In line with an oriental concept of understanding life and interpersonal relations in feudal Turkey, the sultan's main representative in the newly founded province was a person in need of accommodations in a building whose dimensions, architecture, equipment and furniture would cast a shadow upon all other residential and administrative buildings. The first building belonging to Bosnian governors – "Saraj," after which the city was named, was built before 1462. During Turkish rule in Sarajevo a total of three such "Saraj" buildings were built, which burned down.
The fourth and final "Saraj" was built by Topal Šerif Osman paša (1861-1869), and is known amongst the people as "Konak." The building located in the Sarajevo neighborhood of Bistrik was completed in November 1869 and during its time it was one of the most beautiful and tallest objects, because it was the only one in the city with three floors. It was constructed by Franje Linardov and Franjo Moise, both from Split. During Austro-Hungarian rule, in 1906, some architectural work was undertaken on the building and a courtyard with two stone lion figures was built in its close proximity.
One room of "Konak" held the posthumous remains of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sofia, immediately after their assassination on 28 June 1914. That event is considered the direct cause of World War One. The "Konak" residence was a representative building during the Kingdom of Yugoslavia as well as during communism. The most distinguished guests stayed in its rooms.
During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 1992 to 1995, "Konak" sustained partial damage, which is visible on part of the façade and on the stained-glass window on the central staircase.
The first trilateral meeting of the Heads of State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Croatia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was held in "Konak" on 15 July 2002.
The "Konak" residence is now a representative object of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina and serves the needs of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, state receptions and accommodates foreign delegations during their visits to Bosnia and Herzegovina.