How Do You Get to Sarajevo City Hall? Practice!

The United Nations sponsors musical education in Bosnia. Students, professors and administrators from participating universities, gathered at Sarajevo’s famed City Hall for the weekly Monday Concert. The UN rep gave the opening talk in American English with Bosnian translation. Even the mayor was there.

Sarajevo City Hall the ‘Temple Mount’ of the “European Jerusalem”

Situated at the intersection of three major streets in Sarajevo, the City Hall is a monument to the multiculturalism of Bosnia. Built between 1892 and 1894, the pseudo-Moorish building honored the Muslim background of this Austro-Hungarian territory. The façade is based on Mamluk-period buildings in Cairo. The building has been used for various municipal purposes since its construction, including as a city court and parliament house, which it was until 1948, when it became the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 



Sarajevo was the city of four religions: Catholics, Orthodox, Muslim, and Jews. The Jewish population made note of this, naming the city “The European Jerusalem.”  Settled in prehistoric times, followed by Ottoman rule in the 15th century, Austro-Hungarian rule in the 19th century, Yugoslavia’s communist rule in the 20th century, and finally today’s democracy.

August 25-26, 1992, the City Hall was hit by heavy artillery and incendiary bombs. The hall was set ablaze and the entire library holdings were lost. The fire caused severe damage to the structural and decorative elements of the building. In 1996, the government of Austria funded an initial restoration effort that focused on load-bearing walls and masonry. The European Commission followed in 1999 with funds to continue restoration of structural elements


The edifice was designed by Karel Pařík in a stylistic blend of historical eclecticism, predominantly in the pseudo-Moorish expression, for which the stylistic sources were found in the Islamic art of Spain and North Africa. His epitaph reads: “Here rests the builder of Sarajevo. Czech by birth, Sarajevan by choice. – A thankful Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

In May 2014 the building reopened with a public ceremony. The restoration was completed in time to mark the centenary of World War I, triggered by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand as he left a reception at the building in June 1914. The building now houses the national and university libraries, the city council, and a museum. November 2014

The lower level museum presents the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.
Jane Marie and I would not do well on a ‘Jeopardy’ former Yugoslavia geography quiz.
Slovenia (Melania Trump) and Croatia got all the goodies on the coast, Bosnia got Sarajevo (the Muslim Jerusalem & tourist Mecca) and Serbia got all the Serbs in all the wrong places.