Type: Religious, Historical, National Treasure
The White Mosque (Divan Katib Hajdar Mosque), with its maktab, was built between 1536 and 1545 in Vratnik, a Sarajevo neighborhood near what is now the Jajce Barracks. It was commissioned by Hajji Hajdar Efendi, who served as a secretary in the council of the great Gazi Husrev Bey.
The mosque has a single space with an exterior portico made of wood, a square hip roof and a stone minaret.
It is written that Hajji Hajdar lived in Sarač Alijina mahala in Vrbanjuša, and that after becoming very wealthy while working for Gazi Husrev Bey, he had the mosque and maktab built.
Hajji Hajdar died in 1545 while returning from Hajj, and he was buried beneath a tomb in the mosque’s courtyard. Legends say there were golden grave markers on his tomb (most likely with gold inscriptions) and that they were taken by Eugene of Savoy’s army.
It is not known how much Hajji Hadar left for the perpetuation of his endowment fund, but it is known that he asked for six ajiza (20 pages of the Qur’an) to be recited in the mosque every day.
In 1815, a fountain with a stone reservoir was installed along the southeast side of the mosque’s courtyard (on Džanina St.). It is assumed that Hajji Hadar had a fountain put in even before 1545, but it was replaced in 1815. It’s interesting to note that it was the only fountain on the right side of the Miljacka River where water went “up the street,” or uphill.
In 1874, a wooden clock tower was built next to the mosque, and the old clock from Gazi Husrev Bey’s tower was used for this purpose. Since the wooden clock tower would sway during strong winds, the residents of the surrounding mahala soon knocked it down, fearing that it would collapse on passersby.
The mosque was shelled and suffered significant damage during the war (1992-1995), and it underwent a thorough renovation after that time.
The White Mosque (Divan Katib Hajdar Mosque) complex (which comprises a mosque, maktab, fountain, and a tomb in the courtyard) was made a National Monument of BiH in 2015.