Sarajevo is the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is located in the Sarajevo Valley of the Bosnia Proper. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated around the Miljacka River. This is a city famous for its religious diversity including Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Judaism. All these religious have been coexisting side by side for several centuries in Sarajevo.
This is a city rich in history dating back to prehistoric times when the original settlement came to be. The modern city of Sarajevo started as an Ottoman empire stronghold during the 15th century. During 1914 the city was the site of the assassination that began the beginning of World War I. Seventy years later the city played host to the 1984 Olympics. In more recent years Sarajevo underwent the longest siege in modern day military history due to the Bosnian War. Now in a post-war state, the city is recovering and adjusting to life after war and now serves as the major center for culture and economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Despite the fact that this city is still recovering from war, the people love to celebrate their culture. Two big festivals that take place in Sarajevo are the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Sarajevo Jazz Festival. Other festivals that take place throughout the year include the Sarajevo Winter Festival and the Bašcaršija Nights Festival. The film festival was established in 1995 and is now recognized as the premier film festival in the Balkans. The jazz festival has been entertaining jazz lovers for over 10 years.
Over the past 13 years, the Sarajevo Film Festival has been held at the National Theater, but also offers screenings at the open-air theater, Metalac and at the Bosnian Cultural Center. This festival entertains the people of Sarajevo, its visitors and celebrities alike and has gained international recognition. It is said to be the best film festival in South-Eastern Europe. The Sarajevo Jazz Festival has played host to artists such as Richard Bona, The John Butler Trio, Cristina Branco, Dhafer Youssef as well as several others. The festivities take place on the main stage of the Bosnian Cultural Center.
Festivals aren’t the only things to do or see in this city. There are plenty of museums, galleries and theaters including the Ars Aevi Museum of Contemporary Art, Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sarajevo Youth Theatre and many more. Several of Sarajevo’s cultural and religious symbols as well as many institutions were destroyed during the war. Included on the list are the Gazi Husrev-beg library, Sarajevo Oriental Institute and a museum that was built dedicated to the 1984 Olympics. Today the city along with its government has established cultural protection laws and institutions.
Fun Note: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina was the first city in Europe and second city in the world, (next to San Francisco), to have a full time operational electric tram network that runs throughout the city.