Jerusalem of Europe. That seems to be the catch phrase for Sarajevo at the moment. Does it deserve it? Absolutely. Sarajevo has been a cross-road city for centuries. Starting from the Ottoman era till the Yugoslav wars, its been a centre for trades and cultural exchange. Its hard not to notice the amount of churches, mosques and synagogues sharing the same walls. People from different religious backgrounds living together side by side. The spark started during the Ottoman Era with the Muslims, Catholics and Jews coming from all over from Europe and the Middle East until it ended with the Nazi regime at WWII and the Yugoslav wars. After Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence in 1992 things are going back to how they were, yet to become Jerusalem of Europe again.
The one thing that will catch your eye while in Sarajevo is the amount of buildings with bullet holes, completely crumbling or abandoned. Seems the scars from the war is still kept alive. Although there is a lot construction efforts taking place to remove these horrible memories. From an outsiders perspective its good to see what war can do to a city, a country and its people. The next thing you’ll notice is the fair amount of Turkish flags hanging from stores, buildings and houses. At first I thought it was due to Bosnians liked Turkey and the Turkish people and they wanted to show it with the flag. But I was wrong. Apparently after the Yugoslav war, the countries that split up already had a cultural identity and therefore establishing their own country (exp; Croatia, Slovenia, Kosovo, etc.) But the Bosnians and Herzegovians weren’t really identified as a country, more so like a nation or state. Therefore they turned back to their “roots” the Ottomans or today’s Turkey.