Secret Shrine Shared By Muslims And Christians

April 13, 2010

Author: Dusko Arsovski

Source: BBC News

Up 240 steps, behind a padlocked wooden door, is a shrine holy to both Christian and Muslim believers.

It is not well known. Wary of flocks of tourists, the people in Makedonski Brod, in south-western Macedonia, have kept its existence a well-guarded secret for years.

The aged building, marked only by a cross from outside, is decorated within by Christian icons, and portraits of both Jesus Christ and Muslim saints.

A stone - said to be from the tomb of a saint of the Bektashi order of Islam, sits right in the middle of the room.

The Bektashi Order is a branch of Sufi Islam which originated in Turkey and spread to parts of the Ottoman empire, including the Balkans.

For its adherents this building is their place of prayer - a "turbe".