The national monument consists of the mosque, the harem beside the mosque, and a mekteb. Among the f ...

THE EMPEROR’S OR SULTAN SULEYMAN MOSQUESacral objects

Basic Info

The national monument consists of the mosque, the harem beside the mosque, and a mekteb. Among the first buildings to be erected in Blagaj, which the Ottomans took in 1466, was the Čaršija or Emperor’s mosque, which became the centre of the town’s čaršija. It was built in 1520 in honour of Sultan Suleyman I, as revealed by the inscription in verse carved on a stone plaque over the door of the Emperor’s mosque. It was formerly domed, but in the 19th century, when the dome collapsed, it was reconstructed as a wooden dome. The reconstruction was carried out to designs by the Austrian architect Max David produced in 1891. The minaret is about 20 m in height. The mekteb by the Emperor’s mosque was built before 1664.

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THE EMPEROR’S OR SULTAN SULEYMAN MOSQUEsacral objects

The Karađoz bey hammam in Blagaj was built in the late 16th century using funds from Karađoz bey ...

THE KARAĐOZ BEY HAMMAMPublic buildings

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The Karađoz bey hammam in Blagaj was built in the late 16th century using funds from Karađoz bey’s vakuf. Of crucial importance in dictating the layout of a hammam is the Muslim requirement for ritual washing. The form and function so generated acquired its own local expression in Bosnia. A hammam was a social centre, a place to which people from all walks of life and all ages, and of both sexes, came for the same reason. Double hammams made it possible for men and women to visit the baths at the same time, with separate premises for each sex. The Karađoz bey hammam in Blagaj was of the double type of baths. The building was abandoned after the plague of 1814. During World War II it took a direct hit from a bomb, and was badly damaged.

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THE KARAĐOZ BEY HAMMAMpublic buildings

In the mediaeval period, Blagaj was the headquarters of the prince of Hum, Miroslav. In 1404 Blagaj ...

HISTORIC SITE – OLD BLAGAJ FORT (STJEPAN GRAD)City walls and forts

Basic Info

In the mediaeval period, Blagaj was the headquarters of the prince of Hum, Miroslav. In 1404 Blagaj became one of the headquarters of vojvoda Sandalj Hranić, and then of herceg Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. It is referred to in the peace treaty between vojvoda Sandalj Hranić and the Venetians, signed on 1 November 1423 „in our fort of Blagaj.” It is also referred to in three 15th-century charters of King Alphonse V of Aragon and Naples.
In outline the fort is an irregular polygon. The most important building within the fort was the palace built in the late 14th and early 15th century at the time of vojvoda Sandalj Hranić. The central area is occupied by a building with a built-in circular cistern, probably dating from the Ottoman period. It was then, too, that a mosque and a small residential building were erected.
The Ottoman army conquered Blagaj in 1465, and by 1473 there is already reference to the kadi of Blagaj. A garrison was based there until 1835, when the fort was abandoned.

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HISTORIC SITE – OLD BLAGAJ FORT (STJEPAN GRAD)city walls and forts

The Velagić family's residential complex was built in 1776. The Velagić's were landowner ...

NATURAL AND ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE OF THE RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX OF THE VELAGIĆ FAMILY IN BLAGAJ NEAR MOSTARPublic buildings

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Velagicevina bb

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The Velagić family's residential complex was built in 1776. The Velagić's were landowners, who owned mills and a stamping mill in Blagaj. In 1634, Velija Velagić of Blagaj created a vakuf from a mill, a fulling mill and a wool-collecting basket under the fulling mill. The complex was built as three self-contained units, one for each of the three Velagić brothers, on a branch of the river Buna, in a semi-eyot or riverine peninsula, below the čaršija road leading to the tekke. It was concealed from the outside world thanks to its location, with the houses facing inwards onto a courtyard and their facades looking onto the natural surroundings.The courtyards are interconnected. The complex is surrounded by a stone wall about 2 metres in height.
Also belonging to the complex are a loggia on the eyot itself, and stables, mills and fulling mills close to the complex.

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NATURAL AND ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE OF THE RESIDENTIAL COMPLEX OF THE VELAGIĆ FAMILY IN BLAGAJ NEAR MOSTARpublic buildings

The Kolaković house was built in the 17th century as a simple building, and was considerably enlarg ...

THE KOLAKOVIĆ HOUSEPublic buildings

Basic Info

The Kolaković house was built in the 17th century as a simple building, and was considerably enlarged in the 18th century. The tarih (inscription) above the arch of the entrance doorway bears the year 1251 AH (1835).
The main living quarters and reception rooms were on the first floor. The most representative room of the
Kolaković house is the large ćošak (verandah-style room), of which the most highly decorated feature is the ceiling, with its raised central section in the shape of a carved wooden ribbed dome.
The woodcarvings in the Kolaković house are superb examples of this type of work in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Kolaković house also had decorations in stone.
The Kolaković house survived in its original form until 1993, during the war, when it took several direct hits and was badly damaged.

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THE KOLAKOVIĆ HOUSEpublic buildings

This five-arched stone bridge, on the old road to Stolac, is about fifty metres from the Sultan Sule ...

THE KARAĐOZ-BEG BRIDGEPublic buildings

Basic Info

This five-arched stone bridge, on the old road to Stolac, is about fifty metres from the Sultan Suleyman mosque on the way down to the Buna, hard by the Karađoz-beg hammam. There is little historical information about the Karađoz-beg bridge, which was probably built on the site of a mediaeval river crossing. It was erected as an endowment of Zaim hajji Mehmed Karađoz–beg. The earliest reference to the bridge is in the vakufnama (deed of pious endowment) of this Mostar benefactor, dated Ramadan 977 AH (8 March 1570), and must therefore have been built sometime before that date. In 1849 the bridge was badly damaged or left in ruins, and one Belfe-Kadira, daughter of Ali-beg Velagić, provided the funds to repair it. According to a note by Radimski of 1891, a tarih (inscription) recording the repairs was built into the bridge.

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THE KARAĐOZ-BEG BRIDGEpublic buildings

The National Monument consists of a turbe (mausoleum) and the musafirhana (hostel) of the tekke, wit ...

NATURAL AND ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE OF THE TEKKE IN BLAGAJ, MOSTARSacral objects

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Blagaj bb

Basic Info

The National Monument consists of a turbe (mausoleum) and the musafirhana (hostel) of the tekke, with the remains of the tekke and mills on the river Buna, with their natural surroundings of the source of the Buna and cliffs.
The first zawiyyah on the source of the river Buna was built by dervishes belonging to the Bektashi order in about 1470. This zawiyyah was of modest size, and in the late 15th century a new stone building with a stone-slab roof was built on the site of the old one. Stables, barns, a mill, a forge and stamping mill were added. In the 18th century the tekke was to become a meeting place for members of the Khalwatiyyah order.
All that now survives is the residential building of the tekke musafirhana and the turbe containing two graves marked by wooden coffins: the tomb of Shaikh Ačik-pasha (Muhamed Hindi) and that of Sari-Saltuk.
The influence of the baroque is to be seen in the shape of the roof and decorative features, the gable of the main facade, the corbels o

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NATURAL AND ARCHITECTURAL ENSEMBLE OF THE TEKKE IN BLAGAJ, MOSTARsacral objects

The church of St Basil of Ostrog was built during the Austro-Hungarian period. Work began on the ch ...

THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST BASIL OF OSTROG IN BLAGAJSacral objects

Basic Info

The church of St Basil of Ostrog was built during the Austro-Hungarian period. Work began on the church in 1892 and was completed in 1893. The church was consecrated on the Feast of the Dormition (29 August). The bell tower of the church was erected in 1934. The church of St Basil of Ostrog was designed in an eclectic style. The church had 15 icons, varying in both artistic and historical value, and dating from between the 15th/16th and the 19th centuries. Among the most valuable were: “Unidentified saint,” “The Harrowing of Hell,” “St John the Evangelist,” St Panthelemon,” and “St George with scenes from his Life” (Ribarević-Nikolić, 1984, p. 202). The church also contained a number of modern Russian icons. The iconostasis was installed in the church in 1893, and featured the figures of twenty saints in oils on canvas. The Royal Doors were also painted.

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THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF ST BASIL OF OSTROG IN BLAGAJsacral objects

The parish of Blagaj was founded by Mostar's Bishop Fr. Paškal Buconjić in 1891, and the pari ...

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY IN BLAGAJSacral objects

Basic Info

The parish of Blagaj was founded by Mostar's Bishop Fr. Paškal Buconjić in 1891, and the parish church was built in 1908. by a Bosnian friar, Ivo Božić, of the Franciscan province of Herzegovina. In 1933 the bell tower was added, using concrete. Stylistically, the church is of neo-Romanesque design. The church belongs to the type of single-nave church of rectangular plan with a bell tower. It lies with its long axis east-west, with the entrance at the west end. On the outside, it measures 22.29 m with 11.58 m. The church consists of a narthex, nave and altar area with a sacristy to the south. The choir gallery, reached by the same wooden staircase that leads into the bell tower, stands against the west end of the nave. Bell towers roof is unique in Bosnia and Herzegovina, consisting essentially of a flat roof, but with a very complex structural design resulting in a highly unusual form.

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THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY IN BLAGAJsacral objects

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The slopes of Blagaj hill were inhabited as long ago as prehistoric and Roman times. The development and importance of the town were influenced by the proximity of the road along the Neretva valley, linking the Adriatic coast with the Bosnian hinterland (Via Narenti).

The first indirect written sources on Blagaj date from the 10th century. In early mediaeval times, Blagaj was a major centre and the residence of Hum’s prince Miroslav. In later mediaeval times Blagaj was an administrative centre and a very important strategic fort, in which Bosnia’s rulers issued charters. In the 15th century it was the seat of duke (vojvoda) Sandalj Hranić and duke (herceg) Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. The earliest reference to the town by the name of Blagaj was in 1423, when the Blagaj fort (Stjepan-grad) was one of Bosnia’s major strongholds. The most important finds on the outskirts of the fort dating from that period are stećak tombstones and the stone judge’s seat found in the nearby village of Kosor.

From 1466 on, when Blagaj became part of the Ottoman Empire, the Ottomans transformed the mediaeval outskirts of the fort into an urban centre. Blagaj became the seat of the Blagaj vilayet, a permanent garrison was stationed in the fortress, headed by a dizdar (fortress commander), and the Blagaj kadiluk (area under the jurisdiction of an Islamic judge) was established. The folk saying šeher Blagaj, a kasaba Mostar (Blagaj is a city, and Mostar only a town) survived as evidence of the former importance of the town on the source of the river Buna. In the late 16th century, Blagaj was a city, but in the 17th century its importance declined and it was reduced to a mere town.

The čaršija, the trade and crafts centre of the town, took shape around the town’s main edifices: the Emperor’s mosque (1520/1521); two bridges – the Karađoz-beg bridge (1570) and Leho bridge (before 1664); the hammam (1570-1664); the han or hostelry (before 1664); and a row of shops and storehouses. These major buildings stand alongside three watercourses: Suhi brook in Harman, Suhi brook in Galičići, and the river Buna. Seven mahalas or residential quarters took shape around the čaršija. Blagaj was one of a number of towns in Herzegovina with towers and their accompanying manor houses – residential complexes typical of exposed rural areas – within the densely built-up urban structure. There were also several residential architectural complexes within the town, evidence of a high standard of living. The tekke with its musafirhana (hostel) is the most important religious building in Blagaj.

During the Austro-Hungarian period the town remained unaltered. A post office was opened and an Orthodox church dedicated to St Basil of Ostrog was built (1892), followed by a Catholic church (1908).

The townscape ensemble of Blagaj includes several reserves and sites of natural interest or beauty (the river Buna, the river Bunica and its gorge), the area around Stjepan-grad, the source of the Buna, the source of the Bunica, and caves such as Zelena pećina [Green cave], Linčiji kuk cave and the Šavrljica cave), as well as points affording fine views (Stjepan-grad, Kosorska glavica, Gorica in Malo polje). The area is famous for the diversity of its flora and a number of endemic species. The crags above the tekke are an important habitat of a rare bird, the griffon vulture.

Blagaj

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