The month of Japanese culture organized by the Embassy of Japan in B&H, from September 12th, showing 75 Japanese dolls from various historical periods.
This exhibition will be presented only in five countries: Luxembourg, Benin, New Zealand, Kyrgizstan and B&H.
During the month of Japanese culture in BiH, there will be held: a lecture on Japanese interior, events that represent the culture of Japan such as a puppet show, a concert of traditional Japanese drums, films on a 16mm projector, a projection of the Japanese animated film - anime, exhibition of Japanese comics - manga and a Japanese language course.
Location: Importanne Centar across the USA Ambassy
I had a hard time finding information on Sarajevo before visiting, there are no guidebooks specifically about Sarajevo or even Bosnia, online information is scarce although I did print out a guide from Wikitravel and an old edition of In Your Pocket.
When we saw what we thought was a tourist office, marked with a white i in a green circle, we went inside. I think it may actually be a tour office but they supplied us with an English map with a list of the tours they offer, one of which was a free walking tour of the old town.
Out of all the things I'd been anticipating about Sarajevo, indulging my sweet tooth wasn't one of them. Well. This is the city where East meets West, and this filters down blissfully to even the sugar and syrup-laden level of dessert.
First, the European. Sarajevo sweet shops (called a slastičarna in Bosnian) are filled with myriad millefeuille-type cakes. These seem mainly to involve wafer-thin pastry with every imaginable variation on creme patissiere. Having tried similar in Croatia and being disappointed, I was sceptical, but Bosnian pastries are the real deal. In other words, this city, and Bascarsija in particular, is heaven for anyone who loves puddings. There are also meringues and more substantial cakes.
Then there are the Turkish-type sweets, including favourites like Turkish delight (called rahat lokum here) and baklava. There's more, though, including a wonderful syrup-drenched fruit with cream I tried in the atmospheric surroundings of Morica Han (Caffe Divan specialises in these Eastern desserts). Not as horribly sweet as it sounds (or looks), and something that definitely ticked the 'different' box.
The best thing is that these sweets are not just tasty and well made, but incredibly cheap, starting at just one Marka in many places.
Although it doesn't look, but it is... the oldest mosque in Sarajevo is Careva dzamija, the Emperor's mosque. Original construction was build in 15th century, in 1462 when it was financed by city planner Isa Beg Isakovic. It was then set on fire in 1480 by invaders fire, and after that they built new one from the ashes and got the present shape in 1566. Conservation works found layers of former wall decorations from its earlier times.
The mosque had survived turbulent history - with logical consequences: sometimes damaged, then re-built and re-shaped for what was destroyed... things a lot to mention so if you're interested more about it, it's not bad idea you take a few books from library (interent sources are little limited) to study.
Its graveyard contains some very old graves, nishans - the oldest one dating to 1623, but burying people had been conducted here already earlier and had graves of important Sarajlije ever since.
Fondest memory: It descends right upon Miljacka river, and it impresses with its size. Although for practical reasons most people will see it by daytime, it appears nicer when it's dark. Of course, that's my personal opinion only.
Its flow through Sarajevo is mostly regulated and paved - as such it's in many parts inaccesible river.
But... in the evening you may get closer to it for some nice views of enlightened Ottoman style čuprijas - which in Bosnian word for bridges. Most famous one being Latinski-Principov one, for there Princip shot Franz Ferdinand and his wife and that shot was being used as an 'excuse' to begin bloody WWI. Many times hit and renwed it continues to bear many footsteps, yet those of Gavrilo Princip were once removed.
Shallow water runs quietly, only when cascading it shows some sign of sound and life, yet cascades are not that plenty since it flows on the bottom of valley. When it rises during rains it will show off again more powerful, fighting with bridges and walls, collecting water from nearby mountains.
For most of time when on its old city shores you'll walk past busy main road, which is why we didn't go there often, except for night time watching bridges. Because noise and smog from cars, paved surfaces and enclosed river... that's how it became 'disconnected' from the city. Although it meant lifeline, once in ancient times when waters were loved, admired and treated with utmost respect.
Now, river is like necklace - with its cuprijas like diamonds in night, divided from human touch, to serve 'aesthetics', maybe. And to protect city from water strength to recreate landscapes and dynamics.
That's why you need to cross it to get in touch with it.
Favorite thing: The local tourist office in the main street in Sarajevo , i found to be very helpful when i called in. The location tourist information boards are also very good The tourist information centre is Zelenih beretki 22 a . Phone is +387 33 220 724.. Web. www.sarajevo - tourism.com
Already on arrival by plane to Sarajevo I noticed many large cemeteries all around the town:
One of the largest is probably the Kosevo Cemetery Complex which consists of seperate sections for Muslim, Orthodox and Catholic people. Especially in the Muslim part of the cemetery most of the tombstones carry dates between 1992 and 1995. The Kosevo Cemetery is situated in the vicinity of the Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium, just 3 km north of the city centre.
A more centrally located cemetery which is mainly dedicated to Muslim soldiers and civilians who died during the recent war is Kovaci Cemetery. Here also the grave of the 1st president of Bosnia and Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic can be found. The cemetery is situated just a 15 minutes uphill walk north of the old town (Bascarsija).
Sarajevo's historic old town Bascarsija was founded by Ottomans in the 14/15th century. It is dominated by the minarets of several mosques.
One of the most picturesques of these is the Bascarsija Mosque (Bascarsija dzamija), which was constructed by Havedza Durak in 1528. The colourful souvenir stands and the green trees just in front of the mosque make it a perfect photo shot. The mosque stands at the south eastern end of the Bascarsija square.
The Muslihudina Cekrekcije Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in the old town, as it was built in 1526. A few small shops are directly attached to the building. It can be found just across the street at the northen end of the Bascarsija square.
With a dome of 24,4 m in height the Gazi Husrev-Bey Mosque is the biggest mosque of the old town. It was finished in 1530 after two years of construction. It is located just next to the Clock Tower in the centre of the old town.
The wide multilane boulevard which connects the historic old town (Bascarsija) in the east with the newer residential and industrial districts of Sarajevo in the west was known as "Sniper Alley" (Snajperska aleja) during the 1990's war.
The boulevard is lined with mainy high rise buildings which were perfect for sniper posts, so it was said that especially this street was dangerous to cross.
I just assume that it was probably also dangerous to cross any other street in Sarajevo during that time.
Many buildings in and around Sarajevo's historic old town (Bascarsija) are beautifully illuminated at night.
So after sunset a stroll through the narrow alleys is highly recommended to soak up the special atmosphere.
Among the worth seeing illuminated sights are the National Library, the Sebilj Fountain, the Clock Tower, the Catholic Cathedral as well as most bridges.
One of the very best vantage points from where you can enjoy excellent views of Sarajevo can be found at the so called Yellow Bastion (Zuta Tabija).
It is situated in the district Vratnik, just east of the historic old town (Bascarsija).
From the right side of the river Miljacka it takes a 20 minutes uphill walk along the street Jekovak to get to the Yellow Bastion.
The views of the old town and the surrounding hills are spectacular from here.
Many bridges span the river Miljacka, which flows from the east to the west through Sarajevo's city centre.
The most famous bridge is probably the Latin Bridge (Latinska Cuprija), formerly known as Princip Bridge. The current structure was built in 1798 and rebuilt in 2003. On June 28th 1914 its northern end was the site of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The bridge is situated just in front of the Sarajevo Museum.
Another historic bridge is the Seher Cehajin Most, which was built in the late 16th century. The bridge connects Sarajevo's Alifakovac district with the historic old town (Bascarsija) near the National Library.
Sarajevo's first bridge was the Emperor's Bridge whose history dates back to about 1462. It leads from the historic old town (Bascarsija) to the main entrance of the Emperor's Mosque (Careva dzamija).
I read opinions (tips or whatever you prefer to call them) on Gazi Husrev Bey mosque and it's like if everybody sees its facade and yard only. You can read about history from the plates by the mosque or web sites or guides, now I will just make my contribution about interior since we did take a profound look inside.
I believe you know that you're not allowed to visit as turist during prayer time (this you normally won't do during prayer time in churches, too).
But you can visit GHB mosque as a tourist between 9 am - 12 and between 2.20 and 4 pm. Go, then. The carpets will be protected so you won't need to take off your shoes, but it is more respectful if you do. Women must cover head with scarf, an usual one will do. Taking photos is allowed. First of all, by the entry to the compound buy ticket at the office (2 KM) and a man will unlock the doors of dzamija - the side door, where women enter. You can stay as long as you wish.
Fondest memory: It has admirable interior, of simple lines and vast like a large bowl, sun rays penetrate from windows on the front and side walls and cast gentle, sublime light. It all speaks of purity, divinity, simplicity and art of man is exhibited in forms of wall, door and window ornaments, wooden carving and dome paintings - all ornamented by most beautiful Arab calligraphy and intricate plant patterns done with precise and detailed brush and mellow, harmonious color.
Carpets are laid one next to antoher and cover the floor entirely, all in traditional patterns. If you wear shoes, don't step on the carpet. Side domes bear ornamental ceiling and walls, as to express the complexity of human and celestial worlds.
Better than myself speaking of what you can easily test by yourself eyes, I invite you to take a look at photos instead. And better, when in Sarajevo visit the mosque, it's not hard to adhere to a few basic and simple rules.
For the most detailed history visit their web site here .
The architecture of Morica Han didn't change a lot since its eastblishment in 16th century when it sheltered its guests. A guest was then merchant or an ancient tourist - maybe traveller. Now, its large and cozy square invite curious visitor to relax in a shade of a tree with a cup of coffee or lunch a few steps away from the main Saraci street and a few steps away from the G.H. Beg mosque.
We live entierly different ages now. Han has survived throughout fires and turbulences of Sarajevo. While there were many in past, this one best kept and true to style.
Fondest memory: In search of historic architecture one must not miss this 'han' in the heart of Bascarsija.
You can eat excellent and local vegetarian food in Sarajevo. I speak of pitas which are sold in burkedzinicas, very nice stuff which fills your stomach easy. It is pastry filled with vegetable or cheese (white one) and baked.
There are few you could try depends on what kind of vegetarian you are:
zeljanica: it is with spinach like vegetable + white cheese
krompirusa: small and tiny pieces of potato inside, my favourite
sirnica: white cheese in pastry
tikvenjaca: zucchini pumpkin in pastry, these are not sold everywhere but very nice
Pita ispod saca... is when these pastries are baked in some kind of dish and coal (the best way to prepare them - see 2nd picture).
Usually these pitas are eaten with yoghurt, which is really nice combination + yog here is in liquid form, very good.
Another thing which we love to eat here are variety of salads, especially 'shopska' or 'srpska' salads, and lepinja with kajmak from time to time.