Type: Architecture, Historical, National Treasure
The Alija Đerzelez complex is a prime example of 17th century Ottoman residential architecture in Sarajevo.
Located in Vrbanjuša, a neighborhood in the old town, on the corner of Alija Đerzelez and Sagrdžije Streets, the entire complex is located next to Hajji Sinan Tekke and Sarač Alija Mosque and Cemetery, which, taken altogether, form a unique ambience.
While it is commonly believed among local residents that the house belonged to a hero from an epic tale – Alija Đerzelez – historians do not believe the complex is old enough to have belonged to him.
The house was built as a residence for a wealthy family of kazazi (artisans that worked with silk to produce various decorative items) who belonged to the silk workers’ guild. For more than 200 years, up until nearly the end of the 20th century, the home belonged to the Čevanija family.
Made from traditional materials – stone, earthen bricks, wood and galvanized steel – the house had a high wall and included a haremluk (a separate section for women) and a selamluk (a section for men and guests), cobbled courtyards for both men and women, and a large garden with wells and water fountains.
This complex was made a National Monument of BiH in 2005, and in 2016 it entered an arrangement whereby it would be administered by the City Administration of Istanbul for a five-year period.