Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hopeful news: "Sarajevo reopens historic city hall and library destroyed in war."

Another of my pilgrimage stops in 1987 was the library in Sarajevo, which served as city hall in 1914 when the Archduke Franz Ferdinand visited.

His day didn't end well.

Gavrilo Princip and the June 28 day.

22 years ago, the library was destroyed during the Yugoslav wars that dissolved a country formed after WWI, which Princip's bullets helped start. The Reuters report has good before and after photos.
Sarajevo reopens historic city hall and library destroyed in war (Reuters)

Sarajevo City Hall, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been attending a reception shortly before he was shot dead and which was destroyed in 1992 by Serb shelling, reopens

Sarajevo's City Hall, a stately neo-Moorish edifice marked by the violence of two 20th-century wars, has returned to its old glory after being destroyed by Serb shelling during the siege of the city in 1992.

The building, first opened in 1896, has been restored to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War, triggered by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand just after he left a reception there in June 1914.

Converted into the National Library in 1949, it went up in flames in August 1992, destroying almost two million books including many rare volumes reflecting its multicultural life under the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires.

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