A Week in Sarajevo

Sarajevo is a city rich in history and I knew that this was a city I wanted to spend at least a week seeing.  I had first heard of Sarajevo during high school because the siege of Sarajevo was always in the news and you couldn’t help but not know about what was happening during that time.  Many graphic and disturbing images were on the news daily, especially during the shelling of the market.  I can still remember the event as if it were yesterday.  My goal in this post is to share with you my personal experience in Sarajevo, but please add your favorite things that you did in the comment section below.  In addition, if you plan on visiting Sarajevo please ask your questions so myself or others can answer them.

Similar to my morning in Mostar, most of my days began with a delicious Bosnian Coffee in the old town.  The old town was only a few minutes walk from my hostel; which was convenient for site seeing and getting around the city.  My favorite spot for the coffee was Cafe Dallas.  What other place would a Texan rather drink his coffee? 🙂

Old Town
Bosnian Coffee at Cafe Dallas.

Bosnian Coffee at Cafe Dallas.

The old town of Sarajevo has several mosques and old building that have historical significance.  Below are pictures of the Clock Tower and Sebilj Fountain.  Five daily prayers in the Muslim faith are very important, so a clock tower was useful to its citizens for their prayers.  Click here for more information on Sarajevo’s Old Clock Tower.

Old Clock Tower or Little Ben.

Old Clock Tower or Little Ben.

Sebilj Fountain.

Sebilj Fountain.

Sebilj Fountain is located in Bascarsija Square or sometimes referred to as “Pigeon Square” due to all the pigeons eating all the dropped food.  The fountain was built in 1753 by Mehmed-pasha Kukavica and a replica was built in Birmingham, England.*(source wikipedia)

Wartime Memorial for Children of Sarajevo

During the first few days of my visit I took a late afternoon walk and headed towards the Wartime Memorial for Children of Sarajevo.  The monument is located on Marsala Tita Street.  The memorial is well kept and is a beautiful tribute to the children that were lost during the war.

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It’s hard not to walk away from this memorial feeling sad.  How could you not feel sad after reading so many names?  How could you not feel sad knowing that hundreds of young lives were stolen?

I got myself together and walked south on Radiceva Street towards the river.  I crossed the bridge and came to the Academy of Fine Arts.  Nearby, along the river, there was a photo display about disarmament and nonviolence.  I took a few pictures and spent a good hour reading all the information about each photo.

Walk Along the Banks of the Miljacka River

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I kept walking along the river taking pictures of the sun setting with its rays gleaming off the water.  It was a beautiful and peaceful afternoon.  Yet, I kept thinking about how horrible things must have been here 20 years earlier.

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Free Walking Tour

During the week I also joined a free 2 1/2 hour free walking tour.  The tour was informative and our guide, Neno, was amazing.  He has a passion for his city and that passion is demonstrated during the tour.

Neno greeting us at the meeting point near the national theater.

Neno greeting us at the meeting point near the national theater.

The tour had some sites that I had already seen during the week, but what was lacking was what was the history behind the sites.  Neno was able to help fill in the gaps and provide some personal experiences he had growing up in Sarajevo during the war.

Eternal Flame.

Eternal Flame.

The Eternal Flame Monument is dedicated to victory over Germany in World War II.  Neno explained that the monument is a collective appreciation of Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians, and Muslims who unified to fight in WWII.

Neno guided us down the street towards the market, where many years ago several people died due to enemy shelling.  The market is thriving once again, but there are obvious scars to what happened here.  A memorial is located in the market with the names of all the people that were killed on February 5, 1995.

For more information about the free Sarajevo walking tour contact Neno at:  walkingsarajevo@gmail.com

Other Important Things to See

1.  City Hall/National Library of B&H
City Hall & National Library of B&H

City Hall & National Library of B&H

2.  Sarajevo Assassination 1914

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On June 28, 1914 Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria at this spot.  It was interesting to hear more about how Gavrilo Princip actually worked with a team and how he first failed to kill the Archduke only 30 minutes before. However, Neno can explain more about how this historical event went down and how it set the world on fire.

3.  Yellow Fortress 
View from the fortress.

View from the fortress.

The only thing you will get out of the Yellow Fortress are stunning views of the city.  However, there is also a cemetery of all the people who died during the siege along the route to the top of the fortress.

4.  Srebrenica Exhibition

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The Srebrenica Exhibition is located near the Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart.  The cost to enter is around 3 euros and you will be able to learn more about what happened.  The exhibition offers personal tours, a photo gallery, and two outstanding videos.  
Where I Stayed

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I stayed at the very cozy and spacious Residence Rooms.  I couldn’t be happier with my stay.  The staff were very friendly, accommodating, and the Residence Rooms’ location in the center of the city is ideal.  There are several restaurants and bars located just outside the hostel’s door.  Breakfast is served every morning from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Click here for more information.  Residence Rooms Sarajevo.

I had wanted to see the tunnel that was used during the war to get people in and out of the besieged city, but after the Srebrenica Exhibition, I had seen enough about the war.  I wanted to spend more time seeing the city for what is today.  There is a lot of joy and happiness in Sarajevo and I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit.

Latin Bridge.

Latin Bridge.

Enjoy!

Click here for more about History Hiker’s trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

©2014 TORO Media, LLC

All photos are property of TORO Media, LLC.

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