Next to Sarajevo’s business and political center is a string of cultural and educational institutions. Just next to the Faculty of Philosophy is the largest and most significant museum institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina – The National Museum of BiH. The museum complex, with neo-Renaissance style features consists of four pavilions connected by an accessible terrace and a botanical garden occupying the central space. The most valuable exhibit in museum’s collection is a beautiful medieval codex known as Sarajevska Hagada (Sarajevo Haggadah). It dates from 1350 and was brought to Sarajevo from Spain by Sephardic Jews.
Just after the Second World War, a museum institution called Museum of National Liberation was founded. It soon changed its name to Museum of Revolution and it contained exhibits related to the Liberation war 1941-1945. Prior to the last war, the museum was renamed to History Museum of BiH, and since 1993 has been dedicated to studying the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina since the Middle Ages to present day. The archival pieces collected decades ago are of immense value and importance, so be sure not to miss the collections of photographs, objects and works of art. A special collection within the museum named “Sarajevo under Siege” was created by the citizens of Sarajevo themselves. This collection is all about the human courage and creativity in one of the most difficult periods of city’s history.
In the area between the two museums, there is a “Monument to Icarus”, the famous tinned meat distributed as part of UNHCR humanitarian aid. During times of famine, Sarajevans were forced to eat meat from these tins whose origin, exact contents and expiry date were never determined. On the marble pedestal beneath the gilded tin is an engraved inscription “Monument to the International Community from all the grateful citizens of Sarajevo”.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, during Austro-Hungarian rule, the construction of a large military camp began in the area which was, at the time, considered the outskirts of the city. Throughout the twentieth century it was used to accommodate the army and it carried the name “Tito’s Barracks”. Even today, there is a replica of the bronze statue of the president of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito located in the park in front of the barracks. During the 1992-1995 war, this complex was seriously damaged. “Maršalka” (Marshalls’) is now gone and the renovated former barracks are used by the University of Sarajevo, National and University libraries.
Our journey through campus ends at the place of meetings and farewells, the Sarajevo Railway Station. The large and presentable Railway Station building dates from 1952. It was designed by a group of Czech architects and successfully completed by Bogdan Stojkov. Its uniqueness is reflected in the interesting construction of the vault resulting in a large station hall. For decades after its construction, the railway station Novo Sarajevo (New Sarajevo) was the largest facility of its kind on the Balkan Peninsula. The new Bus Terminal located next to the railway station was officially opened on 6 April 1968 (Sarajevo Liberation Day).