The Golden Age of Sarajevo: The Sixteenth Century
Zlatar, Behija. Zlatno Doba Sarajeva: XVI Stoljeće. Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1996, 260pp.


The Golden Age of Sarajevo: the Sixteenth Century

Zlatno Doba Sarajeva: XVI Stoljeće

Zlatno Doba Sarajeva: XVI Stoljeće, was published in 1996 in Sarajevo and is based on the author’s doctoral dissertation. It is a 260-page work on the foundation and development of Sarajevo as one of the major cities in the Balkans and an administrative, cultural and economic centre of the Ottoman province of Bosnia.

The significance of the institution of vakuf/waqf (endowment) for the establishment and development of cities in the early Ottoman Bosnia is examined in this work through the example of Sarajevo. Numerous mosques, schools, dervish lodges, public baths, caravanserais, bridges, bazaars, and infrastructural systems were built as part of endowments set up by benefactors as early as the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia. Foundation of cities through the vakuf institution facilitated the development of the so called “Muslim-Oriental” city and had a principal role in the spread of Islam and Ottoman culture in the region. 

Population, trade, city architecture and the cultural and educational institutions of the sixteenth century Sarajevo are reconstructed through original sources and archival documentation. In addition to existing historiography about Sarajevo, Zlatar used the Ottoman, Bosnian, and Dubrovnik primary archival sources, manuscripts from the Gazi Husrev-Beg Library, and the sources from the Oriental Institute of the University of Sarajevo that were lost in the burning of the Institute in the war 1992-1995. Zlatar also provides a bibliography on the topic of Sarajevo at the end of the book. The work as a whole provides a detailed assessment of Sarajevo as an illustration of a sixteenth century Ottoman provincial city. It is a comprehensive study of a city as an urban architectural and lived environment that contributes to the studies of Ottoman/Balkan cities and the Ottoman legacy in the Balkans.

Leyla Amzi
Amzi, Leyla. “English abstract of 'The Golden Age of Sarajevo: the Sixteenth Century'". Translated by Leyla Amzi. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 161. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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