Telling story about Sarajevo never ends. So many historic evidences that this was and it will always be a place where many cultures, traditions, administrations and religions left their trace. This is why it is always something new and different to experience in rather small capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The only thing which never changed and persisted through all of its history is its stubbornness to last and be the most original and beautiful symbol of all what it had survived.
Sarajevo people are very proud of our city. We use every opportunity to show it to the world and to invite people to visit. Over the years I have brought with me many of my foreign friends to visit and they all have come back. Always wanting to re-visit. Its unique energy reflected through beautiful architecture, religious diversity and tradition…goodness and hospitality of its people makes it one of the most interesting places to visit in this part of the world.
But among anything else Sarajevo had always one most important feature and this is to survive. To last. And to put all the occupators and administrations through, keeping the best and letting go of all the bad things happened. Like a small child or a dog – no matter how many times it gets hurt it still has heart full of love. Love and spite to survive…this is what Sarajevo is. And always was.
House of spite (Inat kuća) is the most known symbol of all of this. After Austrian-Hungarian monarchy occupied BiH new emperor wanted to build big City Hall building to show the power and strength of new administration. All the houses in the surrounding were bought from the owners…but one. House of Spite. The owner would not give it up for any money. After long and hard negotiations he finally agreed. But on his own terms. His house had to be put to the opposite side of the river stone by stone. His stubbornness was accepted by the monarchy. Every day he would smoke his tobacco on the bridge and monitor the process. They re-created the same house on the opposite side of the river. This house is museum and restaurant today and it is a symbol of Bosnian stubbornness.
Big national library building was standing in all of its graciousness across small house full of proud for being kept for next generations to be thought a lesson or two. Those two together with Seher-Cehaja bridge are small symbol of all what this city stands for – diversity, beauty, pride, stubbornness, willingness to survive.
Times changed and new challenges came. Siege Sarajevo was under for more then 4 years brought destruction for its most important symbols. One of the first was the City Hall building. Burned to the ground it still kept its size and graciousness until it was rebuild, stone by stone, to its original edition. It took some of that spite from across the street and made it its own. And now, like never, even more beautiful City hall of Sarajevo stands proudly and tells the story from its own perspective.
So many more stories to be told. So more warm welcome for all who want to hear. Many great people to meet and to open the door to the heart of Sarajevo.