Forgotten cities and hidden treasures : the city of Sarajevo

To begin your immersion in Bosnian culture, start your day with a beer. This salty pastry is a monument of Bosnian cuisine! You will find it on every street corner in the buregdžinica, a small shop specializing in the manufacture of these puff rolls. Böreks are stuffed with minced meat, cheese or spinach, but vary the pleasures and taste them all before deciding which one is your favorite! Traditionally, we eat böreks with a kind of yoghurt to drink. You can also enjoy it with traditional Bosnian coffee, or kahva bosanska. Serve this coffee is an art: immediately you will notice that it will be served on a beautiful plateau where you will find the coffee pot and a small cup, all decorated with engravings where a thousand intertwined very refined. But, do not be too distracted, think also to enjoy your coffee before it cools because, believe me, this pleasure taste will have nothing to envy the visual pleasure.

If you are amazed by this goldsmith’s work, head for Baščaršija, an Ottoman district in Sarajevo, where you will find all kinds of fascinating little shops. Stroll through the narrow streets and let yourself be transported by the warm atmosphere of the bazaar where stalls of spices, jewels, fabrics and quincailles come together to form a shimmering ensemble.

Vijećnica : the new-old library

After making some purchase in the bazaar, head for Vijećnica which is the new old library. I say “new – old” because this building, which dates from the late nineteenth century, was completely destroyed in 1992 during the siege of Sarajevo. It was then rebuilt identically, respecting the Moorish style, before reopening in 2014. Push the doors of this large orange and black building and enjoy the beauty of its frescoes and its stained glass windows. In the basement, you will also find a museum explaining the history of this building, a reflection of the history of the city and the country, or even the world.

The city of Sarajevo

I say world because Sarajevo witnessed an event that marked the beginning of the twentieth century: the First World War, triggered following the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Little ones, during the history lessons, we learn this, but were you also told that on the way to the Vijećnica library, he had escaped a first assassination attempt? Only after he was killed, on the Latin bridge.

The city of Sarajevo was obviously marked by war. Even if still today, it carries some stigmata (you will surely notice the “Roses of Sarajevo”: holes made by the bombs, covered with a red resin, present in town). Sarajevo has undeniably rebounded: the many cafes, bars you will find will prove it to you. So, do not hesitate to go there: a simple stroll in the city and its surroundings and you will be charmed by the quality of the food, the beauty of the architecture and the hospitality of the inhabitants of Sarajevo.

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