Visit Historic Sarajevo
Visit Sarajevo Now Before The Rest Of The World Catches On
Situated in the centre of south-eastern Europe, Sarajevo is an intriguing city full of history and mystique. Culturally diverse and ever changing, this metropolitan capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina has plenty to offer the tourist who is looking for something a little different.
Many will remember the recent civil war here that hit the headlines back in 90s, but Sarajevo, along with the rest of the country, is not about looking back – it’s all about the future. Contemporary buildings and infrastructure are constantly appearing and the local people welcome the new wave of tourism here. This is a city on the up.
However, it is impossible to dismiss the foundations upon which this great city has been built. The history here is astonishing and for many it is the main reason to visit. Let’s take a brief look at what has made Sarajevo what it is today.
A Turbulent Past
Sarajevo has seen its fair share of turmoil over its long and rich history. Founded by the Ottoman Empire back in 1461, the city soon became the largest city in the region. It is estimated that by 1660 the city’s population had grown to over 80,000 people, far larger than all of the other major cities in the vicinity at that time.
However, the Great Turkish War of 1697 left the city in ruins and only a smattering of buildings were left standing. Those local villagers who were left tried in vain to rebuild the city but their efforts were largely fruitless and by 1807 the population had dropped to less than 60,000.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire took over Bosnia and Herzagovina in 1878 under the Treaty of Berlin and they used the city as a testing ground for new and untried industrial inventions such as the tramways, which were put in place in 1885.
This was a period of prosperity for Sarajevo and the newly established empire brought the city up to the standards enjoyed by other European powerhouses in the Victorian age.
World War One
It was in Sarajevo that Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated. The murder that was committed on 28 June 1914 by nationalist Gavrilo Princip, who wanted the Austro-Hungarian Empire removed from Bosnia. It precipitated riots on the streets of Sarajevo and also proved to be the trigger for the start of the Great War.
Following the tragic events of World War One, Sarajevo was named part of the new Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The Second World War saw the kingdom’s troops overrun by the far superior Italian and German armies, which consequently led to the bombing by allied forces in 1943 and 1944.
Liberation of the city meant that Sarajevo was now the capital of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzagovina, a state within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The city grew once again, and by the end of the Yugoslav era the capital was home to over 600,000 people.
The War For Independence
It is the most recent war that Sarajevo is most vividly remembered for, as the events of the early 90s are so fresh in many of our memories. Over 100,000 people are thought to have lost their lives during the war and much of the architecture across the capital bears the scars of the turbulent era.
Thankfully, the region is now at peace and the people are enjoying a period of stability once again. Major rebuilding and renovation works have been underway for some time and the city is fast becoming a popular European destination, thanks largely to its interesting history and the growing contemporary arts scene.
Getting there is easy too and modern accommodation is available to those who wish to visit this fascinating part of the world. European travel insurance is recommended, as it is whenever you travel abroad, and those who make the trip can expect a warm welcome from some of the friendliest people on the continent. So, put Sarajevo on your list of places to visit – it’s a place you’ll never forget.
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