Sarajevo through HistoryOttoman period › Bascarsija
In the medieval period, at the site of the present-day Bascarsija, there was a neighborhood called Stara varos. This neighborhood settled around one of the best markets in that area. It was called “Utorkoviste” as most of the trading was done on Tuesdays.
Location: Old Town
With the establishment of Sarajevo in the 15th century, this market grows into a trading square. It was the crossroads of the East and the West.

The square spread into several trading and craftsmen alleys, it comprised 45 markets and over 80 crafts. Bascarsija was the most beautiful and the largest market (Bascarsija – the Main Market). It consisted of numerous tiny shops, whereas other markets held various crafts and craftsmen: asciluk (hospitality and restaurants), sarac (saddlers), tabak (leather craftsmen), kujundzija (gold and silver jeweler). Even today, the streets bare names after the main crafts.

Over time, due to merging of the markets, Sarajevans started calling the entire area "Bascarsija”. Tiny cobbled alleys intertwined and spread towards mosques, inns, churches, tekkes, schools… Nowadays, those alleys also lead to some of the best restaurants, small galleries, petite cafés and some modern craft shops offering innovative souvenirs of Sarajevo. Kazandziluk Street is the only market which preserved its original form to this day. Bascarsija always buzzes with locals and tourists who shop for hand-made crafts or stop-by for a quick mouthwatering bite.

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