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. Continue reading →
Walking around Sarajevo, every now and then you come across patterns of red marking on the ground. Holes in the asphalt, covered with red resin. Usually shaped in a semi-circular pattern, often looking like a rose.
I visited bascarsija in Sarajevo in March and April 2015
Bascarsija (I never managed to pronounce the name properly on my trip), lies in the old town of Sarajevo. It is an old Ottoman market, and dating back to the 15th century, it is as old as the city itself.
I visited the Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum in April, 2015
The Sarajevo War Tunnel Museum
‘Fuck war! FUCK WAR!’ The driver yelled. ‘War only good for criminals and for crazy people. Fuck war! Fuck!’ He was becoming louder and louder, gesturing so much his hands barely touched the steering wheel any more. He continued. ‘Fuck we should do instead. Not war. Fuck! Yes. I tell you. We should fuck! Fuck beautiful women! I know. War is bad, very bad. Sex is good, very good.’ He gradually calmed down. Gave a little laugh before continuing on his story.
Written just before my trip to Sarajevo in March 2015
When I was young, I remember Sarajevo and Bosnia from the news. Pictures and videos of bombed out buildings, refugees on the run, crying women and children. A country torn apart by civil war. In history class at school we then learned about the shots in Sarajevo and how this episode became the start of the First World War. Since then, the city has fascinated me and I have always wanted to go there. A city steeped in history, a meeting place of different civilizations, a melting pot of religion and ethniticity.