Museum of Sarajevo

The Museum of the City of Sarajevo was founded in 1949 and tasked with preserving the historical and cultural heritage of Sarajevo


First housed in the attic of Vijećnica, in 1954 it was allowed to use the building formerly used by the Islamic law-judges school. The administrative office remained here all the way up until 1993, when the building was returned to the Islamic Community for the Islamic Science Faculty.

Five annexes

The Mlada Bosna Museum opened as the museum’s first annex in 1953. It was housed in the former Šilerova workshop, and the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie, was carried out in front of this building. Today, it is home to the Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918 (Zelenih Beretki 1), which has broadened its scope to look at the assassination, as well as the city up to the end of Austro-Hungarian rule.

As a testimony to the 500-year Jewish presence in the region, the museum opened its second annex in 1966. The Jewish Museum of BiH (Velika Avlija bb) is housed in the Old or Great Temple (Il Kal Grandi), BiH’s oldest synagogue, from the late 16th century. The museum collection tells the story of the lives of Sarajevo’s Jews, their contribution to the city’s development and the loss of life during WWII.

In the 1960s, the museum family acquired two more annexes - Svrzo House and Despić House.

Svrzo House (Glođina 8) is one of the best preserved examples of residential architecture in BiH from the Ottoman period (18th c.), a time when wealthy homes were divided into a public area (selamluk) and a family section (haremluk). It first belonged to the prominent Glođo family, and was then passed on to the Svrzo family through marriage, and the latter sold it to the Museum of the City of Sarajevo.

The first theater productions in Sarajevo were put on at Despić House (Despićeva 2). The oldest part of this home was built in the 17th century and it was bequeathed to the city by Pero Despić, so as to create an exhibit that shows the way of life of an old Sarajevo Serb family and preserve the memory of the Despić family.

70 years of the Museum of Sarajevo

The Museum of the City of Sarajevo, which had already become a public institution as the Museum of Sarajevo, was under the jurisdiction of Sarajevo Canton and acquired its fifth annex, Brusa Bezistan (Abadžiluk 10), in 2004. This monumental object was raised in the heart of Baščaršija in 1551 by Rustem Pasha, Grand Vizier to Sulejman the Magnificent. It houses artifacts from pre-history, antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian periods.

Since 2006, the museum administration has been in Kosta Herman Villa (Josipa Štadlera 32), named after the Austro-Hungarian clerk who served as the first director of the National Museum.

This year, the museum celebrates its 70th year, and this jubilee will be marked with international displays and new exhibits; a monument to the Sarajevo Assassination will be raised on Latin Bridge, Gavrilo Princip’s footprints will be returned to the front of the Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1914….