Sarajevo railway station

The first standard-gauge railway in BiH (from Banja Luka to Dobrljin near Bosanski Novi) became operational in 1872, as part of the Istanbul route, which was to connect Istanbul and Vienna.


Following occupation in 1878, Austria-Hungary quickly began building a network of narrow tracks in order to provide support for its military garrisons and exploit BiH's rich mines and forests.

The first train arrived in Sarajevo in 1882 (via the northern track, from Zenica) at a station near the Vaso Miskin Crni factory complex in Pofalići.

The train station in Ilidža was built to service the southern railway line, which had connected Sarajevo to the Adriatic since 1891; and the Bistrik station, a starting point for the east-bound line that ran toward Dobrun, near Višegrad, started up in 1906.

After WWII, work actions all over former Yugoslavia sped up the process of repairing destroyed infrastructure and building new installations.

One of the most important projects of that time was to build the Šamac-Sarajevo railway line, which was to connect the industrial basin of northern Bosnia to the BiH capital.

Architects from Czechoslovakia and East Germany

There were plans for the line to end at the new railway station in Sarajevo, a monumental building that started to be built in June 1947, as designed by architects from Czechoslovakia and East Germany.

This ambitious architectural project, with a roof made of reinforced concrete arches, was to become a symbol of the superior architecture of the Eastern Bloc.

However, in June 1948, just a year after construction began, the Communist Inforburo attacked the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and its leadership, resulting in relations between Yugoslavia and other communist countries, which were headed by Stalin’s USSR, to freeze over.

Designers and top technical staff left Sarajevo and construction resumed under the Ministry for Construction of the People’s Republic of BiH.

The project was headed by deputy minister, architect Jahiel Finci (a founder of the Faculty of Engineering and Collegium Artisticum), who was helped by colleagues Muhamed Kadić and Emanuel Šamanek, and engineers Bogdan Stojkov and Lorenc Eichberger.

National monument

They made a deal with German POWs, who were participating in the construction, that they could continue working without constant technical supervision and, in return, they would have better living conditions and a promise that they would be released once construction was completed.

In the end, nearly six years after construction first got underway, the new train station in Sarajevo opened in the spring of 1953 and is one of the most recognizable attractions in the city on the Miljacka.

The Sarajevo railway station and its plaza was made a National Monument of BiH during a session held by the Committee for the Preservation of National Monuments of BiH on April 26, 2018.