Bridges of Sarajevo
Favorite thing: 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).
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Mosques of the old town
Favorite thing: 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.
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Cemeteries of Sarajevo
Favorite thing: 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).
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Vantage point: Yellow Bastion
Favorite thing: 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.
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Sarajevo by night
Favorite thing: 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.
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Sarajevo in your pocket
Favorite thing: There's not much choice when it comes to guidebooks on Bosnia and Hercegovina, and I could find nothing in English that was Sarajevo-specific. We used Tim Clancy's "Bosnia & Sarajevo" (pub: Bradt - latest edition 2007)) which wasn't bad, though it doesn't give opening times and other specifics and has only one, rather inadequate, map of the city included. I wish I had found this free download guide to the city before we set off. Be aware though that Sarajevo is growing fast and changing rapidly and this guide was put out in 2004, so there will be some things that are out of date, as is the case in any guide.
The Tourist Information Office on Zelheni Beretki (the street between pedestrian Ferhadija and riverside Obala Kulina Bala) has a sheet of current opening times for the museums, churches, etc, which is very handy, especially if your time in the city is limited. They also have a nice little booklet titled "A Day Through Sarajevo" which is free, has a basic map (they will sell you a better one) and fairly general information about the main sights. You can book tours here but not accommodation.
If you want to take the siege tour, you should go to see them as soon as you can on your arrival, numbers are limited to 12 and there's only one tour a day. You don't need to take a tour to visit the Tunnel Museum.
Japanese Exhibition in the Bella Vida Gallery
Favorite thing: 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
The Tunnel Museum
Favorite thing: Backpacking has a specific meaning in Sarajevo: During the almost 4 years siege 1992 - 1995 citizens got large parts of their provisions carried into town in backpacks. After the 800 m long tunnel under the airport from Dobrinja on the city side to Butmir, was opened in 1993, through the up to 1.60 meter tall tunnel. At times they had to wade through knee high water seeping through the soil, they had to avoid the high voltage power line and the gas line, and most of them could not walk upright.
The tunnel was dug out with hand tools only, from both sides of the airstrip. The only communication between the two digging teams, was brave people running across the field while avoiding snipers bullits from the hills. On the city side 45 tons of metal from factories was used to support tunnel walls and roof, on the other side 170 cubic meters of wood from the mountains. A total of 2800 cubic meters soil was dug out, and reused to build protection against snipers.
The tunnel was used for military purposes by night, and by day to let citisens through to buy supplies on the country side. At the beginning everything was carried on their backs or in their hands, but after a while metal tracks were laid down, and different kinds of wagons built. Wounded and sick people were brought through, too.
Fondest memory: Only the first 20 meters of the Butmir side of the tunnel is preserved. The preservation and establishment of the museum is done by father and son Bajro and Edis Kolar. Digging of the tunnel started in the back yard of their bombed house in the village Donji Kotorac. Both father and son were enrolled in the Bosnian army, and were after a while assigned tasks concerning the tunnel. The grandparents of the family moved back to the house, father and son made themselves a shack in the remains of the garage. Grandmother Šida was regularly seen providing tired tunnel wanderers with water and sometimes bread, and she also invited people into her house to get warm during winter.
One day maybe a larger and more up to date museum will be built, and more of the tunnel preserved. But if it wasn`t for the Kolar family, all of it would have been lost by now.
Pic. 2: Tunnel
Pic. 3: Map with front lines
Pic. 4: Backpacks and pictures from the tunnel
Pic. 5: Tools used to dig the tunnel
More pictures in the TL
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- Museum Visits
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Bascarsija and the pegions
Favorite thing: This is one of my favorite areas, this part of Sarajevo (stari Grad) has so much to do. One of those things is feeding the pegions (who are always there) You pay the guy sitting there-not alot (the guy who has the bird food) and then you put it in your hands and then just watch all the pegions land on you :)
It's not as scary as it seems
- School Holidays
Former "Sniper Alley"
Favorite thing: 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.
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Favorite thing: Grbavica is probably my favorite area next to Bascarsija. I guess it's because I spent alot of time there. It's in Novo Sarajevo (New Sarajevo) And it's a great area. There is a street there that around 6 o'clock gets completely closed down so that way the neighborhood childern/teens can just come out and hang out (like roller skate, ride their bikes, and hang out in the cafes on that street- which there are quite a few of)
- School Holidays
Favorite thing: Dugme is Button in Turkish.When I heard "Lipe Cvatu "song When I was 15 year old.I liked this group and found their albums.They were the group from Modern Jugoslavija.Strong,big and stable in Balkans.After Tito ,Bijelo Dugme gone like JUGOSLAVIJA.
Bijelo dugme ("White Button") were a highly influential rock band stationed in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, originally when in Yugoslavia. Active between 1974 and 1989, they are considered to have been the most popular band ever to exist in the former Yugoslavia and one of the most important acts of the Yugoslav Pop and Rock scene.
Bijelo dugme was founded by Goran Bregoviæ who was born in Vukovar, who spent much of his childhood in Music School, studying violin, from which he was expelled for "lack of talent". Soon after his expulsion, his mother bought him a guitar, and thus, Bijelo dugme was born. Goran Bregoviæ often admitted that his main motivation for forming the band was because "girls were more receptive to musicians". Bregoviæ was the band's sole composer and wrote most of the lyrics, although some of the most popular Bijelo dugme songs weren't written by Bregoviæ, for example: Ima neka tajna veza, Glavni junak jedne knjige, Šta bi dao da si na mom mjestu, Pristao sam biæu sve što hoæe were written by Duško Trifunoviæ, Da sam pekar, Selma were written by Vlado Dijak, Loše vino by Arsen Dediæ etc.
After recruiting the band's first line up, Bijelo dugme under the name Jutro (translation: "Morning") were turned down by Sarajevo based record company Diskoton, but another record company, Jugoton, signed them up to record a single. The first single was named Kad bi' bio bijelo dugme (translation: "If I were a white button"). After the single was released, the band's manager talked Bregoviæ into changing the band's name to Bijelo dugme.
With its charismatic vocalist Željko Bebek, the band soon reached superstardom in the former Yugoslavia, and, as one newspaper put it, sold more records than there were record players in the country. The pinnacle of the band's career was 1979's Bitanga i princeza, an album often heralded as their most mature with vocalist Željko Bebek. They were often referred to as the Yugoslav Beatles.
The turn of the decade brought the rise of numerous Yugoslav New Wave artists, including Azra, and Bijelo dugme soon found their popularity sinking, to which they reacted by reinventing themselves for their 1980 release Doživjeti stotu, featuring a much more New Wave sound. The chorus of their ska song "Ha, Ha, Ha" was used as the title of a compilation album by various artists Svi marš na ples! which was released by Jugoton in 1981.
1984 brought the departure of Željko Bebek to pursue a solo career and Mladen Vojièiæ - Tifa was recruited to replace him for their 1984 self-titled release. He in turn left the band because of inner conflicts and was replaced by Alen Islamoviæ, formerly vocalist of the heavy metal band Divlje jagode for their last two folk-inspired records.
The band disbanded in 1989 after Alen Islamoviæ checked into hospital for chest pains during their last tour, without telling anyone he was ill. The real reasons have never been elaborated, but most people suspect the dissolution of Yugoslavia caused the breakup of the band, because the band was often seen as a symbol of unity among the peoples of Yugoslavia.
Alen Islamovic, "Ðici" Jankelic, Milic Vukašinovic, Goran Bregovic, Željko Bebek, Zoran Redžiæ and Vlado Pravdic.Bijelo dugme's biggest hits were: Lipe cvatu, A i ti me iznevjeri, Ðurðevdan, Ne spavaj mala moja muzika dok svira, Ipak poželim neko pismo, Ima neka tajna veza, Pristao sam biæu sve što hoæe, Selma, Loše vino, Jer kad ostariš, Lažeš, Kad zaboraviš juli, Hajdemo u planine, Napile se ulice, Ružica si bila, sada više nisi, Bitanga i princeza, Pljuni i zapjevaj moja Jugoslavijo, Sanjao sam noæas da te nemam, Te noæi kad umrem, Nakon svih ovih godina...
The band reunited for three concerts in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Belgrade in 2005 with all three vocalists, but without the drummer Goran "Ipe" Ivandiæ who died in Belgrade, Serbia in 1994.
The band released their new album in November of 2007
Site of 1984 Winter Olympics
Favorite thing: I am a Winter Olympics junkie. I must have watched almost every 1984 Olympic event on TV. So for me, two years later in 1986, it was very exciting to be in the city where these Olympics were held.
This is the bobsled run on Mt. Trebevic as it looked in 1986. Most Olympic facilities have been destroyed by the war. The bobsled run now starts in Republika Srpska and ends in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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Downtown Sarajevo before the war
Favorite thing: This is an example of the beautiful architecture in prewar Sarajevo. My slides and photos are 18 years old and many were not labeled. I am still trying to identify buildings. If you can help with this one, please send me a note. Did this survive the war?
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Bascarsija (Old Town) Sarajevo - Before the War
Favorite thing: Bascarsija was a bustling center of activity in Sarajevo, with wonderful small shops where local merchants sold their wares. So many people busily making their purchases - in 1986 no one suspected what would happen in a few years.
The Old Town Center was heavily damaged during the war.
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