Well hello and welcome, I'll continue to post some new stuff on this blog so today we are going to talk about founding of city Sarajevo, his founder, how the city got it's name and of course golden era of Sarajevo , the early Ottoman era of Sarajevo. You can easily split Sarajevo history in two parts, early Ottoman era and late Ottoman era. Sarajevo as known today was founded by the Ottoman Empire in 1950s after they conquered the region. Today 1461 is typically used as the Sarajevo founding date.

Isa-Beg Ishaković tekke
           The first governor Isa-Beg Ishaković (İshakoğlu İsa Bey) was an Ottoman general and the first governor of the Ottoman Province of Bosnia. He ruled during the 1450s and 1460s. He founded Sarajevo in 1461 in the former Bosnian province of Vrhbosna. He chose the tiny village named Brodac as a good space for his future city. Residents that were already living there got substitutes in today's Hrasnica neighborhood near Ilidža, and so the building of a new and great city began. Numerous key objects were build between then and 1463, the city's Old Town district, including a Emperors mosque, marketplace, public bath, hostel, and the Governor's castle (Saray), which gave the city its present name. He made much of the conquests for the Turkish Empire in the region, and was one of the Sultan's most trusted generals. He was succeeded by Gazi Husrev-beg.

Emperor's Mosque

Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque
          Gazi Husrev-beg was a very wise ruler and also the city’s greatest donor who built most of what is now known as the Old Town. Sarajevo grew at a rapid rate and soon became known for its large marketplace and numerous mosques, which by the middle of the 16th century were over a hundred in number. Numerous other buildings appeared, including religious schools, such as the school of Sufi philosophy. Gazi Husrev-Beg himself established a number of buildings named in his honor, such as the Sarajevo library which was very famous, in its prime, was in the same category as the Madrassa of Beyazid II ! Gazi Husrev-Beg also built the city's clock tower (Sahat Kula). Sarajevo became one of the most advanced cities in Europe. It had its own water system, clock tower, bathhouses, and schools. In a time when education was merely for the wealthy, and most Europeans considered baths to be unhealthy, Sarayliyas (Sa-ray-lee-yas, residents of Sarajevo) were among the cleanest and most culturally advanced commoners on the continent.

           Sarajevo quickly grew into the largest city in the region. Many Christians converted to Islam at this time. Meanwhile, an Orthodox population first appeared in Sarajevo at this time, as the Orthodox Church was built. A colony of Ragusan merchants also appeared in Sarajevo at this time. Soon after, in the early 16th century, the Sarajevo Haggadah came to Sarajevo along with Jewish refugees from Andalusia. For the first time in its history, Sarajevo was the city of four religions. The Jewish population made note of this, naming the city "The European Jerusalem."

            White bastion (Bijela Tabija) was built also around 1550 (this opinion is founded on the information given by the travel writer Katarino Zeno) and was destroyed during the time of Vratnik City's construction when a new fort was erected in its place. According to another opinion, a fortress existed in the place of Bijela Tabija during the Middle Ages and it was not bigger than the usual medieval defence fortresses that protected open settlements in their vicinity. Since it is confirmed that there was a medieval settlement Tornik on the site of today's Sarajevo, it is safe to presume that this settlement must have had a fort which protected it.

White bastion (Bijela Tabija) today

           At its height, Sarajevo was the biggest and most important Ottoman city in the Balkans after Istanbul itself. By 1660, the population of Sarajevo was estimated to be over 80,000. Comparatively, Belgrade in 1838 had a mere 12,963 inhabitants, and Zagreb as late as 1851 had only 14,000 people.

Sarajevo in Ottoman period
           This period of early Ottoman rule will be long remembered as Sarajevo's golden age. The 16th century was its peak, when nearly the whole city area (that would last until the late 19th century) was built. During the 17th century, Sarajevo didn't expand, although its population continued to grow. Its residents lived luxuriously, and Sarajevo was the richest city in the West Balkans after Dubrovnik. However the 17th century also brought the start of the decline of the Ottoman Empire. We'll talk about that later. I hope this text may interest you in researching deeper in the Sarajevo history because this city is truly a incredible city through out whole history.