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  Wikipedia: Sarajevo

Wikipedia: Sarajevo
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Sarajevo, the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina (population: 450,000 (1991), est. 500,000 (2003)).

Sarajevo hosted the XIV Winter Olympics in 1984. In a brutal war that took place in 1992-1995, Sarajevo was severely destroyed and suffered the longest siege in modern history.


Sarajevo is located close to the geometric center of triangularly shaped Bosnia and Herzegovina, a few miles east of the spring of the river Bosna. A small river named Miljacka flows through the city. The old city core is placed in a wide valley that forms a natural amphitheatre.

The city center is 511 metres above the sea level with some suburbs reaching 700 metres, which makes Sarajevo one of the most elevated cities in Europe. The mountain peaks that surround Sarajevo reach and surpass 2000 metres above sea level.

In the last few decades, satellite towns Ilidža and Vogošća have mostly merged with Sarajevo and became city suburbs.


The area of present day Sarajevo was continuously inhabited since the Stone age. However, little material evidence is available, mostly due to later construction. A Roman town named Aquae S... (probably Aquae Sulphurae) existed on the location of present Ilidža.

During the early Middle ages, Sarajevo was a closely knit cluster of villages that shared a marketplace and a fortress named Vrhbosna.

The year usually mentioned as the city creation is 1461, when the first Ottoman governor of Bosnia - Isa-beg Ishaković - intentionally transformed this village cluster into a city and a state capital by building a number of key objects, including a mosque, a closed marketplace, a public bath, a hostel and of course the Governors castle (saray) which gave the city its present name.

Sarajevo flourished in 16th century when its greatest donor and builder Gazi Husrev-beg built most of the city downtown. It is generally believed that throughout most of 16th and 17th century Sarajevo was the largest city in Balkans, save for Istanbul.

In a raid led by prince Eugene of Savoy in 1699 Sarajevo was burned down and levelled. It was later rebuilt, but it didn't truly recover from this destruction for centuries to follow. Bosnian capital was transferred to Travnik.

In 1878, Bosnia was occupied by Austria-Hungary. The clear intention of Austrian-Hungarian architects was to rebuild Sarajevo as a modern European capital. They were unexpectedly aided by a fire that burned down a large part of central city area (čaršija). This has resulted in a unique blend of the remaining Oriental city market and contemporary western architecture. Sarajevo hosts some shiny examples of Secession and Pseudo-Maori styles that date from this period.

In the event that triggered the WW1, Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife were assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914.

Following WW2, Sarajevo grew rapidly. Modern city blocks were built west of the old city, adding to Sarajevo's architectural uniqueness. The peak of city growth occurred in early 1980s, when Sarajevo was elected to host the Winter Olympics.

In April 6th, 1992, Sarajevo was surrounded by forces of Bosnian Serbs. The warfare that lasted until the October of 1995 resulted in a large scale destruction and dramatic changes in population. See Siege of Sarajevo.

Reconstruction of Sarajevo started as soon as the war ended, in 1995. By 2003 most of the city was rebuilt, with only a few remaining visible ruins in the city center. Modern business buildings and skyscrapers are constructed throughout the city. Rampant capitalism shows little respect for old architectural traditions, which has already resulted in some damage to the unique architecture of Sarajevo.


Sarajevo international airport (intl. code SJJ) is located just a few kilometers southwest of the city.

A highway that connects Sarajevo with Budapest and central Europe is being modernized, but presently it is at some spots a little more than a paved countryside road. The speed limit is at most parts 60 or 80 km/h.


The favorite sport of Sarajevoans is football. The two football clubs, FC Sarajevo and FC Željezničar, both have a long tradition of competing in European and world cups.

Basketball club Bosna Sarajevo won the European championship in 1979. The chess club Bosna Sarajevo is at the very top of world chess since 1980ies.

Many believed that following the Winter Olympics Sarajevo will become a regional skiing center, but that didn't happen. One of the principal reasons is global warming which rendered mountains around Sarajevo useless for the most part of the year.

External resources


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona