Kazandžije (coppersmiths) and Kazandžiluk Street

While the area now occupied by Sarajevo was inhabited before the arrival of the Ottomans, the year of the city's founding is considered 1462, the year Ottoman commander Isa Bey Ishaković established his endowment. This called for the founding of several public buildings, which would become the core of the city.


Various artisans arrived with the Turkish army, including some who are listed in the first cadastral ledgers from 1489.

One defter (1528-1536) mentions kazandžije (coppersmiths), artisans who took their name from the kazani (kettles) they made for the army.

This guild comprised all of the artisans who produced items made from copper, especially dishes used for food and drink, as well as kalajdžije (tinsmiths), who would cover such items with thin layers of tin, and then decorate them using various techniques, the most common of which was etching.  

Own bazaar

Besides the general titles of “kazandžije” and “kalajdžije,” these craftsmen were also given names that referred to the specific items produced: ibrikčije (master crafters who made pitchers and pots to hold water), fenjerdžije (lantern/lamp makers), tasari (artisans who made weighing pans for scales)….

It was probably around the second half of the 16th century that Sarajevo coppersmiths got their own bazaar.

It was set up along the eastern end of Baščaršija Square (Baščaršija St.) and partly covered land included in Isa Bey’s endowment, as well as another section that belonged to a rich leatherworker, Hajji Mahmud Sagrakči, who is known for the mosque he had built on Ulomljenica St.

Up until the first half of the 20th century, this bazaar was much larger than it is today, including not only Kazandžiluk, but also the area covered by Luledžina St. and part of Oprkanj St., which was known as the bazaar for pitcher makers during the Ottoman period.

The entire area that takes in Kazandžiluk, Male Daire and Luledžina was declared a National Monument of BiH in 2009, and represents one of the most well-preserved parts of Baščaršija

Original Sarajevo Quality

The authentic look of the street has been retained and the coppersmith craft is still alive. This is a rarity in today’s čaršija, as the street names are all that remain to testify to the artisans who worked on certain streets. 

Sarajevo coppersmiths now produce a few dozen copper items for everyday use, like traditional coffee sets and lovely souvenirs that make their way around the world, testifying to the handicraft tradition that has been active here for nearly 500 years.

The Original Sarajevo Quality symbol of authentic quality guarantees customers that the products they have purchased have been made using traditional methods. Muhamed and Ismet Huseinović, on Kazandžiluk; and Nermina Alić and Edin Kazaz, whose shops are on Kovači St., are just a few of Sarajevo’s coppersmiths.