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SARAJEVO

ABOUT SARAJEVO

Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its largest urban, cultural, economic and traffic centre, the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the headquarters of the Sarajevo Canton. The city has about 275,000 inhabitants, and because of its long and rich history, Sarajevo is popularly known as “Jerusalem of Europe” and “Jerusalem of the Balkans”. The Miljacka River runs through Sarajevo, 35.9 kilometres long.

HISTORY OF SARAJEVO

The foundations of Sarajevo in 1463 were struck by the Turks of the Ottomans during their invasion, who ruled the country for the next 415 years. In the period from 1440 to 1463, Bosnian Sandžak beg and the commander Isa Beg Isaković started to build the Sarajevo we know today, constructing mosques on the site of today’s Careva mosque, hamams, wooden bridges, caravanserais, and numerous shops. The Ottomans, the then-largest world power, built and developed Sarajevo at such a pace that it was already one of the most beautiful, richest and largest cities of the Ottoman Empire during the 16th century. Sarajevo became a metropolis, dotted with the oriental elements of the vast Eastern Empire. In 1878, Bosnia was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and Sarajevo continued to develop under Habsburg influence for the next forty years. Today, the influence of Central European culture and architecture is noticeable on many buildings, palaces, churches, and residential buildings.
After the First World War, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, then the Independent State of Croatia and Socialist Yugoslavia. Sarajevo was under siege for 1425 days, and it was a period of heavy destruction and losses.
Today, Sarajevo has been declared by many leading tourist magazines as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, and the fact that National Geographic included Sarajevo in the list of 20 cities to be visited in 2014, says enough about the great features of the city.

Sarajevo bridges

Sarajevo bridges are sure to catch the attention of every tourist. Up to twenty bridges have been built on the Miljacka River flowing through Sarajevo. Sarajevo bridges represent more than mere architecture, they are deeply entrenched in the history of this city and built in different periods of time.

Kozija Ćuprija, one of the oldest Sarajevo bridges, is located in the Miljacka River Canyon and only a few kilometres from the City Hall, both popular tourist attractions. This bridge used to be the Constantinople road, from which roadways opened to the eastern parts of the Ottoman Empire, all the way to its capital, Istanbul. It is believed to have been built during the sixteenth century.

Šeher – Ćehajina ćuprija was built in 1585, and its name is referring to its constructor, šeher ćehaj Husein Hodžić.

Today’s appearance of the Drvenija bridge originated from the Austro-Hungarian period in 1898. The bridge was often swaddled by the Miljacka River, and the wooden structure had to be replaced by concrete, and the wooden fence was preserved.

The Latinska Ćuprija is ​​a bridge built in 1798, also known as the bridge on which on June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip carried out the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian crown prince Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sofia. The controversial Sarajevo assassination was the occasion for the First World War.

The bridge of Čobanija is a tram stop before the Drvenija bridge, across the National Theater. Built in 1557, it was once a wooden bridge that was reconstructed over time.

 

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Baščaršija

Baščaršija is located in the very heart of Sarajevo and represents the cultural and historical centre of the city. Sarajevo Baščaršija lies on the north coast of the Miljacka River and today it represents the main tourist attraction of the city.

The Sarajevo Baščaršija was built in 1462 when Isa beg Isaković constructed a khan and numerous shops. At that time, many of the inhabitants lived in the vicinity of ​​the Emperor’s Mosque, which led to the construction of a bridge connecting the main Sarajevo settlement and the new economic centre of the city, Baščaršija. Baščaršija was rapidly developing, and in the second half of the sixteenth century, it had about 80 different crafts organized in strong guilds.

If you really want to feel the spirit of Sarajevo, walking through the streets of the Baščaršija will give you a dash of the past, you will feel the power of the former Ottoman Empire, you will be lost in the oriental scent of the streets and various craft shops, restaurants and cafes. In the streets of Baščaršija, Sarajevo’s culture, history and tradition merge into one place that remains authentic through centuries, wars and major demographic changes.

Gazi Husrev-beg’s mosque

Gazi Husrev-beg’s mosque was built in 1530, and due to its height and attractiveness, it is one of the most important monuments of Islamic sacral architecture in the Balkans. Beg’s mosque was one of the most important objects for the urban development of Sarajevo, as well as one of the greatest gifts from the rich Husrev-beg’s legacy. Gazi Husrev-beg’s mosque is the first mosque in the world that received electric light in 1898. Beg’s mosque was designed by Adžem Esir Ali, a Persian from Tabriz, who at the time was the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire.

 

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Film Festival

The Sarajevo Film Festival is one of the biggest festivals in southeast Europe. It was founded during the siege in Sarajevo in 1995 and brings international and local celebrities to Sarajevo every year. The Sarajevo Film Festival is proof of the importance of the arts and culture to the people of Sarajevo, who even during the war managed to fight for the realization and survival of this world-famous festival.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Hiking

If you want recreation and physical activity during your visit to Sarajevo, you have many options to choose from. Many tourists often choose hiking as it’s the best way to get in touch with nature and explore numerous locations near Sarajevo.

And if hiking is too monotonous for you, it’s no problem. Mountain biking is organized on several mountains around Sarajevo, with paths ranging from lighter to heavier, depending on your skills.

 

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Rafting

If you are a fan of water and rafting, there are many tours organized that will give you a daily dose of adrenaline, taking you down the waterfalls of Neretva while enjoying freshwater and untouched nature.

WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT IN SARAJEVO

As you walk around Baščaršija, you will find it hard to decide which way to go, while being mesmerized by the scents spreading from various bakeries, ćevapdžinicas, grills, and restaurants. Traditional Bosnian food is often prepared with meat and vegetables that almost every household grows during the spring and summer months in their gardens. Bosnian cuisine is a blend of eastern and western countries, with similar elements of Mediterranean cuisine as well as Turkish, which is not surprising given the influence of this country on the development of Sarajevo. Sarajevo has various restaurants, serving both international and local flavors.

 

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ENTERTAINMENT AND NIGHTLIFE IN SARAJEVO

Sarajevo has an abundant and diverse cultural life. As a proud host of the Sarajevo Film Festival, Sarajevo offers various other festivals, concerts, performances, and other events. Whether you prefer a relaxing atmosphere while drinking coffee, or you are in the mood for a concert or maybe you like to dance until dawn, you will surely find something in Sarajevo to cater to your taste. If you are a beer lover, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a varied selection of domestic and foreign choices, and if you feel like dancing to Latino music during a monotonous Monday, Sarajevo took care of that too.

WHERE TO STAY IN SARAJEVO

Sarajevo has very affordable accommodation, regardless of whether you come to visit as a tired businessman or just with a backpack ready for adventure.

Sarajevo offers various hotels, hostels, apartments and private accommodation.

If you are looking for luxury accommodation, there are several 5-star hotels in the city that offer top service, parking, wellness facilities and many other amenities.

If your budget is limited, there are numerous city inns and motels that will allow you to save money and a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere.

 

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