20 museums to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

MUSEUMS
 
The MUSEUM OF TRAVNIK
The  Museum of Travnik was founded in 1950. For the purpose of housing exhibits and collections, different objects were originally used in Travnik, such as the Austro-Hungarian Prison, Varoška mosque, Elči Ibrahim-paša’s madrasa (high school).
Since 1972, it has been housed in a building built for  medical purposes in 1928. from funds from the Rockfeller Foundation. The permanent exhibition in this building opened for visits in 1975.
The Fundus Museum contains about 80 thousand exhibits. The permanent exhibition set up by the Museum consists of:
– Permanent archaeological sites
-Cultural and historical settings
– „The lives and customs of the people Travnik“ (Permanent Photo Exhibition)
Address: Mehmed-paše Kukavice 1, Travnik 72270
Contact: + 387 30 518-140
 
Memorial Museum First Meeting AVNOJ
Memorial Museum First Meeting AVNOJ in Bihac is located in the center of the city.
The National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia, during the period from 2 to 4 November 1942, liberated Bihac and its surroundings. Bihać became the capital of the liberated territory, covering almost one-fifth of the territory of pre-war Yugoslavia. The building of the 1st AVNOJ Session was built shortly before World War II, January 8, 1939. as a gift from an expatriate from Bihać to America, for Monastery nuns, it served for public and cultural events of citizens.

It was built in the style of modern architecture, and the architect of this building is Stjepan Podhorski (1875 – 1945).
Ten years after the First Meeting AVNOJ, 25.11.1952., the Memorial Museum was opened in the building and the first exhibition was set up.  On March 30, 1953, the Bihać City Museum began to operate in the same premises.
During the 1992-1995 war. the AVNOJ Museum building has been significantly damaged. With funds of about 400,000 KM, the museum was renovated in 2014.
The setting consists of exhibits, documents, photographs and introductory legends in one piece, then all three-dimensional original items from AVNOJ’s collection, and about 18 works of art from the collection of the AVNOJ Museum.
Address: Petog korpusa 2, Bihać 77000
Contact: +387 37 223-214
 
Museum Second Meeting AVNOJ – Jajce
The Museum Second Metting Avnoj is located in the southern part of Jajce. Here, on November 29th and 30th 1943, the second session of the Antifascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) was held. Attended by 142 councillors, this gathering resulted in some of the most important decisions for the construction of Yugoslavia, which include declaring Yugoslavia a federal republic in which all nations are considered equal. Today, the museum continues to remind people of the important political and historical agreement between Slovenia, Croatian, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro.
Every year on November 29th and 30th, Jajce celebrates the “Days of AVNOJ” festival.
The steam locomotive standing outside the AVNOJ Museum was produced in a factory in Krauss Linz in 1903. During the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was used by Jajce’s “Elektrobosna” company.
The locomotive is named the “Little Partisan” because of the role it played during World War II transporting Croatian and Slovenian delegates to the Second Session of AVNOJ. At that time, it was the only steam locomotive operating in the free republic of Bihac.
“Little Partisan” was declared an historic monument during the 58th session of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
Address: Drugog zasjedanja AVNOJ-a, Jajce 70101
Contact: + 387 30 657-998

 
Alija Izetbegović Museum
Museum Alija Izetbegović as a depandance Museum Sarajevo was open on 19th October 2007.
This museum is dedicated to Alija Izetbegović, the first president of an independent Bosnia and Herzegovina. The museum is housed in the old city gates, Ploča and Širokac, which are remnants of the old fortified city, Vratnik, that was built in the 18th century.
Not far from the museum is the memorial to martyrs in Kovači, with the mausoleum and last resting place of their wartime commander, Alija Izetbegović, which lies among the graves of the defenders of Sarajevo. The entrance to the museum is located in Ploča Gate, which houses a library of Alija’s works, as well as a few of his personal items. Visitors can also watch the films, The Audacity of Living and In the Service of Bosnia, which talk about the first president.
Up on the first floor there are nine exhibit panels which tell the story of Alija’s life through texts and photographs and the central part of this space displays the many awards and recognitions that he received.
Museum supports scientific researches of students, and doctoral theses of various intellectuals and scientists, offering them library support, and various historical sources, so that the true will not stay unspoken.

Address: Ploča, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 574-271
 
Svrzo’s House
Svrzo’s House represents the lifestyle of an urban Muslim family in the late 18th and throughout the 19th century. The house was built by a prominent Sarajevo family, the Glođos, a member of which was kadi – Islamic judge-administrator – Munib effendi Glođo, famous for his involvement in Bosnia’s struggle for autonomy within the Ottoman Empire. The family failed for want of a male heir, and the property passed by marriage to another prominent Sarajevo family, Svrzo. Svrzo’s House is a typical example of the architecture of that period, with its division into the selamluk or public quarters and the haremluk or private, family quarters.
It was purchased from the Svrzo family, refurbished and opened to the public in the 1960s. Following the siege of Sarajevo, the house was renovated and again opened to the public in 1997. Further major renovations were carried out on the house in 2005, when the roof was repaired, the cobbles were relaid, obsolete service installations were replaced, and the painted decoration on the musandera (built-in range of cupboards) in the main halvat (drawing-room), which had faded over the years, was restored. The Museum has published a bilingual – Bosnian and English – monograph on Svrzo’s house.
Address: Glođina 8, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 475-740

Gallery 11/07/95
Gallery 11/07/95 is the first memorial gallery in Bosnia and Herzegovina – an exhibition space aiming to preserve the memory of the Srebrenica tragedy and the 8372 persons who perished in the massacres. The permanent exhibition provides documentary scenes of what was left of Srebrenica in the wake of this genocide. Through a wide range of multimedia content – images, maps, audio and video materials, the Gallery offers documentary and artistic interpretation of the events that took place in this small town in Eastern Bosnia during the month of July 1995.
The concept is a museum-gallery hybrid: this blend of artistic and documentary forms counteracts the homogenous and ideological interpretative strategies. What makes it special is that it does not deal with history in its final, recorded form: it also intervenes into the historical moment that is not only recent past, but belongs to the present as well. The overall aim of this museum is to be a strong and decisive voice against all forms of violence in the world.
Address: Trg Fra Grge Martića 2, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 953-170
 
The Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide 1992 – 1995
The Museum of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide 1992 – 1995 was founded in July 2016 as an initiative to sustain the memory of all the victims of the war that lasted from 1992- 1995. The founders of the museum themselves are victims who survived the war. Together with young people they have made the museum a reality and keep it working. The museum exhibit contains a variety of photos and personal items that hold the stories of the war victims. The museum staff has given their best to transfer those stories into written pieces that proudly stand next to every item. In order to make the visit more authentic and realistic, the museum presents simulations of a mass grave and solitary confinement. Keeping the memory alive is an important factor in avoiding genocides and massacres in the future. History is something we must remember!
Address: Muvekita 11/1, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 62 467 764
War Childhood Museum
The War Childhood Museum is a historical museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina that opened in January 2017. The museum presents the experiences of children who lived through the war in Bosnia, told through objects, video testimonies, and excerpts from oral histories. The 2018 Council of Europe Museum Prize – one of the most prestigious awards in the museum industry – has been awarded to the War Childhood Museum as part of the European Museum of the Year Awards.
The project began in 2010 when Jasminko Halilovic, a Sarajevan entrepreneur, activist, and “war child,” used an online platform to collect short recollections of young adults who had been children during the Bosnian war. Over 1,000 young adults submitted their memories. Halilovic assembled these recollections into a book which was published in 2013.
As Halilovic began corresponding with the young adults who submitted memories, he realized that many of the former “war children” still had specific objects that they connected with their memories. He began working with a team of other young professionals to develop a museum collection, eventually collecting over 3,000 objects and over 60 oral history testimonies.
In May 2016, the War Childhood Museum held its first, temporary exhibition at the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Further exhibitions followed in the cities of Zenica and Visoko. In January 2017, the museum’s permanent exhibition opened on Logavina Street in Sarajevo.
Address: 30-32, Logavina, Sarajevo
Contact: + 387 33 535-558

OLD TOWN OSTROŽAC
On the territory of BiH are still visible remains of an ancient heritage which proves that the civilization in this region existed since prehistoric times. In a beautiful landscaped town of Cazin, in the northwest of the country, is placed one of the largest fortified cities in our country – Old Town Ostrozac, which is located in a completely natural environment.
the Old Town Ostrozac is one of the largest fortified towns in BiH, which is characterized by preservation of all stages of development ranging from medieval defense of the city, much of the expanded city in the Ottoman period, to the city with clear residential character as it was during the Austro-Hungarian rule. Due to the strategic position of this city that was led by general Ivan Lenkovic with 40 soldiers, the Ottomans needed over a hundred years to conquer it, and thus Ostrozac fell under the rule of the Ottoman Empire in 1577. After their arrival, in Ostrozac were formed settlements, built the mosque and in the Old Town were made three bastions that were used for the rulers, and one as a horse stable.
Mehmedbeg Besirevic as the last captain of Ostrozac, sold the city to a former mayor of Bihac, Count Lothar van Berks who started the restoration of the city. In the period between 1900 and 1902, Van Berks started the construction of a luxurious mansion in neo-Gothic style with a large number of rooms, lounges for receptions and apartments. He order to build a wooden bridge leading to the fortress across the Una River.
During the last war in BiH, Berks’s castle was damaged. However, at the end of the war in 1995, in the castle was opened the exhibition of 77 contemporary sculptures by renowned artists from the Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo that were created at the artists’ colony in 1967.
 
MUSEUM OF THE OLD BRIDGE
The Museum of the Old Bridge is a museum located in the Old Town Area of Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The museum opened in 2006 to celebrate the second anniversary of the reconstruction of the Old Bridge (locally known as Stari Most). The museum’s premises are within the Tara Tower and they consist of three distinct sections.
The first section, consisting of the Tara Tower itself, contains archaeological objects discovered during the 2002 reconstruction carried. Exhibits are accompanied by the informative charts explaining the principal historical events associated with the Old Bridge. Out the five floors of this section, the top one contains a gazebo with a panoramic view of Mostar. The second section contains pre-existing archaeological remains discovered underneath the tower. This includes the remains of two wooden bridges belonging to the period prior to the construction of stone bridge and the base of the Old Bridge. And finally, the third section called “Labyrinth” contains a photographic gallery dedicated to the Old Bridge; that is, to the damaged towers and to the phases of restoration. Audiovisual materials and multimedia charts recount the history of the bridge’s construction.

REGIONAL MUSEUM  KONJIC
The Regional Musuem is located next to Kamena cuprija (Stone Bridge), in the very heart of the town of Konjic. The Museum primarily contributes to the development of tourism in Konjic, but also has a significant impact on the economic development of the Municipality, development of the local community and improvement of communication between citizens, tourists, institutions, local communities and no-governmental organizations.
n addition, the Regional Museum contributes to the development of the old heart of Konjic, and it promotes and protects cultural and historical heritage, including old crafts. The Museum organizes and hosts a number of different cultural events, including exhibitions and presentations. The Museum offers visitors ethnographic and historical collections as well as gallery for displaying different exhibitions.
Address: Varda 1, Konjic
Contact: +387 36 727 080
 
 
THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM
The Olympic Museum was founded with the aim of preserving, for posterity’s sake, the memory of the organization and realization of the XIV Winter Olympic Games (WOG) which were held in the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1984.
From 1984 to 1992, the museum was housed in a prominent villa in the center of Sarajevo, which had been designed by the famous Czech Architect, Karl Paržik, for Nikola Mandić, a Sarajevo lawyer and politician. Mandić, who served as President of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and was later deemed an enemy of the state, lost his life and property after the Second World War.
On April 27, 1992, right at the beginning of the last war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Olympic Museum was hit by grenades. The building was badly damaged and many valuable items went up in smoke. However, most of the collection was salvaged and transferred to the Zetra Olympic Complex and the new Olympic Museum of BiH was opened in 2004 to mark the 20th anniversary of the XIV WOG.
Many items related to the XIV Winter Olympic Games have been donated, which has helped replenish the museum’s collection, and renovation of the Olympic Museum is in progress.
Address: Alipašina bb, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 226-414
 
GAZI HUSREV BEY MUSEUM
Gazi Husrev Bey’s Museum is dedicated to Gazi Husrev Bey (1480-1541) – the Governor of Bosnia and Sarajevo’s greatest benefactor.
The museum is located in Kuršumlija Medresa, one of the many objects built in the city by Gazi Husrev Bey. The museum’s collection can be divided into eight thematic sections which fill the rooms that were once used by students at the medresa. As they pass through the facility, visitors can come to learn more about Gazi Husrev Bey as a historical figure, his endowment (vafuk) and the medresa itself.
The central area in Kuršumlija Medresa is made up of dershani (small lecture halls) which serve as exhibit spaces for the collection of rare items that were part of Gazi Husrev Bey’s vakuf. There is also the muvekithana, a room with instruments used to determine the exact time, as well as a room dedicated to the bequeathed structures that were damaged during the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-1995).
In one of the rooms visitors can watch a documentary on Gazi Husrev Bey, the establishment of his vakuf and the objects that were built in Sarajevo as part of his generous endowment.

Address: Gazi Husrev-begova 46, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 233-170
 
GAZI HUSREV BEY’S LIBRARY MUSEUM
The Gazi Husrev Bey Library museum collection contains more than 1,200 items which are divided into five thematic exhibit areas: Islamic art, education, religious life, ethnology and the library during the war.
The Islamic Calligraphy section is made up of a collection of works by BiH master calligraphers and the Measuring Time section contains items that were used to calculate the exact time, including two hand-made globes made by the famous Sarajevo muvekit (a person responsible for precisely calculating the time for prayers), Salih Sidki Efendi Muvekkit.
The Ulema section features a display of both hand-written and printed works by famous BiH ulemas (scholars), who served as authors, scribes or commentators on the works of others.
The next section, Mosques and Tekkes, has items such as levhas (individual calligraphic panels), lamps, Qur’an stands, prayer beads, hand-made carpets, prayer mats…, from some of BiH’s religious buildings. The Hajj display shows items that were brought back by Bosnian-Herzegovinians from their pilgrimages and the Everyday Life section contains articles that have served as a part of Bosnians’ everyday life for centuries, including clothing and shoes, furniture, dishes, items used in personal hygiene…
Address: Gazi Husrev-begova 46, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 233-170

 
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1888 and is the oldest of the modern cultural and scientific institutions of Western type in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A series of historical events influenced its establishment. A number of individuals and groups had for a long time prior to this emphasized the need for such an institution. The initial idea to establish a museum dates back to 1850. However, nearly four decades were to elapse before its establishment, during which two empires ruled Bosnia and Herzegovina – Ottoman rule gave way in 1878 to Austro-Hungarian administration.
The museum allows visitors to take “a short walk” through BiH’s past, from earliest times all the way to the ethnology exhibit, whose interior captures the atmosphere of a traditional city house during the Ottoman period.
The permanent exhibit, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Middle Ages, takes up three separate halls which contain archaeological pieces dating from the Middle Ages (6th c. to 15th c.). Among the 11,500 items on display, there are some that even adorned the interior of the palace where the royal Kotromanić family resided.
The most valuable item in the museum’s collection is the famous Sarajevo Haggadah, which the Sephardic Jews brought to Sarajevo when they left Spain. There is also the rich collection in the natural history section which covers both living and non-living worlds, including a skeleton of a bearded vulture, a bird with a giant wingspan which used to fly in the skies above BiH not that long ago. There is a botanical garden in the central part of the complex, home to more than 3,000 types of plants, including some endemic varieties.
Some of the most representative examples of Bosnian stećci can also be found among the greenery.
Address: Zmaja od Bosne 3, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 668-027
 
TUNNEL OF HOPE
From July 1993 until the end of the Siege in late February 1996, the Sarajevo War Tunnel was the only connection besieged Sarajevo had with the outside world. It took more than six months to dig the tunnel and was done using pickaxes and shovels. The only source of light the workers had was provided by “war candles”, containers filled with cooking oil and fitted with a wick made from string.
On the night of July 30, 1993, the tunnel was finally completed, giving Sarajevo an outlet to the world. The 800-meter-long corridor is a little over a meter wide and has an average height of 1.5 meters. Thanks to the tunnel, the beleaguered city regained access to telephone lines, oil supplies, food and electric energy.
After the war, about 20 meters of the tunnel became part of a museum which contains many items from the time of the Siege of Sarajevo – the longest-running siege of any city in modern history.
Address: BA, 1, Tuneli, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 684-032
 
 
Museum of Sarajevo 1878-1918
“Sarajevo 1878-1919” Museum is located on the spot where Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of the Austro-Hungarian throne, which led to a declaration of war on Serbia and the beginning of World War I.
The assassination of the Austro-Hungarian heir apparent, Franz Ferdinand, and his wife, Sophie, was carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a member of the revolutionary organization, Young Bosna. The museum’s exhibit is laid out chronologically and starts with events which paved the way for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to receive its mandate during the Berlin Congress to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina and ends with the First World War, whose outbreak was caused by the Sarajevo Assassination.
The exhibit can be divided into eight distinct sections: Resistance to Occupation, New Administration, Cultural Life, Cultural-Religious Educational Societies, Printing Presses and Publishing; Industry and Architecture; Annexation and the Bosnian Diet; The Assassination of the Heir Apparent, Franz Ferdinand, and His Wife, Sophie and The First World War.
Address: Zelenih beretki 1, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: + 387 33 533-288
 
Museum of Literature & Performing Arts
Founded in 1961 as the Museum of Literature, it was further expanded nearly a decade later to cover topics that related to the performing arts scene in BiH.
This museum deals with the collection, preservation and presentation of items which tell the story of the development of the history of literature and the performing arts in BiH.
It’s located in the heart of Sarajevo in an old family house that was built in the middle of the 19th century, making it a fine cultural-historical monument. The museum’s holdings comprise 67 literary and 17 theater-related collections which contain more than 20,000 items.
There are also permanent exhibits: Silvije Strahimir Kranjčević’s Study Room and the Bosnian Rooms of Petar Kočić, Hasan Kikić and Isak Samokovlija.
The ground floor of the museum, the Mak Gallery, has served as an exhibit space since 1992.

Address: Sime Milutinovića Sarajlije 7, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: +387 33 201-861
 
The Despić House
Despić House, the oldest part of which was built during the 17th century, was bequeathed to the city of Sarajevo at the end of the 1960s by Pero Despić.
As a descendent of this prominent Sarajevo family, it was Pero’s wish that Despić House, now an annex of the Museum of Sarajevo, serve as an exhibit that would show the way of life for one old Serbian family. It was also a way to preserve the memory of the Despić family, which left an indelible trace on one period of Sarajevo history.
The Despićs, who made their fortune as artisans and traders, were members of the Sarajevo elite at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. Despić House even served as a precursor to the city’s modern theater, with the first theatrical performances given in the drawing room of the home. It was in this house that the first home theatre in Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded and the first theater performances took place in the house which is the reason why the house has been considered a forerunner of the contemporary theater.
The Despić family also donated another house to the city of Sarajevo, which is now the Museum of Literature and Performing Arts of BiH.
Address: Despićeva 2, Sarajevo 71000
Contact: +387 33 215-531
 
Brusa Bezistan
This substantial building was erected in 1551 by Rustem Pasha, Grand Vizier of Suleyman the Magnificent. It was used for selling the silk that Rustem Pasha himself produced in Bursa, now is  home to an annex of the Museum of Sarajevo, where visitors can view the museum’s permanent exhibits.
The permanent exhibition is based on the chronological principle, with the archaeological material on display divided into three sections: prehistory, Antiquity (including the earliest example of a fleur-de-lis in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Middle Ages.
Bezistan’s gallery includes items from the Ottoman period, such as valuable pieces of weaponry used by Ottoman soldiers, and the period of Austro-Hungarian rule in Sarajevo.
The display that attracts the most attention is the model of “Old Čaršija”, the trading and merchant center of Ottoman Sarajevo. The original model, which shows the city as it was right before Austro-Hungarian occupation, was created by master modeler, Husein Karišik, in the 1950s.
In conjunction with this display, visitors can now make use of an interactive 3D model of Ottoman Sarajevo and obtain information on specific objects by selecting items on the screen.
 
Address: Abadžiluk 10, 71000 Sarajevo
Contact: +387 33 239 590

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