Type: Architecture, Historical, National Treasure
Architecturally speaking, the word “daira” (Arabic – circle, ring) refers to a group of merchant storehouses (magaze) that are arranged beneath a single roof and have a common courtyard, where horses could be loaded with goods. There would be a single entrance from the street leading into the courtyard, which was protected by a high wall.
The daire that comprised ten storehouses on Halači Street was built around 1776 by Sarajevo merchant Ibrahim Hadžimuratović on land that belonged to the Isa Bey Vakuf (endowment). The actual number of storehouses would change over the coming decades, and they were owned by several merchant families and also included in the holdings of one vakuf.
Under the direction of architect Juraj Neidhardt, the Museum of the City of Sarajevo restored the storehouses in 1952, and they were then turned into a bar-caffe and Bosnian restaurant. In 1964, the walls between individual storehouses were knocked down for this national restaurant.
The city agency for the protection and maintenance of cultural monuments declared Halači Street a cultural monument on April 7, 1967.
Velike Daire was later managed by the hospitality organization, Balkan. It was then managed by the Muslim charitable association, Merhamet, until 1993, when it was heavily damaged by shelling and forgotten.
Velike Daire was made a Category I Monument in 2002, and the entire complex has been on the list of National Monuments of BiH since 2007.
Velike Daire currently comprises 12 storehouses, and the Sevdah Art House Museum, which has been located in the renovated section since 2008, includes a divanhana (cafe) and courtyard.