Tucked away in Mostar’s historic Muslim Quarter and overlooking the east bank of the River Neretva, Kajtaz House (Kajtazova Kuća) is a perfectly preserved late 16th-century Ottoman nobleman’s mansion built behind high walls to protect the women of the family from unwanted attention. Once the home of Mostar’s Turkish governor, it is surrounded by a shady, fountain-filled courtyard garden, pebbled in circular patterns representing the five daily prayers of an observant Muslim.
Crafted from stone, the two-story building is whitewashed and supported by wooden stilts; the overhanging roof was designed to shade the lower floors. Inside it is furnished in its original form, with separate living quarters for men and women, brightly patterned kelims covering the floors and traditional low sofas lining rooms that are dotted with centuries-old, ornately carved wooden furniture. The ancient kitchen is crammed with copper cooking pots and utensils, while upstairs, traditional harem pants and fezzes hang on the walls.