Gazi Husrev-bey Mosque is a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. The mosque was built in 1531 as a "vakuf" (endowment) of Gazi Husref bey who was a grandson of Bajazit ll. He spent a part of his wealth on the urbanization of Sarajevo. The Bey's mosque was built in the early Romanesque style by the project architect Adjem Esir Ali, from Persia. The mosque was built out of stone from Bosnia and Herzegovina and had no facade at the time.
The first thing to notice are the stone pillars and arches. The main entrance is styled with arabesques, ornaments and gilding. The height of the dome is 26 meters, width 13 meters and length 13 meters, so the building gives an amazing impression of harmony. The interior of the mosque is monumental and has solemn character as the walls are decorated with arabesques. In addition to its size, this mosque is unique as it was the first mosque in the Balkans to have been electrically lit since 1898.
The mosque is surrounded by streets and only when you enter the courtyard you can see this beautiful object of unique size. In the courtyard there is a fountain where you can drink water and the faithful can take „abdest“ (the ritual of washing hands and feet, before a prayer). Originally there was just a well for water supply, then in 1775 a fountain was erected and it has been repeatedly restored, over time losing its original shape.
Beside the mosque there are two turbets - stone mausoleums; the larger one belongs to Gaza Husref bey and the smaller one to his friend Murat bey. Turbets were built for the beys lifetime and today visitors throw in coins "for luck" or "special wishes."
On the left of the courtyard is the „abdestshana“ and next to it is the „muvekitha“ - "muvekit" is a person who used to set the time accoring to the sun.
Nearby is a madrasah and a very rich library with books written in Bosnian, three Oriental and several European languages.
Many famous personalities such as Alibey Firdus and Mehmed Spaho were buried in the harem (a part of the courtyard where the graves are).
During the attack of Eugene Savoyski's army on Sarajevo, they tried to demolish the mosque by rolling out one pillar on the porch and expecting the other pillars to collapse on their own. Since it didn't happen, they gave up trying. As a result, even today, that pole is skewed.
Ever since 1531 on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, a ceremony ''mevlud'' is taught in the mosque. In the court of Sultan Suleiman, the birthday of Prophet Muhammad was declared a holiday only in 1556.
Many statesmen came to visit Gazi Husref bey mosque. During the visit of Egyptian President Nasser, Joseph Broz Tito, who was the president of former Yugoslavia, stood still while the Egyptian president was praying.