Lose yourself as you explore Sarajevo's mahalas

Sarajevo was laid out in such a way that Baščaršija was built in a valley, where it became the center of handicrafts and trade, while the residential areas of old Sarajevo, the mahalas, were built on the slopes of surrounding hills.

A mahala usually had a mosque in the center, along with its mekteb (religious school for youngsters) and a harem (a courtyard with a cemetery). The mahala would also have a public fountain, a bakery and a shop.

People looked out for their neighbors and the basic rule that was followed when building a house was to give one's neighbor “the right to a view”, so the houses were built on slight inclines.

While today's communities look very different from those of the past, exploring Sarajevo's mahalas and walking along their steep and narrow streets can be an unforgettable experience.

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