Photo by Els Slots.

Sarajevo - unique symbol of universal multiculture - continual open city is part of the Tentative list of Bosnia Herzegovina in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Sarajevo is a multicultural city often described as a crossroads between East and West. Founded by the Turks in the 15th century on a site inhabited since ancient times, it has traces of the Neolithic Butmir culture, Illyrians, Romans, Slavs… For centuries, Bosniaks, Catholics, Orthodox, Jews, Turks and Greeks all lived around its famous Baščaršija. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Austro-Hungarian at the turn of the 20th century, though brief, also left a lasting legacy.

Map of 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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Joseph Colletti

USA - 03-Sep-17 -

Sarajevo is a perfect example of a city that seamlessly blends cultures, history, architecture and an unfortunately often sad history.

It's place in modern history and the resilency of its people during the brutal breakup of Yugoslavia are ample reason for inscription.

Els Slots

The Netherlands - 15-May-13 -

Sarajevo  (T) by Els Slots

Sarajevo is still featuring on Bosnia's Tentative List, although its nomination has been rejected in 1999. It came up for discussion in the same year as Mostar, and was deemed inferior to that town in terms of Ottoman heritage. This I find a remarkable conclusion, as:

a - technically, the Mostar site wasn't inscribed as an Ottoman site at all (but only on criterion vi, "multicultural coexistence")

b - a couple of years later, it was no problem to add a second Ottoman bridge from Bosnia

c - there are so many "double" entries from the same countries on the List already, think of the Mexican colonial city centers or (a more recent visit of mine) Studenica and Sopocani monasteries in Serbia; why would it be a problem to inscribe the Top 2-heritage sites in Bosnia?

So I think it deserves a second chance. It's a great city to stay in for a while, wander around, taste the food and enjoy the oriental atmosphere of the bazaar area which looks like a small version of Istanbul.

The rest of the city is high on Austro-Hungarian constructions and reminders of what happened here in 1914, 1984 (Olympics) and 1992-1996. I took a 3.5 hour walking tour with a local guide, which was a very enjoyable introduction to all the stories that can be told about this historical city. A definite must see for history buffs and those who enjoy oriental cities.

Joe Savitzky

Israel/U.S,A. - 19-Sep-11 -

The old center of Sarajevo is an architectural, cultural and sensory delight. The presence of turn-of-the century art nouveau/art deco decorated buildings with Austrian-Hungarian styles; the beautiful mosques and small bazaars with their reminders of the Ottoman heritage; and finally the great mixture of people with a wide range of traditional and modern dress and appearance and the smells of roasting meats- all together makes for an unforgetable experience.

Full Name
Sarajevo - unique symbol of universal multiculture - continual open city
Bosnia Herzegovina
Urban landscape - Urban continuity
1999 Rejected

Bureau: no management plan, and too similar to Mostar

1997 Added to Tentative List

1986 Deferred

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Sarajevo (T)


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