The fully reconstructed Aladza Mosque in the Eastern-Bosnian town of Foca is ready to open its doors once again, on Saturday, after a team from Istanbul, Turkey, did the final brushes on its the exquisite interior.
Part of the decorations around the windows of the mosque was left in their original state, and they are used as reminders of the history of this mosque, important not only for the faithful from the Foca region but also throughout Bosnia and beyond.
The organisers of the opening ceremony expect several thousand faithful from across the country as well as high ranking officials from Bosnia and abroad to attend the opening. The guests of honour will be Turkish and US representatives whose governments helped finance the reconstruction of this project.
Representatives of the local community, Gorazde Mufti, the US Ambassador to Bosnia Erick Nelson, Turkish Minister of Culture Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, as well as Bosnia's Reisu-l-ulema Hussein ef. Kavazovic are said to speak at the ceremony.
After more than 25 years since it was completely demolished, the mosque that was included in the cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UNESCO's list of world heritage monuments will open its doors once more.
THe mosque was rebuilt thanks to the Turkish and Bosnian Waqf Directorate and the workers who worked on it.
In 1992, the authorities of the then break-away Serb-dominated region of Republika Srpska demolished it and moved the rubble to the city dump. Built in the 11th century, it was one of the most valuable buildings of oriental culture in the Balkans.
Hasan Nezir, who was a close associate of Mimar Sinan, the architect behind the Mostar Bridge, built it in 1549. Its reconstruction began in 2004.
The city of Foca was home to 12 mosques, before 1992, which were demolished during the Bosnian war of 1992-1995, and their remains removed.
So far, only the Atik Pasha and Sultan Beyazid Vali's mosques were reconstructed.