Monday, March 14, 2011

Sarajevo in Pictures...

This bridge, known today as the Latin Bridge, was where a very important event occurred, which led to the beginning of World War I. It was here, on June 28, 1914, that Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was assassinated. This is Skender, our guide during a day trip retracing the siege of Sarajevo by Serbian troops. During the mid-90's conflict he was just a boy and his father became part of makeshift military forces while his mother kept Skender safe at home. He recounted those days with us in chilling detail, stating that heat, water and even food were often in short supply. Only on rare occasions, when the air-raid sirens fell silent for an extended period of time, did he get to play outside with his friends...for a short time.

Looking down at Sniper Alley from a hill above Sarajevo. This is an important crossroads that was constantly in the scope of snipers during the mid-90s siege. Hundreds of civilians were killed while merely walking to across this street, in search of food.
One of the few buildings not yet rebuilt since the devastation caused nearly 20 years ago. The large bricks on the right filled the hole of a mortar round, but hundreds of holes from small arms fire remain.

This tunnel once spanned more than 800 meters, below the Sarajevo Airport runway, and was the only connection to the outside world for thousands of residents of Sarajevo during the siege. Food, arms and other goods were carried, day and night, by hand and in carts in this dark and damp tunnel, saving untold lives. Prior to its construction people were forced to run across the runway and were often hit by sniper fire when doing so.

One of many "Sarajevo Roses" found throughout the city. These are scars in the concrete created by deadly mortar rounds during the mid-90s conflict. They were later filled with red resin, so that the victims may never be forgotten.
One of two memorials for the victims of two separate massacres at the Markale Market in Sarajevo. During the two shellings, more than 100 civilians, waiting in line for food, were killed while hundreds more were seriously injured and maimed. The second shelling led to NATO involvement in the conflict. In the reflection you can see that the market is back to business-as-usual today.
A couple of old-timers passing a cool Sunday afternoon with a little larger-than-life Chess.
The beautiful Old Bridge in Mostar, Bosnia, which was the site of intense destruction between 1992 and 1993. Shelling destroyed a Franciscan and Serbian Orthodox Monasteries, as well as a Catholic Cathedral and many other monuments.

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