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Interpret Europe Conference | 31 May - 3 June 2019 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | #iecon19

Study visits 2 June

General notes on the excursions

  • 15.30 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 3hours (including coffee break).
  • Each study visit will include some level of translation and a guide.
  • 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: War childhood museum

The collection at the War Childhood Museum is comprised of items that tell the touching stories of how children grew up during the war that shook Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to 1996. The museum’s collection is made up of items that have been collected since 2010. The book of the war childhood testimonies under the name of “War Childhood: Sarajevo 1992-1995" has awoken a great interest in what children experienced during the war in BiH and created the need to establish a museum that provides permanent exhibits of keepsakes used by children who grew up under war time conditions.

Items on display include ballet shoes that were received as a gift during the war, a half-burned book that was salvaged from Sarajevo’s Vijećnica (City Hall), canned and packaged foods, lead stoves, dolls, a swing used by a little girl in a basement and many more. Every item is accompanied by its own story and the items are rotated so that 50 different pieces are on display at any given time.

Option 2: Gazi Husrev-bey mosque and museum

Gazi Husrev Bey’s Mosque

Gazi Husrev Bey’s Mosque, or Bey’s Mosque, as it is known locally, was built in the centre of Baščaršija in 1530. Bey’s Mosque was designed by AdžemEsir Ali, a Persian from Tabriz, who was the chief architect in the Ottoman Empire at that time.The mosque was built as part of a vakuf (endowment) established by the Ottoman Governor, Gazi Husrev Bey, who governed Bosnia, more or less continuously, from 1521 until his death in 1541. Today, this mosque is rightly seen as the most important architectural monument from the time of Ottoman rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Gazi

Gazi Husrev Bey’s Museum is dedicated to Gazi Husrev Bey as the Governor of Bosnia and Sarajevo’s greatest benefactor. The museum is located inKuršumlijaMedresa, one of the many objects built in the city by Gazi Husrev Bey.

The atrium of the museum housesa collection of engraved stones that represent a document of the time in which they were created, of people who commissioned them, and of the people who produced such works of art.Visitors can see items that adorn Islamic traditionas they originate from various environments – home, mosque, tekke and trade.

The museum collection is divided into several thematic units according to the types of objects, their purpose, and the way they were used, including:Islamic calligraphy (khattu al-yadd)‎ and its attributive ornamentation - the arabesque; Mosque and tekke since the time when Islam came to Bosnia and Herzegovina; and how the everyday life of past Muslims took place behind closed courtyard gates and house doors.

Option 3: National museum and Sarajevo Haggadah visit

National Museum

Founded in 1888, the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the oldest western-style cultural and scientific institution in the country. Discover the history of the museum itself and its importance during war times as well as exploring its diverse collections.

The permanent exhibit, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Middle Ages, fills three separate halls which contain archaeological pieces dating from the Middle Ages (6th c. to 15th c.). Among the 11,500 items on display, are some that even adorned the interior of the palace where the royal Kotromanić family resided. The most valuable item in the museum’s collection is the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, which the Sephardic Jews brought to Sarajevo when they left Spain.This priceless masterpiece of medieval Judaica most likely originated in 14th century Spain and may have been made as a wedding present, celebrating the union of two families whose coats of arms appear in the bottom corners of the book.

The natural history section hosts a rich collection covering both living and non-living worlds, including a skeleton of a bearded vulture, a bird with a giant wingspan which used to fly in the skies above BiH not that long ago.There is a botanical garden in the central part of the complex, home to more than 3,000 types of plants, including some endemic varieties.Some of the most representative examples of Bosnian stećci can also be found among the greenery.

Option 4: Bentbasa valley

Bentbasa is the old part of Sarajevo, which was often mentioned in traditional Sevdalinka songs. It is located along Miljacka River and the valley is considered as an endemic centre.Bentbasavalley contains a high degree of biological, geomorphological and hydrological diversities, including 70 different habitats. The high number of endemic plants makes this area one of the richest in the territory of the Dinarides in BiH.

The area of Bentbasa is characterised by geomorphological diversity, including many intricate cave and karst systems, steep slopes and river valleys. Cultural and historical sites coexist with the nature and form a part of the diversity landscape visible in and around Sarajevo.

Option 5: Trebevic and the Olympics past of Sarajevo

Trebevic

Trebevic is one of the four mountains surrounding Sarajevo and home to the Sarajevo Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track. The famous Sarajevo cable car was devastated during the war and has been recently renewed in the spirit of true reconciliation. The opening of the Sarajevo cable car represented a symbolic victory over the legacy of the war and is highly used by the locals, as well as by tourists.

When Sarajevo was awarded the 1984 Winter Olympics in 1977, a bobsleigh and luge track was proposed. The track design was approved in 1981 and constructionwas completed on 30 September 1982.  After the Winter Olympics, the track was used for World Cup competitions until the start of the war, during which the track was damaged.  During the war, the track was used as an artillery position andit still remains mostly intact with some war wounds of defensive fighting holes. Over 30 years later, and nature is reclaiming a hold over the man-made constructions and the tracks are used for graffiti street art and bicycling, representing an example of urban culture and the reuse of cultural heritage by the new generation amidst natural regeneration.

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