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  • Emina Helić Čamdžić

Sedrenik: How the Traditional Bosnian Architecture Promotes Sustainable Living

Sedrenik settlement and local community in Sarajevo

Photo of Sedrenik settlement and local community in Sarajevo. Photo by Bjoertvedt via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0). (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bosnia_IMG_9321_sarajevo_Sedrenik_and_Sedam_Suma_from_east.JPG)

 Individual residential building on the hills of Sedrenik

Photo: Individual residential building on the hills of Sedrenik. Photo by Eminent Atelier


This is a traditional Bosnian house which is characteristic of the Ottoman period of architectural construction in Bosnia - Herzegovina. Of course, it certainly differs from the Turkish building style or indeed the surrounding ones in BiH, due to the nature of the geography and traditions of where it is built.

The house is made from natural materials such as wood and stone, while the whole concept includes a building with a beautiful inner garden and wooden entrance gate.
Entrance door to the garden of the individual residential building on the hills of Sedrenik

Photo: Entrance door to the garden of the individual residential building on the hills of Sedrenik. Photo by Eminent Atelier


     Hidden in the hills of Sarajevo, there is a beautiful small Bosnian house, looking like one you might find in your story books. The individual residential building has stood there for more than one hundred years. It truly represents a monumental heritage.

Roses in the garden of the house on the hills of Sedrenik

Photo: Roses in the garden of the house on the hills of Sedrenik. Photo by Eminent Atelier

Traditional Bosnian houses are famous for having roses and water fountains in their gardens which gives the garden a life of its own.

In this garden you can breathe in the scent of the cherry tree, nut or apple trees. Although in need of some renovation, such treasures can rarely be found now in our surrounding area and country.


This house is situated on well- known Sedrenik amongst the hills of Sarajevo, near Vijećnica

Cherry trees in the garden of the house on the hills of Sedrenik.

Photo: Cherry trees in the garden of the house on the hills of Sedrenik. Photo by Eminent Atelier


On visiting this place, you realise how humble families in Bosnia and Herzegovina lived. Sustainable surroundings of fruits, such as walnuts and cherries in the garden, were so important. It certainly adds to the food production system now and supports a sustainable system for living at this time of climate change during the recent pandemic of COVID.

Construction elements of the house on the hills of Sedrenik.

Photo: Stone and wooden construction of the foundations and basement of the house on the hills of Sedrenik. Photo by Eminent Atelier


What is interesting to note is that when buildings were constructed previously, the view and healthy environment was very important.  

Wall construction of the house on the hills of Sedrenik.

Photo: Wall construction of the house on the hills of Sedrenik. Photo by Eminent Atelier


This particular traditional house was built approximately 150 years ago, above the Sarajevo valley. The house was built in the same sea line as the Clinic for Lung Diseases. This shows how important clean air (measured in this area as no fog), was for the builders and families at that time. The fog and pollution settles in the Sarajevo valley; the clean air and sunrays shine above the Sarajevo valley.


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