One of the wealthiest families in Sarajevo used to live above Kovači, in the Old Town of Sarajevo during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Times were hard, and people were difficult, so the family was named Sabur because of the patience that they had during this time (sabur means patience). The last male descendant of the family was Ibrahim Aga, who died in 1867. Saburina House was restored, and today it is open for tourists to testify of the greatness of our ancestors.
Selamluk and haremluk
Sarajevo’s streets got their names from the old and influential families who lived there for hundreds of years. That is how three streets in the neighborhood of Vratnik got their names from wealthy coppersmith families Ramići, Hadžišabanovići and Saburi. The old Sarajevan family of Sabur (in the street which bears its name), built an exemplary lavish Bosnian house, constructed on the basis of the Islamic concept of living.
The house was built out of carved and crushed stone with walls out of adobe and wood. The courtyard was surrounded by two-meter-high thick walls, and the streets paved with cobblestone. Saburina House was divided into the male part called selamluk and the female part called haremluk, each of which had a separate courtyard. Next to the male part, there was a horse barn and carriages. The courtyard has a fountain with a stone trough, and the water came from Gazi Husrev Bey’s water supply.
A school instead of a haremluk, for Brega and Sidran
At the beginning of the 20th century, the female part of the house disappeared along with the garden and accompanying constructions. In this spot, a building was constructed which today serves as a school, and it is named after this family.
Primary school “Saburina” is one of the oldest schools in Sarajevo. Built in 1926, it was first called “Kraljević Andrija”. In the mid-60s, it was called “Šesta osnova škola” (Sixth Primary School). In 1960, due to the increase in the number of students, a new part was built next to the existing building, and the municipal authorities named the school “Ivan Cankar”. It finally got the name Saburina in 1993. Despite the fact that, as time passed, smaller works were done on the school, it never changed its original shape. It was attended by Goran Bregović, Abdulah Sidran, Eldin Huseinbegović and Džemal Berberović, among others.
The selamluk lives on through Saburina House
The male part of Saburina House along with the courtyard, which was built around 1750, was renewed after 260 years and the doors of this museum of sorts (of what life in Sarajevo used to be like) was open to visitors. In 2006, Saburina House was declared a national monument. Today, it is one of the rare examples of residential architecture of the Ottoman period in Sarajevo. Along with the restoration of the house, the project “Selamluk” was developed, with the goal of representing the culture of living in Sarajevo during the Ottoman Empire in an authentic way.
Saburina House is located at Vratnik in Saburina Steet at number 6.