The Museum of the Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo originated from the Church Treasury. The Church patron Jeftan Despic was in particular responsible for the establishment of the Museum.
Despic came up with the idea to turn the Treasury into the Museum in 1889 after the National Museum was opened in Sarajevo. In order to implement the idea, the upper floor of the storehouse in the Church yard was decorated and was located on the right side from the southeast gate into the yard from the street.
The room in which the museum exhibits were located was sanctified on Sunday – May 13, 1890 – by Metropolitan Đorđe Nikolajević. On that occasion, the announcement of the Church Municipality was read, in which among other things it said:
“Museums are of great importance for the study and exploration of past and history of nations. We already have beautiful objects in our Museum in the Old Church that speaks of the past of Sarajevo. In order to entirely answers to his name, it is essential that people as well come to help the Museum because if each one of us gives a krajcar one forint will be gathered in a second – so too will be here. If everyone contributes with something we shall have beautiful museum that will be the pride of Serbs in Sarajevo and foreigners will see that we have had beautiful past and then we shall all make an effort to create even more beautiful future. This way, the Museum has another role which other museums do not have: This is the Church Museum and whoever makes a contribution, he/she does not give to the Museum only, but also makes contribution to the Church and therefore does good deed and charity to our Holy Church.”
The Museum stayed in the same location until 1939 when one of the Church storehouses within the complex of church buildings around the Old Church reconstructed and decorated for the purposes of the Museum.
The museum objects were transported to the new location and were enriched by new contributions by churches and private donors.
The new contributions were professionally processed, edited and presented by Vladimir Skaric, director of the National Museum in Sarajevo together with Prof. Djoko Mazalic and Darinka Despic. The list of exhibits was made by Vladimir Skaric.