Above the Big Park there was an almost uninhabited area dotted with flowering bushes and orchards, which was soon known as “Džidžikovac”, from the word džidži (from Tur. Gϋzel – pretty, decorated). Perched on the top of Džidžikovac is the Kulin hadži-Bali Mosque (Kulin Hadji Bali) which was erected by the scholar Hadji-Bali towards the end of the 16th century.
During Austro-Hungarian rule, the entire southwestern part of Džidžikovac was cross-linked with streets and residential buildings and houses for wealthier citizens. The one that stands out is certainly Kotjerina vila (Kotjer’s Villa), currently occupied by the Republic of Austria Embassy.
After the Second World War, there was an open tender invitation for the design of a residential resort named “Kolonija Džidžikovac” (Colony Džidžikovac). Ultimately, the best solution was offered by Kadić brothers. Their proposal involved building three sets of buildings cascading down the hill towards south and west so that each one is one floor lower than the previous. In 2008, Džidžikovac residential complex has been declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The former kindergarten building, just above the Austrian Embassy is the location of Embassy of France. In 2008, a memorial plaque was erected across the street from the Embassy honoring 86 French officers and soldiers who lost their lives for France and peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 2007.
Another reminder of war times in besieged Sarajevo is located on the other side of the complex. At the beginning of the war, three professional local theatres were forced to close down. The artists got together and on 17 May 1992 formed Sarajevo War Theatre SARTR. During the siege of Sarajevo, there were over 2000 performances in SARTR.
Džidžikovac is located between two neighborhoods, above Koševo and below Mejtaš. They are connected by Tin Ujević Street where you can find several international cuisine restaurants with small gardens. An ideal opportunity to relax and escape the city bustle. Before continuing towards Mejtaš, take a stroll down the steps in Pruščak Street.
Sarajevo has always been regionally famous for its music scene. Not far from the steps in Pruščak Street is the concert hall Sloga, thus the steps are dedicated to musicians who worked there. So while climbing up, or coming down the steps you can stop by one of the interactive music boxes and listen to the hits of some legendary Sarajevo bands such as Indexi, Por-Arte, Bijelo Dugme, Merlin, Prijatelji, New Primitives, as well as music from the concert “Rock under the Siege”.
Although centrally located, Džidžikovac is still far away from tourists and city bustle. It lives peacefully tucked away in the greenery of the surrounding parks. However, during the late eighties, Džidžikovac was the center of nightlife in Sarajevo, from Cafe Bar Bugatti to S.O.S. Bar. The beautiful garden of the Cafe Bar Bugatti is just one of many in this neighborhood.
There are three restaurants with unique gardens near S.O.S. Café Bar: Avlija (The Courtyard), a small but funky place where you can relax and enjoy the garden no matter what time of year you are visiting Sarajevo, Restaurant Dunja (Quince) located in a former Bosnian home with a large, minimalist landscaped garden and Četri sobe Gospođe Safije (Mrs Safija’s four rooms), a restaurant which carries the legend of forbidden love between Mrs Safija and Austrian Count Johan at the time of transition from the Ottoman Empire to Austro-Hungarian rule. Safia’s house was built in 1910 and the reconstruction preserved its architectural value.