the Jerusalem of Europe

Was the title of a map of the old town of Sarajevo by the lift in my hotel.  I don’t think it referred to Jerusalem being important to many religions (Slightly off topic but here are photos of many religious sites in Jerusalem.) as I do not believe there was a claim that Sarajevo was religiously significant to any religion.  More I believe the point was being made that the three Abrahamic faiths had played a large part in the history of the city and in shaping it.  The picture above is of my hotel shown sandwiched between two mosques.  It was not just these two which were noticeable for the call to prayer.  The city is largely Muslim with more mosques than you can shake a stick at, as is evidenced above.  The picture above is of the madrassa opposite the Gazi Husrev-Beg mosque in down town Sarajevo.  There was a lot of building on the site and it is clearly expanding.  The map mentioned above talked not only about the religious sites but also their landholdings and the areas held by each religion were greater than just the sites of their places of worship.  In the Ottoman times the Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain were welcomed into Sarajevo and they built a number of synagogues.  The one above on the left was built in 1581 and is now a museum.  The bare stone walls and timber
floors provide an aesthetically pleasing space for a
small but well designed and laid out museum dedicated to
the city’s long Jewish history.  A bit further on in the old town is the Cathedral of Jesus’ Heart, the country’s Catholic Cathedral. Well restored after being heavily damaged in the war, it was built in 1889 by Josip Vancas and outside the steps provide a popular meeting and resting place.  Just across the road is the large Orthodox Cathedral, Church of the Most Holy Mother of God.   B-4, Zelenih Beretki bb. Inside are large iconostases holding icons made in Russia, installed here by Russian masons sent by Tsar Alexander II. As a proof of religious tolerance, Sultan Abdul Aziz, and the Prince of Serbia donated 500 gold ducats towards the construction of the building. Serb forces shot up their own church during the war and the Greek government is now involved in helping restore the damage.

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One Response to “the Jerusalem of Europe”

  1. The Cellist of Sarajevo « The Flashing Blade Says:

    […] part in European history of the previous century.  As did the story of a place that called itself the Jerusalem of Europe.  It is hard to believe that the city that I visited, and included pictures in the above posts […]

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