Sarajevo is located in the middle part of Southeast Europe and the Balkans. The river Miljacka flows through the city, and in the immediate vicinity of the city, in the municipality of Ilidža, there is the spring of the river Bosna. Around Sarajevo there are numerous mountains: Jahorina, Bjelasnica, Igman, Treskavica and Trebevic.
According to the latest census, the city has a population of 429,672.
Sarajevo has a long and rich history ever since the Stone Age: where the remains of an old species of cave bear were found. The area was inhabited 4000 years ago – the remainings of the Butmir culture were found here. Butmir settlement is the oldest Neolithic prehistoric site in the Balkans which was conquered by the Illyrians in 2400 BC. The Illyrian tribe of Desiaties inhabited the areas around the Miljacka River. The remains of Illyrian settlements can be found at Soukbunar, Zlatište, Debeli brdo and Kotorac. The defeat of Desiate by the Roman emperor Tiberius marked the beginning of Roman rule in this area. Traces of the Roman antique culture can be found in Ilidza, where numerous villas, spas and a bridge over the river Bosna were built.
In the Middle Ages, the area of Sarajevo was known as Vrhbosna, near the traditional kingdoms in Visoko. The central fortification of Vrhbosna was the city of Hodidjed, in the area of Vratnik. From the Middle Ages, we have „stećake“ (tombstones) written in „bosančica“.
With the arrival of the Ottomans, the foundations of nowdays Sarajevo were set. In 1462, Isabeg Isakovic built „cupriju“ (the bridge) and made „čaršiju“ (the city center at the time), he also built a mosque, a hammam, numerous shops, a closed market and a hostel. On the left shore of Miljacka river there was a castel „Saray ovasi“ after which this city was named. The Ottomans built and developed Sarajevo so quickly that in the 16th century it was one of the largest, richest and most beautiful cities in the whole Ottoman Empire. As Sarajevo was built by conquerors from the east, it was made accoridng to the culture of an Oriental city, although at that time, churches, two Orthodox and one Catholic, and two synagogues were also built in Sarajevo.
In 1699, Prince Eugen of Savoy plundered and burned the city to the ground, only a few mosques and the Orthodox Church were spared.
In 1878, the Austro-Hungarian monarchy occupied Sarajevo and made a modern metropolis out of it. The presence of Central European culture and architecture is still visible in the city center today: buildings built in several Western European architectural styles, residential buildings, villas and palaces, churches and monasteries, administrative and commercial buildings. It was a period of industrialization, development, social change and education; The period of light bulbs and the first electric tram in Europe. Sarajevo is also known as the city where the Crown Prince of Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, Franjo Ferdinand, was assassinated, which was the reason for the begining of the World War I.
After World War I, Sarajevo became a part of the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later called the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. It remained a part of this state until World War II, when it joined the Independent State of Croatia.
Sarajevo was liberated on April 6, 1945, and a memorial known as the "Eternal Fire" was built in the city center as a symbol of anti-fascism. In years to come, Sarajevo became one of the most important industrial centers of the Balkans.
In 1984, the XIV Winter Olympic Games were organized in Sarajevo. Even Juan Antonio Samaran himself stated that these were the best organized Olympic Games at that time.
In recent history, Sarajevo has been known as a city that has been under siege for 1425 days. The rebuilding of the city began in 1995 and in 2003 new office buildings and skyscrapers were visible. The Bosal City Center is the tallest building in the Balkans.
Sarajevo or Sheher, as it used to be called is located in the heart of the Balkan, so it is an ideal starting point for those who want to visit this region. Due to the strategic and geografical position of the city, Sarajevo was occupied by many rulers: the Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarian empire and the Germans during the World War II. Sarajevo is popularly called the European Jerusalem. Today, in its new-old attire, it welcomes every well-meaning traveler and is a real treat for both the eyes and the soul of all who wish to visit Sarajevo.