If you drive from Dubrovnik and Metković towards Mostar, turn east in Buna and soon you will find yourself in Blagaj. Blagaj – a haven of peace and natural harmony, is located only three kilometers from the Mostar Airport. Due to the proximity of the Adriatic Sea (around 45 km) and its low level above sea, the climate is Mediterranean with very long and hot summers. The average annual temperature amounts to 17oC, the summer temperature to 26oC, and winter temperature to 8oC.
In the silence of the tekke’s garden, cooled by the freshness of the wonderful Buna, you understand why Blagaj was the focus of interest of historical personalities, Roman nobility, Ottoman viziers and qadis, Austro-Hungarian officers and many travelers searching for the freshness of the water, warmth of sun and blue skies.
Blagaj has an extraordinary large number of sunny days, almost 200. It is therefore not strange that it is the habitat of around 170 types of birds. The best known of them is the white-headed vulture (Gyps fulvus), a kind that is threatened by extinction and that can only be found here and on the island Cres. The ecologically clean and cold Buna (8oC), the spring of which is among the strongest in Europe (36m3/s) is ideal for the cultivation of the world-renowned trout. In terms of fruit, there are different Mediterranean cultures such as grapes, figs, peaches, apricots, pomegranates, kiwi, etc.
According to historical narratives, the tekke on the Buna spring was founded by Dervishes from the Bektashi order in the 16th century. It is known that the tekke existed as early as mid-17th century, and this is confirmed by Evlija Čećebija, who wrote down that the Mufti Zijaudin Ahmed Ibn Mustafauz from Mostar ordered the construction of a Helvetian order tekke on the Buna spring “where the Dervishes talk and have scientific discussions”.
In mid-19th century, it was renovated by Omer Pasha Latas, and it became part of the Qadiriyya order. Today, the tekke is owned by the Naksibendi order. The attractiveness of the piece of Oriental Bosnian architecture lies, among other things, in its brighter reflection in the calm water. Velagićevina is reflected in the waters of ada – a small island on the Buna River. According to well-preserved writings at the very entrance to the complex, this shiny gemstone dates back to the year 1766. The buildings were two-story buildings, with protruding oriel windows and wide flower gardens. Two musafirkhanas (charity houses for guests) were used for the accommodation of travelers.
The tekke is 600 years old and it looks the way it did centuries ago due to restoration work, apart from the newly-constructed restaurant and endless groups of tourists who come here every year in search for sublime beauty amidst rock and water.