Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Type / Intangible Heritage


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About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prusac
Type: Intangible Heritage
Theme: Intangible Heritage
World Heritage:
Intangible HeritageIntangible Heritage

Ajvatovica is the largest traditional, religious and cultural event of Muslims in Europe. It is located near Prusac. It was named after Ajvaz-dedo who had arrived to Prusac after the Ottoman conquest of Bosnia. Ajvaz-dedo was a learned man working to enlighten the population and achieve progress in the area.
According to legend, before the arrival of Ajvaz-dedo, Prusac had a water supply problem. However, he found a powerful spring of water near Prusac. The spring had been shut off by a rock 74 meters long and 30 meters wide, which obstructed the construction of a running water system. Ajvaz-dedo spent 40 days praying to God to split the rock. On the fortieth morning, following his prayers, Ajvaz-dedo dreamt that two white rams collided and split the rock. When he awoke, he saw the rock split in half. Wooden pipes were placed along the newly formed canyon to take water into Prusac.
Seeing it as a sign of God’s blessing, people began going on pilgrimages to the place where the rock had split.
It is interesting that the “Ajvatovica pilgrimage” is not conditioned by the hejira calendar or by Bajram, but is marked every seventh Monday after Durdevdan.

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