Sarajevo City Hall

I visited Sarajevo City Hall in March, 2015

On August 25, 1992, Serb forces started shelling the National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, ending with it being burned to the ground. A huge number of rare books, priceless manuscripts and a large collection of Bosnian serial publications were lost. The Sarajevo Fire Department found itself under constant fire when trying to put the flames out and only a small number of books and publications managed to be saved. At least one person died, killed by sniper fire, when trying to save some of the books.

Sarajevo City Hall

Outside City Hall. Photo by Faruk Padrog.

Sarajevo City Hall

Memorial plaque outside the museum.

The National Library was housed in the old City Hall, the Vijecnica. The Vijecnica was completed in 1896, build in a pseudo-moorish architectural style. In 1914 it was the last place archduke Franz Ferdinand visited before being shot by Gavrilo Princip, just down the road.

The building was handed over to the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1949, and served as a library until it was destroyed.

Following the war, the building has been reconstructed and restored, serving once again as Sarajevo city hall. This has been possible through large contributions from the EU.

A beautiful building, it really catches your eyes as it lies on the outskirts of Bašcaršija, right next to the Miljacka river.

Sarajevo City Hall

Outside the museum. Photo by Faruk Padrog

In the basement of Sarajevo City Hall, there is a small museum showing the history of Sarajevo for the last hundred years (1914-2014). And the last hundred years in Sarajevo had been quite interesting. The shots in sarajevo, occupation by the axis powers during World War Two, communism, expulsion from Cominform, the death of Tito and the ensuing nationalism, the 1984 olympics, the war and the siege and finally as the Capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country trying to move on from the war and let its different constituent nations learn to live together in peace. Sarajevo truly is a city full of history, especially in the last hundred years. The museum does a good job of portraying this history.

Sarajevo City Hall

From the museum.

Sarajevo City Hall

From the museum.

If visiting Sarajevo, make sure to visit Sarajevo City Hall, just on the outskirts of Bascarsija.

Sarajevo City Hall

From the museum.

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