Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo

Photo by Jasam.

Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo is part of the Tentative list of Bosnia Herzegovina in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

The Old Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo is the second largest Jewish sepulchral complex in Europe. It was established around 1630, during the Ottoman period, by Sephardic Jews. The architectural style of the latter’s temples in Iberia is echoed here, while the shape and size of the unique tombstones recall the local, medieval stećci.

Map of Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo

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The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.

Community Reviews

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Frédéric M

Canada - 29-Apr-20 -

Jewish Cemetery in Sarajevo  (T) by Frédéric M

First things first, I LOVE cemeteries! I think they are the perfect blend of history, art and nature. I love how peaceful they are and how much they reflect the society. Consequently, I was very excited to visit a TWHS cemetery when I visited Sarajevo in 2018. Although I really enjoyed this visit, it remains the one of the few Jewish cemeteries I've seen during my European trip, and even one of the few historical cemeteries I've explored. I still give it a thumbs up as I enjoyed it and because it appears to me to be valuable, but I can't tell if it is really the best example of an historical Jewish cemetery or if it is better to inscribe it alone or as a serial transnational site with the other Jewish cemeteries on Germany's list. As this is the first review of this TWHS, I will try to provide here some information on the site and a review of my visit.

The cemetery was used since the 16th and 17th centuries and until 1966. It contains 3,850 monuments and is important for both Sephardic and Ashkenazi Jews. It is the second largest in Europe after Prague's one. Multiple styles of tombstones and monuments are present in the cemetery, and it reflects the history and culture of Jewish settlements in the Balkans. It is presented in the nomination file as an exceptional historical and architectural ensemble, as well as an exceptional testimony of the Jewish traditions.

The cemetery is located in a residential neighborhood south of the Milijacka river and within walking distance of the center. Among the noteworthy monuments, there are the gates and the Ciduk Adin temple. I really enjoyed the long and thick shaped tomb, very different from what I know from North American cemeteries. It didn't take long as I visited in the end of an afternoon after a full day tour about the siege of Sarajevo. It is not a life changing experience nor a world class site, but I believe it can be a worthwhile cultural addition to the list.

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