History of the Altun-alem mosque

The Altun-alem mosque was built in the first half of the 16th century by the Ottoman builder Muslihudin Abdulgani, who is the creator of many buildings in the Balkans. It is assumed that this builder was very rich, as soon as he built so many buildings. Only in Novi Pazar did he build: the Altun-alem mosque, a mekteb on the ground of the mosque complex, 3 houses for the imam's residence, an inn, 6 shops next to the hammam, 7 mills next to the bridge and many other buildings. However, this builder was also very educated, which is confirmed by his title Mevlana - Mevlana Muslihudin Efendi, a vocation held only by prominent Islamic scholars and philosophers. The exact year of construction of the Altun-alem mosque is unknown. It is assumed that it was created in the period between 1516 and 1528.

Appearance and characteristics of the Altun-alem mosque
In the writings of the Ottoman travel writer Evliya lebelebi and the Austrian diplomat Teodor Ipen, you can read the description of this building as the most interesting mosque in Novi Pazar. The Altun-alem mosque is a one-room domed building with a two-aisled porch, which is covered by two domes. The mosque complex is surrounded by a high brick wall, and consists of a mosque as a central building, a mekteb (school), a canopy with an entrance and benches, as well as about 50 nišan tombstones. This type of mosque is not characteristic of this area. The main part of the Altun-alem mosque is built of crushed stone with rows of bricks, while the domes and arches are made of thin brick. In addition to the mosque, Muslihudin Abdulgani built "a place to teach the Koran and teach young children," according to documents. It is a mekteb or school, significant in that it is one of the 2 oldest mektebs of the former Bosnian pashaluq.

How to get to the mosque?
Altun-alem mosque is located in the center of Novi Pazar. You can reach this city:
  • by car
  • by bus
If you leave Belgrade, you will travel by car for 3 hours and 45 minutes to this mosque (by highway A2 and Route 22). It is relatively easy to get to Novi Pazar by bus, because this type of transport is connected with Belgrade, Kragujevac, Kraljevo and Sarajevo.

Additional information
The Altun-alem mosque is described as an exceptional work of art in many historical writings. Buildings of this type can only be found in Istanbul, Edirne or Bursa. It is also important to compare this mosque with Tash Khan (Stone Khan) in Skopje.


Type of Attractions
  • Brige
  • Museum


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