Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina City Overview

According to Pharmacylib, the modern city of Sarajevo was built as a fortress for the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, it has also been the center of international attention on several occasions throughout its history: in 1914 the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria took place, which ended up being the definitive trigger for the outbreak of the First World War.

Sarajevo’s 600-year history, influenced by eastern and western empires, has also served as a tourist attraction. Sarajevo has welcomed travelers for centuries, as its location made it a center of commerce during the existence of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. Examples of popular destinations in Sarajevo are Vrelo Bosne Park, Sarajevo Cathedral, and Gazi Husrev-Beg Mosque. Tourism in the city is mainly historical, religious and cultural.


Many archaeological discoveries claim that the Sarajevo region has been continuously inhabited by humans since the Neolithic Period. The most famous example of a Neolithic settlement in the Sarajevo area is that of the Butmir culture. Butmir’s discoveries were made on the basis of the modern neighborhood “Ilidža Sarajevo” in 1893 by the authorities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire during the construction of a rural school. The most impressive aspects of the discovery are the potteryby which the Butmir people identified themselves as a culture only. This was the main person in charge for the international congress of archaeologists and anthropologists that met in Sarajevo in 1894.

During the High Middle, the place was renamed Vrh-Bosna, a Slavic citadel that was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1429. Under the leadership of Isa-Beg Isakovic, the first Ottoman ruler of the Bosnian province, the citadel was converted into a city called Bosna-Saraj, in 1461. This year is usually indicated as the year of the founding of modern Sarajevo.

The city flourished in the 16th century and at the end of the 17th century it was the most important city in the Balkans, and second in the Turkish Empire after Istanbul. In 1878 Bosnia-Herzegovina came under the tutelage of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which allowed the city to achieve the standards of the times of the industrial age. It would become an important focus of Slavic nationalism, especially from 1908, when Austria – Hungary officially annexed the region that became a province jointly administered by Hungary and Austria.

The 28 of June of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie Chotek, were assassinated in Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip, an event that served as a trigger for the outbreak of hostilities in World War One. After finalizing this and dissolving the Austro-Hungarian Empire the city would comprise of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later called Yugoslavia.

In 1941 under Hitler’s expansionist policy, the city was invaded by joint Axis troops dividing the Yugoslav territory between Germans, Italians, Croats, Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians. In 1945 the city was recovered by the troops of the Soviet Union. At the end of World War II, a socialist government under Marshal Tito was established throughout the region. After World War II it became an industrial and tourist center, hosting the 1984 Winter Olympics.

With the disintegration of Yugoslavia, Sarajevo became the capital of the independent Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where hostilities between the three main ethnic groups would soon begin. The 6 of April of 1992 the city was besieged by Bosnian Serbs, and suffered the “siege of Sarajevo”. The war lasted until 1995, causing destruction in the city due to the continuous bombardments to which it was subjected. Reconstruction began immediately after the cessation of hostilities and, around 2003, most of the city had already been rebuilt, with some ruins still visible in the city center.


Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984. Yugoslavia won a silver medal in the men’s giant slalom from Jure Franko. Many of the Olympic facilities survived the war or were rebuilt, including the Olympic Hall Zetra and the Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium. After co- hosting the Southeast European Friendship Games, Sarajevo was awarded the Special Olympic of the 2009 winter games, but plans were eventually canceled.

The football is very popular in the city. The city is home to FK Sarajevo and FK Željezničar, both teams with great honors in both the former Yugoslavia and present-day Bosnia. Other football clubs are FK Olimpik and SAŠK. In terms of basketball, KK Bosna Sarajevo, European champion in 1979 and numerous Yugoslav and Bosnian championships, stands out. The chess club, Bosna Sarajevo, has been a champion team since the 1980s, and is the third chess club in Europe having won four consecutive European championships in the 1990s.

HC Bosna also competes in the European Champions League and is considered one of the best organized handball clubs in Southeast Europe. Sarajevo often holds international events and competitions in sports such as tennis and kickboxing. Climbing is very popular in the city, taking place in the Dariva area, where there is also an extensive network of bike paths.


As of 2005, there were 46 public schools in Sarajevo, in addition to three schools for children with special needs, as well as a Druga Gimnazija institute that provided International Baccalaureate programs for international and national students.

There are also several international schools in Sarajevo that cater to expatriate communities, including the International School of Sarajevo and the French International School of Sarajevo.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina City Overview