Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia- Herzegovina has lots of history. Once part of Yugoslavia it was under siege for three and a half years during the break up of the country in the 1990’s. During this time thousands of people were killed and many buildings damaged. You can still see the bullet holes but nowadays its a pleasant place to spend a day.
But for me a more exciting part of its history was being able to stand on the spot that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophia were killed on 28th of June 1914. If you didn’t do A level GCE history I realise this might leave you cold but if you did you will understand my excitement. This was a spot that changed the history of the world. Although my history teacher always said it was just an excuse, the murder of the Archduke and his wife by a Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip set off a chain of events that led to the start of World War 1 within weeks. As I sat in my history class over fifty years ago I never imagined I would ever actually visit the place I learnt so much about.
This house in the old town is now a restaurant but it has an interesting history. It symbolises Bosnian defiance and stubbornness. In 1872 Austria-Hungary has control of Bosnia-Herzegovina and started to construct grand buildings but one old man refused to move spoiling their plans. Eventually he agreed to payment of a bag of gold as long as his house was moved brick by brick to the other side of the river. It was renamed The House of Spite.
Much Older History
The Gazi Husrev- Beg is a sixteenth century mosque, the largest historical mosque in the country. Next to it the Ottoman bazaar very atmospheric and great for cheap souvenirs or authentic food or clothes. Here you can buy the traditional copper coffee pots.
Its always good to have an authentic local dish, today it was Cevapi the cheap local food. Its Naan bread filled with small sausages or minced lamb with sour cream and onions.
Cheap and delicious.