Around the World in 80 Clicks

inspiring you to travel

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Multi-coloured-mosque

Mission accomplished image

Multi-coloured-mosque | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Europe

[Visited: May 2014]

After arrival in rainy Sarajevo, I directly head to the northwest. On the way to Jajce, I decide to make a stopover in the old town of Travnik. The castle on the top of a hill overlooking the small town squeezed into a narrow, green valley is my first obvious stop; after that, I decide to stay a little longer and explore the town itself. At the bottom of the valley, I find the multi-coloured mosque: a square building with a minaret. Walking around it, I noticed that the walls are painted around the windows. When I come to the entrance, at the backside of the mosque, I find a small courtyard with an ablution block, and a stream running through it. Turning around, I see a richly decorated wooden door. I walk up the stairs, examine the door, and push it, even though it seems to be locked. To my surprise, it opens; I take off my shoes, and walk the carpets to the main prayer hall, which is empty.

Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Grapevines painted on the outside wall of the multi-coloured mosque

Here, light comes in through windows on all sides. The ceiling has remarkably brightly painted wooden panels, in a pattern of lozenges, in blue, yellow, and orange lines. The minbar is also painted on all sides. Here, the paint has faded, but the decorations are easy to discern. I am surprised: in most mosques, you would see intricate geometric patterns as decoration, but not earthly items like flowers and fruits. The mihrab is also brightly painted: blue, red, and yellow patterns with a green background. I walk around the prayer hall, looking up at the ceiling, where some columns have cracks in them. I walk up the wooden stairs, and from the first floor, have better view of the carpets on the ground below. This mosque was initially built in the mid-18th century on the location where another mosque had been, but was rebuilt bySuleyman-Pasha Skopljak after it burnt down in 1815; he also had the paintings added, making it a unique mosque.

Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): The Sarena Dzamija, or multi-coloured mosque, seen from the outside

When I come back to put on my shoes and leave, I am still the only person inside. This is my first experience in Bosnia, and I start having the feeling that this country does have a unique identity. It makes me curious to see more. But first, I walk around the mosque again. Curiously, on two sides, there are arches sustained by columns; behind it, there are some small shops. A souk integrated into the mosque, called a bezistan, which means that the mosque itself is actually on the first floor, above the shops. There are a few white tombstones close to the wall of the mosque. It is believed that hairs of the Prophet Mohamed are stored in this mosque, but I could not find where they would be stored - surely not within sight of the occasional visitor. An old man is sitting at the corner of the mosque, eating some undefined stuff from a dirty paper bag. He looks like a vagabond, and in a bad shape. I remember that I still have the sandwich I got on the plane with me, and give it to him; a gesture he appears to like.

Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Fruit and floral patterns painted on a wooden panel on the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): The bezistan, integrated into the multicolored mosque, is located below the prayer hall
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Main wooden door of the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Bright colours used to decorate the mihrab of the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Floral patterns inside the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): The decorated wood of the minbar
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Washing feet is done here, outside the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Bright colours used on the ceiling of the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Prayer hall of the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): View of the ceiling of the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Colourful decoration inside the multi-coloured mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Detailed view of a crack in one of the beams of the mosque
Picture of Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina): Close-up of the main door of the multi-coloured mosque

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Multi-coloured-mosque (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Multi-coloured-mosque.
Read more about this site.

Follow us