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Arabati Babba (Sersem Ali-Babba) Tekke – Tetovo

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One of the most beautiful and most preserved Dervish tekke in Tetovo

At the foot of the Sara Mountain, on the road out of Tetovo on the way to Gostivar is located the dervish Arabati Baba or Sersem Ali Baba Tekke, built in the second half of the 18th century. The ktitors of the Tekke, Redzep - Pasha and his son Abdurahman – Pasha, beside for the tekke, they were involved in the construction of the Colored Mosque and the Tetovo fortress.

According to the information in the Tekke had lived around 15 dervishes with the superior – baba as chief. The dervishes were noted noble, peaceful and hospitable people. The Tekke was named Arabat because apparently its founder was a poor man with ripped clothes called Alija, and the men who were dressed like that the Turks called arabats. And because of that the Tekke got the name Arabat – Tekke. There is also a theory that Sersem Ali Baba was the one who began the construction of The Tekke.

This complex is a one of a kind example at the territory of the Balcans and of Asia Minor (Anatolia). The territory of the Tekke is closed with walls reinforced in some places with towers, and at the main entrance there is a watchtower. Today are preserved around ten objects located according to their function and significance – at the central part are situated the representative rooms used for religious rituals, reception of guests and living of the Baba and the Dervishes. The south part was filled with economic buildings, from witch today are remained only the basis, and the north part is surrounded with a high stone wall in witch is placed a tower and a building intended for living.

Separated in two parts, the `shardvan` is decorated with an opulent carve on the ceiling and the doors, with a fountain located in the first part. The `bogomolka` is a square room with a porch and a dome made of a wooden construction, wealthy decorated with decorations of vegetable motives. The tower was intended for the daughter of Abdurahman – Pasha, who was sick of tuberculosis – the high floor illuminated from three sides was supplying for the daughter long sun hours, and her environment was enriched with the wealthy decorations. And the tubre is the place were are placed the graves of 11 dervishes and fatma Kanum, and also the graves of Sersem Ali Baba and Pedzep – Pasha, situated in special rooms with wealthy decorated sarcophagus.

The yard was flowing with greenery and flowers – the nature was enriching the dervish life that was actively developing in this complex in 1912. In 1941 it is made an effort to alive this movement, but four years later the movement begins to extinguish and the complex is completely abandoned.

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