the scars of war in sarajevo


Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. With an approximate population of 330,000, it is probably best known for the 1984 winter Olympic Games and as a city under siege during the early 1990s. It is said that the siege of Sarajevo was the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare. After being initially besieged by the forces of the Yugoslav People’s Army, the city was then besieged by the Army of the Republika Srpska [pro-Serbian forces] from April 1992 through February 1996 during the Bosnian War. The siege lasted three times longer than the Siege of Stalingrad and a year longer than the Siege of Leningrad.

Walking around the city, one can see the scars of war everywhere, even twenty years later. In many places one can see “roses” – places on the pavement where grenades were dropped and people were killed en masse. These locations have been preserved as a reminder of the horrors of the siege and the war.

Where the most visible signs of the war can be seen, however, are on the city’s many high rise apartment buildings. Constant reminders of the war, these scars ensure that anyone living or visiting the city will never forget what the city endured.