Sarajevo is more than an unexploited touristic city, even more than a meeting of cultures, good food and great sunsets. Every well informed tourist knows that Sarajevo is a place where history left its marks with wounds, which are still far from heal up.
© Design Trio Sarajevo
Walking along the Sniper’s Alley you will still see damaged walls and missing pavement. During the siege of the city (between 1992 and 1995), until the signature of the Dayton agreement between Bosnia Herzegovina and Serbia, the Serb soldiers were shooting everyone who tried to cross that street. Bosnian resistance was extemporized and unprepared. Many civilians were killed while taking tram or cueing for food supplies. Sarajevo roses remained as a testimony of those events. You can buy rests of bullets and grenades as souvenirs in Baščaršija (old town).
As you might have understood already, the following post will be a war tour guide of Sarajevo – sad witnesses of a city torn apart.
Tunnel of Life
The Tunnel of Life is quite far from the center, thus you’ll need a car to reach it. However, in the war period, many Sarajevo inhabitants were reaching it on foot. The tunnel is called Tunnel of Life, or Tunnel of Hope, as during the three years of siege, it was the only place where the city surrounded by enemies had the possibility to find food at an affordable price. Hence, the citizens of Sarajevo had to traverse 16 kilometers a day, risking their lives to be able to bring food back to their families. Today’s Tunnel of Life is 20 meters of the original one and you can walk through it. The museum has a room where a documentary on the war is projected and a room that will give you an idea of the conditions in which the Bosnian families were forced to live during the war. The museum exists thanks to the efforts of the owner of the territory in which the tunnel was dug. The government never supported this project.
The Olympic Bobsleigh was built on the mount Trebević for the Olympic games held in Sarajevo in 1984. Nobody could imagine at that time that ten years later this would become the first line of the battle. Today it is an abandoned place, where only nature and graffiti survive. The place is definitely worth visiting.
To have a complete experience, I would advise to use the tour provided by the Sarajevo Funkey Tours. The guides were Sarajevo citizens that fought during the war and can tell you from their own experience about it. It is incredible how these people developed their black humor and kept a smile notwithstanding what they went through. You can embrace your destiny and laugh about it.
Galerija 11/07/95 founded in Sarajevo in 2012, is a crossroad between a gallery and a museum. Trying to create a more personal dimension of the experiences of war crimes and genocide, the gallery has the key objective of giving an alternative insight to the historical narrative. The Permanent Exhibition of Srebrenica passes through photographs taken by the founder of the museum Tarik Samarah,, documentaries, portraits of the victims and the Wall of Death, a sixteen meters long wall with the names of the 8372 victims of Srebrenica
War Childhood Museum
Another incredible attraction that is possible to visit is the War Childhood Museum. This museum is located at the 32 of Logavina, not far from the Old Town. It opened in January 2017, so it is a real new entry in the cultural panorama of the city. As the founder of the museum will have the chance to explain you, the museum was founded against all the odds, because the government never helped in realizing this artistic installation. The concept of the museum is simple and reminds the Museum of Broken Relationships of Zagreb. People that were children during the war were invited to testify their experience telling their story and giving an object symbolizing it. The experience is extraordinary. The project was born in 2010, when the founder decided to collect testimonies of the children during the war. The only limit was that they had to explain their experience in 150 characters. You can read all the stories in the book, that will soon be published in English.
The former telecommunication tower located on the Hum hill in Sarajevo is a corpse that never received burial. It was built during the 60s and destroyed at the beginning of the Siege of Sarajevo in 1992. Indeed, Serbs wanted to cut off the communications of the citizens with the rest of the world. It is very difficult to reach, in the sense that it is not a real touristic attraction and it does not exist on Google maps. However, if you like hiking and exploring, you will be able to reach it guided by your own orientation. It is definitely worth reaching, because from up there you will have the possibility to enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the city.