History of Sarajevo: A Short Introduction

Sarajevo is one of those cities people are not aware of for some reason. What is the history of Sarajevo, what do people believe in, and where is Sarajevo located? In this article I will try to give a brief history of this city and why you should visit this city.

Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it is known for its two counterparts: 1. The assassination of Franz-Ferdinand by Serbian terrorists that caused World War I; 2. In the 1990s the city was taken in a blockade for almost four years. This became one of the worst episodes for the country in the 20th century.

The bridge where was killed the heir to Austrian throne
The bridge where Franz-Ferdinand was assassinated

The history of Sarajevo begins in 1460 – 1462 when the city was founded by the Turks whom invaded the Balkans. Turkish authorities were building the city in order to create a capital city. Bosnia was then a province of the Ottoman state and Sarajevo became the capital of Bosnia.

In the 17th century, Austrian troops destroyed the city and the Ottoman Empire moved the capital to Travnik for 150 years. During the rule of the Turks, Sarajevo was one of the most important and largest cities in the Balkans. There were many important trade routes through it.

The Whit Fortress As Seen From The Bobsled Track In Sarajevo
White Fortress Of Sarajevo

In 1878, power passed into the hands of Austria-Hungary. This change had affected the city in a prosperous way. The rich and generous empire did not spare any money to rebuild its regions. That is why luxurious Austrian buildings began to appear against the backdrop of small one-story Muslim buildings. Austria-Hungary also created the first tram line in Sarajevo.

However this period of prosperity ended with the famous murder of the heir to the Austrian throne and the outbreak of war. The First World War almost did not affect Sarajevo and the city slowly became part of Yugoslavia. The history of Sarajevo almost repeated itself in the Second World War, however it was marked by the murder of many Jews who resided in Sarajevo and who once immigrated to escape persecution in Spain.

Sarajevo is the so-called Balkan Israel, a meeting place for Christianity and Islam, East and West. But in the 1990s, ethnic contradictions became apparent, and Bosnia and Herzegovina decided to break away from Yugoslavia. Since many Serbs lived in the country, the process was difficult and dragged on for several years. The city was in a blockade for 4 years and the only place through which to get supplies and send refugees was a narrow tunnel under the airport. All who were born before 1995 were witnesses to the war. In some buildings you can still see damages from shelling. This military conflict has claimed more than 10,000 people and has become a shameful stain on the UN. The blockade was only stopped by US intervention in 1995.

People who died during the Bosnian - Serbian war are buried in this cemetery
The cemetery of the victims of the Serbian siege of Sarajevo

After the war, Sarajevo was reborn, with eastern and western cultures still intersecting here, but people have found a golden mean. And although the population is mostly Muslim, it is more modern and welcoming that most Islam-based countries.

While tourism has been increasing in recent years, it still has a long way to go to compete with Croatia and other Balkan countries. Be sure to visit Sarajevo and the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina before it gets too crowded and overrun.

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