The Ferhadija Mosque, Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
In support of rebuilding the Ferhadija Mosque, the MBI Foundation has donated over £10,000 pounds.
The mosque of Ferhadija was built in 1579 by Sanjak-bey Ferhat-paša Sokolović and designed by a pupil of the architect Mimar Sinan. Unlike the single domed mosques common in the region, the Ferhadija was covered by a major central dome along with a lower semi-dome above the prayer-niche or mihrab, and rectangular vaulted spaces on either side. These side spaces, or iwans, were covered by unique domical vaulting.
The mosque was damaged during the Bosnian War in 1993 and was later demolished during rioting on May 6 1993. The minaret survived the first explosion, but was then razed to the ground. Most of the debris was taken to the city dump; some stone, and ornamental details, were crushed by the Serbs for use as landfill. The levelled site was turned into a parking lot. Several weeks after the destruction of Ferhadija the nearby Sahat Kula, one of the oldest Ottoman clock towers in Europe, was also destroyed.
In 2001 a building permit was granted to the Islamska Zajednica Banjaluke (Islamic Community of Banja Luka) to reconstruct the mosque. The site, with its original architectural remains, is listed as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina the building was placed under state protection and entered in the register of cultural monuments.
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