Svrzina Kuća
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Svrzina kuća is a complex of buildings, courtyards and gardens. The earliest building was constructed in the 17th century by the Glodjo (Glođo) family but was destroyed in a major fire; the complex was rebuilt in the 18th century and inherited by the Svrzo family. It is the only surviving example of 17th century Sarajevo residential architecture, and is one of the most representative surviving example of residential Ottoman architecture in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The complex is surrounded by high stone walls and is entered from the west on Glodina Street, through a wide double wooden entrance gate that leads to the men's courtyard. The complex is divided into two areas, the men’s and the women’s quarters, known respectively as the selamluk and haremluk. There are four residential buildings, including the older women's house, the young women's house, the men's house, and the bachelors' house; a men's courtyard and a women's courtyard; and three gardens.

The older women's house is a two-story building, with storerooms on the ground floor and an upper floor with the women's divanhana with kamerija (open first floor space and veranda); the large čardak (main room); the čardačić (girls' room); and the čardak above the araluk. It is believed to be the oldest part of the complex.

The young women's house is a more recent building, dating to ca. 1832/1247 AH, located on the eastern side of the women's courtyard. It was likely constructed to meet the needs of the Glođo family. The one-story building consists of a hajat (roofed porch);  a large halvat (a large representative room); a children's room; a mutvak (kitchen); and  a hudžera (larder).

The two-story men's house has a ground floor with a storeroom and a stable, and an upper floor with a men's divanhana with kamerijathe bachelors’ room; the men's ćošak (large room, oriel-style); and a kahveodžak (coffee-making area).

The bachelor's house is a one-story building located to the east of the central part of the men's courtyard. It was used as a musafirhana, or accommodation for male visitors. It consists of a hajatkahveodžak; and a bachelors’ halvat.

The house was damaged during World War II, and and courtyards and gardens were reduced in size or removed entirely over the years. Renovations were carried out during the 1950s and the house was opened to the public in the 1960s, and is currently owned by the Museum of the City of Sarajevo. The Museum reconstructed the porches on the men's, women's and bachelors’ houses in the 1970s. The house was repaired in the 1990s after being damaged during the siege of Sarajevo and reopened to the public in 1997, and further major renovations were carried out in 2005.

Sources:

Bosnia and Herzegovina Commission to Preserve National Monuments. "Decision on Designation of Properties as National Monuments: Svrzina house ensemble, the residential architectural ensemble." Accessed October 20, 2015. http://www.kons.gov.ba/main.php?id_struct=50&lang=4&action=view&id=2515.

Harrington, J. Brooke and Judith Bing. "BVA." Balkan Vernacular Architecture: Sarajevo. Accessed October 20, 2015. http://www.balkanarchitecture.org/bosnia/sarajevo3.php.

Muzej Sarajeva. "Svrzo’s House." Accessed October 20, 2015. http://muzejsarajeva.ba/en/depadance/svrzo-s-house.




Location
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Images & Videos
Associated Collections
Events
17th century
rebuilt in the 18th century after being destroyed by a fire
Style Periods
1299-1922
Variant Names
Svrzina Kuća
Svrzo House
Translated
Building Usages
private residence
residential
Materials/Techniques
wood
Keywords
complexes
vernacular architecture
residential architecture