In Blagaj, a village in the Herzegovina region of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there is an Sufi Muslim (Dervish) monastery built at the base of a cliff. It is considered one of the holiest Muslim sites in all of Bosnia because the Buna River flows from that cave under the cliff, allowing life to flourish in the valley.
The interior, as you can see from the photos, is very simple. There are copies of the Quran, plus a small stack of prayer rugs and prayer beads. Most people come here to pray and meditate.
I am not religious (and have no Muslim heritage), but this monastery was strongly recommended to me as an extremely relaxing place to rest and think. So, of course I went for a visit. As per Sufi customs, I had to remove my shoes and cover my head with a scarf, and a woman at the gate tied an ankle-length skirt around my waist.
I spent a few hours in the small monastery, and yes - they were among the most relaxing of my life. I might have even fallen asleep for part of it. I can only remember a couple of people coming in during that whole time, tourists that looked in each room and left after five minutes. Otherwise it was extremely peaceful. If even an atheist like me can be swept up in the spiritual atmosphere, I can only imagine how the Sufi “monks” and true believers would have felt.
In the spirit of hospitality, there is a small café in a building across the courtyard from the monastery. (Many tourists appear to spend more time in that café than in the monastery itself.) I sat down to have a Bosnian coffee and enjoy the beautiful setting before heading back to the hostel. I had been at the monastery all day… and I feel it was time well-spent.