The Ferhadija Mosque – Banja Luka
When I first arrived in Banja Luka in 1998, there was just what looked like a building site surrounded by metal fencing not too far from the Kastel (castle) in the centre of the city.
I was told that that had been the site of an amazing mosque that had been destroyed on the orders of some individuals in 1993 during the Bosnian Civil War.
The prevailing attitudes back then were that the mosque would NEVER be rebuilt.
There were especially two extremely ugly demonstrations against the rebuilding in the “naughties”.
One I personally witnessed and have to say that the demonstrators were mainly from citizens who were not born in Banja Luka and school children who had been paid by dubious individuals to create chaos.
.However the foundation stone was laid and here today the mosque is again “open for business”
The Ferhadija Mosque – Banja Luka was commissioned by the Bosnian Sanjak-bey Ferhat-paša Sokolović, the mosque was built in 1579 with money, as tradition has it, that was paid by the Auersperg family for the severed head of the Habsburg general Herbard VIII von Auersperg and the ransom for the general’s son after a battle at the Croatian border in 1575, where Ferhat-paša was triumphant.
You can find more about the mosque HERE.
We are planning to take a visit in the near future and will post our thoughts as well as (hopefully) some images and video from inside.