Gazi Husrev Bey’s Mosque, or Bey’s Mosque, as it is known locally, was built in the center of Baščaršija in 1530. Bey’s Mosque was designed by Adžem Esir Ali, a Persian from Tabriz, who was the chief architect in the Ottoman Empire at that time.
Today, this mosque is rightly seen as the most important architectural monument from the time of Ottoman rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There are many Bosnian leaders buried in the mosque’s courtyard, including Reis-ul-Ulema, Mehmed Džemaludin Čaušević; the politician, Dr. Mehmed Spaho; the reformer, Ali Bey Firdus; the poet, Safvet Bey Bašagić.
The Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart was built in 1889 in the Neo-Gothic style and is the seat of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna.
The interior of the church is richly decorated and it was the famous Italian-German painter, Alexander Maximilian Seitz, who did the frescos.
The Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart also houses the tomb of Josip Stadler, who served as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna at the beginning of the 20th century and initiated the cathedral’s construction. There is also a statue in front in honor of Pope John Paul II, who visited Sarajevo in 1997, soon after the war had ended, to send a message of peace and tolerance from BiH’s capital city.
The National Museum of BiH was founded on February 1, 1888 and was first housed in a building next to the Sarajevo Cathedral. Construction of the facility in Marijin Dvor, the museum’s current home, got underway in 1909 and was completed in 1913 and designed by Karl Paržik.
The museum allows visitors to take “a short walk” through BiH’s past, from earliest times all the way to the ethnology exhibit, whose interior captures the atmosphere of a traditional city house during the Ottoman period.
The most valuable item in the museum’s collection is the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, which the Sephardic Jews brought to Sarajevo when they left Spain.
There is also the rich collection in the natural history section which covers both living and non-living worlds, including a skeleton of a bearded vulture, a bird with a giant wingspan which used to fly in the skies above BiH not that long ago.