Tag Archives | Sarajevo
The receptionist of my hotel asked whether I had heard of Idlidza, it was where locals would go on a sunny weekend like this. No, I had not. I looked it up: a spa town outside of Sarajevo and the place where the Bosna River merges from a rock, simply take tram Nr 3. Seemed easy enough.
In Sarajevo cemeteries are everywhere, the patches of white pillars clinging onto the hills can be seen from afar. I have been fascinated with cemeteries since I can remember. The tranquility is one reason that, another one is the history they tell. In Argentina I once found the overgrown grave of an Austrian in the ruins of a deserted Jesuit mission.
Sarajevo – the Jerusalem of Europe – churches and synagogues all squeezed into the tiny center of Sarajevo are witnesses to the turbulent history of what is now Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain had their synagogues built and so had their Ashkenazi brothers. Ottoman rule lasted till the beginning of the 20th century and then the very catholic Habsburg annexed the area. Religious and secular architecture alike reveal the varies rulership that Sarajevo suffered from and strived.
Considering the century-long multiculturalism that defined Sarajevo, it is hard to imagine how Bosnia was drawn into the atrocious war (1992-95) that meant the final disintegration of Yugoslavia. A war where once friendly neighbors turned against each other and that resulted in the genocide in Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo. The Tunnel of Hope, Sniper Alley or the grave of Sarajevo’s Romeo and Juliet are now part of tourists’ itineraries. Being a history buff I was particularly eager to see them all.