After a day full of war history, we decided to visit the city of Sarajevo as it stands today. In 2010, Lonely Planet’s “Best In Travel” nominated Sarajevo as one of the top ten cities to visit that year, and so far it has been absolutely amazing.
After walking a little bit in the main plaza, we headed straight to lunch. We are not liking the traditional Bosnian food so we decided to get some Italian instead. We were happy!
We walked to the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque. Built in 16th century, it is the largest historical mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of the most representative Ottoman structures in the Balkans. Being the central Sarajevan mosque since the days of its construction, today it also serves as the main congregational mosque of the Islamic community of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was closed for praying so we were just able to walk around the grounds.
Next to the mosque is the Jewish museum. The Museum of the Jews is housed in the oldest synagogue in Bosnia and Herzegovina, built in 1581. Many experts are of the opinion that this was the finest exhibition space in the whole of ex-Yugoslavia; and indeed, on entering the Synagogue, one steps into a different, sheltered world, which attests to the centuries-old presence of the Jews in this country and to the contribution they made to its development in many fields, particularly science and the arts. Particular attention is devoted to the suffering of the Jews during World War II.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, occurred on 28 June 1914 in Sarajevo when they were shot dead by Gavrilo Princip. Princip was one of a group of six assassins (five Serbs and one Bosniak) coordinated by Danilo Ilić, a Bosnian Serb and a member of the Black Hand secret society.
The political objective of the assassination was to break off Austria-Hungary’s South Slav provinces so they could be combined into a Yugoslavia. The assassins’ motives were consistent with the movement that later became known as Young Bosnia. The assassination led directly to the First World War when Austria-Hungary subsequently issued an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, which was partially rejected. Austria-Hungary then declared war. This was the exact place, where the assassination happened, as you can see on our accurate dramatization of the events.
We walked around the old town a little bit more. There is a little bazaar underground in the building built in the 15th century for this exact reason. Sarah bought some imitation bag for cheap!
We were told by our guide the previous day that the Sarajevsko brewery is walking distance across the river.
So we walked over there to enjoy an unfiltered draft beer for dirt cheap. This was a great beer!
For dinner, we tried some Lebanese food. It was delicious as always and a good end of the night. Tomorrow we will go to the town of Mostar.
Bonus Pic Of The Day: There are three official languages in Bosnia. There had been various controversies and arguments regarding the name of the language. Bosnia neighboring Croats and Serbs call their languages Croatian and Serbian. The standard Croatian, Serbian, and Bosnian languages are all mutually intelligible.