Bascarsija is located in the old town part of Sarajevo. The central (Bascarsija) market of Sarajevo was twice the site of carnage, massacres by mortar fire. Now the market is filled with life as all varieties of vegetables, fruit, and other goods are available. The people were embracing, and eager to talk of politics (not a wise thing to do) and food. In the market you'll meet and chat with the local, and perhaps buy an item or two.
Bascarsija is an old Sarajevan market-place,
historical and cultural centre of Sarajevo city.
Bascarsija was built in 15th century, when
Isa-bey Ishakovic had founded entire city.
Word Bascarsija is derived from Turkish word
„baš“ which means „main“, thus the whole word
„Bašèaršija“ means „main market-place“.
Bascarsija is twice smaller than it used to be,
because of the fire in 19th century. Communist
authorities wanted to destroy it completely in
1940's, but fortunately, they gave up from that
plan. Bascarsija is located on north Miljacka
riverside, Old Town municipality.There are several
important historical objects in Bascarsija, such as
Gazi Husref-bey's mosque and Tower Clock.
Gazi Husref-bey built his mosque in 1530. He also
built in the Bascarsija Madrasah (Moslem religious
secondary school), library, hammam (Turkish bath),
Bezistan (domed market building), Morica Han
(inn), Tower Clock and many other objects.Gazi
Husref-bey is buried in the harem of his mosque,
and beside him is a domed burial site of his freed
slave and the first mutevelija (mosque
superintendent) of his endowment Murat-bey
Tardic. Bascarsija was the strongest in the second
half of 16th century. There were 80 different crafts,
organized in craft-guilds. Bascarsija was organized
in the crafts, so shops of one or more similar crafts
would have been settled in each street (e.g. Kovaci
Street, Kazandziluk Street, Saraci Street, etc.)
A range of trade objects were constructed in this period (bezistan, hostelries, resting places for caravans – karavansaraji and many other).
Sarajevo was important trade centre in Balkan with three bezistans (Gazi Husref-bey's Bezistan and Bursa Bezistan exist today). There were Venetian
and Ragusan colonies in Sarajevo. Around 12,000 trade shops were settled in Bascarsija in that period, but 17th century was not so good for
Sarajevo and Bascarsija. Sarajevo was struck by earthquake in 1640 year and affected by fire several times in 1644 and 1656.
However, famous travel writer Evlija Celebija wrote in 1660: „Carsija has a thousand and eighty shops, which are paragons of beauty. Carsija itself
is very attractive and built according to a plan.“Unfortunately, Eugene of Savoy broke in Sarajevo in 1697, fired and devastated entire city. Only
several buildings remained. Region of Sarajevo city did not develop too much up to 19th century. During Austria-Hungary occupation in 1878, many
foreign architects wanted to transform Sarajevo in a modern European city. The fire, which devastated entire old town except the part that still exists,
helped them a lot. Well-known border between Bascarsija and Ferhadija Street emerged in this way.
After liberation of Sarajevo in 1945 year, new city people's board made decision for devastation of carsija with an explanation that old trades centre
does not have a role in the modern city. Bascarsija however succeeded to survive and its modern role in the city became a standard in 1970.
According to the leggend who ever drinks the water from this fountain will return to the city.
Aldough Bascarsija dates from 16th c., the fountaun (sebilj) was built 1891.
I must admit I haven't drink the water, but I didn't know for the legend at the time.
The old oriental quarter of Sarajevo is called Bašcaršija. It's the city's main attraction and I found it absolutely wonderful to walk around here. There's one big main square full of cafes, pigeons and Cevabdcinicas as well as many small lanes full of little shops, cafes and mosques. There's a smoky atmosphere here, the smoke is coming from the grills of the Cevabdcinicas, from the chimneys and from the people who ALL seem to smoke here.
A fantastic area!
All lanes have a different topic, there's one full of jewellry, one full of carpets etc etc. I think you can easily spend a day here when you look into every shop there is. I found a handmade Vucko in one of the shops, a T-Shirt in another one. And I found a carpet I would have loved to take home, too. Unfortunately it was a big too expensive! I wish we would have had more time here to give all the shops a closer look and to buy some more nice souvenirs.
Bascarsija was a sightseeing mecca. A culturally diverse community, it boasted of excellent shopping, markets full of energy, and cafes with delicious local cuisine.
Bascarsija was heavily damaged during the war, but is now undergoing revitalization.
Bascarsija was founded in 1462, when Isa-bey
Ishakovic built an inn and number of shops.
In that period, majority population lived around
Emperor's mosque, which is located on the other
side of Miljacka river, so, Isa-bey Ishakovic built
a bridge over the river in order to span main
Sarajevan settlement with economic centre of
the city.Sixteenth century was the best period in
the history of Bascarsija. Great number of
craftsmen had been associating in guilds, thus the
Bascarsija had been partitioned in streets with
similar craft shops. Therefore, the streets were
named as Saraci (Saddlers), Kovaci
(Blacksmiths), Kazandziluk (Coppersmiths), etc.
According to some assessments, there were 12,000 shops in this period. Next century could have
been disastrous for this old part of the city.Huge earthquake struck Sarajevo in 1640, and later in
1644 and 1656, it was affected by fires. Half a century later, in 1697, Eugene of Savoy fired and
plundered entire city, when only several buildings remained untouched. Sarajevo was real metropolis
in 1660 and the second most important city in Ottoman Empire.Over 80,000 people lived in
Sarajevo, and two centuries later, Zagreb and Belgrade had just around 15,000 inhabitants each.
Range of accidents and events were reasons for cessation of development of Sarajevo and
Bascarsija. By Austria-Hungary arrival, foreign architects wanted to make European city from
They succeeded in this idea after fire that struck everything but the part of Bascarsija which still exists. Thus the border between the old and „modern“
part of the city emerged at the endof Ferhadija Street.
Baščaršija (Turkish: Başçarşı) is considered to be the main street of Sarajevo and one of its most important landmarks. It is located in the old town part of Sarajevo, designed in the Ottoman-Turkish style and loaded with souvenir shops and public fountains. It contains a bazaar that sells all kinds of metalwork, jewellery and pottery. Each street is dedicated to a different craft. It is built in the 16th century.
The word Baščaršija derives from Turkish language. The word "baš" which is "baş" in Turkish means "primary", "main", "capital" and "čaršija" which is "çarşı" in Turkish means "bazaar" or "market".
... it is iconic image of Sarajavo with pigeons under the poplar trees and around Sebilj - the fountain; plenty of them in a crowd, people walking by and children scare them off, some men feeding them and other - plenty to say - taking photos here. In fact, it is great place to sit down, having a coffee or pita (or cevapi if you prefer) and watch the activity in this most scenic of the squares in Bascarsija, the old quarter in Sarajevo.
The pigeons here rest at the roofs of the nearest buildings, and well, they make mess too on the floor, although you will see some people sitting right there where the mess is. Sometimes you feel like you can touch the pigeon, they are not at all scared.
Bascarsija, the old Turkish quarter of Sarajevo, is like a miniature Constantinople. There is a cobbled town square, sixteenth century mosque, synagogue and church and a maze of narrow streets and alleyways, not far from the spot where Archduke Ferdinand and his wife, Sofia, were assassinated.
Stop to eat cevapcici - lamb kebab rolls with chopped onion, in spongy somun bread - in one of the traditonal Bosnian restaurants.
Put 'hats' on the s's and the c and you have a word that is not easy for the normal American to say. This is the heart of old Sarajevo - the Turkish Quarter, the old mosques, churches and synagogues. The area was spruced up considerably for the '84 Olympics. Old markets are now home to boutique shopping. Many shops you will find people hammerring away at different copper plates, creating tourist souvenirs (haggle!) - as one coppersmith told me. He used to be in the Army but now he works on the plates as he needs the work. Copper plates, coffee sets and pens made from antiaircraft shells are among the many things you can find.
Many mosques were destroyed in the war, but the UN put the ones in the Bascarsija off limits to the Serbs. Since there were plenty of apartments, open-air markets and hospitals to shoot at, they seem to have respected these boundaries and some very pretty mosques remain from the 1500's. The center of the Bascarsija is the square containing hundreds of pigeons and a flowing fountain. The saying is that if you drink water from the fountain, you will return to Sarajevo in the future. The pigeons certainly do!
During the summer, the city invites many different cultural groups - folkloric dance teams, music groups, etc - to perform at different venues around the city. The week I was there, there was a French avante-garde choir singing in front of the Catholic Cathedral; a group of whirling dervishes from Konye, Turkey performing at an old Turkish fort; Don Cossacks and many other folkloric groups at the International Folkloric Festival - being held in conjunction with the Bascarsija Doci - dancing the night away at the stage across the Miljacka from the old National Library building.
Bascarsija is undoubtedly the part of Sarajevo in which visitors spend the majority of their time. It is the section of Stari Grad (the old town) that was built by the Ottomans and that has that characteristic aura that leads people to proclaim Sarajevo “Europe’s most Oriental city”. The majority of buildings in the Bascarsija (which is composed of the Turkish words “baº” meaning head or chief and “çarºija” meaning market) are low structures, despite the presence of a fair number of minarets, mosques and towers, but the crowded nature of the streets can make it rather difficult to get perspective. The city was essentially built up around this nucleus starting in the 15th century, when Isa-Beg Isakovic, the governor of the Turkish province, decided to turn a 13th century Serbian citadel into a market town. Bascarsija has been destroyed and rebuilt on several occasions, thanks to ongoing Turkish wars, Austrian raids, fires, World Wars and finally the Civil War. Nevertheless, the plethora of small craftsmen and merchants (silver and coppers crafts are a specialty, but you’ll also find various textile and lots of food stores) help to preserve the traditional atmosphere. There are also many 16th century mosques in this part of the city, and the call for prayer can often be heard, as can the prayers themselves if you are visiting during a holiday, when the mosques tend to be fuller than usual.
Bascarsija Mosque is another reminder of the heyday of Ottoman Turkish architecture. Constructed in 1528, it is linked to Havadze Duraka and is a fairly small affair. Given the various domes, however, it is obviously bigger than the Ferhadi Mosque. There isn’t a lot provided by way of information about the mosque, but it is nevertheless one of the most picturesque in the entire Bascarsija district. This isn’t because of the architecture or the artwork of the building, but is more because of the artists who sell their paintings outside the mosque’s gate, the open space that provides a view of the mountains and the Ottoman architecture of the surrounding buildings, and the pigeons that congregate up close towards the Sebilj na Carsiji.
This is the hub of the old town, and main attraction of Sarajevo, mainly in Turkish style, shops , places to eat and drink, just enjoy the atmosphere. This is where all the trams head for. ( i was told to pronouce it Bosh-char-shee-ya. ) The pigeons are here as well. Something thats not here is Macdonalds and Starbucks etc, the Bosnians have there own coffee places and cafes serving cevapi and the like.
The old town, Bascarsija is a cozy area in the centre of Sarajevo with old Bosnian architecture and narrow pedestrian promenades. You will find a lot of small restaurants here.
You need a functional speech disorder to pronounce the name "Bascarsija". The place should have had a name-change for long time ago.