Alipašino Polje is one of Bosnia Herzegovina’s most densely populated districts where about 60000 residents live. It is located between Sarajevo’s city centre and the airport and is dominated by high-rise buildings of the socialist era. These large housing estates were constructed for workers by the Communist government in the 1970s.
For centuries this field was used entirely for agriculture. Part of the name Polje, which is Bosnian for ‘field’, is reminiscent of this. Alipašino refers to Ali-Pasha, according to legend a poor man in the 16th century who suddenly got rich and paid for the construction of a mosque which still exists to the present day.
During the Bosnian War the district was on the front line. The impact of shells is still visible on the façades of the houses. Some residents emigrated during the war, and since then other demographic changes have taken place; people from rural areas and Middle Eastern countries have moved in.
Nowadays the area is relatively socially mixed with different classes living together, but the quarter is in the process of gentrification. The large King Fahd Mosque, financed by Saudi-Arabia, and St. Luke, a Catholic Church in Brutalist architecture style, have been built over the past few years, as well as modern business centres and hotels. The green areas between buildings have been converted into parking areas; this is much resented by the residents.