Christopher Bennett

Sarajevo is anything but a boring city!

Christopher (Chris) Bennett is a historian and author of Yugoslavia's Bloody Collapse and Bosnia's Paralyzed Peace. He is also Director of the Foundation for the Preservation of Historical Heritage, which aims to preserve BiH’s historical heritage by storing the country’s archives in digital form.


Chris was born in New Haven, Connecticut and during his career he has worked as a journalist, served as Communications Director in the Office of the High Representative (OHR) in Sarajevo and Head of OHR’s Regional Office in Banja Luka, as well as Director of the Balkans Program for the International Crisis Group.

He first came to the Balkans in 1981, while traveling with his mother, who is Slovenian.

Magical water from Baščaršija

- I probably tried some water from Baščaršija back then, because I later came to Sarajevo quite regularly, living and working here at times until 2006, when I settled here with my family, says Chris.

He sees Sarajevo as a valuable place for historians and is intrigued by Bistrik, where he lives.

- I live near Sarajevo Pivara and their museum is worth visiting. I especially like the Church and Monastery of St. Anthony of Padua, where I go with my family once a month, when mass is given in French.

Chris is also impressed by the nearby Konak, the Emperor’s Mosque, Isa Bey’s Hamam, Vijećnica and other buildings that are steeped in history. His foundation works closely with the Historical Museum, the National and University Library and the Museum of Literature and the Performing Arts in BiH, whose courtyard is “the loveliest place in town”.

- We would like to make digital souvenirs to help museums and other cultural institutions earn a profit from their collections, Chris explains.

Chris is keen to follow opera performances at the National Theater and events at BKC. It bothers him that smoking is permitted in public places and he recently started doing yoga at Prana Yoga Studio on Radićeva St., which looks out onto the lovely Academy of Fine Arts.

- My wife did the design for this studio, as well as other interiors. My children also love art – my son is studying piano at music school and my daughter’s childhood here has been marked by singing in a children’s choir.

He is always delighted with the arrival of winter because he loves to ski on the nearby mountains and the kids enjoy skating and playing ice hockey at Zetra.

Waiting for a Trebević cable car

- I live near the base of the Trebević cable car and I can hardly wait for it to start working, because Sarajevo is perfect for enjoying nature and sporting activities.

Chris and his family enjoy different kinds of food: every day he buys a baguette from the French bakery, Maison Coco, and he recommends the sujuk and liver at Hodžić and the pasta at Vapiano.

- My children love the savory crêpes at Cakum-Pakum, my wife prefers fish at the excellent restaurant, Luka Sarajevo, and my choice is the Bosnian pot at the little place, Žara iz Duvara.

He enjoys taking in a sunset above the Miljacka at Café de Paris (At Mejdan), he usually has coffee at Buybook and tea at Franz & Sophie, and tends to give friends packets of Bosnian coffee as gifts.

He thinks that the band, Dubioza Kolektiv, gives the best picture of the Balkan mentality and he has the following message for visitors:

- Sarajevo is anything but a boring city!