Originally, the building (also known as Sijavuš-pašina daira or Velika avlija) was built in 1580 with the donation of Turskish beglerbeg Sijamuš-paša to help members of the Jewish community in Sarajevo who were poor.
By the end of the 16th century, the space encompasing Velika Avlija was turned into first synagogue, known as old Jewish Cathedral. Designed by Karl Pařik, its highly decorated neo-Moorish style was a popular choice for synagogues in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The original synagogue had enormous arches with richly-painted decorations. At the entrance, a stone menorah commemorates the 400-year anniversary of the Jews in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
VRML model [.wrl 10,7 MB]