Sarajevo is the capital and largest city in Bosnia and Hercogovina. It is located in a lovely spot where there are lots of hills and tall mountains. Walking about Sarajevo is like walking into history. Visitors delight in the oriental Ottoman quarters that offer shops with sweets, cafes and shops with handicrafts and the administrative and cultural center of Austro-Hungarian times both worlds melt together here.
Near the Orthodox Cathedral you’ll find the National Gallery of BiH. In this national gallery one can find an introduction to the eclectic art works of Bosnian artists. Artists who are both contemporary and those who represent the rich artistic traditions of their country’s past. The collections displayed here include paintings, photos, sculptures and installations all of which have been curated around color themes.
Visit the Cathedral of Jesus’ Heart which is the largest cathedral in Bosnia and Hercogovina. It looks quite majestic against the skyline of Sarajevo. This cathedral was built in 1889 by Josip Vancas. Inside you’ll see pastel blue and cream walls and lovely stained glass.
The ancient Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Michael the Archangel dates back to medieval times. The interior has lovely gilded icons and a balcony that is lit by candles and low light. There is a scent of incense in the air. Inside of glass cases one can see anatomical relics of saints like bones. This structure dates back to 1740.
Even though it is small it’s fascinating to visit the Tunnel Museum. It was dug during the war and the tunnel was a link between the besieged city and the free zone lying beyond the airport. It provided a life line through which passed the injured. Nowadays there are only about 20 meters left of the original 700 meter long tunnel. Visitors can get a feel of how things were by making their way through the dim passageways. The museum proper is located in one of the two houses that provided entrance and exit points. You can see wartime memorabilia and view footage of the siege and the tunnel’s construction and operation. It is a video which touches the heart showing shells shooting across the sky of the city and landing into apartment blocks, the National Library on fire and soldiers and civilians making their way through it all.
When you want to see what else Sarajevo has to offer you head for the modern Avaz Twist Tower which is a column of smoky blue glass. It stands 172 meters tall and has an observation deck from which you can see the city spread out before you. The lookout floor has both indoor and outdoor areas providing spectacular views all around. There is a café-bar for refreshments.
Afterwards when you want to relax and stroll there is Vrelo Bosne. This is a lush green park by the Bosne River found 12km from the city center in the suburb of Ilidza. Here you can enjoy waterfalls and see swans swimming. There are horse-drawn carriages and you can visit Austro-Hungarian palaces. For relaxing there are outdoor cafes.
The heart and soul of Sarajevo is Bascarsija pronounced Bosh-CHAR-shee-va meaning “central market”. This is the area of the city that is home to the majority of the city’s hotels, restaurants, sights and nightspots. During Ottoman rule it was the center for trade and commerce. This is a lively and vibrant place where you can see lots of tour groups.
The Latin Bridge dates back to 1798 and has a dark history. This Ottoman bridge is the place where the heir to the Austrian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his pregnant wife were assassinated on June 28, 1914 by a Bosnian Serb nationalist, Gavrilo Princip. There is a plaque on this site and a small museum.
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