Trip to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina

SARAJEVO, BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA: Capital and the largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it’s a city where I would love to go back again and again at every chance. I think I left a piece of my heart somewhere in the old town of Sarajevo. This is one of the most historically interesting cities in Europe. Sarajevo is famous for traditional religious diversity where Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, and Jews lived and coexisted for centuries. You will also find different ethnic groups like Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats. The city is still recovering from the Yugoslav War from 1992 to 1995. The town is surrounded by Olympic Mountains in all directions with few different rivers running through the city. Miljacka is the river that runs very close to the old town. You can see homes and communities on small hills and slopes, makes it so beautiful during day or at night.

Stunning Sarajevo

Stunning Sarajevo

Bosnia and Herzegovina overall is a scenic country with endless mountains, lakes, rivers, and small villages. From the moment we crossed the border from Montenegro and until we reached Sarajevo, then drove to Mostar and then before reaching Dubrovnik, Croatia…the roads in this country are amazingly beautiful and thru wilderness and nature. I couldn’t stop looking out the window or dare to fall asleep, because I knew I would probably miss something extremely good.

Although this area has been continuously inhabited since the Prehistoric period, Sarajevo became a city with the arrival of the Ottomans in 1462. Since then two great civilizations, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian, settled here whose cultures and religious are faithfully kept even today. These two empires contributed to the diversity and unique beauty of the city. Bosniaks, Croats, Serbs, Roma and other ethnic groups live here side by side in harmony. A member of any confession in Sarajevo will feel the pleasure of freedom and coexistence. The richness of the city is in its countless religious institutions, historical museums, and cultural monuments. May be that’s why Sarajevo is called the “European Jerusalem”.

Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Most of the sites, if not all, in Sarajevo are financed and assisted with the help of the American people and USAID. All the tourist attractions are very well-marked with information boards written in English. Sarajevo is considered as one of the safest cities in Europe with lots of friendly people. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, the locals speak pretty good English.

TIME of TRAVEL: After visiting Podgorica, Tirana, Skopje, and Pristina during our Easter break trip in 2014, our fifth destination was Sarajevo. It was a long 15 hours of drive from Pristina. The shortcut takes usually around 7 hours, but that’s thru the mountains and our hotel staffs told us not to take the mountainous road because it is very risky when snows. When we left Pristina, it was snowing in the city, but as we got towards the mountain, snow got thicker and heavier. Our small car started to skid and couldn’t move further. A police car told us next 50 km of the road would be very bad and we should turn around. So, we drove four hours for nothing and came back to Pristina. After lunch, we started driving towards Podgorica thru Albania and after 7 hours of exhausting but scenic drive, we spent the night in Podgorica. Next morning we started driving towards Sarajevo and took us about another 7 hours to reach our hotel there. The drive from Podgorica to Sarajevo is extremely beautiful with mountains, lakes, national parks, and villages. But I wouldn’t recommend anyone driving on this road at night, because of the road condition. They are narrow roads on the mountains with few deep trenches on the sides and zigzag paths. This drive can be very dangerous and fatal after dark unless you are a local. The so-called “highway” gets worse after you cross the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s beautiful but the windy narrow roads made me a bit sick.

Driving from Podgorica to Sarajevo

Driving from Podgorica to Sarajevo

When we arrived in Sarajevo, it was wet and gloomy. Although we weren’t so lucky with the weather, we still managed to get the warm feelings of this city. There were snow on the small hills and far distant mountains.

OUR HOTEL: We stayed in Hotel Herz in Sarajevo, on a small slopey hill. It was only 10 minutes’ walk from the old town. This was more like an apartment suite with a small kitchen, a fridge, and a microwave. The staffs were very friendly and casual. We had free breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. The best part of this hotel was that they had free drinks, like hot chocolate, coffee, teas, macchiato, and other hot drinks for their customers.

Our hotel was on this slope in Sarajevo, very close to Town Hall

Our hotel was on this slope in Sarajevo, very close to Town Hall

EATING and SHOPPING: Our first dinner was near the Sebilj in old town, Cevabdzinica Kurto – a kebab and burger place. Bosnian burgers are supposed to be very tasty. But I wouldn’t recommend this place to anyone, the food was ok…nothing amazing. Next day lunch at Sedaf (also in old town near Srebrenica Exhibition) was a very good choice. We had Bosnian soup with chicken, carrots, and okra, fresh salad, beef stew with mashed potato, and a Bosnian sweet – “tolomba” for dessert. The food was fantastic and so was the price. Overall, food is very cheap in Sarajevo. Our last dinner in Sarajevo was at Inat Kuca, a traditional Bosnian kitchen few steps outside the old town and opposite of the town hall. This old Turkish building itself is a historic one with few stories of sitting arrangements for the customers to enjoy gourmet cooking in a cozy environment. We had Bosnian beef pasta and chicken with rice.

Bosnian beef-stew we had for lunch in Sedaf - Bosnian kitchen in Sarajevo

Bosnian beef-stew we had for lunch in Sedaf – Bosnian kitchen in Sarajevo

For souvenirs, copper ware, such as coffee sets, sherbet holders, pitchers, and covered dishes…can be purchased in many places throughout the old town of Sarajevo. Aladdin slippers, Bosnian carpets and bags, are some of the memorabilia you can bring back from Sarajevo. Most of these items look very similar to Turkish handcrafts, it’s because this place was ruled by the Ottomans for few centuries and there are lots of ethnic Turkish-Bosniaks in the surrounding villages who make these items in the traditional styles.

Bosnian teasets and pots in Sarajavo

Bosnian tea-sets and pots in Sarajevo

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: We had a whole day in Sarajevo to see, which was really not enough time for a city like this. On top of that it was drizzling almost all day when we were out. This is a city adorned with beautiful landscapes, captivating history, and so many interesting spots to discover. You can see old buildings with bullet holes from the war are standing next to newly constructed stylish buildings. Sarajevo also houses the tallest building in the Balkans, Avaz Tower, little bit outside the city center.

 

A damaged building from the war in 1992-1995 in Sarajevo

A damaged building from the war in 1992-1995 in Sarajevo

All of the main sites of Sarajevo are located in or around old town within walking distance. We explored Sarajevo on our own, but there are lots of guided walking tour to fit every interests and time. A free tour is also available which lasts hour and half and starts at 4:30 everyday. Day trip includes going to Bosnian Pyramids, Dubrovnik, Srebrenica, Tunnel Museum, Mostar, and other cities.

Tunnel of Hope is a museum little bit out of the main city center near the airport, about less than half an hour drive, where we couldn’t manage to go but wanted to. It was built under the runway of Sarajevo Airport in 1993. It was city’s only connection with the outside world during the four years of siege. A portion of this wartime tunnel was turned into a museum for tourists. There are some original footage from the war along with everyday items from those misfortune years. This is a place that we shouldn’t have missed.

 

1) OLD TOWN: After arriving in Sarajevo an early evening, we checked in at our hotel and headed towards the Old Town of Sarajevo to find some traditional kitchen for dinner. This is not a typical European old town, it has a nice eastern twist with some Oriental and Middle-Eastern touches. If you are lucky, you may also hear Islamic call to prayer few times a day.

 

Old Town or the Turkish quarter of Sarajevo

Old Town or the Turkish quarter of Sarajevo

Few centuries ago, when this part of Sarajevo was in its prime, Old Town had around 4000 shops. Even now, the place kept it medieval charms and touches everywhere. Navigating thru those small side alleys is the best way to experience it. Most of the stores here sell Turkish style Bosnian goodies, mainly made by the local Turks. This is also a great place to go for some coffee.

 

Bascarsija is the heart of Old Sarajevo. Its foundations were laid in 1462 and by the 16th century, Bascarsija had reached its height. In the center of it is Sebilj (a kiosk-like public fountain), which is city’s one of the most recognizable symbol. Today, only a portion of the once great bazaar remains, but walking along its cobblestone streets gives a glimpse into their Ottoman past.

Heart of old Sarajevo and Sebilj (public fountain) in the middle

Heart of old Sarajevo and Sebilj (public fountain) in the middle

You may still see some buildings from the war time here. The bullet holes and broken windows are eyewitnesses of what Sarajevo went thru during that tragic period.

2) CITY HALL or VIJECNICA: We saw the City Hall of Sarajevo before entering the old town by the River Miljacka. This building serves as the most recognizable symbol of construction done in Sarajevo during the Austro-Hungarian period and the most beautiful example of pseudo-Moorish building. Erected in 1896, it consumed by flame in 1992. Now it is fully reconstructed and shines with its original glory.

3) EMPEROR’S MOSQUE: This was our first destination on the 2nd day in Sarajevo. Also known as Sultan Fatihova Mosque, this is one of the oldest mosques in Sarajevo. An older mosque at the same place built by Isa-bey in honor of Sultan Mehmed II (the Conqueror) was destroyed by Hungarian army in 1480. A new, more monumental mosque was built at the same spot in 1565. The oldest part of the mosque, the central section, dates from that same year. The mosque was closed in the morning but we were told that it would open after the noon prayer. We only could peek thru its gate and saw the Ottoman style big courtyard with a fountain, dome, and tall minaret. The burial ground beside the Emperor’s Mosque contains the graves of viziers, muftis, sheikhs, employees in the Emperor’s mosque, and other dignitaries of Sarajevo.

Emperor's Mosque - a 15th century mosque in Sarajevo

Emperor’s Mosque – a 15th century mosque in Sarajevo

The mosque is located opposite of the Town Hall inside a smaller street. There is no fee to enter and it opens at 1pm.

4) LATIN BRIDGE or LATINSKI MOST: Few steps further from the mosque towards the old town is Latin Bridge. In 6th century, following the Emperor’s and Skenderija bridges, the third wooden bridge was built over River Miljacka, on the site of the present-day Latin bridge. The residential quarter on the right bank of the river was where Sarajevo’s Catholics lived. The earliest record of this bridge is from 1541. But later the wooden bridge was replaced by a stone bridge which was swept away by floods several times. The bridge as seen today, with five arches was built in 1798.

Latin Bridge in Sarajevo

Latin Bridge in Sarajevo

 

This is a historic bridge and has a close connection with the WWI. It was near the Latin Bridge on the right bank of River Miljacka, in 1914, Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip. Some historians consider this unfortunate event to trigger the outbreak of World War I.

5) MUSEUM of SARAJEVO: One side of Latin Bridge is this museum. Museum of Sarajevo 1878 – 1918 deals with the history of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Austro-Hungarian period. Some displays in this museum tell the story of the Sarajevo Assassination – murder of Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia. Make sure to watch a small reenactment of a footage on how Prince Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were murdered. Visitors can see historic documents, old pictures, arms, and uniforms from that period.

The exact spot where Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Prince Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated, right outside Museum of Sarajevo

The exact spot where Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Prince Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated, right outside Museum of Sarajevo

The museum is very small and has only one floor. Ticket is 3 MK per adult and is located on one side of Latin Bridge adjacent to the point where Austro-Hungarian heir to the throne Prince Franc Ferdinand and his wife Sofia were assassinated in 1914.

6) BEY’S MOSQUE and CLOCK TOWER: This is a grand Ottoman style mosque in the old town. The mosque has a pleasant courtyard with a fountain for ablution in the middle. Women have separate door to enter but it was closed, so I couldn’t really see inside the mosque. But it is an active place of worship. Muslims or non-Muslim visitors are allowed but not during prayer times. It’s free to enter and look around, just have to dress appropriately and take your shoes off before going inside. There is also a Madrasah (Quranic school) opposite of the mosque, not sure if it still works though.

Grand Bey's Mosque and its courtyard in Sarajevo

Grand Bey’s Mosque and its courtyard in Sarajevo

7) MORICA HAN (SARAY): This is the only preserved Ottoman Inn in Sarajevo. This used to be a hotel/inn in the 18th century. Now, there is a big restaurant, a Turkish carpet shop on the first floor along with some old hotel rooms, and a big courtyard with lush trees in the middle. We took the old wooden stairs to go upstairs. This is where guests used to stay overnight during their journeys couple centuries ago. Presently, there are some offices which we couldn’t access.

Peaceful courtyard of Morica Han - a hotel/inn from the Ottoman's period in Sarajevo

Peaceful courtyard of Morica Han – a hotel/inn from the Ottoman’s period in Sarajevo

8) OLD SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH: It started to drizzle when we started walking little bit out of the old town and towards this church. It’s also known as Serbian Orthodox Church of the Holy Archangel and is one of the most important Cultural and Historical monuments in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has been safe guarding holy icons and religious relics for centuries. This is a tiny and elegant church in the old quarter. Some say it’s from the 5th or 6th century while others say from 12 or 14th century and yet some only talks about its rebuilding during the Ottoman period in the late 15th or 16th century. But its present look is from 1730. Its archaic foundations and inner architectural constructions with two-storied arcades are from early Christian times (5th or 6th century). It has a nave surrounded on three sides by a colonnade which makes it a unique example of well-preserved church architecture in this part of the world. The most important and valuable feature of the interior of this church is the carved wooden iconostasis. It is a great beauty from 1674. The church bears interesting drawings, different outlooks, medieval folklore, and shows a rare beauty of colors.

Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo

Old Orthodox Church in Sarajevo

Although we didn’t go there and wasn’t even aware of it at that time church museum is one of the oldest museums in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It was free to enter but taking photos is not allowed. Opening hours are from 8am to 6pm everyday.

9) CATHEDRAL of JESUS’ SACRED HEART: This cathedral is located in the old part too right beside Srebrenica Exhibition, which was our next stop. This is relatively a recent cathedral from 1889 with dominating neo-Gothic elements. Pope Pius XI donated the great bell of this cathedral. Although the cathedral was closed when we were there, the building looked grand from the outside.

Sarajevo Cathedral in the old town of Sarajevo

Sarajevo Cathedral in the old town of Sarajevo

10) SREBRENICA EXHIBITION: This museum is located right beside Cathedral of Jesus’ Sacred Heart. This is a must-see place in Sarajevo. Visiting this museum is a learning experience as well as an awakening for all. The world should know what happened in Bosnia in 1995 and how innocent lives were taken by the Serbian army in the process of “Ethnic Cleansing”.

"UN - United Nothing" a sign inside Srebrenica Exhibition in Sarajevo

“UN – United Nothing” a sign inside Srebrenica Exhibition in Sarajevo

Srebrenica is a small town in Bosnia, about 5 hours drive from Sarajevo, where this massacre took place in 1995. This was the most cruel and heartless genocide in European soil after WWII. Approximately 8000 Bosniaks, mainly boys and men, were killed by the Serbian army and few hundred Russian volunteers after UN announced Srebrenica a “safe area”. Total 11,000 people were killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Bosnia War from 1992 to 1995.

This is the first memorial gallery in Bosnia and Herzegovina – exhibition space aiming to preserve the memory on Srebrenica tragedy and 8372 persons who tragically lost their lives during the genocide. Memorial Gallery 11/07/95 is the highlight of this exhibition. Watch the documentary on the war and its after-math.

The museum is open daily from 10 to 6pm except Mondays. Entrance is 10MK per adult.

11) ORTHODOX CHURCH: Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God was erected in 1872 in neo-Classical style and is one of the largest orthodox churches in the Balkans. The interior features elaborate ornamentation of the altar, ceiling, walls, and floors.

 

Orthodox Church in Sarajeve

Orthodox Church in Sarajeve

There wasn’t any entrance free and hours are 8am to 5pm everyday.

12) TASLIHAN: Taslihan was built in 1543 in the period of the greatest expansion of Sarajevo. After its construction, Taslihan was the largest and the most representative facility of its kind in the region. It was built of stone and covered with vaults and domes made of lead, which was not the case in other inns. Unlike other inns, accommodation was free in this inn. It could hold up to 90 guests. Taslihan was on fire several time, the last time in 1879 it was completely destroyed. In 1912, last remnants were removed from the site.

Ruins of Taslihan - an old hotel/inn from the Ottoman's time in Sarajevo

Ruins of Taslihan – an old hotel/inn from the Ottoman’s time in Sarajevo

The original purpose of caravanserais and hans was to provide accommodation for merchants and their wares and horses. In 1878, there were fifty caravanserais and hans in Sarajevo, of which the most important were Kolobara, the Taslihan, and Morica han. Unlike other hans, Taslihan contained a row of shops, making it a trading han. The courtyard also contained a sebilj (public fountain) with a mosque.

Taslihan is just in ruins right now. We didn’t even know about this place until we were walking by it and saw the ruins and information board. The authority was still working on the excavation when we saw it.

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Pristina, Kosovo

PRISTINA, KOSOVO: Pristina is the capital of one of former Yugoslavian provinces, Kosovo, in the Balkan region. The first thing that came to my mind before reaching Kosovo was that how many of the innocent lives were murdered here in 1998 in the hands of Serbian army.

Portrait of a Kosovan's brave son in Pristina city center

Portrait of a Kosovan’s brave son in Pristina city center

Kosovo is a country which is recognized by the USA and some European Union countries but it still needs more votes in UN to be recognized as an independent sovereignty. Serbian army killed thousands of citizens of Kosovo during the war and still doesn’t want to let go of it. Kosovo has its own border control, flag, and everything but officially it is still under Serbia (sad but true). They don’t want to be with the Serbs, they think themselves as Albanians and prefer to be with Albania because of their similar language, culture, and ethnicity. Albania can’t take Kosovo because of many political reasons. We saw more of Albanian flags in Pristina than their own blue and yellow star flags. Even in some government buildings and war memorials have Albanian flags. They went thru a tragic history against the Serbs and still suffering economically, politically, and culturally. Kosovo is one of the poorest countries in Europe with 80 – 85% population of youth (according to one of the staffs of our hotel, not sure how accurate the statistic is but it is true that there are way more youths in Kosovo). Kosovo is the poorest country in Europe and for the economic crisis, these young people may not have money in their pockets but have genuine friendly attitude towards foreigners. They speak somewhat good English and will help you whole heartedly just out of generosity. German is another language many locals speak here because of their ties with Germany and Switzerland.

Iskander Beg on his horseback in Mother Teresa Street in Pristina, Kosovo

Iskander Beg on his horseback in Mother Teresa Street in Pristina, Kosovo

TIME of TRAVEL: We made a trip to the Eastern bloc of Europe during Easter break of 2014. Our first destination was Podgorica, Montenegro. From there we drove to Albania and Macedonia before reaching Kosovo. The weather in the capital was pleasant but we got severe snow blizzard in the mountains the day we started driving towards Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. It was a 7 hours’ drive, but we ended up driving about 15 hours all together in 2 days changing some routes to reach Sarajevo.

OUR HOTEL: Our hotel was a real fancy one in Pristina, called Nartel Hotel. It’s a 5-star hotel, about 15 minutes’ walk from the city center. The taxi is so cheap here that we took taxi on both ways, think it was only 3 euros for each way. We had a big room with a king-sized bed and a sofa bed. Parking, Wi-Fi, and grand breakfast buffet were all included. The staff here were very friendly too. Our trip to Prekaz, a small village in Kosovo, was taken care by an employee in this hotel. He provided the transportation and gave a tour in Prekaz for 50 euros. Pristina has some other high quality hotels (one of them is Swiss Diamond Hotel) but this hotel really has a homely feeling and smiley faces everywhere.

EATING and SHOPPING: Pristina has tons and tons of fast food at every corner. Although we didn’t try any, Kosovan burgers supposed to be very tasty and full of flavors. Two of our meals we had were in our hotel restaurant, Nartel. The day we were out in Pristina city center, we sat down in a Mexican restaurant near Mother Teresa Street. Food in Pristina is very cheap for a good portion. We didn’t have any traditional meal here and wasn’t sure where to get any. But I wish I could try their fast food burgers at least once. Pristina is also known for brewing best macchiato outside of Italy. Sit down in the one of the cafes and enjoy a cup while gazing over the locals and their lifestyles.

In the city center, Mother Teresa Street is a nice place to do some shopping. There is only one souvenir store at the beginning of the street towards the university. You can find both Kosovan and Albanian souvenirs here. Other than that we really didn’t see any other place where we could find some local signature items. We walked by tons of silver and gold jewelry stores in the old quarter, not sure about the quality of them but bargain works almost everywhere.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: We had only a day in Kosovo, half a day in Pristina and few hour for Prekaz. We took a taxi to go to the city center and did everything on foot from there.

There is a tall statue of Bill Clinton somewhere not too far from city center that we saw from our taxi. Pristina Ethnographic Museum is something we really wanted to see but couldn’t find. Even the locals couldn’t give us any information on its location.

1) MOTHER TERESA STREET: This is the main pedestrian street that runs from near University of Pristina towards the statue of Iskander Beg. It’s a long stretch of wide cobbled street with trendy shops and restaurants. This modern pedestrian zone is the heart of Pristina and a perfect place to meet and watch locals or to hang out any time of the day. Look for the statue of Kosovo’s first president Ibrahim Rugova near Iskander Beg’s portrait on Mother Teresa Street.

A statue of Mother Teresa in Mother Teresa Street in Pristina, Kosovo

A statue of Mother Teresa in Mother Teresa Street in Pristina, Kosovo

2) MUSEUM of KOSOVO: Few steps from Mother Teresa Street, we came to this museum which was closed at that time but the care taker let us in for free just to check out the first floor. The museum building itself was nice but there wasn’t really inside to see other than some photographs. Upstairs has some historical artifacts which we couldn’t visit.

3) KING MOSQUE: This is an old mosque located in the old quarter of Pristina and is known as “Sultan Mehmed Fatih” Mosque. The locals don’t know this mosque as King Mosque and we had to ask few people to find it. It’s a spacious masjid with grand entrance and a calm courtyard. Don’t miss the tall minaret beside the mosque. Inside, you can see the high dome and decorative mihrab and windows. There is no entrance fee but since it’s an active mosque visitors are not allowed during prayer time.

The grand entrance of King Mosque in Pristina, Kosovo

The grand entrance of King Mosque in Pristina, Kosovo

There are couple other historic mosque on this street which were closed, one of them was Jashar Pasha Mosque and a clock tower.

4) OLD BAZAAR: Old bazaar is an atmospheric place outside King Mosque where locals come for daily grocery. You can find almost anything and everything in this outdoor market from fresh produce to electronics to tobacco, clothes and etc. It was very crowded at noon with lots of shoppers and some cars trying to squeeze thru the narrow roads.

Old bazaar in Pristina, Kosovo

Old bazaar in Pristina, Kosovo

5) NEW BORN: This a big sign in front of American School of Kosovo to celebrate Kosovo’s freedom and independence. The letters are written in camouflaged green and black colors similar to army uniform. Lots of restaurants and shops surround this place.

"Newborn" sign near the city center of Pristina in Kosovo

“Newborn” sign near the city center of Pristina in Kosovo

6) UNIVERSITY of PRISTINA LIBRARY: This library building is definitely worth a look. University of Pristina is located a couple of minutes’ walk from the city center opposite of Mother Teresa Cathedral. The huge blocks of bricks of this building is covered with massive chains. We didn’t go inside the library, just roamed around the university campus and walked past the library.

 

Unique building of University of Pristina Library

Unique building of University of Pristina Library

7) MOTHER TERESA CATHEDRAL: Opposite of University of Pristina is Mother Teresa Cathedral. It looked like a newly built place and lots more needed to be done. It’s a spacious church inside but very simple and empty.

8) TRIP to PREKAZ: So the idea was that we wanted to see some of the war time destructions during Yugoslav war in Kosovo from the 90s. We asked our hotel reception and one of their staffs offered to take us to a village, called Prekaz, for a short tour. He charged us 50 euros all together – car, fuel, and tour for total of about little more than three hours.

Prekaz - a small town in Kosovo

Prekaz – a small town in Kosovo

Prekaz is about 60 km from Pristina and took us about an hour each way. It’s located in the town called Drenica. This is a small town where 59 people from the same family died fighting the Serbian army in 1998. The house that still stands is the house where Jashari family lived. Adem Jashari and his brother Hamze Jashari lived in this 3-story house with their families. Both the brothers were members of Kosovo Liberation Army (KLS). They fought for three days on the 5th, 6th, and 7th March 1998 until every 59 family members were dead in the hands of Serbian army. The house is kept the way they left it. You can see the bullets and grenade marks on the walls and debris on the floor. The house itself is a memorial to the Jashari family to keep their legend and sacrifice alive in Kosovo.

Jashari family house in Prekaz, Kosovo where 59 members died fighting against the Serbs in 1998

Jashari family house in Prekaz, Kosovo where 59 members died fighting against the Serbs in 1998

Opposite of Jasharis’ house, is the memorial for this family that was built in 2013. Our guide was saying there are yet more things to be added to it later. It is a nice and big park/memorial for the 59 members that died in 1998. You can see the marble tombs of those braves on the slope of this memorial. Kosovan army guards this area in honor of the deceased Jashari family members. Some of the other family members of Jashari family is located opposite of the park across the street. Another interesting thing to see here is that you see an Albanian flag flying at the corners of this memorial and not a Kosovan flag.

Tombs of Jashari family members who sacrificed their lives in Kosovo war in 1998

Tombs of Jashari family members who sacrificed their lives in Kosovo war in 1998

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