Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar, the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

Pursuant to Article V paragraph 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 paragraph 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 4 to 10 May 2004 the Commission adopted the following






The architectural ensemble of the Karađoz-beg mosque (Zaim Hajji Mehmed-beg Karađoz mosque) in Mostar is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the Karađoz-beg mosque with madrasa, fountain and graveyard, and movable property consisting of a transcription of the Holy Qur’an.

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot No. 3368 (new survey), corresponding to cadastral plots 30/41, 30/42, 30/43, 30/44, 30/45 (old survey), recorded as land registry entry No. 1234, cadastral municipality Mostar, owned by the Islamic Community in Mostar, City of Mostar, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation measures set forth by the Law on Implementation of Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Federation BiH Nos 2/02, 27/02 and 6/04) shall apply to the National Monument.




The Government of the Federation Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) shall be responsible for providing all the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, restore and display the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and shall secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with basic data on the Monument and the Decision proclaiming the property a National Monument.




The following measures are hereby stipulated in order to secure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the site defined in Clause I, para. 3 of this Decision:

  • all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),

The following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

  • research works, conservation, expert repairs, and a draft of measures proposed for the restoration of the wall decorations within the Karađoz-beg mosque;
  • all interventions and methods used must be identifiable and shall respect all the typological and archaeological characteristics of the building;
  • the building shall be maintained under the supervision of the relevant institutions;

  • the current use of the madrasa building must be changed from that of a primary health care facility to educational or cultural use appropriate to the building itself;
  • the graveyard and individual tombstones shall be conserved, repaired and improved;
  • the ensemble shall be illuminated in accordance with an appropriate project;
  • existing tall vegetation must be preserved.

The following protection measures are hereby stipulated pertaining to the movable property referred to in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision (hereinafter: the movable heritage):

  • the transcription of the Holy Qur’an shall be moved to suitable premises where optimal humidity levels (50% to 60%) and air temperature (16o to 22o C) are maintained and equipped with video surveillance and a fire protection system;
  • the exact year when the transcription was made and by whom shall be ascertained;
  • the conditions shall be provided for the conservation and restoration of the movable heritage;
  • the display and other forms of presentation of the transcription of the Holy Qur’an within Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be effected on the terms and conditions stipulated by the federal ministry responsible for culture;
  • oversight of the implementation of the protection measures pertaining to the movable heritage shall be carried out by the federal ministry responsible for culture.

A protective zone is hereby stipulated, comprising the area bounded by cadastral plots nos. 3185-3196; 3359–3370; 3211, 3213 and 4525. In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

  • all works are prohibited on cadastral plot no. 3194 (the plot on which the harem with nišan tombstones and the turbe of Osman Đikić are located), with the exception of conservation and repair works to the burial ground and the landscaping of the plot;
  • the maximum permitted height of buildings is the maximum height and dimensions of adjacent buildings (all buildings on which rehabilitation works are carried out must retain the building line of adjacent buildings on both ground and upper floors); the buildings may not clash in proportions or colour scheme with buildings of townscape value;
  • all works on protected green areas and other public spaces are prohibited



All executive and development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of the Decision are hereby revoked.




The removal of the movable heritage from Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited.

By way of exception to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Clause, the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable items for the purposes of display or conservation shall be permitted if it is established that conservation works cannot be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Permission for the temporary removal of the movable items from Bosnia and Herzegovina under the conditions stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall be issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, if it is determined beyond doubt that it will not jeopardize the items in any way. 

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritage, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under which the removal may take place, the date by which the property shall be returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the responsibility of individual authorities and institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the relevant security service, the customs authority of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.




Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning, the Federation heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II to V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




            The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba) 




On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial nos. 398, 399 and 400




Pursuant to Article V, paragraph 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published at the Official Gazette of BiH.


This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Loverenović

No. 07.1-2-113/04-1                                                                   

4 May 2004



E l u c i d a t i o n




Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on Implementation of Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a 'National Monument; is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument Pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: Annex b)  and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH No. 33/02), until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

            At a session held from 22 to 23 September 1999, the Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the architectural ensemble of the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar – 398,  Karađoz-beg madrasa in Mostar – 399, Karađoz-beg mekteb in Mostar– 400,  to the Provisional List of National Monuments.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




In the procedure  preceding the adopting of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

  • documentation on the location of the property and the current owner and user of the property,
  • details of legal protection of the property to date,
  • information on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, information on war damage, information on restoration and other works on the property, etc.,
  • historical, architectural and other documentary sources on the property, as set out in the bibliography included as part of this Decision. 

The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the property are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The architectural ensemble of the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar, with madrasa, fountain and harem, is located on the left bank of Neretva river, in Karađoz-begova mahala street, on the corner of Karađoz-begova and Fejić Brothers streets. The property is located on cadastral plot no. 3368 (new survey), or 30/42, 30/43, 30/44, 30/45 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 1234, cadastral municipality Mostar, property of the Islamic Community in Mostar.

Historical details

Mostar came under Ottoman rule in 1468. Urbanization began in line with the unwritten oriental rules, with a čaršija – trading and crafts centre, and mahalas – residential quarters.

The oldest surviving cadastral and tax register – census defter (Tapu tahrir defter in the presidential archives of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul) dating from 1477 (882 AH) contains the first mention of Mostar under its present name, described as a settlement of 19 households (families) and one bachelor.  All the houses were on the left bank of the Neretva river, whereas the right bank was uninhabited.  In the early 16th century Mostar developed rapidly as an urban area and became the largest town in Herzegovina, its development based on trade and various crafts, particularly tanning. The most significant buildings of both sacral and civic architecture were built at this time: ramparts and towers, bridges, mosques, masjids, hamans, hans, tabhanas, public drinking and covered fountains, tombstones. Based on the building materials and techniques used, the buildings may be divided into two main categories: public, built of stone, large, with numerous domes and vaulted ceilings, with rich decorative features; and residential buildings, more free-form, to the human scale, and of less durable materials.

The urban zone of Fejić street took shape between 1470 and 1620. The street originally served to link the mahalas and the čaršija which grew up around the Old Bridge. It was in this area, in the 16th century, that Karađoz-beg built the largest mosque ensemble in Mostar. It was built in 1557, near the bazaar and the main road. It consisted of a mosque, a madrasa,  a mekteb, a han  and imaret – public kitchen. (Mostar Old Town Preservation and Development Plan, 2001, p. 18). Fejić street took on its present layout in the second decade of the 17th century, when two new mahalas  were completed in the area between the Karađoz-beg mahala and Musala, with the construction of two new centres – the Roznamedžija mosque (probably c. 1610) and the Kjose Jahija Hojja mosque (prior to 1620).

Karađoz-beg was the greatest benefactor not only of Mostar, but of all of Herzegovina. In addition to the mosque and the madrasa, his endowment included three mektebs, an imaret and a musafirhana, three bridges and several hans. As means of support for his endowment he also left 42 shops in the Mostar čaršija, 16 tabhanas (tanneries) close to the imaret, 6 mills, 2 stamping mills, some land and 300,000 Ottoman dirhams. These facilities were built in Mostar, Konjic, Potoci, Buna, Lištica, Blagaj and Čičevo. (Mujezinović 1998, pp. 178, 179). Karađoz-beg was born in Bijelo Polje, 12 kilometres north of Mostar. His vakufnama tells us that he had three sons, and the inscription on the mosque tells us that he was the brother of the grand vizier Rustem-pasha and the administrator Sinan-pasha, who administered Herzegovina from 1549 to 1574. Karađoz-beg died in Mostar, approx. 1564, and was buried there, in the harem of his mosque. (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 13).

Some sources indicate that the Karađoz-beg mosque was designed by Koca Mimar  Sinan.  It is referred to in a contemporary list of Sinan's works, as the only building in Bosnia and Herzegovina designed by this great architect (Pašić, 1989, p. 28).


2. Description of the property

            The architectural ensemble consists of the Karađoz-beg mosque with madrasa, šadrvan fountain and harem.


Of all the mosques in Mostar, only three are domed; all the rest have ordinary roofs. The three domed mosques are the Karađoz-beg, Nesuh-aga Vučijaković and Mehmed Koski-pasha mosques.

Architecturally, the Karađoz-beg mosque belongs to the same type of mosque, with identical layout and structural and decorative features, as the Aladža mosque in Foča.  Others of this type include the Ali pasha and Ferhadija mosques in Sarajevo, the Hajji Alija or Šišman Ibrahim pasha mosque in Počitelj, the Sinan-beg mosque in Čajniče, and the Kalaun Jusuf pasha (Kuršumlija) mosque in Maglaj. The basic characteristics of each of these buildings are the clarity and precision of architectural design and the harmonious proportions of individual features. In each case, the treatment of the mosque portico is also identical, and the interior is lit by the same arrangement of windows.  The same structural and decorative features are to be found in the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar as in the Aladža mosque in Foča. Minor differences in the exterior outlines of the mosque in Mostar resulted in the markedly lower height of the entire building, as well as over the angles of the main body of the mosque, which are edged with trompes. In the interior, the appearance and basic design of the mahvil, mihrab and mimber echo those of the mosque in Foča, with the exception that in the mosque in Mostar their surfaces are decorated solely with geometric designs (Andrijević, 1984, p. 50).

The Karađoz-beg mosque is the most grandiose mosque in Mostar and in Herzegovina. According to the description by Evliya Çelebi, “Hajji Mehmed-beg’s mosque is very spacious, artistically designed and well-lit.” (Çelebi, 1996, p. 473).  Stylistically, it is the purest and finest example of a single-space domed mosque erected in the 16th century in Herzegovina.  According to the inscription, the mosque was built in 965 AH (1557/58)by Mehmed, son of Seadet (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 175).

The inscription on the Karađoz-beg mosque is in prose, in Arabic script, incised on a stone plaque measuring 100 x 60 cm, set above the main entrance to the mosque. The text is in three elliptic fields, skilfully executed in handsome jali script, partly vocalised, with the letters originally gilded. This chronogram provides information about Karađoz-beg’s father and his brother, Grand Vizier Hrvat Rustem-pasha (twice grand vizier, in 1544-1553 and 1555-1561). (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 178).

The Karađoz-beg mosque is a domed mosque with a portico roofed with three smaller domes, an external porch and an elegant minaret decorated with skillfully executed stalactites below the šerefe.

The central space of the mosque is composed of tenelija limestone walls 1.14 m thick, forming a regular square of external dimensions of 13.00 x 13.00 m excluding the porch (interior dimensions 10.8 x 10.8 m). The central space is domed, with a height of 15.89 m from the floor to the crown of the dome, and with an external height of 16.49 m to the alem finial. This large and quite deep dome, with a diameter of 10.72 m, rests on an octagonal drum. The transition from the square of the central area to the circular drum is by means of angular stalactites (consoles decorated with stone stalactites), semi-calotted trompes (three in each corner) with slightly pointed frontal arches and eight spherical triangles. All the domes on the mosque are covered with sheet lead.

All the outer walls terminate in moulded stone roof cornices at the points where the roof projects outwards from the wall surface. In the interior, there are ornamental string courses: the first takes the form of octagonal stone rings at the bottom of the drum, and the second moulded stone string course forms the transition from the vertical line of the walls of the drum to the curved interior of the dome.

            On the entrance front is a portico with sofas, roofed with three small domes, extending the full length of the outside wall.  All three of these domes are at the same level, measuring 8.97 m to the alem finial.  There stone sofas 0.44 m high on either side of the entrance door to the mosque. The sofa to the left of the entrance measures 4.21 x 4.75 m and that to the right 4.21 x 4.62.  The sofas are roofed by three small domes resting on four massive cylindrical stone columns with capitals of stone stalactite design consisting of four rows.  The decorations on the columns in the mosque portico vary – the two outer and two inner columns are identical.  The bases of all the columns consist of alternating  torus and trochilus.  The pillars are interlinked, and joined to the frontal wall of the mosque, by stone lancet arches with horizontal steel ties, forming three units.  Above them, the transition to the three identical domes with low, octagonal drums, is effected by means of plain, unadorned pendentives.

An additional outer porch (hayat) consists of oblique wooden beams extending in three directions in relation to the central space and supported by fourteen slim octagonal stone pillars joined with a wooden beam. These pillars have decorated stone capitals (the designs feature on the corners only, at the transition from the octagon to a square) and prominent moulded stone bases consisting of two layers forming the transition from the square to the octagon by means of inverted spherical triangles.  There is a torus-shaped protuberance above the stone base.  The timber structure of the hayat is clad with sheet lead.  The hayat is 3.35 m deep on the main entrance side, while to the sides it is 3.14 m deep to the left of the entrance and 2.96 m deep to the right.  The hayat area is surrounded on all sides by a 0.70 m stone parapet consisting of stone slabs.  The central, entrance area of the hayat is accentuated by a rectangular stone frame.  The only other outer portico of this type is to be seen in Mostar is that of the Koski Mehmed pasha mosque.  The outer portico of the Karađoz-beg mosque was dismantled in 1952, being in a badly dilapidated state.  This portico was an integral part of the building from the start, as evidenced by the absence of a string course at the end of the portico supporting the drums of the small domes.

Some of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s more important buildings belonging to the type of single-space, domed mosque with open sofas covered by three small domes and a stone minaret also had built-in outer porticos.  The Ferhadija mosque in  Banja Luka is a special case, the only one in BiH, representing the type of mosque of extended layout and roofed with numerous domes.  Mosques with double porticos are to be found throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, i.e. in Herzegovina as well as in Bosnia.  The most important buildings with double porticos, or where the remains of an outer portico can be seen or some features have survived that suggest they had one, are: the Karađoz-beg, Koski Mehmed pasha and Vučijaković mosques in Mostar; the Aladža mosque in Foča; the Ferhadija and Arnaudija mosques in Banja Luka; the Hajji Alija mosque in Počitelj; the Sinan-beg mosque in Čajniče, and the Kuršumlija mosque in Maglaj.  In all these mosques, the second, outer portico has a pent roof, the timber structure of which is supported either by wooden pillars on stone bases (the Sinan pasha mosque in Čajniče, the Aladža in Foča, the Hajji Alija in Počitelj, the Karađoz-beg, Koski Mehmed pasha and Vučijaković mosques in Mostar) or on stone pillars (the Ferhadija and Arnaudija mosques in Banja Luka).  In every case, the outer portico served a dual purpose: to provide accommodation for the largest possible number of worshippers, and to protect them from the elements (wind, rain, snow, scorching sun).  In every case, the portico extended round three sides of the sofa.  In most cases, it has proved impossible to date these structures, since they originated during later interventions to the buildings, rather than being contemporary with the buildings themselves.  In some cases, however, historical sources and records enable one to ascertain that the outer portico was built at the same time as the building itself (the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar and the Aladža in Foča).  The extra portico was in most cases removed as time passed, so that these structures now survive only in the three cases in Mostar: the Karađoz-beg, Kosko Mehmed pasha and Vučijaković mosques.

The minaret abuts onto the right-hand outer wall and measures 34.50 m in height to the alem finial. The fourteen-sided stone minaret has a staircase of 94 stone steps and an interior width of 1.40 m. There are two entrances to the minaret, of which the first is at the right-hand corner of the prayer area and is also the entrance to the mahfil, and the other one is above the first, at the height of the mahfil entrance. Stone ornaments are also to be seen on the pedestal of the minaret. The base of the minaret is a fourteen-sided prism with a bas-relief ornament at the top, below the body of the minaret, in the form of a frieze with a blind arcade of pointed arches on each side of the minaret. The transition from the base to the body of the minaret is a triple moulded stone string course, and the upper part of the body of the minaret is accentuated a simple string course with no mouldings. The body of the minaret is decorated in bas-relief in the form of rhomboids on each side of the minaret. The šerefe is located at a height of 24.37 m (upper edge of the parapet). Below the šerefe is a rich stone ornament in form of four rows of stalactites. These stalactite ornaments expand gradually so as to form the transition from the vertical line of the body of the minaret and the wider šerefe. The second line (from the top) of the stalactites terminates at the base in twenty-eight flat pendants. The stone slabs of the šerefe are decorated with bas-relief geometric designs – identical to those on the door jambs of the portal. These carved decorations take the form of multi-angular polygons giving the appearance of circles and overlapping to form hexagonal star-like fields. The stone slabs of the šerefe are accentuated by an upper and a lower moulded stone string course. Below the šerefe, beneath a simple string course separating the šerefe from the body of the minaret, there is a bas-relief design of stylized trefoils/stylized flowers pointing downwards on each side of the minaret. On the upper part of the minaret, under the conical roof, there is a frieze of shallow, round-arched niches. Above these decorations is a shallow moulded stone string course forming the transition from the body of the minaret to the conical roof. This consists of eight rows of overlapping stone slabs, connected by seven steel rings. At the top of the minaret is a lead alem finial, with three identical pommels and topped by a japrak (vine leaf). Like the walls of the mosque, those of the minaret are of the same cute white tenelija limestone.

The interior is lit by 25 windows, of which five are on each of the side walls and the mihrab wall, two on the entrance wall, and one on each side of the octagonal drum of the dome. The windows on the side walls and the mihrab wall of the central space are in three zones – two in the first and two in the second, with one located centrally in the wall on the third zone. On the entrance wall, the windows feature only in the lower zone. All the windows of the lower zone are large, with rectangular moulded stone frames whose lower edge is level with the floor of the interior of the mosque. Above the window jambs is a stone lancet arch with stone transennas consisting of a single perforated stone slab. The stone transennas in the interior of the mosque had somewhat larger apertures (the same size as the those on the lower-zone windows), circular in shape, whereas on the outer side the perforations of the stone transennas were somewhat smaller, consisting of six-pointed stars and small hexagons alternating in horizontal rows (two hexagons followed by a star). These windows also have iron bars on the outer side, forming a fine mesh (6 x 10 fields). In the interior, the stone arches of the lower windows and stone window jambs of the upper windows of the mosque are decorated polychromatically. The windows in the two upper zones and the windows in the drum of the dome are smaller and terminate in a lancet arch, with perforated stone transennas. The upper windows are glazed with circular panes of glass set into the stone transennas.

Stone decorations feature on the main portal, mihrab, mimber and mahfil.

The central area where the sofas are located is dominated by a moulded stone portal projecting outwards from the mosque wall surface by 27 cm. In width it extends over  the entire space between the sofas, while in height (measuring 5.12 m from the floor of the entrance) it extends up to the point where the trompes begin – almost three quarters of the height of the porch. The entrance itself, a double wooden door, is surrounded by a massive stone frame with a segmented arch above. The outer edges of the portal are executed in the form of a moulded stone frame. The sides of the outer edge of the frame consist of a stone string course decorated with a vertical band of shallow geometric carvings in the shape of multi-angular polygons giving the appearance of circles and overlapping to form six-pointed stars. Above the door is a stone plaque with a tarih, inside an equilateral triangle set back from the surface of the portal. The sides of the triangle consist of two shallow friezes created by a single row of layered stalactites with purely decorative purpose. The decorations inside the triangle are polychromatic floral ornaments of which only fragments survive.

A poorly preserved drawing of 16th century floral decorations was discovered on the outer portal, confirming that these surfaces were covered in finely executed arabesques forming a close-knit design. (Bahtijarević, 2000, p. 202)

The mihrab projects forward by 34.5 cm from the surface of the mosque wall, and its height (from the floor to the top of the mihrab crown) is 6,57 m.  There is a seven-sided niche in the centre of the lower part of the mihrab. The opening of the niche ends in stepped polychromatic stalactite decorations in seven rows. These stalactite ornaments narrow gradually so as to enclose the niche. The fourth row of stalactites terminates at the base in seven flat pendants. The edges of the mihrab are surrounded by a geometric ornament of interlinked polygons. The area of the niche is framed by a rectangular field set in the moulded stone frame of the mihrab. There is a stone plaque with an inscription above the niche. The upper part of the mihrab, the crown, consists of of a stone slab decorated with bold stylized buds at the top and the corners.

During research works on the painted decorations carried out in 1991, probes revealed that there are four layers of painted decoration on the mihrab:

o        the first layer (16th century) consists of floral ornaments outlined with a thin black line, painted on a very thin coat of plaster laid directly onto the blocks of stone;

o        the second layer consists of floral ornaments outlined in brown, on a very thin coat of plaster laid by brush over the first coat of paint;

o        the third layer consists of floral ornaments, somewhat larger than the previous one, outlined in orange-red, on a very thin coat of plaster laid with a brush onto the second coat of paint;

o        the fourth layer (20th century) consists of painted designs of pronounced baroque form executed in oil paint on thick oil basecoat over the third coat of paint.

In the middle of the lower part of the ornaments are three large flowers, of which the largest, central one is slightly higher and consists of the entire flower, while the other two are bisected by the lower horizontal (frame) line. Branches stem from the central flower, with different flowers, buds and leaves, twining and intertwining, covering the entire surface of the top of the mihrab. (Bahtijarević, 2000, p. 200)

The mimber is also massive, and made of stone. It has three basic sections: the entrance with stairs and a stone banister, the upper pyramidal section supported by four octagonal pillars, and the triangular sides beneath this part and the banisters. The portal is decorated with a stone slab ending in stylized buds similar to those on the mihrab. At the centre of the front is a stone plaque with an inscription – a quotation from the Qur'an. The stone plaque beneath the inscription, which forms the lintel of the entrance portal, is in the shape of a Saracen arch, which merges at the base into the body of the portal frame. There is another Saracen arch at the top of the opening between the pillars supporting the octagonal base and the canopy of the mimber. 

The mahfil or gallery is located to the right of the main entrance and accessed from the minaret staircase. It is made of stone and measures 4.00 x 2.35 m in plan. It is supported by four octagonal stone pillars, with bases consisting of thin square slabs, and capitals decorated with stalactites. The upper part of the mahfil is a stone architrave cornice, a stone parapet and a terminal moulded cornice, also in stone. The parapet consists of perforated stone slabs with geometric ornaments – rows of perforations (six-pointed stars and hexagons) alternating horizontally.

The kjurs is to the left of the mihrab, made of wood, and was originally covered with carpets, as was the entire floor of the mosque.

PAINTED DECORATIONS- The Karađoz-beg mosque is one of the few mosques in the Balkans where the original painting has survived. Painted layers often appear one over the other – from the original arabesque to late Ottoman baroque. The absence of any record of the painted decorations that would indicate the period or the master-craftsman who executed them makes it possible to date them only roughly. Such information is usually obtained indirectly, through stylistic analysis through the specific features of of the designs to analogy with existing buildings.

Arabesque painting of the 16th century discovered in BiH to date was to be found the Aladža mosque in Foča (1551), the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar (1557) and the Ferhadija mosque in Sarajevo (1561). These are all examples of superb arabesque painting and contain numerous common features, as if they were executed by the same hand, i.e. the same masters. These frescoes have in common the technique and method used, the designs, the stylistic treatment of identical designs and the masterly use of line (drawing), executed with a single stroke of the brush, whose fine thin line is one of the principal qualities of arabesque painting. In terms of quality and method of execution (technique), starting from the plaster base (the best quality, 'finest' plaster base ever made in this region), to the final details, these arabesque decorations are of much greater value than any other arabesque painting found in BiH today. It is clear that work of such value could only have been made by superb masters with extensive experience. Their work contains all the features of Iranian and Turkish arabesque painting. (Bahtijarević, 2000, pp. 203-204)

The mural decorations of the Karađoz-beg mosque are, in terms of decorative treatment, quite realistic representations of flowers in natural colours – floral ornaments with the main motif emphasized, usually a large flower, with all the other smaller parts stemming from it. (Andrejević, 1984, p. 89)

The Karađoz-beg mosque was last painted in 1909, which is when all the previous layers were covered over. Until the 20th century there was no indication as to whether any of the earlier decorations had survived. In 1968 minor probe tests were made on the surfaces of the drum, walls and lower areas, where (under Austrian decorations) earlier paintings were discovered, as well as several calligraphic inscriptions – levha.  The techniques used, motifs, pigments, and composition of the plaster, all indicated that the painting originated from the late 18th century. (Bahtijarević, 2000., p. 190)

In his book Islamska monumentalna umetnost XVI veka u Jugoslaviji – kupolne džamije published in 1984, Andrejević gives the following description of the painted decoration in the interior of the mosque:

The central part of the dome was probably covered by a painted rosette, from which decorative lines with painted ornaments radiated out towards the top of the windows in the dome. On the basis of two surviving details above the upper string course of the drum, it can be deduced that the lines consisted of links in the shape of calyces, expanding outwards in four directions from a small rhomb. The corners of the rhomb, which was painted in vermilion and edged in black, linked the blue calyces with a single circular red carnation. There were four thin branchlets with green leaves between the calyces.

In the drum, on a grey-blue background between the two moulded string courses, there is a painted fence with pillars with capitals at the top and painted bases. The fence and the pillars are in pale blue. The upper horizontal fence is a twisted rope painted in blue, highlighted in red on the lower edge. The pillars are in three alternating colours – green, red and blue. The lower edge of the fence consists of two blue lines. Behind the fence, in each field between two windows, are three plant motifs in the shape of a clump of shrubs. These are trees with branches and green leaves, shrubs resembling bunches of red carnations and shrubs with clusters of blue blossom.

At the front of the trompe arches there are two long lines of branches in blue and green, with vine leaves and a realistic presentation of blue grapes. The same design, only somewhat larger, also extended along the walls, following the line of the arches between the trompes.

From the level of the trompes to the painted section in the lower zone, there are painted levhas with calligraphic quotations from the Qur'an, in dark blue in circular, elliptic and almond-shaped medallions.

The arches above the lower line of windows were decorated with bluish stems with leaves. Between each of the windows in this zone a large tree was painted, cypress, orange, date palm, weeping willow, plum, pear, fig and lemon.  Each of the trees grows from a beautifully shaped vase with two handles, also decorated with plant motifs. The trees were in dark green and the leaves in pale green, occasionally highlighted in dark blue. The fruit were shown disproportionately large – the oranges in orange, the plums in dark blue, the pears in ochre, the figs in black, the lemons in yellow. The tips of some of the cypress branches ended in vermilion shoots, and the dates were in dark red.

For the conservationists (the research was conducted in 1968) the major problem was the painting discovered on the lowest layer in the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar. The unusual representation of a balustrade fence with small round shrubs behind it, in pastel shades between the windows, and with strong colours for the very naturalistic representations of Mediterranean and other fruit, with accentuated fruit, found on the lowest layer, could not be reconciled in terms of style and showed no evident associations. The large decorated vases with two handles and basic baroque forms that these trees grew in were a source of even greater confusion. All these seemingly odd and heterogeneous elements created the impression that these were more recent artistic concepts. They were identified with the work of domestic painters in the 19th century, and the entire repertoire was considered to be an ornamental expression of 18th and early 19th century folklore designs, adopted unthinkingly. However, the lower part of the drum is definitely part of the original decoration dating prior to the mid 17th century. In terms of theme, it is in full harmony with the painting of the lowest part of the mosque, which now seems rustic. (Andrejević, 1984, pp. 89-90)


The process of uncovering the late 18th century decorations (discovered in 1968) and probe testing on the walls, mihrab, mimber, portal and porch, started in October 1990. The work was organized by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Mostar and the Board of the Islamic Community in Mostar, who provided the funds. Probe tests (1968 and 1990) were done by Nihad Bahtijarević and associates. The Commission that supervised the work included: Prof. Džemal Čelić, Dr. Smail Tihić – senior scientific advisor, and Prof. Dr. Ibrahim Krzović – art historian. Probe tests revealed that Austrian painters had covered all the walls and all the painted surfaces with a layer of plaster, and then executed their own decorations on that surface. Following the removal of the Austrian and all other decorations, i.e. following the uncovering of the 18th century decorations, probe tests were conducted to examine whether there were even older decorations or coats of plaster beath. A whole wealth of geometric and floral motifs was discovered, as well as original arabesques. That is when the painted motifs were discovered on brick and stone surfaces, dating from different periods. The state of the decorations and the surfaces in the interior and on the porch prior to the research was very poor (poor quality decorations, paint and plaster base badly damaged, walls covered with brown stains from years of damp). Particularly prominent were more recent decorations made with stencils and oil paint. Oil paint was used on all the walls in lower levels, up to 2.3 m from the floor, stone window covers, mihrab, mimber, mahfil and the interior portal. (Bahtijarević, 2000, p. 190)

The result of the research was a chronology of the works which showed that the mosque had four different layers of painting from different periods, i.e. that the mosque was re-decorated every 100-150 years. The first layer was painted when it was built (mid 16th century), the second in the late 17th or early 18th century, the third in the 19th century, and the last in the early 20th century. The first three were made during Ottoman rule and the last one during the rule of Austria-Hungary.

1.       The first painted layer (arabesques) is present all across the top part of mihrab (the crown), the entrance portal and the stone plaques (lunettes) above the frames of the porch windows. This layer was preserved due to the fact that it was executed on a stone surface, whereas it was not found on the walls. It consisted of rich arabesques and some geometric designs with strong black contour lines. At the crown of the mihrab it developed into the shape of a floral arabesque with some of the red pigment surviving. The edges of the mihrab are surrounded by a geometric ornament of interlinked polygons. This layer is probably on the mimber as well, but it has not yet been found. Also, on the outer side of the mosque, on the portal, right above the entrance, the first layer was also evident as a floral arabesque similar to that on the mihrab;

2.       The second (brown) painted layer, probably dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, is located on the ground floor of the building, on all the stone frames of the windows (transennas, the mihrab, the interior side of the entrance portal, the horizontal stone beam of the mahfil and the entrance to the minaret. The layer consists of floral motifs, mainly in shades of pale brown;

3.       The third layer (Ottoman baroque) can be dated to the early 19th century, and covers the entire mosque. It is also the best preserved layer. The palette includes different shades of blue, green, red, yellow... The dome was decorated with eight floral lines garlands extending from the central rosette to the eight windows of the drum. The layer on the drums consists of colonnades in bluish tints and clumps different Mediterranean shrubs. (Zvonić Zlatko, Project material, 2003.)
            Naturalistic representations of trees bearing fruit are imaginary representations of paradise. These are images of dates, pomegranates and various other fruit mentioned in the Qur'an. The unusual circular fence on the drum, and the straight lines of palms and other trees, are also images of the marble fence of paradise – transenna marmorea.  (Andrejević, 1984, p. 97)
             All the floral decorations on the interior walls are from this third layer, as well as all the calligraphic inscriptions. On the ground floor, all the different Mediterranean trees with ornamented vases, similar to those on the drum, are also part of this layer;

4.       The fourth layer (stencil), also the most recent, was painted in 1909 and covered the entire mosque. In was completely removed in 1990, given that older and more valuable ornaments lay beneath. It was mainly of geometric plane designs and varying colour palettes.

All four layers are to be found on the stone surfaces (mihrab, mimber, mahfil, stone covers, main portal, entrance to the minaret). On the other surfaces (all the walls and the main dome) only layers 3 and 4 are found. In addition to the types of painted decoration already described, on the ground floor are some traces of more recent interventions in oil paint, mainly unplanned and inexpert interventions over the past few decades. (Zvonić Zlatko, Project materials, 2003)

The decorations discovered are in relatively good condition, apart from the surfaces exposed to damp. The surviving painted layer is strong in tone, in clear and fresh colours. In terms of execution and style, some of the designs are very similar to traditional embroidery. Almost all the motifs can be identified in the landscape of Herzegovina: fig, pomegranate, cypress, flowers, grapes, etc., which suggests that the author was also from Herzegovina. (Bahtijarević, 2000, p. 202)

The mosque has been in constant use from the time it was built. In order to protect it some conservation work was carried out on it, although there have never been any major repairs. The minaret was rebuilt from the 57th step upwards in the late 19th century, and the sheet lead roof cladding has been replaced as required. (Pašić, 1989, p. 32)

During the 1992-95 war, the building suffered considerable damage:

  • the minaret was destroyed down to the šerefe, a shell made a 2 x 1.5 hole in the middle of the south-facing side of the minaret, where the stone staircase was destroyed; the entire body of the minaret suffered numerous shrapnel blows;
  • the central dome was damaged in two places, in the centre and on the east-facing side, but was not breached; the interior of the dome had several large cracks, some of them the full width of the wall (damage from before the war); the drum and part of the central dome on the north-facing side had a large hole caused by a projectile, which damaged part of the drum, the wall and the base of the dome;
  • the central dome above the porch was breached in one place and the western dome was shaken loose;
  • extensive minor shrapnel damage was evident on the walls of the central part of the mosque, particularly the south and west-facing walls;
  • all the sheet lead roof cladding of the central dome and the porch domes was damaged and pierced by shrapnel;
  • some of the stone pillars of the outer porch were completely destroyed, and some were broken in two;
  • there was visible damage on individual windows and stone transennas – the panes were broken and the stone transennas were broken loose from their settings;
  • other parts of the interior suffered minor damage:

o         the crown of the mimber was damaged, especially the left bud, and one part of the left side was totally broken off;

o         damage was evident at the entry portal of the mimber, where damage was to the buds, especially the left upper part, upper part of the central bud and the whole of the right-hand bud;

o         no damage was found on the mahfil;

o         the mukarnas (corner ornaments) were somewhat more seriously damaged;

o         the pendentives have several vertical cracks, though they are considered part of the damage recorded before the war. (Project materials, 2003)


Between June 1995 and March 1996, EUAM (European Union Administration of Mostar) conducted partial repairs of the mosque – the minaret was conserved up to the šerefe, and a steel and reinforced concrete ring beam was built into the main dome. (Mostar City Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage)

The rehabilitation of the Karađoz-beg mosque is in progress by IRCICA  – works commenced in May 2003 – and current work is on the interior. Interventions pursuant to the Project developed by the Mostar City Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, chief designer Zijad Demirović, included two basic types of work: repair of damaged parts and reconstruction of missing parts, as per available photo records. (Project materials, 2003). Conservation and restoration work is planned for the painted decoration in the interior of the mosque, led by M. Semih Irtes, restorer-conservationist from Turkey.

            A report by Hazim Numanagić produced in December 2004 on the conservation and restoration works on the interior of the Karađoz-beg mosque notes:

            “After the removal of the layers of paint from the walls of the mosque, inscriptions were revealed belonging to earlier decorations of the mosque.  These inscriptions are as follows:

Mihrab wall

To the right and left of the window above the mihrab is a stylized inscription in the form of a tughra.  The inscription reads: ما شاء الله كان Be it as  God wills

To the left of the mihrab is an inscription of the shahada لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet

Right-hand wall

Above the lower windows close to the mihrab wall is the inscription

من امن بالقدر امن من الكدر He who believes in the qadar (that which God has ordained) will be preserved from sorrow

Between the two lower windows is the inscription

ساعه عدل خير من عباده سبعين سنه An hour of justice is better than seventy-nine years of ibadet (worship).

Between the two central windows is the inscription

لا اله الا الله قال الله تعالي سلام عليكم طبتم فادخلوها خالدين

There is no god but Allah.  Allah Almighty says: Peace be with you, be of good cheer, enter into it eternally.

To the right and left of the upper window is a stylized inscription in ta'liq Arabic script:

محمد مصطفي Muhammad Mustafa

Left-hand wall

Between the lower front window and the mihrab wall, close to the latter, is an inscription of the basmala

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم  In the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful

Between the lower front window and the mihrab wall close to the window is the inscription  من صبر ظفر the patiently enduring saved

Between the lower windows is an inscription in divan jali Arabic script

استعيذ بالله يا ايها استعيذ بالله يا ايها الذين امنوا اطيعوا الله و اطيعوا الرسول و اولي الامر منكم

 I seek refuge in God.. O you who believe follow Allah, and follow the Prophet and those in authority over you.

Between the lower window and the entrance wall is the inscription

من امن بالقدر امن من الكدر He who believes in the qadar shall be preserved from sorrow

Between the central windows is the inscription

و ما توفيقي الا بالله Success is with God alone

To the right and left of the upper window is a stylized inscription in the mathana style of Arabic script يا فتاح O Opener

Entrance wall

Above the entrance door is the inscription

يا مفتح الابواب افتح لنا خير الباب Thou who openest the door open the best of doors for us

Above the previous inscription, to right and left, is

 انه بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم This is in the name of God, the Benevolent, the Merciful

There are several small inscriptions on the cleaned part of the mimber.  The year 1131 (1718/19) and the name Osman son of Husein are visible on one of them.

On the inner side of the entrance portal, on the cleaned part of the portal, there are also several small inscriptions beneath which is the signature of dervish Abdulkadir and the year 974 (1566/67).


There is a fountain in the courtyard.  The entrance to the madrasa and the library are in the courtyard. On the south-east side of the mosque there is a spacious graveyard with numerous tombstones, with and without epitaphs.

Šadrvan - A simple šadrvan fountain with no decorations is located in the yard of the mosque and the madrasa, of octagonal shape with a polygonal roof. There were once five šadrvans in Mostar; now only the ones outside the Karađoz-beg and the Koski Mehmed pasha mosques are still used for their proper purpose (Bećirbegović, 1974, p. 310).  All these šadrvans were on the left bank of the Neretva and, with the exception of the Ćejvan-ćehaja and Koski Mehmed pasha fountains, were supplied by the watermain that ran from Djevojačka voda in Carina. It may be roughly deduced from this that the šadrvan was built after the Djevojačka voda water main, which was built, again by deduction from written documents, in 1113 AH (1704/05) (Mujić, 1956, p. 193).  These details indicate that the fountain dates from the early 18th century or later.

The roof of the šadrvan is supported by eight cylindrical columns, with simple bases and capitals, linked by segmented arches.  Simple mouldings instead of capitals and a simple cornice are the fountain’s only decorations. The polygonal base of the fountain is an octagonal stone basin of simple workmanship, with an extension in the moulded base with a drainpipe. The fountain consists of a small basin from which the water overflows into a larger basin, from which it then flows through eight taps. Both basins are made of large stone slabs and roofed over with an iron grid in the shape of a rounded cupola. The entire fountain is set on a  round stone pedestal.

Česma – the česma or public drinking fountain is located to the right of the entrance to the mosque courtyard. The inscription on the fountain is in Turkish verse in rather illegible jali script, in twenty square fields. Below the inscription, on separate white stone slabs, are beautiful plant designs and other motifs. The inscription shows that the tap was built in 1226 AH (1811). (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 203) The tap is located next to a blind mihrab on the wall, facing Fejić Brothers street. Between 1621 and 1637 a fountain was erected connected to the Djevojačka voda spring. In 1805, it was built as a free-standing fountain, connected to the newly built water supply system as a free-flowing fountain. In 1927, during the construction of the stone wall around the mosque, Miroslav Loose planned to build the remains of the stone base of the old fountain into it. This was done in 1930, when the base was built into the western wall as an ornament. This is the present position of the fountain. Instead of this one, prior to World War II, a fountain was built opposite the old one, on the western side of the park and the Osman Ðikić mausoleum. It was dismantled in the 1960s, and the erection of new housing units eliminated all trace of it (Miletić, 1997, p. 93)

Harem of the mosque – The oldest tombstones in Mostar, the so-called 'shaheed tombstones' were made of hard white limestone and were shaped as prisms or flat. There were no inscriptions on them, just carved rosettes or floral designs, and in some cases a sword. There are three such tombstones in the graveyard of the Karađoz-beg mosque, dating from the early years of Ottoman rule. In their features – prismatic shape with no ornaments, with a small depression in the middle of the upper surface – they are a transitional form from the mediaeval stećak tombstones towards the later, well developed nišan tombstones. Beside the mosque are two plots with tombstones, one right next to the mosque to the south-east, and the other opposite the entrance.  It has not been possible to establish the exact date when burials started on this site. Epigraphic data from the mosque shows that dignitaries and their family members were buried there. The oldest tombstone dates from 1171 AH (1764). However, behind the mihrab are four pairs of old tombstones whose shape indicates that they may date back to the 16th century. As these tombstones are behind the mihrab, they could be the graves of family members of the benefactor himself. In his 1570 vakufnama, there is reference to the benefactor's deceased sons, Muhamed-beg and Sulejman-beg, as well as his wife Gulšah-hatun, which indicates that the tombstones are from the period from 1557 (the year the mosque was built) to 1570 or some time later. (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 179)

The park next to the Karađoz-beg mosque was established in 1950s, on the site of several former housing complexes.

In December 2004 Hazim Numanagić surveyed and recorded the nišan tombstones in the harem of the Karađoz-beg mosque.  His report lists:

1. Stone nišan with large pleated turban, square in section, 30 x 30 cm, height 100 cm, no epitaph

2. Stone nišan with large mushroom-shaped turban, square in section, 17 x 17 cm, height 80 cm, with tarih epitaph

لوسلي احمد افندي روحيجون الفاتحة 112

Ahmed effendi. Fatiha for his soul. 1112 (1700/1701)

           3. Small stone nišan without epitaph

           4. Small stone nišan without epitaph

           5. Damaged stone nišan

           6. Damaged stone nišan

           7. Octagonal stone nišan, sides of the octagon 10 and 9 cm, height 100 cm, with damaged tarih epitaph

سنة 1321 ..... صادق افندي بن الحاج محمد اغا كموري زاده فاتحة

Year1321(1903/1904) . . . Sadik effendi son of hajji Mehmed-aga Kemur.  Fatiha

          8. Stone nišan without epitaph

          9. Broken man's nišan with damaged epitaph, square in section, 15 x 15 cm

         10. Stone nišan without epitaph

         11. Woman's nišan, rectangular in section 35 x 12 cm, height 110 cm, with tarih in Arabic:

اللهم احشرنا قي زمرة السالحين بحرمة لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله يا غفار الذنوب المرحومة كلثوم خانمك بنت ابراهيم بك بارنته زاده روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1285

O Thou our God!  Call out to us in the assembly of the good, in Thy words: There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the prophet of God.  Thou who forgiveest sins, forgive me my sins.  Đulsuma hanuma, daughter of Ibrahim-beg Perenta, rest her soul.  Fatiha for her soul. 1285 (1868/69).

          12. Stone men's nišan with čatal (double) turban, square in section, 12 x 12 cm, height 120 cm, illegible epitaph with only the year 1270 (1863/54) legible

          13. Men's stone nišan with čatal turban, square in section, 17 x 17 cm, height 120 cm, with partly damaged tarih

1259 الله باقي بو دنياده ..... مرحوم ابراهيم ابن سليمان اغا حيبنويج تاريخ الوفات تسع و خمسين و مائتين و الف روحيجون الفاتحة

1259 (1843).  Allah is eternal. This world . . . Ibrahim son of Sulejman-aga Hajbenović, rest his soul.  Date of death 1259.  Fatiha for his soul.

         14. Man's stone nišan, square in section, 17 x 17 cm, height 80 cm, on which is the turban from another nišan with a tarih in Arabic

يا غفار الذنوب اغفر ذنوبي المرحوم درويش ابن شعبان اغا رضاء لله الفاتحة سنة 1316

O Thou who forgivest sins, forgive me my sins.  Derviš son of Šaban-aga, rest his soul.  Recite Fatiha for to please God.  1316 (1898/99)

         15. Man's stone nišan, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, height 90 cm, with tarih in Arabic

يا غفار مصطفي بن الحاج عبد الله الحاجي بالي زاده قد فات 1233

O Thou who forgivest.  Mustafa son of hajji Abdulah Hadžipašić. D. 1233 (1817/18)

         16. Man's stone nišan with čatal turban, dimensions 14 x 14 x 120, with tarih in Arabic.

يا الله مرحوم قودجا ابراهيم ابن محمد روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1271

O Lord.  Kodža Ibrahim son of Mehmed, rest his soul. Fatiha for his soul.  1271 (1854/55)

         17. Stone woman's nišan, rectangular in section.

الله .... المرحومة مقصومة بنت محمد سمرجي روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1179

Allah . . . Maksuda daughter of Mehmed Samardžije, rest her soul.  Fatiha for her soul.  1179 (1765/66)

        18. Stone woman's nišan, rectangular in section pointed at the top, with tarih divided into eight small fields which is damaged and difficult to read as a result of weathering and the minute script.

        19. Stone man's nišan composed of three different nišans with epitaph on which all that is legible is:

مرحوم ابراهيم بن عثمان بك ...

Ibrahim son of Osman-beg, rest his soul

        20. Stone headstone, rectangular in section, 36 x 28 cm, height 120 cm, without epitaph, with footstone measuring 38 x 28 x 125 cm.  The grave has a stone surround.

        21. Man's stone nišan with čatal turban, square in section, 19 x 19 cm.  The nišan is composed of two different nišans.  The upper part of the nišan with turban is 65 cm high and bears part of an epitaph:

يا الله مرحوم ابراهيم ابن حسين روحيجون .....

O Lord! Ibrahim son of Husejn, rest his soul.  For his soul. . .

The lower part of the nišan is 74 cm high and bears the epitaph:

......الحاج محمد اغا بن الحاج محمود اغا ادبحيك روحيجون الفاتحة ....

Hajji Muhamed-aga son of hajji Mahmed-aga Edepčić.  Fatiha for his soul. . .

The grave has a stone surround.

        22. Woman's stone nišan, rectangular in section, 10 x 20 cm, height 100 cm, with epitaph

يا الله مرحومه نفيظه قدين بنت احمد اغا ....سنة 1272

O Lord! Nefiza kaduna daughter of Ahmed-aga, rest her soul. . . Year 1272 (1855/56).  The grave has a stone surround.

        23. Man's stone nišan with someone else's turban on it, rectangular in section, 15 x 16 cm, height 125 cm, with epitaph.

سنة 1307 يا غفار الذنوب اغفر ذنوبي المرحوم محمود بك ابن محمد بك لقشه زاده طيب الله ثراهما و اجعل الجنة مثواهما روحيجون الفاتحة الكتاب

Year 1307 (1889/90).  Thou who forgivest sins, forgive me my sins.  Mahmud-beg son of Mehmed-beg Lakišić, rest his soul. May God make the earth rest lightly on them and make jannah their eternal abode.  Fatiha for their souls.

The grave has a stone surround.

        24. Woman's stone nišan with another woman's cap, rectangular in section, 17 x 14 cm, height 116 cm, with inscription in Arebica (local language in Arabic script)

...... نه ق مي دوشي راحمت بره دا فاطي ما زه نا مصطفي اغا حايدارويج

May rahmet be bestowed on my soul.  Fatima wife of Mustafa-aga Hajdarević

        25. Stone woman's nišan topped by a man's turban, dimensions 16 x 17 x 147 cm, with stone surround measuring 44 x 115 x 250 cm

سنة 1325 الا يا زائرا بقبري متفكرا بامري بالامس كنت مثلك و غدا تصير مثلي مرحومة دوديه بنت مسطفي اغا كاريموشيك روحنه الفاتحة

 (1907/08).  You who visit my grave, reflect on my condition, yesterday I was as you are, and tomorrow you will be as I am.  Dudije daughter of Mustafaj-aga Karimušić, rest her soul. Fatiha for her soul.

        26. Stone nišan with woman's cap, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, height 105 cm, with epitaph divided into six fields written in ta'liq Arabic script:

هو يا الله المرحومة ريبه قدين بنت علي افندي جابي زاده روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1231

O Lord! Riba kaduna daughter of  Ali effendi Džabić, rest her soul. Fatiha for her soul. 1231 (1815/16)

        27. Men's nišan with turban, measuring 13 x 14 x 126 cm.  This nišan is mounted on the base of another on a grave with a stone surround measuring 95 x 249 x 49 cm.  On the front of the nišan is the inscription:

يا غفار الذنوب المرحوم عثمان بن احمد ييلانواج روحيجون الفاتحة

O Thou who forgivest sins!  Osman son of Ahmed Bilanovac, rest his soul (the first name could be deciphered differently, being somewhat illegible).  Fatiha for his soul.

On the right hand side of the nišan is the year, 1324 (1906/07) with a stylized fleur-de-lis below.

        28. Woman's nišan measuring 22 x 11 x 104 cm with stone surround.

يا غفار الذنوب يا ستار العيوب اغفر ذنوبي و استر عيوبي المرحومه زينب بنت حسن اغا عليقلنيك زاده روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1229

Thou Who forgivest sins and covers shortcomings, forgive me my sins and cover my shortcomings.  Zejneb daughter of Hasan-aga Alikalinić, rest her soul.  Fatiha for her soul. 1229 (1813/14).

        29. Old stone nišans of coarse workmanship.  The headstone, with a hollow carved in the top, measures  30 x 25 x 105 cm, and the footstone 30 x 25 x 109 cm.

        30. Damaged stone nišan, rectangular in section, 14 x 13 cm, height 73 cm.

موستار مكتبه رشديه معلم اول ابكلي مرحوم الحاج عمر افندي بن الحاج بكر اغا روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1302

Muallim of grade one of the Mostar mekteb and rušdija (primary school), hajji Omer effendi son of hajji Bećir-aga, rest his soul.  Fatiha for his soul. 1302 (1884/85).

        31. Stone woman's nišan, square in section, 14 x 14 cm, height 89 cm.

1267 يا غفار الذنوب و يا ستار العيوب اغفر ذنوبي و استر عيوبي المرحومة دوده قدين بنت اسماعيل اغا غلوبيك زاده روحيجون الفاتحة

1267 (1850/51). Thou Who forgivest sins and covers shortcomings, forgive me my sins and cover my shortcomings.  Duda kaduna daughter of Ismail-aga Golibić, rest her soul.  Fatiha for her soul.

        32. Octagonal stone nišan, without epitaph, dimensions 9.5 x 10 x 93 cm.

        33. Woman's nišan, square in section, 13 x 13 cm, height 63 cm, on a grave with a stone surround.

سنة 1309 المرحومة فاطمه بنت عبدي اغا حاجيك روحنه الفاتحة

1309 (1891/92). Fatima daughter of Abdi-aga Hadžić, rest her soul. Fatiha for her soul.

         34. Old stone nišans, of coarse workmanship.  The headstone measures 31 x 26 x 117 cm and the foot stone, with a hollowed top, measures 30 x 25 x 102 cm. The grave has a stone surround measuring 12t x 250 cm.

         35. Man's nišan with someone else's turban, square in section, 16.5 x 16.5 x 118 cm.

.... اغفر ذنوبي المرحوم محمد اغا ابن حسين اغا شابيك زاده .... روحيجون الفاتحة

. . . forgive my sins. Ahmed-aga son of Husejn-aga Šabić, rest his soul . . . Fatiha for his soul.

         36. Woman's nišan with a turban from another nišan mounted on it, square in section, 14 x 14 cm, height 145 cm.

..... جواهره بنت عبد الله خيروويك روحنه الفاتحة

Dževahira daughter of Abdulah Hajrović. Fatiha for her soul.

         37. Grave with a stone surround and a broken nišan, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, with an illegible tarih on which the year 1283 (1866/67) can be made out.

         38. Damaged woman's nišan measuring 16 x 16 x 73 cm.

....المرحومه عايقه بن محمد اغا ....

. . .Ajka daughter (the epitaph has «son») of Mehmed-aga, rest her soul . . .

         39. Man’s nišan with čatal turban, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, height 90 cm.

يا الله مرحوم ابراهيم ابن حاجو حاجيك روحنه الفاتحة سنة 1263

O Lord! Ibrahim son of hajji Hadžić, rest his soul. Fatiha for his soul. 1263 (1846/47)

         40. Man’s nišan with turban, with incised crescent moon and star, dimensions 15 x 15 x 106 cm.

يا غفار الذنوب المرحوم لاقه شازاده علي ابن عمر بك ..... روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1237

Thou Who forgivest sins!  Lakišić Ali son of Omer-beg . . . Fatiha for his soul. 1237 (1821/22)

         41. Man’s nišan with turban, rectangular in section,16 x 15 x 94 cm.

سنة 1314 يا غفار الذنوب اغفر ذنوبي المرحوم حسين اغا بن صالح اغا حلواج روحيجون الفاتحة

1314 (1896/97).  Thou Who forgivest sins, forgive me my sins.  Husein-aga son of Salih-aga Halač, rest his soul. Fatiha for his soul.

         42. Boy's nišan with turban, dimensions 12 x 12 x 45 cm, mounted on a stone sarcophagus measuring 64 x 120 x 45 cm.

         43.Damaged woman's nišan, rectangular in section, 9 x 21 cm, height 65 cm.

يا الله اغفر ذنوبي المرحومة امينه قدين بنت ابراهيم اغا ...... روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1266

God forgive me my sins.  Emina kaduna daughter of Ibrahim-aga. . . rest her soul.  Fatiha for her soul.  1266 (1849/50)

         44. Damaged nišan measuring 25 x 13 x 75 cm with stone surround measuring 55 x 150 x 53 cm, with damaged epitaph in Turkish on which the year 1292 (1875/76) can be made out.

         45. Damaged nišan, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, height 53 cm, with stone surround.

         46. Damaged nišan, square in section, 13 x 13 cm, height 52 cm, with stone surround.

         47. Men's nišan with turban, square in section, 26 x 26 cm, height 168 cm, without epitaph.

         48. Stone nišan with woman's cap, dimensions 16 x 16 x 157 cm, with inscription in Arabic:

...... المرحومه و المغفوره درويشه بنت احمد افندي علوحيك الفاتحه لروحها

. . . Derviša daughter of Ahmed effendi Alehić, rest her soul, forgiven.  Fatiha for her soul.

        49. Man's nišan with turban, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, height 160 cm, with illegible epitaph on which the year 1281 (1864/65) can be made out. The grave has a stone surround measuring 120 x 285 x 70 cm.

        50. Man's nišan with fez, rectangular in section, 12.5 x 33 cm, height 140 cm. The grave has a stone surround and iron railing with an inscription in Turkish.

هو الحي الباقي شيخ الوزرا و شيخ الحرم حضرت نبوي اسبق اشقودره لي مرحوم مصطفي باشانك محدومي الوب روم ايله بكلربكليكي بايه سيله هرسك متصرفي ايكن ارتحال دار جنان ايدن محدوم حمدي باشانك روحنه الفاتحة سنة 1286

He is the Living, the Eternal. Shaikh of the vizier and shaikh of the Prophet's harem, deceased Mahmud Hamdi-pasha, son of Škodrali Mustafa pasha, beglerbeg, mutesarif of Herzegovina.  Fatiha for his soul. 1286 (1870)

       51. Grave with only the footstone, octagonal in section, 7 x7 cm, height 127 cm.

       52. Man's nišan with turban, without epitaph, square in section, 17 x17 cm, height 80 cm.

       53. Woman's stone nišan on the pedestal of another nišan.

هو الحي الباقي هرسك متصرفي اشقودره لي مصطفي باشا زاده سعادتلو محمود باشا حضرتلرين ..... محترمه لري مرحومه و مغفوره لها ..... خانمك روحيجون الفاتحة

He is the Living, the Eternal. Daughter of the mutesarif of Herzegovina Škodrali Mustafa pasha, wife of Mustafa pasha, respected and forgiven, rest her soul. . . (damaged) hanuma.  Fatiha for her soul.

       54. Man's nišan with turban, square in section, 14 x 14 cm, height 113 cm. The grave has a stone surround measuring 108 x 238 x 60 cm.

يا غفار مرحوم احمد بك ابن علي بك روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1212

Thou Who forgivest! Ahmed-beg son of Ali-beg, rest his soul. Fatiha for his soul. 1212 (1797/98)

        55. Man's nišan with turban, square in section, 15 x 15 cm, height 125 cm. The grave has a stone surround measuring 115 x 200 x 30 cm.

سنة 1285  هو الحي الباقي در كاه عالي باشيلردن قبوجي استولجه قائمقام اشقودره لي قاسم بك زاده الحاج حسين بك روحيجون الفاتحة

1285 (1868/69).  He is the Living, the Eternal. Kapudži-baša of the Sublime Porte, kajmekam of Stolac, Škodrali Kasimbegović Husein-beg. Fatiha for his soul.

        56. Nišan with woman's cap, square in section, 14 x 14 cm, height 45 cm, sunken into the ground.  Only the year 1307 (1889/90) is visible on the epitaph.

        57. Damaged nišan measuring 19 x 18 x 95 cm

اهل عبرت قيل نظر با فاتحة حق شرابن كل نفس ذائقه الموت المرحوم صالح اغا بن محمد بك ,,,, روحيجون الفاتحة الكتاب

Take the moral and recite Fatiha, you who look upon my grave, for we shall all die.  Salih-aga son of Mehmed-beg, rest his soul . . . Fatiha for his soul.

       58. Nišan with woman's cap, measuring 14 x 14 x 93 cm.

المرحومه زينب بنت مصطفي اغا روحيجون الفاتحة الكتاب سمة 1309

Zejneba daughter of Mustafaj-aga, rest her soul.  Fatiha for her soul.  1309 (1891/92)

       59. Man's nišan with turban, square in section, 16 x 16 cm, height 145 cm, mounted on a grave with a surround and iron railing.  Since it was difficult to reach, we read only the name of the deceased and the jear.

Rizvan pasha, beglerbeg. 1296 (1878/79).»


The Karađoz-beg madrasa was built on the left side of the mosque courtyard.

Madrasas were secondary or higher schools, providing basic religious and shari'a education as well as Oriental languages. Of the nine madrasas in Mostar present in the records, the only one to survive is the Karađoz-beg madrasa, though a reconstrucion of the ground plan of the Roznamedžija madrasa is known. (Bećirbegović, 1974, pp. 251 - 283)

The Karađoz-beg madrasa, along with the Gazi Husrefbeg madrasa in Sarajevo and  Šišman Ibrahim-pasha madrasa in Počitelj, are the only three surviving madrasas  of monumental design, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in former Yugoslavia.  They are the oldest and architecturally the most valuable madrasas. They date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. They were built by Turkish masters, whereas others, of lesser value, were built by local masters. (Bećirbegović, 1974, p. 310)

There is still no data on the actual erection of the madrasa. There were several inscriptions on the madrasa, either incised or painted, that are now damaged and illegible. None of them refers to the date of construction and none is older than the 18th century. They are mainly of religious content or mark the visit of a dignitary. (Stanić, Sandžaktar, 1967, p. 90)

The madrasa is assumed to have been built between 1557 (the year when the mosque was built) and 1570 (the year when Karađoz-beg's vakufnama was written – with reference to the madrasa as part of his endowment). It was built in the mosque courtyard, but to one side, constituting an architectural ensemble together with the courtyard and the fountain. (Bećirbegović, 1974, p. 304)

The Karađoz-beg madrasa is the oldest madrasa building in Herzegovina. It may be counted as one of the so-called small madrasas of asymmetrical L-shaped design.  It is of rather modest proportions. It has six rooms and a hayat.  Four small square rooms were used for accommodation, and one large square room was used as a classroom (dershana) where classes were held. The sixth room, elongated in shape and smaller in area than the classroom, was used as a library. All the rooms have cross-vaulted, almost dome-shaped ceilings in the style of the original Bursa madrasas (Stanić, Sandžaktar, 1967, pp. 87, 94; Bećirbegović, p. 307).

The exterior façades were built of cut tenelija limestone, and the interior walls were of pointed miljevina limestone. The exception is the north-facing wall facing the street, made of rectangular sandstone blocks, so that it is visibly different from other walls. This detail, as well as the fact that there are differences in the actual thickness of the walls and that the northeast-facing corner is unfinished, suggest that the madrasa originally had additional rooms on the street side. When the street was later relaid, these rooms, or at least one, were demolished, and the rest simply walled off with sandstone. One part of the courtyard wall was built of cut tenelija stone, which also suggests that it was built later, i.e. this stone may have been taken from the demolished part of the madrasa in order to build the missing section of wall. The lower part of the ceilings are of tufa, and exterior is faced with pieces of tenelija and miljevina limestone set in mortar. The north-facing wall of the madrasa, its courtyard and the mosque courtyard differ from the west-facing wall of the courtyard, which has large openings for windows, later reduced in size. (Stanić, Sandžaktar, 1967, p. 95)

During 1964 and 1965, the Mostar Institute for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage undertook numerous conservation interventions on the building. Based on research conducted during these works, it was concluded that the madrasa had undergone numerous changes and alterations to its original design:

     the floor-level of the rooms and the courtyard was raised by some 60 cm,

     the windows were raised and the earlier window-arches were walled-up,

     new windows were pierced on the east-facing wall of the classrooms, without arches and of somewhat larger size,

     the entrance from the porch to the library was narrowed so that a window was pierced next to it,

     wooden ceilings were installed in the rooms, laid over the cross-vaulted ceilings,

     according to data as well as the distribution of the chimneys, there were obviously fireplaces in all the rooms, which were removed and dolafs (wall cupboards) were set in the niches,

     the moulded stone cornice below the edge of the roof was removed,

     the entire timber structure of the porch was raised to bring the roof of the porch in line with the roof, and the sheet lead roof cladding was removed. In order to cover the space between the vaults with stone slabs, 60 cm of wall was added along the west-facing wall, the space was filled with rubble and then clad with slabs. The hayat is clad with hollow tiles.

The exact date of this intervention is not known. The Mostar Institute only carried out basic repairs to restore the building to its condition prior to the said intervention. The proposed new purpose was to use the madrasa as an exhibition space for  old manuscripts, books and archives. (Stanić, Sandžaktar, 1967, pp. 87, 95-100)

The madrasa closed down in 1918 and since then has been partly used for residential purposes. (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 16)

The Karađoz-beg library was the first recorded library in Mostar, established by the benefactor himself. In terms of premises, the Karađoz-beg library was one of a group of madrasa and mosque libraries housed in a separate room, and was open to the public. It was founded in 1570. According to the vakufnama, the manager of the vakuf could issue books on loan with a guarantee from a “man of the people.” (Bećirbegović, 1974, p. 331)  The library had a full-time librarian until 1934. The library was closed the same year when its last librarian, Muhamed effendi Spahić, died. Since then, many volumes from its collection have disappeared. The remaining collection was moved to the Gazi Husrefbeg library in Sarajevo in 1950. Three manuscripts from this library are in the Archives of Herzegovina in Mostar . (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 16)

The report by Hazim Numanagić drawn up in December 2004 notes:

“A library is now housed in one of the rooms of the former madrasa in the courtyard of the Karađoz-beg mosque. The library premises are small and inadequate for the purpose.  Most of the books are stacked on the library floor, and are not catalogued or professionally classified.

Among these books are a number of manuscripts of the Holy Qur'an, of which one is of particular value.  This manuscript measures 40 x 28 cm, with a thickness of 8 cm.  It is leather-bound.  The first and last pages of the manuscript are not original, so that we have no information on the person who transcribed it or the year when it was transcribed.  This Holy Qur'an was transcribed in muhaqqaq Arabic script, a style that has not been used to transcribe the Qur'an for several hundred years, which could be an indication of its age.  The covers bear a note to the effect that the transcription is 600 years old, but it is not known when this note was added.  The style of the script, the outstanding quality of the calligraphy, and the gold-leaf illuminations on the pages of this transcript, all suggest that this information may be accurate.  Whatever the truth of the matter, this transcript should be removed from these inadequate premises and housed in proper conditions as a matter of urgency.  Given the large number of damaged pages, it should undergo conservation and restoration immediately.

In addition to this transcript, the library contains a number of transcriptions of the Holy Qur'an in juz sections.»


            Mektebs were primary schools for the religious and moral education of children and for learning the Arabic script. According to the legislation of the time, mektebs were four grade schools.

The Karađoz-beg mekteb is located in the vicinity of (across the street from) the eponymous mosque, at the corner of Fejić Brothers and Solakovića  streets. It was built before 1570, as evident from Karađoz-beg's deed of endowment, stipulating the appointment of a mualim, a teacher, to be paid five dirhams per day. The mekteb was demolished in 1892, and the site and that of the old Karađoz-beg han and imaret were used in 1894 as a site for a new two-storey building called “Vakufski dvor” (Vakuf Palace) (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 14)

The mekteb building was a typical single storey building clad with slates, monolithic, and with all the architectural features of its day in this part of the world.

Right next to it, along its south-facing wall, the benefactor commissioned a musafirhana (free hostel for indigent travellers), which also included an imaret (public kitchen). There are no other sources on these two institutions. Both were built before 1570 as they were both mentioned in Karađoz-beg's deed of endowment. It is not known when the two closed down, but they were demolished in 1892 (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 17)  The ground floor of the musafirhana and part of the mekteb also included sixteen shops, where a range of leather products were made and sold.

During the Austro-Hungarian period, the old mekteb building was demolished and in its place the large two story Vakuf Palace was built in the secession-style, with façade details in the style of old Venetian architecture.

Following World War II, the Karađoz-beg mekteb building was assigned to the City Administration and was later used by the Urban Planning Institute and the 'Prostor' utility company of Mostar.

In 1993, shelling totally destroyed the roof and ceilings of the building. The EUAM demolition project in 1996 cleared all the rubble from the building and protected it from further damage by the elements. (Mostar City Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage)


Hans were used for rest and lodgings for travellers and their caravans, and trade was also conducted in them. One han was built by hajji Mehmed-beg Karađoz opposite his mosque on the corner of Srednja (Fejić Brothers) and Solaković streets. We only know that it was built before 1570, as it was referred to in the deed of endowment. It was demolished in 1890 and the Vakuf Palace was built on the site. (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 17)


The old Mostar family of the Ðikić’s has provided several prominent individuals and benefactors. One of them was Osman Ðikić, born in Mostar in 1879.  He was a writer, poet, essayist, prominent politician and educator. He died in Mostar in 1912 and was buried in the big graveyard in Carina, where the railway and bus stations are today. In 1936 his remains were exhumed from the Carina graveyard and buried in the small harem in front of the Karađoz-beg mosque. A sarcophagus made of stone slabs was erected above his grave. The mausoleum was built of brick, in the pseudo-Moorish style.

In 1993, an explosion blew up the sarcophagus and partly destroyed the mausoleum. It was recently reconstructed and restored to its original condition. (Hasandedić, 2000, p. 18)           


3. Legal status to date

The Regional Plan of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2000 lists the Karađoz-beg mosque and Karađoz-beg madrasa as Category I monuments.

The Regional Plan of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2000 lists the graveyard attached to the Karađoz-beg mosque as Category II monument.

            Pursuant to the law and by Ruling by the State Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Heritage of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, No 739/50 of 1950, the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar was placed under protection of the State.

            Pursuant to the law and by Ruling by the State Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Heritage of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, No: 02-643-3 from 1962, the Karađoz-beg mosque, cemetery and public fountain in Mostar were entered in the register of immovable cultural monuments, under No 149.

            The Provisional List of National Monuments of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments includes the following:

-     No 398, the Karađoz-beg mosque,

-     No 399, the Karađoz-beg madrasa,

-     No 400, the Karađoz-beg mekteb.


4.   Research and conservation  and restoration works

           late 19th century – the minaret of the mosque was relaid from the 57th step to the top;

           1909 – the interior of the Karađoz-beg mosque was entirely repainted;

           1952 – the dilapidated exterior portico of the Karađoz-beg mosque was demolished;

           1963 – the lead cladding of the dome of the Karađoz-beg mosque was replaced;

           1963 – conservation of the Karađoz-beg madrasa;

           1964-65 – the Mostar Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments carried out a number of conservation works on the architecture of the Karađoz-beg madrasa.  These constituted inexpert restoration, since the domes formerly covered by a pent roof structure clad with stone slabs are now exposed;

           1967 – conservation works on the Karađoz-beg mosque

           1968 – probe tests on the painted decoration inside the mosque;

           1969 – conservation works on the Karađoz-beg mosque;

           1970 – reconstruction works on the portico of the Karađoz-beg mosque;

           1985 – reconstruction of the section of the minaret of the Karađoz-beg mosque from the šerefe to the top;

           1990-91 – research work on the painted decorations of the mosque;

           1995-96 – conservation and part repairs to the Karađoz-beg mosque:

o        conservation of the minaret up to the šerefe, complete repairs to the windows on the south side, construction of a number of concrete steps;

o        central dome and portico domes – the old sheet lead cladding was removed in its entirety and replaced by new, and damage was made good (reconstruction of the large window at drum level and of part of the central dome, reconstruction of part of the destroyed stone string course and the stone frame of one of the windows, closing a small hole in the central dome of the portico) and the dome was plastered. An iron and reinforced concrete ring was built in around the central dome to consolidate it structurally;

o        the timber structure was removed in its entirety and the broken stone columns were removed from the exterior portico;

o        all the windows other than those at ground-floor level were fitted with wooden roller-blinds and metal grids; the wooden frames of the ground-floor windows were replaced, and wooden shutters fitted to the windows and wall cupboards;

o        the damaged wooden floor of the mosque was replaced in its entirety with new wooden flooring;

o        the old lanterns on the mosque portico were repaired and the interior electric wiring was plastered over;

o        on the main portal, the wooden doors were replaced by new ones made to match the originals.

           2003-2004 – rehabilitation works on the Karađoz-beg mosque:

           works on the rehabilitation of the The Karađoz-beg mosque:

o        reconstruction of the outer porch, which is a simple wooden structure supported by stone pillars, with stone slabs cladding the roof. The cracks on the dome were made good in line with a proposal by a civil engineer. The old electric wiring dating from before the building was damaged  was removed and replaced with the fewest possible cables, which were concealed wherever possible. The interior electric lighting, as well as the window frames and the stone transennas, were made either from old photos or by analogy with other similar buildings.    The upper part of the minaret was totally reconstructed. Some pieces of the original stone that were found in the mosque courtyard were re-used and incorporated into the new structure of the minaret. The central part of the minaret required structural and architectural repairs, as a result of which some of the unsuitable elements of poorer quality or badly damaged damaged were replaced by new.  The lowest part of the minaret was in quite good structural condition, needing only minor interventions. The staircase inside the minaret was in quite good condition, except for a few steps which were made of reinforced-concrete during previous reconstruction works, which were replaced by new stone steps.  

       December 2004 – conservation and restoration of the interior of the Karađoz-beg mosque are under way.


5.  Current condition of the property

The findings of an inspection of the site conducted in March 2004 are as follows:

     Hajji Mehmed-bey Karađoz-beg mosque – the building is under the reconstruction – the works on the exterior of the building have been completed, and works on the interior have started – restoration of the paintings;

     Karađoz-beg madrasa (the building is in relatively poor condition due to lack of maintenance; it is currently housing a health clinic, which is operating in wholly inadequate hygienic conditions for this type of facility);




Applying the Criteria for proclamation of the property as a national monument (“Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina”, no. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above. The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A.  Time frame

B.  Historical value

C.  Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i. quality of workmanship

C.iii. proportions

C.iv. composition

C. v. value of details

C.vi. value of construction

D. Clarity

D.ii. evidence of historical change

D.iii. work of a major artist or builder

D. iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

D. v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

E. Symbolic value

E.i. ontological value

E.ii. religious value

E.iii. traditional value

E.iv. relation to rituals or ceremonies

E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.i.  Relation to other elements of the site

F.ii. meaning in the townscape

F.iii.  the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site

G. Authenticity

G.i. form and design

G.ii. material and content

G.iii. use and function

G.iv. traditions and techniques

G.v. location and setting

G.vi. spirit and feeling

G.vii. other internal and external factors

H. Rarity and representativity

H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style

H.ii. outstanding work of art or architecture

H.iii. work of a prominent artist, architect or craftsman

I. Completeness

I.i. physical coherence

I.ii. homogeneity

I.iii. completeness


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan

-     Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-     Photodocumentation;

-     Drawings



1933.    Dr Ćorović, Vladimir, Mostar i njegova Srpska pravoslavna opština (Mostar and its Serbian Orthodox community) publication of the Serbian Orthodox community of Mostar, Belgrade, 1933.


1956.    Mujić, Muhamed, Stari mostarski vodovod (Old Mostar watermain) Naše starine XIII, Annual of the Institute for Protection of cultural monuments in SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1956.


1967.    Stanić, Radomir i Sandžaktar, Meliha, Konzervacija Karađozbegove medrese u Mostaru (The conservation of the Karađozbeg madrasa in Mostar), Naše starine XI, Annual of the Institute for Protection of cultural monuments in SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967.


1972.    Četvrt stoljeća službe zaštite spomenika kulture i prirode u Bosni i Hercegvoini (25th Anniversary of the Service for Protection of Cultural and Natural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina), Naše starine XIII, Annual of the Institute for Protection of cultural monuments in SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1972.


1974.    Bećirbegović Madžida, Prosvjetni objekti islamske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini (Islamic Architecture Education Buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Offpring from Papers on Oriental Philology XX-XXI, Sarajevo, 1974.


1980.    Institute for architecture, urbanism and regional planning of the Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo, Prostorni plan Bosne i Hercegovine; Faza «B» - valorizacija prirodne i kulturno-historijske vrijednosti (Regional Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Phase “B” –valorization of natural and cultural - historic value), Sarajevo, 1980.


1980.    Hasandedić, Hivzija, Spomenici kulture turskog doba u Mostaru (Cultural monuments of the Turkish period in Mostar), IRO «Veselin Masleša», Sarajevo, 1980.


1982.    Institute for urban planning - Mostar, Urban development plan for Mostar, Sinteza, Mostar, 1982.


1984.    Andrejević, Andrej, Islamska monumentalna umetnost XVI veka u Jugoslaviji – kupolne džamije (16th century Islamic Monumental Art in Yugoslavia – domed mosques), Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, Institute for Art History, Belgrade, 1984.


1989.    Pašić, Amir, Prilog proučavanja islamskog stambenog graditeljstva u Jugoslaviji na primjeru Mostara, Koliko je stara stambena arhitektura Mostara autohtona pojava (Contribution to the study of Islamic residential architecture in Yugoslavia on the example of Mostar, To what extent is the old residential architecture of Mostar an indigenous phenomenon), doctoral thesis, Zagreb, 1989.


1990.    Andrejević, Andrej, Neimar Hajredin i njegov rad u Hercegovini (Architect Hajredin and his work in Herzegovina), Herzegovina 7-8 – Magazine on the cultural and historic heritage, Herzegovina Archive, Mostar, 1990.


1994.    Pašić, Amir, Islamic Architecture in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Research Centre for Islamic History, Art, and Culture (IRCICA), Istanbul, 1994.


1996.    Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis – odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama (Travelogue – excerpts on Yugoslavian countries), Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1996.


1998.    Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic Epigraphy in Bosnia and Herzegovina), book III, Sarajevo-Publishing, Sarajevo, 1998.


2000.    Ayverdi Dr. Ekrem Hakki, Avrupa'da Osmanli Mimari Eserlera Yugoslavya II, 3. kitab, Istanbul, 2000.


2000.    Bahtijarević Nihad, Istraživački radovi na zidnom slikarstvu Karađozbegove džamije u Mostaru (Scientific research work on wall paintings in the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar), Herzegovina 11-12 – Magazine on the cultural and historic heritage, Herzegovina Archive, Mostar, 2000.


2000.    Hasandedić, Hivzija, Mostarski vakifi i njihovi vakufi (Mostar’s vakifi and thier vakufi), Medžlis of Islamic Religious Community in Mostar, Mostar, 2000.      


2001.    City of Mostar, Municipality of Stari Grad, The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva & World Monuments Fund, New York, Regulacioni plan očuvanja i razvoja Starog Grada u Mostaru (Regulation Plan to Preserve and Development of the Old Town in Mostar), World Monuments Fund, New York City, 2001.


2001.    Zvonić, Zlatko, Slikarstvo džamija Mostara (The art of paintings in Mostar’s Mosques), Fine Arts life in Mostar, Culture Centre, Mostar, 2001.


2004.    Numanagić, Hazim, Izvještaj o snimanju objekta Karađoz-begove džamije u Mostaru (Report on survey of the Karađoz-beg mosque in Mostar), Sarajevo, 2004.


2003.    Mostar City Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historic and Natural Heritage, Rad Zavoda za zaštitu kulturno-historijskog i prirodnog nasljeđa Mostar u periodu od 1994. do 2003. godine (The activities of the Mostar City Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historic and Natural Heritage from 1994 to 2003), booklet, Mostar, 2003.


2003.    City of Mostar, The Old Town in Mostar – Management Plan, Mostar, 2003.


2003.    The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Geneva & World Monuments Fund, New York, Institute for the Protection of Cultural-historic and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Heritage Centre, Tradicionalni detalji sa objekata kulturno-historijskog naslijeða u Bosni i Hercegovini (Traditional details from cultural-historic heritage buildings in Bosnia and Herzegovina). 

Karađoz-beg mosque in MostarKarađoz-beg mosque, archival photographThe architectural ensemble of the Karađoz-beg mosque, archival photographDevastation of Karađoz-beg mosque
Karađoz-beg mosque South-eastern facade Interior of the mosque before 1992Dome of the mosque, an old photograph
Interior of the Karađoz-beg mosque, works on rehabilitation MahfilDecoration Details: column and portico
MinaretWindowHarem (graveyard) of the Karađoz-beg mosqueKarađoz-beg medresa and harem
Karađoz-beg medresaMedresa and mosque, archival photographFountainDrinking fountain
Mausoleum of Osman Đikić   

BiH jezici 
Commision to preserve national monuments © 2003. Design & Dev.: