The original mosque was built by Gazi-aga who, according to the records, was a great hero, soldier and a member of the Janissaries. The first mosque had a large harem (yard), which was decreased over time and the space was nationalized. Traces of the harem and tombstones have been found during the construction of new facilities at Zitarnica near the fountain on the east side. One of the tombstones belong to its builder Gazi-aga.
Given the fact that no one has taken care about the mosque, it eventually collapsed and after 200 years, the Bosnian governor Camil Ahmed-Pasha performed restoration from the ground and preserved only stone minaret.
“He managed to renovate the mosque in a year as it looks today. At the first floor we have 27 stores of which we still have income for vakuf, while the upper part is intended for praying. The mosque was destroyed to the ground during the fire in 1815. It was re-built again by Sulejman pasha, after whom it was named Sulejmanija,” said the Chief Imam of the Islamic community Travnik, Salih ef. Indzic.
The mosque survived the bombing in 1944, and the damage from bomb can be seen even today. It is interesting that this is the only mosque in BiH, and according to Indzic probably beyond, where the minaret is on the left side. There are various theories why this is so.
“One theory is that the right side of the mosque was not vakuf and they did not want to usurp that part. Another theory is that there is flowing stream on the right side and that construction of the minaret would not last. It is interesting that the right part of the mosque now has a slight drop, which was also confirmed by the architects, since Travnik was built on the water,” said Indzic.
In January this year, Sarena mosque received central heating after 500 years, and its former glory will be back by the end of the year. Vakuf Directorate of the Republic of Turkey has accepted the appeal of the Islamic Community in BiH and they will renovate Sarena mosque. It is a multi-million project.
“The mosque will be built from the ground and the project is at an advanced stage. The works are expected to start by the end of the year. Its old look, shine and ornaments for which it is called Sarena (Colorful) mosque will be back,” revealed Indzic.
(Source: M. N./Klix.ba)