Sarajevo in my Heart – story from 1st hand

Sarajevo in my Heart – a story from 1st hand

For most people, the word “Bosnia” conjures up memories of the heart-breaking footage during the 1990s Bosnian War. And beyond that, most people know little else about this mysterious country. That’s why visiting the ethnically diverse Bosnia and Herzegovina is bound to be an eye-opening experience.

We designed the tour that offers You to meet Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo is a city in which even strangers can feel at home. Tours with Meet Bosnia Travel agency provide You with see the city’s breathtaking backdrop of seemingly endless hills and towering mountains that have in a sense always isolated the city, creating a timeless world, which despite its seclusion has always kept its doors open to the rest of the world.

This city compresses a partial centuries-old struggle against outside influences combined with the absorption of these influences into one of the most diverse cultures in Europe. Indeed, few places on Earth feature an Orthodox and a Catholic church, a mosque, and a synagogue within easy walking distance of each other. If there were any cities in Europe that effortlessly straddles east and west, it is Sarajevo.

Sarajevo Meeting of cultures tour includes an understanding of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires of the east and the Roman, Venetian and Austro-Hungarian empires of the west that left an indelible mark through culture, traditions, and religions.

Sarajevo in my heart
Sarajevo in my heart

A walking tour through Sarajevo is a walking tour through its history. From the oriental Ottoman quarters lined with sweet shops, cafés, and handicraft workshops, to the administrative and cultural center of Austro-Hungarian times, Sarajevo encompasses the very best of both worlds. In Sarajevo, people have time for family and friends. It is often said that a man’s wealth here is not measured in his material belongings but rather in his friendships.

Kazandziluk - Coppercraft Street in Bascarsija, Sarajevo
Kazandžiluk – Coppercraft Street in Baščaršija

Sarajevo tales

Sarajevo’s history began to emerge in the valley of the Miljacka River. This city lies in a valley in the middle of the Dinaric Alps. Since its establishment in 1462, it was the seat of the province within the Ottoman Empire for over four centuries, the monarchy seat of the Provincial Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian occupation, and since 1945 the capital of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Since 1995, it is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and administrative, economic, cultural, educational (university), and sports center. Sarajevo is very proud of its centuries-old multiculturality, which is due to the fact that Christians (Orthodox and Catholics), Muslims and Jews, have been living here with one another for ages and the Sarajevo Meeting of Cultures tour offers You visit all cultures spots. This well-established coexistence has led to a unique, rich, and enchanting mix of cultures which acts very much like a powerful magnet, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.

During ten minutes walking through the center of town with a local guide from our agency, you’ll see Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques, and synagogues, and you’ll discover firsthand why many call Sarajevo a European Jerusalem and why this city serves as a model of coexistence for Europe. If there is one place in continental Europe that symbolizes the crossroads between East and West, Sarajevo would have to be it. It is here that the Byzantine and Ottoman empires to the east and the empires of Rome, Venice, and Vienna to the west brought their culture, traditions, and religions.

It was an Ottoman city for approximately 400 years until 1878 when it was then ruled by Austria-Hungary until 1918. Although a relatively short time period, the Austro-Hungarian rule left its mark. You start walking down a street of Old Sarajevo that feels like small Istanbul. Then, you cross a line – literally a line on the street – and you find yourself in what looks like a Central European city.

During the 20th century, 3 times Sarajevo was the center of the whole world. The first time, was in the year 1914 when the Assassination that caused The First World War happened. You can visit this spot if You join us for the Sarajevo Meeting of cultures tour.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie  in Sarajevo
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Sophie in Sarajevo

The second time was in the year 1984 when  Winter Olympic Games were hosted. We designed the Olympic Mountains Tour which offers You to visit the Olympic mountains and the Olympic complex.

Bolero - Torvill and Dean - Sarajevo Olympic Hall Zetra
Bolero – Torvill and Dean – Sarajevo Olympic Hall Zetra

The third time was in the year 1992 when started siege of Sarajevo which was the longest siege of the capital city in the modern history of Europe. War and siege of Sarajevo You can learn more about our popular Fall of Yugoslavia tour. Tour starts every day at 10:00 and 14:00 from our office.

Children in war
A young boy plays on the 22nd of April 1996 on a tank in the neighborhood of Grbavica. AFP PHOTO ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Festivals

Besides its interesting history, beautiful architecture, and friendly Sarajevans, there are many more reasons to take tours and visit our amazing city. In February You can join The Sarajevo Winter International Festival. It was first organized in 1984 for the Olympics. The festival includes cultural, art, and music performances held in the city’s museums, theaters, and galleries.

In March You can attend the No Limit Sarajevo Advertising Festival, This is the best advertising festival in the country. During No Limit, advertisements, banners, and other marketing materials are judged for creativity and originality.

In April Bee Fest. Bosnia and Herzegovina have their own gold – golden, organic honey. This festival runs three times per year in Trg Oslobodenje in the city center. A festival is an open-air event for both honey and medicinal herb producers. The natural teas, oils, and creams produced from medicinal herbs in B&H are world-class. The quality of honey is also hard to beat. It’s a perfect place to pick up a practical, organic, and healthy gift and support small local producers from communities around the country.

In May You can attend Theater Fest, an international festival devoted to the promotion of new trends in theater and enabling dialogue among artists from various cultures and backgrounds.

In July, Baščaršija Nights, The municipality of the Old Town, and the Sarajevo Art Agency organize this month-long festival. There are open-air performances on the main stage near City Hall (Vijećnica). There are numerous art, music, and cultural events every day.

Sarajevo Film Festival is the city’s – and country’s – biggest and most popular cultural manifestation. It began as a humble project during the war. Since it has grown into a mainstay of the European film festival circuit. Actors such as Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey have made appearances.

Angelina Jolie - Sarajevo Film Festival
Angelina Jolie – Sarajevo Film Festival

In September Sarajevo Marathon, the country’s largest international sporting event. Always held on the 3rd weekend of September, the run coincides with the international car-free day. The event has a strong humanitarian component, involving fundraising for children’s groups. Sarajevo’s marathon attracts both the young and old from the wider region and beyond to see the city on foot.

In October MESS Theater Festival, It is both the longest-running festival and one of the best theater fests in the region. Aside from the region’s best theatre festival, MESS is a cultural establishment in Sarajevo, with theatre and artistic events happening all year round. International artists participate every year.

In November Jazz Fest, an independent, non-profit event attracts musicians from all over the world.

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