Interpret Europe Conference | 31 May - 3 June 2019 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | #iecon19
Study visits 1 June
General notes on the excursions
- 14.00 departure from the hotel. Options 1, 2 and 3 are within walking distance. Options 4 and 5 will travel by bus to their destination.
- The study visits will last approximately 4.5hours (including coffee break).
- Each study visit will include some level of translation.
- Some programmes are more sensitive to the weather. You can enhance your experience by wearing comfortable clothing, and boots/sneakers, as well as carrying rain gear with you.
- Some programmes contain sensitive content. Images and exhibits are related to the topics of war and human suffering, and can be visually and emotionally disturbing. They are an important part of the history of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Option 1: Museum Of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide 1992-1995 and Galleria 11/07/95
The study visit will showcase two interpretation approaches to the topic of the 92-95 war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants will be invited not just to explore the exhibition spaces, but also to have meaningful discussion with the founders of these institutions.
The Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide 1992–1995 was founded in July 2016 as an initiative to sustain the memory of all the victims of the war that lasted from 1992-1995. The founders of the museum are themselves victims who survived the war. They created the museum together with young people and operate without governmental support.The exhibition contains a variety of photos, documentaries, testimonies and personal items that hold the stories of the war and genocide victims. The museum staff has given their best to transfer those stories into written pieces that proudly stand next to every item. In order to make the visit more authentic and realistic, the museum presents simulations of a mass grave and solitary confinement.
All parts of the exhibition are based on one of the verdicts in the war crime cases that were brought before domestic or international court. Each room in the exhibition explores its own topic to which the exhibited items match, including genocide in Srebrenica, crime against children, concentration camps, the siege of Sarajevo, mass graves and victims of sexual violence.
Gallery 11/07/95 is the first memorial gallery in Bosnia and Herzegovina – an exhibition space aiming to preserve the memory of the Srebrenica tragedy and the 8,372 people who perished in the massacres. Through a wide range of multimedia content – images, maps, audio and video materials – the Gallery offers documentary and artistic interpretation of the events that took place in this small town in Eastern Bosnia during the month of July 1995.
The concept is a museum-gallery hybrid: this blend of artistic and documentary forms counteracts the homogenous and ideological interpretative strategies. What makes it special is that it does not deal with history in its final, recorded form: it also intervenes into the historical moment that is not only recent past, but belongs to the present as well. The overall aim of this museum is to be a strong and decisive voice against all forms of violence in the world.
The gallery employs mixed media – photography, video, and interactive documentary motivating the spectator to reflect on the particular politics of memory and forgetting, that have come to characterise not only the event itself, but also how the event has been (re)presented.
Option 2: Despic’s House and Svrzo’s House
Witness the traces of everyday living of different families living in Bosnia and Herzegovina and how their lifestyle incorporated the diversity of religions and worldviews.
Despic’s House is an old merchant house in Sarajevo that was established in 1881 by one of the wealthiest and most prominent Serb families. The progenitor of the family was Risto Sljepčević, who is believed to have moved to Sarajevo in the mid-18th century from the Herzegovinian village of Sambor. Here he learned his ćurčijski (leather making) trade and married Despa, who is said to have been the daughter of a handžija (the owner of a han, or inn). Since Despa was from Sarajevo, they referred to their descendants as Despići, or Despa’s sons.
This dependency of the Sarajevo Museum, the oldest part of which dates from the 17th century, was built in several stages at three different periods. The house is noted as the venue for the city’s first theatre performances, so that it may be regarded as the precursor of modern theatre.
Svrzo’s House represents the lifestyle of an urban Muslim family in the late 18th and throughout the 19th century.The house was built by a prominent Sarajevo family, the Glođos, a member of which was kadi – Islamic judge-administrator – Munib effendi Glođo, famous for his involvement in Bosnia’s struggle for autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. The family failed for want of a male heir, and the property passed by marriage to another prominent Sarajevo family, Svrzo.
Svrzo’s House is a typical example of the architecture of that period, with its division into the selamluk or public quarters and the haremluk or private, family quarters. It was purchased from the Svrzo family, refurbished and opened to the public in the 1960s.
Option 3: Little Jerusalem tour – Churches, Mosque and Synagogue
Sarajevo is very proud of its centuries-old multiculturality, which is due to the fact that Christians (Orthodox and Catholics), Muslims and Jews have been living here with one another for ages.This well-established coexistence in Sarajevo has led to a unique, rich and enchanting mix of cultures which acts very much like a powerful magnet, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe.
During this study visit, you’ll see Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques and synagogues, and you’ll discover first-hand why many call Sarajevo a European Jerusalem and why this city serves as a model of coexistence for Europe. The tour will feature the Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo, which is dedicated to Archangels Michael and Gabriel, as one of Sarajevo’s oldest houses of worship.It is presumed that the structure was built in the middle of the 16th century and that an even older church once stood on the same spot.The church houses its own museum, which was founded in 1889. Given the value of the icons in its collection, it is considered one of the most important Orthodox museums in the world.
Ferhadija Mosque was erected sometime between 1561 and 1562 by the Sanjak Bey, Ferhad Bey Vuković-Desisalić. This mosque exemplifies the classical style of Ottoman architecture which was perfected during the Ottoman Empire’s “Golden Age”.During the original construction, a mekteb (children’s school) was built alongside the mosque, as well as an imaret (public kitchen), a fountain and covered fountain.
The Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart was built in 1889 in the Neo-Gothic style and is the seat of the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna. Josip Vancaš, a Hungarian architect, took his inspiration for the design of Sarajevo’s cathedral from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Dijon, France and St. Teyn Cathedral in Prague. The interior of the church is richly decorated and it was the famous Italian-German painter, Alexander Maximilian Seitz, who painted the frescos.
The Askenazi Synagogue was built in 1902 for Sarajevo’s Jews, who began to arrive in greater numbers once Bosnia and Herzegovina was occupied by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.The temple was designed by the famous architect, Karl Paržik. This was the first religious building in the Pseudo-Moorish style for Sarajevo.It is believed that Paržik’s designs for this Sarajevo synagogue (at that time, the third largest temple in Europe) were based on the synagogue in Budapest. Construction was entrusted to Ludwig Jungwirth and the work and painting on the interior was carried out by master painter, Ludwig Oisner.
Option 4: Biodiversity tour on the Igman Mountain
Igman Mountain is one of the two mountains that were host to the 14th Winter Olympic Games in 1984, featuring Alpine and Nordic skiing and ski jumping competitions. The mountain range stretches over 300 kilometres and features a mixture of the Mediterranean and Continental climate.
Abundant forests with various and lush flora and fauna species, and superb landscapes make this natural resort ideal for exploring the high biodiversity and experiencing an extremely high ozone level that has been observed here, including 35 species of lichions Lobario - Antitrichion and 29 species of moss from Neckeretalia pumilae family. Mraziste (thermal inversion phenomena) is alsopresent at Igman. The lowest recorded temperatureis -43.5°C, in January, 1963. Remains of the two ski jumps (70 and 90 metres) built for the Winter Olympics are still visible and provide a specific context of interaction between nature and human intervention.
Option 5: Bijambare caves
Bijambare Speleological Area is a protected natural site located northeast of Sarajevo and a typical karst cave. The world-wide used word 'karst' originated from the Dinaric Alps and Bijambare is the prime example of the 'original karst'. Bijambare Caves is a complex surrounded by thick conifer forest, two brooks, small lakes, several springs and a great variety of mushrooms, medicinal herbs and some rare endemic species. The complex is comprised of several caves but only three are open to visitors.
The most popular cave is the Middle Bijambare Cave. It is over 400metres long with a passageway which branches into four chambers ornamented with stalactites hanging from the cave roof extending into spectacular curtains and stalagmites from the cave floor. The fourth chamber is the largest and it is called the "Music Chamber” due to its acoustic effects. The Central Bijambare Cave is home to bats and crickets and some other species. There are numerous findings from the Ice Age (animal skeletons) and Paleolite (cave men). Lower Bijambare Caveis 100 metres from the Central Cave, where you will come across where the Brodic Crook sinks.