The old town of Gjakova was one of the most developed trade centers during the rule of the Ottoman Empire in Balkans. A testimony to this period is the Grand Shopping area (çarshia e madhe) located in the center of the old town, containing many preserved and restored shops and residential buildings. Shopping was developed around the Hadum Mosque, built in 1594-95 as a donation by Hadum Sylejman Efendia (known as Hadum Aga), who simultaneously donated funds for other public facilities in the town, including some of the first shops in the old marketplace.
The town was badly affected by the Kosovo war, suffering great physical destruction and large-scale human losses and human rights abuses. Yugoslav units were stationed in and near the town in two barracks due to the risk of an attack by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) from across the border in Albania. In one incident, NATO aircraft misidentified a convoy of Albanian refugees and attacked it.
The Hadum Mosque in Gjakova was built in the last decade of the 16th century (1594/95) by the architect Mimar Sinan. Its building was financed by Hadum Sylejman Efendia – Hadum Aga, which explains the name of the mosque. The mosque was built on the property of Jakë Vula and is located in the Old Bazaar. A rectangular, dome-covered structure, it belongs to the classic forms of mosque of the Islamic-Kosovar style. Around the mosque there are tombs with sculpted decorations and engraved with epithets in the old Ottoman language. The tombs belonged to the most respected families in Gjakova. There also used to be a "hamam", but it was destroyed during World War II. The entrances are covered with floral paintings, geometrical shapes, citations from the Qur'an and arabesques. In 1999, the surrounding complex was burned to the ground and only the mosque and the minaret along with some damaged arabesques survived.
The Old Bazaar in Gjakova is the oldest bazaar in Kosovo (also known as Çarshia e Madhe (Grand Bazaar) or Dakovica. Mëhalla e Hadumit, the historical neighborhood where it is located also houses the city's oldest mosque, the Hadum Mosque (Xhamia e Hadumit), which dates from the fifteenth century.
The Grand Bazaar (from the Turkish: Çarşı meaning marketplace Albanian: Çarshia e Vjetër) was the heart of the economy in Gjakova, a city of trade and merchandise which served the villages around the municipality of Gjakova, the Junik zone and Gjakova’s highlands (Malësia e Gjakovës) on the border between Kosovo and Albania. The Old Bazaar was burnt and destroyed and then it was reconstructed after suffering damage during the 1999 war (the last war in Kosovo).
Around the mosque lie the graves with sculpted decorations, with inscriptions engraved in the old Ottoman language. In the past, it was used to bury members of the popular families in Gjakova. Within the mosque’s complex were the hamam (Turkish bath) which was destroyed in 2008, the building of the old library, from 1671 (burnt by Serbian forces during the war of 1999 and totally ruined in 2000) and also meytepi from 1777.
The Bazaar is linked to the city centre, just five minutes away via the IslamBegu Bridge. The bazaar covers an area of about 35,000 m2 (380,000 sq ft) and the length of its main road is 1 km, with about 500 shops situated along it. It is, however, still home to an active mosque, several türbes, and a clocktower.