Velika Avlija is located on the northwestern end of Sarajevo’s old čaršija, not far from the spot where Ottoman Sarajevo and Austro-Hungarian Sarajevo – East and West – meet.
This street, or passage, was laid out after the fire of 1879, when most of Sijavuš-Pašine Daire, a residential complex that was built in the 16th century to accommodate Sarajevo Jews, was destroyed.
Sijavuš-Pašine Daire was referred to as Velika Avlija (avlija = courtyard), and this was the name locals started using when referring to the new street.
It acquired the status of a street and was given an official name in 1900. At first it was just a blind alley with access to Čemaluša St. (now Mula Mustafe Bašeskije).
Then two years later, it was no longer considered a street and was absorbed by Čemaluša. It became a separate street in 1910 and was named Avlija.
It gained an exit on its southern side, toward Ferhadija, in 1931, which is also when the original name, Velika Avlija, was reinstated.