The Ottoman Empire, which is also referred to at the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was founded in 1299. During the 1590s, the empire reached it’s ultimate peak as it covered large parts of Asia, Europe, Africa and this of course included Bosnia. The reign of the Ottoman dynasty lasted for 623 years, until the monarchy in Turkey was abolished in 1922.
Even before the Ottoman monarchy was abolished, the rule over Bosnia officially ended in 1908 when the country was triumphed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Despite the Ottoman monarchy being abolished over a 100 years ago, the Ottoman’s culture is still very much part of the Bosnian culture.
Bosnian’s still very much drink Turkish style of coffee and the ‘Burek’ has become a staple of the Bosnian food tradition which originally originated from the Ottoman times. Furthermore, roughly 60% of the Bosnian population is Muslim, and the folk music sounds remarkably Turkish. Finally, many of the major cities within Bosnia contain old quarters that were built in Ottoman style – Mostar is a great example.
Mostar bears many remnants of the Ottoman influence. Not only the Old Bridge is the ultimate Ottoman symbol, but also in the Old part of Mostar around the bridge, one can find many beautiful examples of Ottoman architecture. There are two very beautifully preserved Ottoman houses open to public with a small entrance fee. One of them is the Muslibegovic house, named after the family who is living there. Beside being a museum, this house is also a lovely hotel where you can sleep and dream back to the Ottoman days. The other one you will recognize by the signs marking it as Turkish house. Both houses are worth a visit; they are beautiful and bring back this exotic Oriental spirit to life.
The owner of the Muslibegovic home is a very humble and sweet older man who speaks a mix of at least five languages when talking to people. He speaks passionately about the Ottoman period and the house which was built by his ancestors. In 2010 the Expedia Insiders Select list puts BNM Muslibegovic House among one of the top 10 World’s Best Hotels in 2010.