Lejlek Mosque

Where Storks Nested and Sultan Mehmed-Fatih Prayed Zuhr 

It is one of the oldest Sandzak mosques which dates back to the 15. century, the mosque of Ahmed-beg Silhdar is at the same time the oldest preserved Islamic monument in this part of the Sancak. There are many stories about the oldest Islamic monument of culture in Novi Pazar and in the entire Sancak, among many stories, there is one connected to Sultan Mehmed-Fatih. Namely, he, on this Bosnian Crusade, stopped and prayed Zuhr in this mosque. Lejlek Mosque is located in the center of Novi Pazar, and its name owns to storks that made their nests at the top of minaret, and since storks have a special place in Islamic culture, the name is more than just a symbol. 

A Typical, Ottoman Mosque


Lejlek Mosque is a symbol of Ottoman construction with features distinguishing this mosque from the majority of mosques in the town. The dome of the mosque is covered in ‘ceramida’ (shingles) and is visually integrated into “timbur”. The minaret is built with hewn stones and represents a short, octagonal construction. In the huge mosque yard, there is a rounded stone “mejtas” i.e. a stone where the deceased is placed before the funeral. In the mosque’s yard, there are a couple of ancient graves. 

Isa-beg Hammam and Lejlek Mosque as the Symbols of the Ottoman Period

Besides Isa-beg Hammam which dates back to 15. century, Lejlek Mosque is the oldest Islamic building. There is a tale in Serbian historiography that a stork landed on the church and kneeled as if it was praying salah, so, the observers of the event realized that this was a sign for the church to be transformed into a mosque. However, based on archeological research it is confirmed that at this place was built a mosque solely. Based on its size, and if it did not have a minaret, Lejlek Mosque would resemble a “turbe” (turbeh), however, when built this way, it is the witness of the town’s existence from its earliest period. 

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.