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ŠARENA MOSQUE

Braka Miladinovi bb.

Close to the city centre is the jaw-dropping Šarena—or Decorated—Mosque, originally constructed in 1438 by Isak Bey and rebuilt four centuries later by Abdurrahman Pasha. Impressive enough on the outside, the real attraction awaits in the interior, proof if ever it was needed that far from being a dubious religion, Islam represents art and culture in abundance. Supposedly requiring more than 30,000 eggs to prepare the paint, the walls and ceiling are ablaze with brightly coloured images of flowers, geometric patterns and a rare example of a depiction of Mecca. Just over the other side of the small river that runs by the building is the former Bey’s Hamam, which is now used an art gallery and that’s more than worth a look inside.

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