Back then, at the very middle of the Constantinople route, further connecting to the Ragusa Road, and today, on the Street of the First May, Altun-Alem Mosque is the significant symbol of the Town of Novi Pazar. Just as other Sanjak mosques, it is known for its Oriental spirit and unique manner of construction; its perfection is reflected mainly in the minaret which is built from hewn stone, making it , at the same time, one of the most beautifully built minarets within Ottoman architecture. Altun-Alem Mosque is well-known for various details, but above all, it is known for its builder, Muslihedin Abdul Gani, who was the muezzin and one of the rare people bearing the title of Mevlana, the title characteristic for the distinguished Islamic scholars.
Altun-Alem Mosque is known for the legend strongly bonded to its bedrock. Namely, in the ancient Novi Pazar, there was a girl of extraordinary beauty, her name was Altuna. Not even a single young man had enough courage to propose to her, which eventually led her to everlasting solitude. Since her fortune was huge, and the end was approaching, Altuna decided to invest her fortune in building a mosque that eventually was named after her. Today, Altun-Alem Mosque represents a symbol of culture, identity, and tradition, not only of Novi Pazar but the entire Sanjak.
Not only the first muezzin was the astonishing fact about this mosque, and the fact it used to be a home of a Mevlana. The very mosque is the exception, one of its kind, from the ordinary, Ottoman building manner. Hence, instead of three arches, Altun-Alem Mosque is characterized by two arches, unlike any other mosque in late Sanjak. Within the mosque complex was a kuttab (mektab), or the house where Quran was thought. Altun-Alem kuttab is one, of the two oldest kuttabs located in the Bosnian Vilayet. Besides kuttab, in the mosque’s complex, there was also the imam’s house and madrasa. However, the objects changed their purpose as the times passing. Hence, kuttab was transformed into gasulhana, which made Altun-Alem Mosque the only mosque having this object.
The mosque is open from 9 a.m. until the last prayer, i.e. until sunset. It is located a 10-minute walk from the city center. You are free to enter the mosque, but you must be appropriately dressed and behave in accordance with the environment.