Serbia: Novi Pazar

Novi Pazar doesn’t feel at all like you are in Serbia, but perhaps Bosnia or Turkey. This is a majority Muslim town (85% Muslim), with multiple mosques, bazaars, jewelry shops overflowing with gold and silver, Turkish food, and Turkish coffee. It’s even nicknamed “Mini Istanbul”. Historically, the area has been the center of the Serbian Orthodox kingdom which was prominent here in 12-14th century and controlled all the lands around. Then came the Ottomans in the 15th century and the two civilizations collided here. The Ottomans established a border town under the name of Novi Pazar (Novi meaning new in Serbian and Pazar taken from Turkish bazaar). The main attraction in town is the Altun-Alem Mosque from 16th century. Isabegov Hamam from a century before that, and the Novi Pazar Ottoman-built fortress.