What did I know about Sarajevo? I knew about that event in 1914 which set in motion the First World War. I knew about the Winter Olympics in the 1980s and I knew a bit about the siege of Sarajevo 1992-1995. But only a bit.
I had no idea that Sarajevo was a cross roads between East and West for centuries. The Ghazi Husrev-Bey’s Mosque was built in 1531 at the same time the Orthodox Church was being built and the Catholic Cathedral renovated. Things seem to have gone badly wrong since.
This lovely building opposite the mosque is now an Islamic library.
We saw Caravan Sarays across Central Asia to Istanbul and now in Sarajevo . These 2 storey buildings around a central courtyard were the backpackers of their day. Goods and animals could be sheltered on the ground floor and traders stayed upstairs.
Bosnia Herzegovina was part of the Ottoman Empire and the legacy lives on.
As my driver to Mostar said think Croat think Catholic, think Serbian think Orthodox and think Bosnian think Moslem.
The Siege of Sarajevo 1992-1994
Today I walked along streets where people were shot by snipers as they tried to go about their lives. This is considered to be the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. It is estimated at 11000 people were killed or went missing from this city, including 1500 children.
See siege of Sarajevo
After seeing a sobering exhibition The Seige 92-95 I then saw an extremely powerful exhibition on the genocide in Srebenica.
This exhibition of photographs and eye witness reports lists the names of the more than 8000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys who were killed.