The Tekija Complex

The Tekija was built on a solid rocky soil at the right side of the source of the Buna river, one of the biggest in Europe. A very high cliff stretches above the Tekija for some 240 meters. On top of that cliff lie the remains of Stjepan Vukcic-Kosaca’s fort-town dating back to the Middle Ages. The complex was damaged more than once because of rocks collapsing. The European nettle trees that grow from the cracks of the cliff above the Tekija significantly contribute to the frequency of the collapses. It is a well-known fact that the Tekija was rebulit after each of these unfortunate events, on multiple occasions such as: during the first half of the 17th century, in 1716.,1871.,1923., 1949., 1951., 1972. and 2011.

The primary purpse of the structure was to serve as a dervish Zikr praise-chanting (praising God and His names) venue, while the musafirhana (guest house) has a profane purpose.

The Tekija complex contained the following buildings (in the direction heading to the source of the river): in the front was a building with the same height as the Tekija today, in the back was another smaller building, after which was a domed mosque. These structures were then followed by present buildings, the turbe of Sari Saltuk and the Acik-basa and the Tekija itself. All five facilities made up the unique architectural complex.

During the reconstruction of the complex in 1952., the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments inhumed the remains of all other facilities except the Teija itself. The ruined facilities of the complex were rebuilt in 2012., following expert analysis of the dilapidated architectural complex.

The Last Reconstruction of the Architectural Complex of the Blagaj Tekke

After the reconstruction of the Old Bridge in Mostar, the next logical step was to begin the procedure reconstructing the second national monument in the Mostar area, a worldwide known traditional bosnian structure – the tekke in Blagaj.

The Islamic Community of Mostar drafted the conceptual solution for the reconstruction of the facilities surrounding the present tekke building.

Archeological research was done from 2008. to 2011.

The reconstruction project was completed by prof. dr. Amir Pasic, with the help of computer technology and results of arcehological research, geodesic records and available photographs. The main three-storey facility acts as an entrance to the main court of the Tekke and connects the other rooms withing the guest room.

Tekke history

The Tekija (khanqah, dervish house), set at the source of the river Buna, was and still is a venue for dervish Zikr praise-chanting three nights weekly. Built at the site of an earlier Bogomil sanctuary, it is a place of which history has no precise and stored data. Archeological excavations have found and confirmed that this location holds the remains of a Late Antique structure. During the Middle Ages, even before the arrival of the Ottomans, it was a place of utter cultural and religious importance (1. VI 1454.).

The first written track of the Tekija was made by Evlija Celebija in 1466. in his travelogues, at time when the Tekija was already well-known throughout the Ottoman empire and within the scientific community. Throughout its history the housing complex next to the Tekija was rebuilt and redecored on multiple occasions. The Tekija was actively open until its last shaykh Sejdo Sehovic died in 1925. After the Second World War, activities of the dervishes and the Tekija i Bosnia and Herzegovina were officially banned. Until early 70s, the Tekija was managed by the National Museum of B&H.

Since then until 1974. it was officially without a trustee, after which time the Islamic Community, with no previous government consent, started using and protecting it from further delapidation. By reviving the tradition of the pilgrimage site, the common annual Mawlid (religious celebration of the birth of prophet Mohammad S.a.v.s.), the Tekija started reestablishing its previous importance. The last reconstruction of the Tekija was done in 2013. and a year later, in 2012. the completely destroyed housing complex – musafirhana (guest house) at its entrance were reconstructed as well.

Arhitectural Elements of the Tekija In Blagaj

The Blagaj Tekija was a place of permanent residence of some dervishes, which is a unique example in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Basically, compared to a monastic lifestyle within Christian monasteries, the dervishes in the Tekijas don’t live there, but merely gather there at a certain times due to a joint prayer and worship. The Tekija in Blagaj was an exception to the rule because it belonged to the Bektashi order, which fostered a monastic lifestyle.

The following sections were built within the complex:

  1. Turbe (a house-shaped structure built around the tomb)
  2. Mejdan odaja (predavaonica)
  3. Mejdan chamber (lecture hall)
  4. Imaret – coffee room, dining hall
  5. Ribat
  6. Hamam – Bathroom
  7. Čila
  8. Semahana
  9. Domed mosque
  10. Ablution facilities and toilet
  11. Kitchen – mutvaka
  12. Bozadžinica (summer cooler nest to the water)

The Construction System Accoring to the Sufi Teachings

There is a dominant belief within the dervish orders, applied to the construction of Tekija, which holds that the surrounidng environment is a part of the overall worship of God and a part of Tekija itself.

Tekija itself is surrounded by unique natural gardens and vegetation as well as distinctive fauna.

According to numerical standards, the areas of Bosnian Tekijas is primarily determined by seven principles:

– the house,
– staircase,
– water (still body of water and waterfall),
– rock,
– river spring,
– tomb and
– cave.

These seven factors are connected via a path
in a cosmological order.

Acctually, it is simply a case of repect towards historical facts , previous revelation, and different traditional guidelines which don’t collide with the teachings of Islam, as was recommended by Prophet Mohammad s.a.v.s.

The tekke Arhitecture

The second known restoration by significance happened in 1851.

The scale of the restoration was big and in accordance with popular wievs on architectural designs of the time. The building obtained features of Turkish baroque style, which makes it an important and rare representation of this architectural style in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Today’s Blagaj tekke contains baroque features presented in its oval roof on the front faccade under which a teslim-tas was constructed, the polychromed ceiling of the semahana and its door as well as some other decorative elements. Nevertheless, the baroque elements were merely added to the existing structure, built in a traditional style.

The interior layout of the rooms is organized with respect towards all the elements of the holy geometry, which means that each element requires additional explanation. Furthermore, each detail in the tekke has its precisely defined logic. However, it seems as if the last two reconstructions have partially renounced this type of dervish symbolism.

Our Services

Daily prayers

The Tekke chambers provided the space for the adoration daily prayers.

The Dervish Dhikr

If you wish to attend or perform group dhikr please contact us in advance.


To our guests we can ensure of a professional guide through the complex Tekke.


In the Tekke restaurant you can to try traditional dishes.

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