Sarajevo's Old Town
Among Sarajevo's historic structures, the Latin Bridge is
best known as the site where World War I was triggered, by
murder of Austria's Arch Duke, heir to the throne. The
Austro-Hungarian Empire was an occupying power at the
time, and a Serb fired fatal shots which ended in the deaths
of countless millions.
Despite the recent catastrophic civil war, Sarajevo tries to
retain it's self-image as a city where the world's religions
meet in peace, an idealistic European Jerusalem. I visited
four different places of worship all within easy walking
distance of one another. Above is the Orthodox
Here is the Catholic Cathedral. The Croatians are Bosnia's
main Catholic ethnic group. And Croatia, now independent
from the former Yugoslavia, is heavily Catholic, along with
Slovenia, another country to emerge out of Yugoslavia.
A picture inside the still active Old Temple Jewish Synagogue,
which dates back to 1581. The Ottoman Empire used to rule
Bosnia, and, depending upon place and time, it could be very
tolerant of other religions besides Islam.
Interior of the Gazi-Husrevbey Mosque, which dates back to
1531. Prayer is always in the direction of Mecca. In Bosnia
and other parts of the Balkans, the Ottoman Empire left
behind large numbers of converts to Islam after its retreat
back to Turkey. This Ottoman Mosque was severely damaged
by Serbian shelling during the 1992-1995 civil war.
Shopping in Sarajevo's Old Town includes a wide selection of
carpets and similar items. The modern world also intrudes.