And this time for real. Each time I was up to write about one of my trips, something stopped me, but I missed sharing my stories with you and write something different from philosophical concepts of civilization or corruption problems and lack of trust in institutions.
Yes, you got it right, my life is pretty full with studies because now I’m in Sarajevo, BiH, pursuing my Master Degree in Human Rights and Democracy in South East Europe.
When I moved here, many people asked me why did I do it and why Sarajevo.. Well, I’ll leave this part for the end of my Master and I promise to tell you everything about that. In the meantime I’ll try to show you that this country is worth visiting.
Bosnia & Herzegovina is still an unusual destination for most people, but in the same time you can meet tourists from all over the world eager to discover this region. It is the heart of the Balkans and the meeting point of cultures, religions and peoples.
Without losing any more time I’m presenting you THINGS YOU CAN’T MISS IN SARAJEVO!
1. Sniper alley
As you may already know Sarajevo is the scene of many historical events, that had consequences not only for its habitants but for the whole world. During the 90s it was under the siege of the Serbians for 3 long years, from 1992 to 1995, but the Bosnia government declared its end at the beginning of February. Approaching the city from the airport towards the center, you will pass through a long street sadly nicknamed Sniper alley. This street took its name after the Serbian snipers started positioning at the top of the buildings shooting to the civilians of the city. Now it is the place of shopping malls, but you can still see the signs of bullets on the buildings.
2. Avaz Tower
Following the Sniper Alley, on the left you will see the Avaz Tower, a tall tower from which you can see Sarajevo’s skyline. At the top you’ll find a terrace that opens an amazing view over the city (the entrance is 2KM – 1euro). On sunny, non smoggy days in which the sky is clear, you can have a drink with a view.
3. Eternal Flame
Before entering the center you will find the monument to the victims of World War II. Sarajevo’s Eternal Flame.
4. Multicultural Man
Continuing towards the center, next to the Orthodox church you will see the monument to the multicultural man. The monument was financed by Italy. In fact, in Italian there’s written “The Multicultural Man will Build the World”.
During your path you will notice that in some points the pavement is damaged and the inside is painted in red. These are called the Sarajevo roses, they are the places in which grenades were thrown to kill civilians. Most of them disappeared when the city was rebuilt, but some of them were left to remember the atrocities.
6. “East meets the West”
At one point you will find a wind rose drawn on the pavement. This is the place that marks the passage from the Austrian inspired architecture towards the Turkish style that characterizes the Old Town of the city. Most countries define themselves bridges between East and West, but Sarajevo truly is.
Sarajevo’s old bazar and the historical centre of the city is the most photographed and frequented part of the city. Here you can do shopping, eat baklava or simply drink the traditional Bosnian coffee. Get lost in this amazing maze full of surprises.
8. View of the city
From Baščaršija continue on the left up the hill. You will pass through a big cemetery full of white Muslim tombs, you’ll find here the tomb of Alija Izetbegović, the first president of the independent BiH. Out of the cemetery you will see the whole Sarajevo from the top. Spending a few hours drinking coffee in the bar at the top of the hill, you may be lucky enough to enjoy an amazing sunset.
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The Sarajevo City Hall was reopened in 2014. Indeed, the place was originally a library, but it was destroyed during the siege. In front of it you will find a bridge with a small restaurant, which is famous because it moved sides and was able to stay intact.
10. Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Pricnip was the 18 years old anarchist that killed the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, determining the outbreak of the First World War. Now in front of the Latin bridge, where the assassination took place, is a museum dedicated to the World War I.
While I was writing and trying to stay within the 10 must see, I realized that there is much more to see in Sarajevo. In order to understand such a controversial and deep city it is necessary to read more, to visit more and to feel more. It is an experience that must be lived entirely. I promise you that in my next posts I will try to transmit you the complexity of this city. However, I can’t promise you to be impartial as my feelings for this place are growing.