The Old Orthodox Church

The Old Orthodox Church (Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel) was originally built in 1539. It was severely damaged in several fires Sarajevo went through in the past.


The present-day structure dates back to the 18th century. The church also has an inn and the 1890 museum with a wealthy collection of icons, paintings, books and manuscripts, copper-smith pieces, richly ornamented liturgical garments and other valuable items. The Old Orthodox Church is located in the heart of the old town, at the site once known as Stara varos (Old Neighborhood), near other sacral monuments.


The church foundation is somewhat lower compared to the other buildings in the old town. It is a very unique structure due to elements atypical to medieval Serbian-Byzantine sacral architecture - a rectangular foundation made in cut stone with certain elements of Islamic architecture. Over centuries, the church received numerous precious relics and holy objects. The holy relics of St. Thecla, a saint of the early Christian church given as a gift to the Old Church by Arsenij IV Jovanovic, the patriarch is one of the most valuable relics.


According to a legend Sarajevan Orthodox requested a church to be built to Ghazi Husrev-Bey. He granted the request given the church be a simple structure covering the size of beef leather. Creative Sarajevans cut the leather in long thin strips and enclosed a larger site. The regent liked their ingenious idea and permitted the construction of the church.