The hotel in Sarajevo where I am staying this week (Hotel Old Town) is about 50 metres from one of the most historic sites of the 20th century. But you would never know it.
In June 1914, Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria as his motorcade stalled at a corner on a Sarajevo street. This event is seen as the trigger that set the path to World War 1 in 1914 and shaped political events in Europe for most of June 20th century.
The corner is unremarkable. There is a small museum, now covered with scaffolding, in the building that was once Schiller’s store where Princip ostensibly had just purchased a sandwich, thinking that his chance at assassination had passed, when the Archduke and his wife, Sophie rounded the corner in an open car. The driver had made a wrong turn and when he stalled the car in an attempt to back out of the little street, Princip seized the moment to draw out his pistol and shoot both Ferdinand and Sophie dead.
This June will mark the 100th anniversary of that event and the start of the war. I am sure that you will be reading more about this event as the anniversary approaches. It is interesting to be so close to the spot where this event occurred. I took a photo of the street and matched it with one taken on that fateful day in 1914 moments before the assassination as the motorcade reached the corner. You can still see some of the landmarks today that were in that 1914 photo.