The Wooden Mosque in Buzim: Unique Building constructed without a Single Nail

March 27, 2017 12:45 PM

wooden mosque BužimThe old wooden mosque in Buzim, despite the fact that it was constructed entirely of oak wood and without a single nail, still resists the time and it represents a unique example of historic buildings and amazing architecture in many ways, not only in BiH but in the whole region.

The biggest wooden mosque on the territory of BiH, and beyond, is located in the municipality of Buzim.

It was built in its present form and dimensions back in 1838, although according to available data, a mosque existed on that location even before. It was built, or more precisely reconstructed by Mehmed Vedzihi Pasha, the then governor of Buzim.

The mosque is entirely made of wood, an endemic and very high-quality type of oak, which can be found on the Croatian border in this area, and during the construction of the main structure were not used any nails.

“The specificity of this mosque is that it was entirely built of wood without using a single nail. Instead, the rigid connection was made with cuts and wooden nails. It is the most spacious and the oldest wooden mosque in Europe, and most probably in the whole Islamic world because there are no similar structures anywhere. There are several similar mosques in Turkey and Asia and countries near China, where the wood is largely used. However, there is no other mosques of this type, made entirely of wood, and with the system of multiple line pillars that are holding the entire structure of the mosque, “said Imam of the mosque, Emin ef. Grosic.

The mosque, whose dimensions are 18×16, was reconstructed several times. The first time back in 1937, almost a hundred years after its construction. Then was removed the old roof and they put roof tiles. Moreover, its minaret was shortened, and the opening on the minaret, the so-called “serefe”, was transformed from closed type into an open, oriental style, which is reminding on the old stone Ottoman mosques.

The most specific restoration was done in the 1960’s when the entire mosque was rebuilt.

“In order to replace the old and worn-out joists, the so-called cushions that were placed in the foundation, local constructors had to raise the entire mosque literally into the air, in order to construct a wall under the wooden structure. It lasted for several months, and it is interesting that during that time all the prayers in the mosque were done without any problem. After the new foundation was completed, the mosque, without any damage, was descended on the ground again. I think that it is a really unique example from the point of architecture and engineering, and it is maybe even a phenomenon where the entire mosque was in the air for months and then returned to its old position,” said Imam Grosic.

Finally, in 2003, the old wooden mosque in Buzim was declared as the national monument, which placed it under the protection of the state.

“After that, we were able to get some funds from higher levels of government for the restoration of the mosque. We adapted minaret with oak wood and partly regained its old look. Two years ago, we renovated the roof as well, and we also got carpets from one Turkish municipality, so that the mosque is now covered with modern carpets, while the old ones are kept in the attic of a mosque,” said Imam Grosic.

(Source: M. C./


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