During our first walk of many through Old Town Sarajevo we visited a beautiful place, the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque. This is a bustling meeting place in Old Town and most days we see folks gathering here to socialise before and after prayer time. Our group arrived before the afternoon prayer, with just enough time to tour the inside of the mosque. Even though this was my first time in a mosque I knew the expectation was for everyone to remove their shoes, and that female visitors cover their heads with a scarf. During warmer weather, visitors are expected to wash their feet in the fountain before entering the mosque.
This mosque was built in 1532 and stands as one of the prime examples of Ottoman Architecture in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1898, this was the first mosque in the world to receive electricity and lighting. During the siege of Sarajevo, this mosque as well as other prominent landmarks such as libraries, museums and governmental buildings were targeted by the Serbian forces. This mosque suffered so much damage from the seige that it had to be reconstructed (in 1996). Consequently, the old patterns and designs inside of the mosque were destroyed and were repainted by Bosnian calligrapher Hazim Numanagić in 2001/2002. Gazi Husrev-beg is a beautiful mosque that has withstood the test of time, as well as war.