by Hasan Nezir, a close associate of Mimar Sinan, is known as the “Pearl of Bosnia.” Unfortunately, the mosque suffered damage and was destroyed during the Bosnian war that began in 1992. However, it was rebuilt in 2019 and once again stands before us in all its beauty.
Zupa Mosque, Trebinje
The 500-year-old Zupa Mosque in Trebinje, near the border with Montenegro in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has faced destruction six times throughout history, yet it has risen from its ashes each time and still stands proudly. Built in the 16th century, a few meters below its current location, the mosque continues to welcome those coming from Montenegro to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Zupa Mosque is considered one of the most significant Islamic symbols in the region and is known by the Muslim community living in the area as the “Solitary Beauty.”