Sarajevo, the Jerusalem of Europe

3 minutes to read
Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, and nothing in Sarajevo can be compared to Paris, but my heart never trembles in Paris like it does here in Sarajevo - Goran Bregović, musician & composer

Just as Goran Bregović is always overwhelmed by Sarajevo, you can expect nothing but an astonishment. The capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina has its special vibe and it will completely hypnotize you, before you even realize it. You will unconsciously accept the challenge of understanding the melting pot - where East and West have been coming together for centuries.

Sarajevo with its cultural eclecticism is definitely one of a kind. While you stroll the Old Town and its Bazaars, you will feel like in Istanbul. And just when you immerge into the Ottomans culture, you will be surprised to see a glimpse of Austro-Hungarian times, only couple of streets further away. This unexpected architectural fusion shaped the nucleus of the city. Sarajevo is unquestionably a kind of hot mess, but certainly the best one you can see in Europe.

The best starting point for exploring Sarajevo’s Old Town is the Baščaršija Square (also known as a Pigeon Square), founded by the Ottomans in the 15th century as the main trading and social goings-on area. Nowadays Baščaršija still has two old covered bazaars - Gazi Husrev Bey's Bezistan and Brusa Bezistan, but also Sahat Kula (Clock Tower), the workshops of Sarajevo's artisans and many more.

If one building deserves an etiquette of Sarajevo’s architectural masterpiece, then it would be Sarajevo Vijećnica, a unique Pseudo-Moorish artwork. This perfect blend of the Orient and the Occident, once used as a city hall, has been witnessing the historical turmoil in the last centuries.

If you haven’t heard of a place where East meets West, get ready to immortalize the moment when you actually see it. In Sarajevo, there is a spot where two different civilizations touch and connect. When you stand on it, on one side you will have the Eastern (Ottoman) Sarajevo, and if you turn 180°, you will look at the Western Sarajevo, dominated by Austro-Hungarian style of buildings.

Having been a sort of living museum, Sarajevo offers a historical promenade par excellence. One of the best ways to grasp city’s rich history is to stroll along the Miljacka River and get to know Sarajevo’s bridges. Each of them has its unique story. For instance, the Latin Bridge is the place where Archduke Franz Ferdinand took the bullet that started World War I.

Last but certainly not least, this city has to be seen from above, particularly at the sunset. The best panoramic view is from the place called Yellow Fortress. It can take you some time to climb up (or you can just take a cab), but the fantastic view and a spectacular sunset are worth it.

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The author

Ljiljana Krejic

Ljiljana Krejic

I am Ljiljana, from Bosnia & Herzegovina. Being a journalist, I can't escape from that perspective when travelling. My mission is to make you explore the last Europe’s undiscovered gem.

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