With the fall of Smederevo in 1459, the Serbian state ceased to exist, and the Ottoman Empire brought a new order, religion and customs. However, not all state institutions have been deleted. Some have been modified, some have been adapted or accepted. We can recognize the left cultural heritage in built buildings, preserved monuments, words of Turkish origin (Turkisms), cultural, food…

Belgrade fortress

The Turks call the city field in front of the Fortress Kalemegdan (kale-city and megdan-field). The preserved Turkish buildings located on Kalemegdan are the fountain of Mehmed-pasha Sokolović and the Turbe of Damad-Ali pasha.


Bajrakli Mosque

The mosque is an Islamic place of worship around which the center of the entire settlement developed. It was named after the flag – the flag that signaled the beginning of the prayer.












Turbe of Sheikh Mustafa

A turbe or mausoleum is a large tomb usually built for an important person. Sheikh Mustafa is a dervish who is buried in a turbe.







Everyday life

In today’s speech we have a large number of Turkisms, e.g. cherry, tea, pillow, gate, etc.… The cultural diet that has been passed on to our people is reflected in dishes such as e.g. sarma, pickles, dried fruit, sour milk, baklava, etc …

Do you notice Turkisms?

In our neighborhood lives a lady who knits socks. He has a dog that often runs around the yard. He dedicates a certain amount of time every day to maintaining his garden. It is recognizable by its specialties – ajvar, burek and fish soup. She used to make brandy. He often goes to a store that is nearby and has a habit of talking to other customers. Its gate is painted a different color every year. He keeps a chest full of old memories in his attic. He often tells stories about bandits to his grandchildren. And after the doomsday, it will not be a problem for her to visit and visit them.




Urban development of Belgrade


Belgrade has crossed the road from a medieval city, through a Turkish fortress with a Muslim town and a Serbian town, to a large and prosperous city that will continue to grow thanks to its natural and economic position.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, Belgrade was inhabited by Muslims, and only outside the city walls lived a predominantly Christian population in Varoš. The borders of Varoš were determined by the city walls, the Danube on one side and the Sava on the other. It is believed that Varoš at that time spread all the way to Vračar.

The town was divided into numerous neighborhoods. The first census of the mahala was in 1536. From the main port, from which Varoš started, the Danube road started, which connected with Smederevo road under today’s Kalemegdan terrace and the Zoo.

As soon as Belgrade fell into Turkish hands, a bazaar was formed. The revival and development of trade was contributed by the presence of a large garrison and administrative apparatus whose needs were great. On the Danube, east of the main port, was the city’s main port and shipyard. There was a military port and its port on the Sava. A Muslim civic settlement was founded in the Lower Town around 1521. However, Belgrade developed slowly in the first decades of Turkish rule. The census from 1560 confirmed the existence of 11 Christian neighborhoods. The city received the most monumental buildings of the Turkish era in the middle of the 16th century. At that time, there were 16 masjids and mosques in Belgrade. In the second half of the 16th century, Belgrade expanded territorially, mainly in the Danube suburbs. According to the Turkish travel writer Evliya lijeelebi, 1660. year there were 60 mahalas. In 1739, the state rebuilt two mosques: the old Imaret mosque, the endowment of Mehmed-pasha Jahjapašić from the middle of the 16th century, and the mosque that the people of Belgrade called Tirbala / Zirubala / Tirubala.

The census, conducted after the Belgrade peace, indicates a large turnover of coffee in that period. According to him, the income from tahmis (monopoly on roasting and grinding coffee) in Belgrade amounts to more than one fifth of the income of the royal hash listed in the nahijas of northern Serbia. Taverns are also mentioned among the estates bequeathed to mosques. According to the tavern within the Đumruk han, an alley leading from Dorćol to the Danube is marked.

The same period was marked by the idea of ​​creating a mekteb (school for primary religious education and literacy of Muslim children) which could soon be found throughout Belgrade (five schools for lower, secondary and higher Muslim education). The most important was the madrasa of Sultan Mahmud, built as part of his mosque in the upper city – it was equipped with a library and it is believed that the professors who taught in it were on a par with the most distinguished professors from the Constantinople mendres.

On the road from the Vidin gate to Dorćol, there was the Kazandžijska čaršija, in the same area there were Bit-pazar and Avret-Pazar (old goods and handicrafts were sold). On the square in front of the southwestern part of Gornji gr

Written and translated by: Iva Pešić and Ivana Pantović