Sarajevo / Saraybosna

Founded in the 1450s by the Ottomans upon its conquest of the region. The first Ottoman governer of Bosnia, Isa-Beg Ishaković, transformed the cluster of villages into a city by building a number of key structures, including a mosque, closed marketplace, public bath, hostel and the governor’s castle (“Saray”) which gave the city its present name. With the improvements Sarajevo quickly grew into the largest city in the region. By the 15th Century the settlement was established as a city, named Bosna-Saraj, around the citadel in 1461. The name Sarajevo is derived from Turkish saray ovası, meaning the field around saray. Under the second governor, Gazi Husrev-beg, Sarajevo grew at a rapid rate. The Old Town was built during his reign and Sarajevo grew to be the biggest and most important Ottoman city in the Balkans.

The city became the playground for conflicts. During the Great Turkish War in 1697, a raid was led by Prince Eugene of Savoy (Habsburg Monarchy) against the Ottomans, which conquered Sarajevo and left it plaque-infected and burned to the ground. Only a handful of neighborhoods were left standing. In the 1830s, several battles of the Bosnian uprising had taken place around the city. The rebellion failed and for several more decades the Ottoman state remained in control of Bosnia. The Ottoman Empire made Sarajevo an important administrative centre by 1850.

Places of interest

Ali Pasha’s Mosque
Clock tower
Gazi Husrev-beg’s bezistan
Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque
Emperor’s Mosque

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