Dobrodošli u Sarajevo. Welcome to Sarajevo.

I was hoping for sunny spring-like weather as I travelled in Bosnia in mid May but there has been a big, wet weather system hovering over the Balkans for several days. I have been able to get out and walk most days between showers or in a light drizzle and I am trying to take solace in the fact that cloudy weather is often better for photography.

Earlier this week when I was in Sarajevo we got a little break in the rain and as I strolled through the town in the evening I took some photos that I will share here.

At dusk we drove up into the hills overlooking Sarajevo for a fantastic panoramic view of the city. During the Bosnian war this was a vantage point that allowed snipers to shoot people in the streets below. Many Sarajevans of all ages were killed by sniper fire.

The grand building in the first photo that can be seen in the photo above is now the city hall. It was, for some time also a library that was destroyed during the war. You may have seen photos of the cellist, Vedran Smallović, playing amidst the debris of this building in 1992.

The Cellist of Sarajevo, Vedran Smallović, and the ruins of the library, taken by photojournalist Mikhail Estafiev in 1992 serves as a lasting reminder of the atrocities of war, the resilience of the human spirit, and the ability of art to provide solace and hope even in the darkest of times.

It was also the site of the visit of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on the fateful day in 1914 when he was assassinated on the street about two blocks from there by Gavrillo Primcip, an event that was a catalyst that started World War I.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand leaving the Sarajevo City Hall moments before he and his wife Sophie were assassinated.

One spot that I wanted to eat while in Sarajevo was a restaurant in front of City Hall called Inat Kuća. The story is that the fellow who owned this house on the site where the city hall would be built refused to sell his land. Eventually the city negotiated to move the house, stone by stone and reconstruct it where it sits today. Inat Kuća is translated “Spite House”.

Friends have been particularly interested in the food I am eating and at the end of my trip I will post a blog all about the different foods. At Inat Kuća they had a meal that was a combination of various local specialties. Including čevapi, dolme and bamija. More about all the different foods in a later post.

Meal of mixed traditional Bosnia foods at Inat Kuća of course along with a Sarajevsko pivo.
The Bsscarsija Mosque, built in the 16th century is at the end of the long central walking street. Fortunately it was not significantly damaged during the 1990’s war.
The Ferhadija Mosque was also built in the 16th century and its architecture is a combination of Islamic and Ottoman. It was damaged during the war but it has been refurbished.

In the evening friends gather in little bars or cafés or on patios to visit and drink coffee or beer as they chat.

1 thought on “Dobrodošli u Sarajevo. Welcome to Sarajevo.

  1. How fortunate we are in Canada to never experience the bombing of our buildings. Great photos, John…as always!

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