Walter's electric power station

Sarajevo was among the first cities in Europe to get electricity, public lighting and an electric-powered tram. This was made possible when the Austro-Hungarian administration opened the first steam-electric power station in Marijin Dvor in 1895.


The power station was built in the spirit of revival architecture, and the remains of this complex are at the intersection of Kotromanića and Hiseta Streets. Karl Paržik oversaw the designs, and construction was entrusted to the German company, Siemens und Halske.

First Sarajevo tram

Work on the installation of infrastructure for street lighting and major buildings was done at the same time. April 3, 1895 saw a trial run for lighting, and on May 1 the National Government building (now the BiH Presidency building) and Apelova Obala (now Obala Kulina Bana) both got electricity, and the first electric tram passed through Sarajevo that day. 

The city’s growth and expansion made electric energy necessary, so additions were made to the station, and work continued even during the world wars.

On the night of April 5, 1945, during the Liberation of Sarajevo (Apr. 6) in WWII, the power station in Marijin Dvor was the site of a major battle.

On one side were the German occupying forces, which tried to blow up the station and bring life in the city to a halt as they were retreating, and on the other were members of the resistance, led by their fearless leader, the legendary Vladimir “Walter” Perić.

“A free Sarajevo must not be without light” was the command given by Walter, who died trying to save the station. Yet, it was saved and Sarajevo was liberated in its full glory.

After the war, a monument was raised by the station in his honor, and the city power company took the name Valter Perić.

The station stopped working at the end of the 1950s and became a storage center for Elektrodistribucija. During the 1960s it was taken over by IRIS, which worked in the development of the IT sector.

A fierce battle was fought on May 2, 1992, when JNA forces tried to take Sarajevo at Skenderija (between the station and the Presidency building). The main building was heavily damaged during the fighting and shelling and still hasn’t been renovated.

Technical Museum

There is an idea to turn the station into a technical museum, which would have collections on electro energy, modes of transportation, waterworks and sewage works, gas technologies…, and it would also look at the prototypes for the first electric tram and steam locomotive.

The entire electric power station complex on Hiseta St., which comprises the industrial facility (west) and the administrative building and park with the Vladimir “Walter” Perić monument (east), was made a National Monument of BiH in 2015.

It has been in private hands since 2017, and the fate of this structure is still unknown.