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Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker, with a population of 305,242 people in the four municipalities that make up the city proper, and a metro area population of 423,645 people in the Sarajevo Cantonmarker . It is also the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, as well as the center of the Sarajevo Canton. East Sarajevomarker is the de jure capital of the Republika Srpska entity. Sarajevo is located in the Sarajevo valley of Bosnia proper, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated around the Miljacka rivermarker.

The city was famous for its traditional religious diversity, with adherents of Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism coexisting there for centuries. Due to this long and rich history of religious diversity and coexistence Sarajevo has often been called the "Jerusalem of Europe".Stilinovic, Josip (3 January 2002). In Europe's Jerusalem Catholic World News. Retrieved on 5 August 2006.

Lonely Planet has named Sarajevo as one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2010.

Although settlement in the area stretches back to prehistoric times, the modern city arose as an Ottoman stronghold in the 15th century. Sarajevo has attracted international attention several times throughout its history: In 1914 it was the site of the assassinationmarker that sparked World War I, while seventy years later it became the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics. More recently, Sarajevo underwent the longest siege in modern military historymarker during the Bosnian War. Today the city is recovering and adjusting to a post-war reality, as a major center of culture and economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo was also the first city in Europe and the second city in the world to have a full-time operational electric tram network running through the city, the first being San Franciscomarker.


Ancient Times

Archeologists can safely say that the Sarajevo region has been continuously inhabited by humans since the Neolithic age. The most famous example of a Neolithic settlement in the Sarajevo area is that of the Butmir culture. The discoveries at Butmirmarker were made on the grounds of modern day Sarajevo suburb Ilidžamarker in 1893 by Austro-Hungarian authorities during the construction of an agricultural school. The area’s richness in flint was no doubt attractive to Neolithic man, and the settlement appears to have flourished. The most stunning aspects of the settlement are the unique ceramics and pottery designs which identified the Butmir people as a unique culture. This was largely responsible for the International congress of archeologists and anthropologists meeting in Sarajevo in 1894.

The next prominent inhabitants of Sarajevo were the Illyrians. The ancient people that considered most of the West Balkans as their homeland had several key settlements in the region, mostly around the river Miljackamarker and Sarajevo valley. The Illyrians in the Sarajevo region belonged to the Daesitiates, a war-like people who were probably the last Illyrian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina to resist Roman occupation. Their defeat to the Roman emperor Tiberius in 9 A.D. marks the start of Roman rule in the region. The Romans never built up the region of modern day Bosnia that much, however it is known that the Roman colony of Aquae Sulphurae existed on top of present day Ilidžamarker, and was the most important settlement of the time. After the Romans, the Goths settled the area, followed by the Slavs in the 7th century.

Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages Sarajevo was part of the Bosnian province of Vrhbosna near the traditional center of the kingdom. Though a city called Vrhbosna existed, the exact settlement of Sarajevo at this time is debated. During the high Middle Ages various documents make note of a place called “Tornik” in the region. By all indications however, “Tornik” was a very small marketplace surrounded by a proportionally small village not considered very important by Ragusanmarker merchants.

Others meanwhile say that Vrhbosna was a major city located in the middle of modern day Sarajevo. Indeed, Papal documents say that in 1238, a Cathedral to Saint Paul was built in the city. Even disciples of the famous Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius had stopped by the region, establishing a church at “Vrelobosna”. Whether this city was indeed located at modern day Sarajevo or not, an important city called Vrhbosna did indeed exist at the time and the region was of great importance. The settlement VrhBosna existed in the valley as a Slavic citadel from 1263 until it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire's warriors in 1429.

Ottoman Era

Sarajevo as we know it today was founded by the Ottoman Empire in the 1450s upon conquering the region, with 1461 typically used as the city’s founding date. The first Ottoman governor of Bosnia Province, Isa-Beg Ishaković, transformed whatever cluster of villages there was there into a city and state capitol by building a number of key objects, including a mosque, a closed marketplace, a public bath, a hostel, and of course the governor’s castle (“Saray”) which gave the city its present name. The mosque was named “Careva Džamija” (the Tsar’s Mosque) in honor of the Sultan Mehmed II. With the improvements Sarajevo quickly grew into the largest city in the region. Many Christians converted to Islam at this time. The settlement was established as a city, named Bosna-Saraj, around the citadel in 1461. The name Sarajevo is derived from Turkish saray ovası, meaning the field around saray.

Under the wise leadership of people such as the second governor Gazi Husrev-beg (the city’s greatest donor who built most of what is now the Old Town) Sarajevo grew at a rapid rate. Sarajevo became known for its large marketplace and numerous mosques, which by the middle of the 16th century were over a hundred in number. At its height, Sarajevo was the biggest and most important Ottoman city in the Balkans after Istanbulmarker itself. By 1660, the population of Sarajevo was estimated to be over 80,000. Comparatively, Belgrademarker in 1838 had a mere 12,963 inhabitants, and Zagrebmarker as late as 1851 had a lowly 14,000 people. Things went mostly downhill for Sarajevo from there.

In 1699 Prince Eugene of Savoy led a successful raid on Sarajevo. After his men looted all that they could, the city was set on fire. In a mere day, nearly the whole city was destroyed except for a handful of neighborhoods, some mosques, and the orthodox church. Numerous other fires weakened the city as well, so that by 1807 it only had some 60,000 residents.

In the 1830s the area around the city was ground to several battles of the Bosnian rebellion, led by Husein Gradaščević. Today, a major city street is named “Dragon of Bosnia” in his honor. The rebellion however, failed, and the crumbling Ottoman state remained in control of Bosnia for several more decades.


A plaque commemorating the location of the assassination.
In 1697, during the Great Turkish War, a raid was led by Prince Eugene of Savoy of the Habsburg Monarchy against the Ottoman Empire, which conquered Sarajevo and left it plague-infected and burned to the ground. The city was later rebuilt, but never fully recovered from the destruction. The Ottoman Empire made Sarajevo an important administrative centre by 1850, but the ruling powers changed as the Austria-Hungarian Empire conquered Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878 as part of the Treaty of Berlin, and annexed it completely in 1908.

Sarajevo was industrialized by Austria-Hungary, who used the city as a testing area for new inventions, such as tramways, before installing them in Viennamarker. Architects and engineers who endeavored to rebuild Sarajevo as a modern European capital rushed to the city. They were unexpectedly aided by a fire that burned down a large part of the central city area (čaršija). This has resulted in a unique blend of the remaining Ottoman city market and contemporary western architecture. Sarajevo hosts some shiny examples of Secession and Pseudo-Moorish styles that date from this period.

The Austria-Hungarian period was one of great development for the city as the Western power brought its new acquisition up to the standards of the Victorian age. Various factories and other buildings were built at this time, and a large number of institutions were both Westernized and modernized. For the first time in history, Sarajevo’s population began writing in Latin script.

In the event that triggered World War I, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were assassinatedmarker in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 by a self declared Yugoslavmarker, Gavrilo Princip. In the ensuing war, however, most of the Balkan offensives occurred near Belgrademarker, and Sarajevo largely escaped damage and destruction during the war. Following the war, after the Balkans were unified under the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker, Sarajevo became the capital of the Drina Province. In World War II, the city became a part of the Independent State of Croatiamarker after the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. The city was bombed by the Allies from 1943 to 1944.


After World War I Sarajevo became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslaviamarker. Though it held some political importance, as the center of first the Bosnian region and then the Drinska Banovina, it was not treated with the same attention or considered as significant as it was in the past. Outside of today's national bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, virtually no significant contributions to the city were made during this period.

During World War II the Kingdom of Yugoslavia put up an inadequate defense. Following a German bombing campaign, Sarajevo was captured on the 15th April 1941 by the 16th Motorized infantry Division.

Shortly after the fall, the city, like many other Yugoslav areas, formed a strong partisan movement. Sarajevo's resistance was led by a NLA Partisan named "Walter" Perić. He died while leading the final liberation of the city on the 6th of April 1945 and became famous for his actions shortly afterwards. Many of the WWII shell casings that were used during the attacks have been carved and polished in Sarajevo tradition and are sold as art.

Following the liberation, Sarajevo was the capital of the republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslaviamarker. The communists invested heavily in Sarajevo, building many new residential blocks in Novi Grad Municipalitymarker and Novo Sarajevo Municipalitymarker, while simultaneously developing the city's industry and transforming Sarajevo once again into one of the Balkans' chief cities. From a post-war population of 115,000, by the end of Yugoslavia Sarajevo had 429,672 people. Sarajevo grew rapidly as it became an important regional industrial center in Yugoslaviamarker. Modern communist-city blocks were built west of the old city, adding to Sarajevo's architectural uniqueness.

The crowning moment of Sarajevo’s time in Socialist Yugoslavia was the 1984 Winter Olympics. Sarajevo beat out Sapporo, Japanmarker; and Falunmarker/Göteborgmarker, Swedenmarker for the privilege. They were followed by an immense boom in tourism, making the 1980s one of the city's best decades in a long time.

Siege of Sarajevo

The parliament building in the centre of Sarajevo burns after being hit by Serbian tank fire during the siege in 1992

The Siege of Sarajevomarker was the longest siege in the history of modern warfare, conducted by the Serb forces of self-proclaimed Republika Srpska and Yugoslav People's Army (later transformed to the Army of Serbia and Montenegro), lasting from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996.

It was fought during the Bosnian War between poorly equipped defending forces of the Bosnianmarker government, who had declared independence from Yugoslaviamarker, and the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and Bosnian Serb forces (Army of Republika Srpska) (VRS) located in the hills around Sarajevo, who sought to destroy the newly-independent state of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker and create the Serbian statemarker of Republika Srpska (RS). It resulted in large scale destruction and dramatic population casualties. It is estimated that of the more than 12,000 people who were killed and the 50,000 who were wounded during the siege, 85% of the casualties were civilians. Because of killing and forced migration, by 1995 the population decreased to 334,663 - 64% of the prewar population.

In January 2003, the ICTYmarker Trial Chamber convicted the first commander of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, Stanislav Galić, of the shelling and sniper terror campaign against Sarajevo, including the first Markale massacre. General Galić was sentenced to life imprisonment for the crimes against humanity during the siege. In 2007, a Serb general, Dragomir Milošević, who replaced Stanislav Galić on the commander position of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, was found guilty of the shelling and sniper terrorism campaign against Sarajevo and its citizens from August 1994 to late 1995 including the second Markale massacre. Milošević was sentenced to 33 years in prison. The Trial Chamber concluded that the Markale town market was hit on 28 August 1995 by a 120 mm mortar shell fired from the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps positions.

Reconstruction of Sarajevo started as soon as the war ended with the Dayton Agreement of November 1995.

By 2003, most of the city had been rebuilt or repaired, with only a few remaining visible ruins in the city centre. The Vijecnica, or city hall, which was originally constructed in the late 19th century and was nearly completely destroyed during the siege, is now being repaired by a joint European commission.

Modern office buildings and skyscrapers have since been constructed throughout the city.


Sarajevo during the winter.
Sarajevo is located near the geometric center of the triangular-shaped Bosnia-Herzegovina and within the historical region of Bosnia proper. It lies in the Sarajevo valley, in the middle of the Dinaric Alps. The valley itself once formed a vast expanse of greenery, but gave way to urban expansion and development in the post-World War II era. The city is surrounded by heavily forested hills and five major mountains. The highest of the surrounding peaks is Treskavicamarker at , then Bjelašnicamarker at , Jahorinamarker at , Trebević at , with Igmanmarker being the shortest. Last four are also known as Olympics mountains of Sarajevo (see also 1984 Winter Olympics Games in Sarajevo). On average, Sarajevo is situated above sea level. The city itself has its fair share of hilly terrain, as evidenced by the many steeply inclined streets and settlements seemingly perched on the hillsides.

The Miljackamarker river is one of the city's chief geographic features. It flows through the city from east through the center of Sarajevo to west part of city where eventually meets up with the Bosnamarker river. Miljacka river is "The Sarajevo River", with its source in the town of Palemarker, several kilometers to the east of Sarajevo. The Bosna's source, Vrelo Bosne near Ilidža (west Sarajevo), is another notable natural landmark and a popular destination for Sarajevans and other tourists. Several smaller rivers and streams also run through the city and its vicinity.


Sarajevo is located close to the center of the triangular shape of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker in southeastern Europe. It consists of four municipalities (or "on Bosnian: Općine, on Serbian: Opštine"): Centarmarker (Center), Novi Gradmarker (New City), Novo Sarajevomarker (New Sarajevo), and Stari Gradmarker (Old City). Greater Sarajevo includes these and the neighbouring municipalities of Ilidžamarker and Vogošćamarker. The city has an urban area of 141.5 square kilometres (54.6 sq mi)


Sarajevo has a continental climate, lying between the climate zones of central Europe to the north and the Mediterraneanmarker to the south. The proximity of the Adriatic Seamarker moderates Sarajevo's climate somewhat, although the mountains to the south of the city greatly reduce this maritime influence. The average yearly temperature is 9.5 °C, with January (-1.3 °C avg.) being the coldest month of the year and July (19.1 °C avg.) the warmest.

The highest recorded temperature was 40.0 °C on 19 August 1946, while the lowest recorded temperature was −26.4 °C on 25 January 1942. On average, Sarajevo has 68 summer days per year (temperature greater than or equal to 30.0 °C). The city typically experiences mildly cloudy skies, with an average yearly cloud cover of 59%.

The cloudiest month is December (75% average cloud cover) while the clearest is August (37%). Moderate precipitation occurs fairly consistently throughout the year, with an average 170 days of rainfall. Suitable climatic conditions have allowed winter sports to flourish in the region, as exemplified by the Winter Olympics in 1984 that were celebrated in Sarajevo.


Building of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo is the capital of the country of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker and its sub-entity, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as of the Sarajevo Cantonmarker. It is also the de jure capital of another entity, Republika Srpska. Each of these levels of government has their parliament or council, as well as judicial courts, in the city. In addition many foreign embassies are located in Sarajevo.

Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker's Parliament office in Sarajevo was damaged heavily in the Bosnian war. Due to damage the staff and documents were moved to a nearby ground level office to resume the work. In late 2006 reconstruction work started on the Parliament and is to be finished in early 2007. The cost of reconstruction is supported 80% by the Greek Governmentthrough the Hellenic Program of Balkans Reconstruction (ESOAV) and 20% by Bosnia-Herzegovina.


The city comprises four municipalities Centarmarker, Novi Gradmarker, Novo Sarajevomarker, and Stari Gradmarker. Each operate their own municipal government, united they form one city government with its own constitution. The executive branch ( ) consists of a mayor, with two deputies and a cabinet. The legislative branch consists of the City Council, or Gradsko Vijeće. The council has 28 members, including a council speaker, two deputies, and a secretary. Councilors are elected by the municipality in numbers roughly proportional to their population. The city government also has a judicial branch based on the post-transitional judicial system as outlined by the High Representative's “High Judicial and Prosecutorial Councils”.

Sarajevo's Municipalities are further split into "local communities" (Bosnian, Mjesne zajednice). Local communities have a small role in city government and are intended as a way for ordinary citizens to get involved in city government. They are based around key neighborhoods in the city.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Sarajevo is twinned with:

Fraternity Cities

Sarajevo's fraternity cities include:


The building of BOR bank in Sarajevo.

After years of war, Sarajevo's economy has been subject to reconstruction and rehabilitation programs. Amongst other economic landmarks, the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina opened in Sarajevo in 1997 and the Sarajevo Stock Exchange began trading in 2002. The city's large manufacturing, administration, and tourism base, combined with a large informal market, makes it one of the strongest economic regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While Sarajevo had a large industrial base during its communist period, only a few pre-existing businesses have successfully adapted to the market economy. Sarajevo industries now include tobacco products, furniture, hosiery, automobiles, and communication equipment. Companies based in Sarajevo include B&H Airlines, BH Telecom, Bosnalijek, Energopetrol, Sarajevo Tobacco Factory, and Sarajevska Pivara (Sarajevo Brewery).

Sarajevo has a strong tourist industry and was named by Lonely Planet the 43rd Best City in the World in 2006. Sports-related tourism uses the legacy facilities of the 1984 Winter Olympics, especially the skiing facilities on the nearby mountains of Bjelašnicamarker, Igmanmarker, Jahorinamarker, Trebević, and Treskavicamarker. Sarajevo's 600 years of history, influenced by both Western and Eastern empires, is also a strong tourist attraction. Sarajevo has hosted travellers for centuries, because it was an important trading center during the Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian empires. Examples of popular destinations in Sarajevo include the Vrelo Bosne park, the Sarajevo cathedralmarker, and the Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosquemarker. Tourism in Sarajevo is chiefly focused on historical, religious, and cultural aspects

In 1981 Sarajevo's GDP per capita was 133% of the Yugoslav average.


The last official census in Bosnia and Herzegovina took place 1991 and recorded 527,049 people living in city of Sarajevo (ten municipalities). In the settlement of Sarajevo itself were 416,497 inhabitants. The war displaced hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom have not returned.

Today, Sarajevo's population is not known clearly and is based on estimates contributed by the United Nations Statistics Division and the Federal Office of Statistics of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, among other national and international non-profit organizations.
, the population of the city's four municipalities is estimated to be 305,242, whereas the Sarajevo Cantonmarker population is estimated at 423,645. With an area of  , Sarajevo has a population density of about   The Novo Sarajevomarker municipality is the most densely populated part of Sarajevo with about  , while the least densely populated is the Stari Gradmarker, with  .

War changed the ethnic and religious profile of the city. It had for long been a multicultural city, and usually carried the epithet of "Europe's Jerusalem". In 1991, Muslims Bosniaks formed 45% of the population, followed by Eastern Orthodox Serbs with 38%, and Roman Catholic Croats with 7%. Today, only about 18,000 Serbs (and practically insignificant number of Croats) remain in Sarajevo.



Sarajevo's location in a valley between mountains makes it a compact city. Narrow city streets and a lack of parking areas restrict automobile traffic but allow better pedestrian and cyclist mobility. The two main streets are Titova street (Street of Marshal Tito) and the east-west Zmaj od Bosne (Dragon of Bosnia) highway. The trans-European highway, Corridor 5C, runs through Sarajevo connecting it to Budapestmarker in the north, and Pločemarker in the south.

Electric tramways, in operation since 1885, are the oldest form of public transportation in the city. There are seven tramway lines supplemented by five trolleybus lines and numerous bus routes. The main railroad station in Sarajevo is located in the north-central area of the city. From there, the tracks head west before branching off in different directions, including to industrial zones in the city. Sarajevo is currently undergoing a major infrastructure renewal; many highways and streets are being repaved, the tram system is undergoing modernization, and new bridges and roads are under construction.

Sarajevo International Airportmarker , also called Butmir, is located just a few kilometers southwest of the city. During the war the airport was used for United Nations flights and humanitarian relief. Since the Dayton Accord in 1996, the airport has welcomed a thriving commercial flight business which includes the new Sarajevo International on March 2008 221 Countries, cities and airlines. In 2006, 534,000 passengers had travelled through Sarajevo airport, whereas only 25,000 had just 10 years earlier in 1996.

Communications and media

The headquarters of the Sarajevo newspaper Avaz

As the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovinamarker, Sarajevo is the main center of the country's media. Most of the communications and media infrastructure was destroyed during the war but reconstruction led by the Office of the High Representative have helped modernize the industry. For example, internet was first made available to the city in 1995.

Oslobođenje (Liberation), founded in 1943, is Sarajevo longest running newspaper and the only one to survive the war. However, this long running and trusted newspaper has fallen behind the Dnevni Avaz (Daily Voice), founded in 1995, and Jutarnje Novine (Morning News) in circulation in Sarajevo. Other local periodicals include the Croatian newspaper Hrvatska riječ and the Bosnian magazine Start, as well as weekly newspapers Slobodna Bosna (Free Bosnia) and BH Dani (BH Days). Novi Plamen, a monthly magazine, is the most left-wing publication currently.

The Radiotelevision of Bosnia-Herzegovina is Sarajevo's public television station, one of three in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other stations based in the city include NRTV “Studio 99”, NTV Hayat, Open Broadcast Network, TV Kantona Sarajevo and Televizija Alfa. Many small independent radio stations exist, included established stations such as Radio M, Radio Stari Grad (Radio Old Town), Studentski eFM Radio, Radio 202 and RSG. Radio Free Europe, as well as several American and West European stations, are available in the city, too.


Higher education has a long tradition in Sarajevo. The first institution that can be classified as such was a school of Sufi philosophy established by Gazi Husrev-beg in 1531; numerous other religious schools have been established over time. In 1887, under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a Sharia Law School began a five-year program. In the 1940s the University of Sarajevo became the city's first secular higher education institute. In the 1950s post-bachelaurate graduate degrees became available. While severely damaged during the war, it was rebuilt in partnership with more than 40 other universities.

, in Sarajevo there are 46 elementary schools (Grades 1–9) and 33 high schools (Grades 10–13), including three schools for children with special needs, as well as Druga Gimnazijamarker high school providing International Baccalaureate programs for international and resident students.

There are also several international schools in Sarajevo, catering to the expatriate community; some of which are Sarajevo International School and The French International School of Sarajevo.


Sarajevo has been home to many different religions for centuries, giving the city a range of diverse cultures. In the time of Ottoman occupation of Bosnia, Moslem Bosniaks, Eastern Orthodox Serbs, Roman Catholic Croats, and Sephardi Jews all shared the city while maintaining distinctive identities. They were joined during the brief occupation by Austria-Hungary by a smaller number of Germans, Hungarians, Slovaks, Czechs and Ashkenazi Jews.

As a result of the war, today the city is primarily Bosniak, however, but in recent years many refugees have returned, and there are a growing number of illegal immigrants from Eastern Asia.

Historically, Sarajevo was home to several famous Bosnian poets, scholars, philosophers, and writers during the Ottoman Empire. To list only a few; Nobel Prize-winner Vladimir Prelog is from the city, as is Academy Award-winning director Danis Tanović. Nobel Prize-winner Ivo Andrić attended high school in Sarajevo for two years.


The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo.
The city is rich in museums, including the Museum of Sarajevo, the Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (established in 1888 and home to the Sarajevo Haggadah), the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Museum of Literature and Theatre Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city also hosts the National theatre of Bosnia and Herzegovina, established in 1919, as well as the Sarajevo Youth Theatre. Other cultural institutions include the Center for Sarajevo Culture, Sarajevo City Library, Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Bosniak Institute, a privately owned library and art collection focusing on Bosniak history.

Demolitions associated with the war, as well as reconstruction, destroyed several institutions and cultural or religious symbols including the Gazi Husrev-beg library, the national library, the Sarajevo Oriental Institute, and a museum dedicated to the 1984 Olympic games. Consequently, the different levels of government established strong cultural protection laws and institutions. Bodies charged with cultural preservation in Sarajevo include the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina (and their Sarajevo Canton counterpart), and the Bosnia and Herzegovina Commission to Preserve National Monuments.


The Sarajevo school of pop rock developed in the city between 1961 and 1991. This type of music began with bands like Indexi, Pro Arte and singer/song writer Kemal Monteno. It continued into the 1980s, with bands such as Plavi Orkestar, and Crvena Jabuka, ending with the war in 1992. Sarajevo was also the birthplace of the most popular Yugoslav rock band of all time, Bijelo Dugme, somewhat of a Bosnian parallel to the Rolling Stones, in both popularity and fame. Sarajevo was also the home of a very notable post-punk urban subculture known as the New Primitives, which began during the early 1980s and was brought into the mainstream through bands such as Zabranjeno Pušenje and Elvis J. Kurtović & His Meteors, as well as the Top Lista Nadrealista radio, and later television show. Other notable bands considered to be part of this subculture are Bombaj štampa and Šume i Gore. Besides and separately from the New Primitives, Sarajevo is the hometown of one of the most significant ex-Yugoslavianmarker alternative industrial-noise bands, SCH (1983-current).


The Sarajevo Film Festival, established in 1995, has become the premier film festival in the Balkans. The Sarajevo Winter Festival, Sarajevo Jazz Festival are well-known, as is the Baščaršija Nights festival, a month-long showcase of local culture, music, and dance.

The Sarajevo Film Festival has been hosted at the National Theater, with screenings at the Open-air theater Metalac and the Bosnian Cultural Center, all located in downtown Sarajevo and has hosted such world-renowned actors, directors, and musicians as: Steve Buscemi, Bono, Coolio, John Malkovich, Nick Nolte, Daniel Craig, Willem Dafoe, Anthony Minghella, Katrin Cartlidge, Alexander Payne, Sophie Okonedo, Stephen Frears, Michael Moore, Darren Aronofsky, Mickey Rourke, Gillian Anderson, Kevin Spacey, and many other major cultural figures from the Balkans, Europe, and the Americas.

In the past thirteen years, the festival has entertained people and celebrities alike, elevating it to an international level. The first incarnation of the Sarajevo Film Festival was hosted in still-warring Sarajevo in 1995, and has now progressed into being the biggest and most significant festival in South-Eastern Europe. A talent campus is also held during the duration of the festival, with numerous world-renowned lecturers speaking on behalf of world cinematography and holding workshops for film students from across South-Eastern Europe.

The Sarajevo Jazz Festival has been entertaining Jazz connoisseurs for over ten years and has hosted such artists as Richard Bona, The John Butler Trio, Cristina Branco, Dhafer Youssef, and many more. The festival takes place at the Bosnian Cultural Center (aka "Main Stage"), just down the street from the SFF, at the Sarajevo Youth Stage Theater (aka "Strange Fruits Stage", at the Dom Vojske Federacije (aka "Solo Stage"), and at the CDA (aka "Groove Stage").


The city was the location of the 1984 Winter Olympics. Yugoslavia won one medal, a silver in men's giant slalom awarded to Jure Franko. Many of the Olympic facilities survived the war or were reconstructed, including Olympic Hall Zetramarker and Asim Ferhatović Stadionmarker. After co-hosting the Southeast Europe Friendship games, Sarajevo was awarded the 2009 Special Olympic winter games, but cancelled these plans.

Football is popular in Sarajevo; the city hosts FK Sarajevo and FK Željezničar, which both compete in European and international cups and tournaments and are have a very large trophy cabinet in the former Yugoslavia as well as independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. Other notable soccer clubs are FK Olimpik and SAŠK. Another popular sport is basketball; the basketball club KK Bosna Sarajevo won the European Championship in 1979 as well as many Yugoslav and Bosnian national championships making it one of the greatest basketball clubs in the former Yugoslavia. The chess club, Bosna Sarajevo, has been a championship team since the 1980s and is the third ranked chess club in Europe, having won four consecutive European championships in the nineties. HC Bosna also competes in the European Champions League and is considered one of the most well organised handball clubs in South-Eastern Europe with a very large fan base and excellent national, as well as international results.Sarajevo often holds international events and competitions in sports such as tennis and kickboxing. Rock climbing is popular; rock-climbing events and practices are held at Sarajevo's Dariva area, where there is also an extensive network of biking trails.
Club Leagues Venue Established
FK Željezničar Sarajevo Premier League of Bosnia and HerzegovinaFootball Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina Grbavica Stadiummarker 1921
FK Sarajevo Premier League of Bosnia and HerzegovinaFootball Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadiummarker 1946
FK Olimpik Premier League of Bosnia and HerzegovinaFootball Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina Otoka Stadiummarker 1993
RK "Bosna" Sarajevo Handball Championship of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ramiz Salčin Hall 1948
KK Bosna Premier League of Basketball of Bosnia and HerzegovinaAdriatic Basketball Association Mirza Delibašić Arenamarker 1951

In popular culture

See also


File:Sarajevo Ferhad-begova-Mosque02.jpg|Ferhadija MosquemarkerFile:Sarajevo ortodox church.JPG|Sarajevo's Serbian Orthodox CathedralFile:JesusesHearthCathedral.jpg|Cathedral of Jesus' Heartmarker - Catholic Cathedral in SarajevoFile:Sarajevo Synagogue 02.jpg|Sarajevo Synagogue


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Further reading

  • City of Sarajevo. Fraternity cities.
  • Maniscalco, Fabio (1997). Sarajevo. Itinerari artistici perduti (Sarajevo. Artistic Itineraries Lost). Naples: Guida
  • Prstojević, Miroslav (1992). Zaboravljeno Sarajevo (Forgotten Sarajevo). Sarajevo: Ideja
  • Valerijan, Žujo; Imamović, Mustafa; Ćurovac, Muhamed (1997). Sarajevo. Sarajevo: Svjetlost
  • My Life in Fire (a non-fiction story of a child in a Sarajevo war)
  • Mehmedinović, Semezdin (1998). Sarajevo Blues. San Francisco: City Lightsmarker

External links

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