Stari Grad (meaning "old city") is a municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the oldest and most historically significant part of Sarajevo. At its heart is the Bascarsija, the old town market sector where the city was founded by the Ottomans in the 15th century.
Bascarsija is considered to be the main street of Sarajevo and one of its most important landmarks. It is located in the old town part of Sarajevo, designed in the Ottoman-Turkish style and loaded with souvenir shops and public fountains. It contains a bazaar that sells all kinds of metalwork, jewellery and pottery. Each street is dedicated to a different craft. It is built in the 16th century.
Sarajevo (Cyrillic: Сарајево) is the capital city and largest urban center of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, as well as the center of the Sarajevo Canton. Sarajevo is located in the Sarajevo valley of Bosnia proper, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated around the Miljacka river. The city is famous for its traditional religious diversity, with adherents of Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy peacefully coexisting there for centuries.
Although settlement in the area stretches back to prehistoric times, the modern city arose as an Ottoman stronghold in the 15th century. Sarajevo has attracted international attention several times throughout its history: In 1914 it was the site of the assassination that sparked World War I, while seventy years later it became the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics. More recently, Sarajevo underwent the longest siege in modern military history during the Bosnian War. Today the city is recovering and adjusting to a post-war reality, as a major center of culture and economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Sarajevo is located close to the center of the triangular shape of Bosnia and Herzegovina in southeastern Europe.
Suitable climatic conditions have allowed winter sports to flourish in the region, as exemplified by the Winter Olympics in 1984 thet were celebrated in Sarajevo.
Sarajevo has a strong tourist industry and was named by Lonely Planet the 43rd Best City in the World in 2006. Sports-related tourism uses the legacy facilities of the 1984 Winter Olympics, especially the skiing facilities on the nearby mountains of Bjelašnica, Igman, Jahorina, Trebević, and Treskavica. Sarajevo's 600 years of history, influenced by both Western and Eastern empires, is also a strong tourist attraction. Sarajevo has hosted travellers for centuries, because it was an important trading center during the Ottoman and Austria-Hungarian empires. Examples of popular destinations in Sarajevo include the Vrelo Bosne park, the Sarajevo cathedral, and the Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosque.
Sarajevo is currently undergoing a large scale building boom as new commercial, industrial, residential, and office buildings and facilities are under construction. The city is growing at a fast pace and will retain its prewar population within a period of 10-20 years. Because of its large growth, many new Apartment buildings have been constructed in Sarajevo; specifically in the Eastern suburb of Ilida. The city is also renovating its sports facilities; such as its main stadium, and its well known skiing hotels and venues. The construction of Highway 5C will further supplement and boost Sarajevo's already impressive growth.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan peninsula of Southern Europe
The country is home to three ethnic "constituent peoples": Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Regardless of ethnicity, a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina is often identified in English as a Bosnian. In Bosnia however, the distinction between a Bosnian and a Herzegovinian is maintained as a regional, rather than an ethnic distinction. The country is politically decentralized and comprised of two governing entities, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republika Srpska, with District Brčko as a de facto third entity.
Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the south, Bosnia and Herzegovina is mostly landlocked, except for 26 kilometres of the Adriatic Sea coastline, centered around the town of Neum. The interior of the country is mountainous in the center and south, hilly in the northwest, and flat in the northeast. The nation's capital and largest city is Sarajevo, seated between several high mountains. Sarajevo was the host site of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games.
The region of Bosnia is the largest geographic region of the modern state with moderate continental climate, marked by hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Smaller Herzegovina is the southern tip of the country, with Mediterranean climate and topography. Bosnia and Herzegovina's natural resources are abundant.
Bosnia and Herzegovina has been a top performer in recent years in terms of tourism development; tourist arrivals have grown by an average of 24% annually from 1995 to 2000 (360,758 in 2002, 500,000 in 2006).
According to an estimation of the World Tourism Organization, Bosnia and Herzegovina will have the third highest tourism growth rate in the world between 1995 and 2020.
Lonely Planet, in ranking the best cities in the world, ranked Sarajevo, the national capital and host of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games, as #43, ahead of Dubrovnik at #59, Ljubljana at #84, Bled at #90, Belgrade at #113, and Zagreb at #135. Tourism in Sarajevo is chiefly focused on historical, religious, and cultural aspects (see Sites of interest in Sarajevo). Bosnia has also become an increasingly popular skiing and Ecotourism destination .
More recently, the town of Visoko has experienced a major increase in tourist arrivals due to the alleged discovery of the Bosnian pyramids, attracting in excess of 10,000 tourists in the first weekend of June 2006.