We begin our journey through the central part of the city with Čobanija Bridge. Way back in 1557, Čoban-Hasan neighborhood was established on the left bank of Miljacka. Here also, was a wooden bridge, later replaced by steel one. It was built in 1888 and is famous for having many names: Čobanija, Masarikov most (Masarik’s Bridge), Poštanski most (Post Office Bridge), Pozorišni most (Theatre Bridge), most kod Dva ribara (Bridge near the Two Fishermen Restaurant), and, amongst the residents, it was also known as Šejtanija (Devil’s Bridge).
On the right side of the bridge are the National Theatre and the main Post Office, a magnificent creation by architects Karl Paržik and Josip Vancaš. The main Post Office in Sarajevo was officially opened on 18 May 1913 and was visited by Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne, one year before his assassination.
Below the main post office, along the way towards the next bridge is the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Law located in the building which used to be the Palace of Justice and was built in 1914. It was the largest palace built during the Austro-Hungarian period and the last building constructed in the spirit of historicism and redesigned by a prominent architect, Karl Paržik.
To the left of the bridge there is a selection of recently opened fast-food shops which are generally opened 24/7, as well as the cult meeting place restaurant “Dva ribara” (The Two Fishermen). Down the river and along the Mak Dizdar Bank, we reach the only Evangelical Church in Sarajevo, built in 1899, which is now The Academy of Fine Arts. The footbridge in the front – Festina Lente (Lat. Hurry Slowly), designed by the academy students, continues onto Radićeva Street, another popular meeting place.
In just over 40 years, Austria-Hungary managed to build as much of the city as the Turkish Empire did in four centuries. Since 1945 to date, the city has increased its size 500%. Most buildings from this period are located in the central part of the city: The City Market Markale (Germ. Markthalle), “Napredak” building containing, amongst other things a cinema and Kamerni teatar 55 (Chamber Theatre 55), former The Grand Hotel now the Payment Operations Institute designed by two most productive architects of the time, Karlo Pardžik and Josip Vancaš. At the front of the building is the Eternal Flame, lit in 1946 – a monument to Sarajevo liberators and World War II victims of fascism.
Just opposite the Eternal Flame, at the junction of two main Sarajevo promenade streets, Ferhadija and Titova Street, is the oldest skyscraper, known amongst the Sarajevans as JAT Skyscraper. Today part of it is a hotel with magnificent views of the city. Around the Eternal Flame, as well as all along Branilaca Sarajeva and Titova Street there are many pubs, shops and restaurants. A must-see place for tourists interested in objects from the past culture of this region is a coffee bar Zlatna ribica (Goldfish). If however, you want to experience the nightlife of the city center, you should start in the Gastro Pub Vučko where you can taste local craft beers, while fun starts slightly later in clubs such as Underground, Cinemas Sloga and Silver & Smoke.