As you saunter through the Old Town of Sarajevo, it’s nearly impossible to miss this gorgeous mosque towering above the one-story surrounding structures. Its history is as fascinating as the building is beautiful. In fact, in 1898, the mosque became the first mosque in the world to receive electricity.
The Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque was completed in the 16th century and features Ottoman architecture. To this day, the mosque remains one of the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Its electrical first wasn’t the only interesting episode from the building’s past. During the Siege of Sarajevo (which lasted from April 1992 to February 1996), the Beg’s mosque was an obvious target for air raids that sought to bombard major monuments of art and culture. As such, it sustained significant damaged; however, with donations from the international community, the mosque was rebuilt in 1996. While the exterior retains the Ottoman architecture, Bosnian calligrapher Hazim Numanagić redesigned the interior in 2001.
Today the mosque serves as the main congregational mosque of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but tourists and guests are welcomed.