If you take a look at Sarajevo at any time of day, from any surrounding hill, you will always inadvertently come to the same conclusion. It is a city that is wearing out and dying, while at the same time being reborn and transformed. Today it is the city of our most beautiful longings and endeavors and bravest desires and hopes.
Ivo Andrić, writer and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
What is the oriental charm that starts here in Sarajevo and that Westerners can’t resist? Here there are no plans that stem from rational thinking; it’s all a matter of improvisation and the result of ad hoc ideas and temporary whims.
Juraj Neidhard, one of the most important Sarajevan architects
I know that life after the war can sometimes be even more difficult than it was during the war. The enemy is more cunning, and a man wants to relax after he has exerted so much effort to survive. But you cannot. Because the name “Sarajevo” is a symbol of light and hope. The hope that courage and tolerance can prevail.
When you enter a coffee house and look for a place to sit, you need to be very careful not to trip over the long pipes which smokers, who are seated on low pillows, leave in the middle of the coffee house floor. If you step on one of these long pipes or even touch it, it can cost you dearly, for you are disturbing the Sarajevans’ “pleasure”. Notwithstanding all of the commotion outside in Čaršija, inside there is silence. All you can hear is the bubbling of the water pipes and the sound of coffee boiling on the embers.
Robert Stanhopes, a traveler who visited Sarajevo in 1634
Objectively, Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, and nothing in Sarajevo can be compared to Paris, but my heart never trembles in Paris like it does here in Sarajevo, when I wait in line at the post office.
The people of Sarajevo: intelligent and primitive, greedy and beautiful, tired and young, very young and insane, rich and miserable, vital and ill, tall and worn out, angry and passive, dubious and geniuses, the diaspora and street punks, fans of Željo and Sarajevo, children and grownups, faithful and unfaithful, powerful and pious – all in all, almost four-hundred thousand city atoms. And to be frank, there is no end to it. You either love Sarajevo or you don’t.
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