Blagaj's Dervish Monastery – Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Atlas Obscura

Blagaj's Dervish Monastery

Blagaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina

This picturesque monastery at the base of a cliff is a peaceful oasis open to all visitors.  

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Only a short distance from Mostar, the monastery in Blagaj stuns visitors with its exquisite natural setting. The modest, Ottoman-era building sits at the base of an enormous cliff, where the Buna river seeps out from a mysterious cave and over a small crescent waterfall as it courses towards the larger Neretva. The water flowing by the monastery is a stunning hue of blue and is said to contain mystic properties.

The monastery itself was built in 1520 by the Dervish, a mystic branch of Sufi Islam known for rituals that involve various forms of whirling. The monastery was considered a tekija or tekke, a place of spiritual retreat and reflection. Between the beauty of the monastery itself in its impressive setting, the quiet of the nearby village, and the peaceful sounds of rushing water, even the most non-religious visitors can’t help but succumb to its calming influence.

Visitors of all faiths and persuasions are welcome to visit and permitted to spend as much time as they like at the monastery. This is not a destination to be checked off a list, but a truly peaceful place to be experienced in full.

Know Before You Go

Blagaj is easily reached by bus or car from Mostar. The monastery is located along the river at the base of the cliffs, just a few minutes walking distance east of the Blagaj bus stop. A small entrance fee is required. All visitors are requested to cover exposed legs and shoulders, the monastery provides wraps and headscarves to anyone in need.

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