In the Old Town of Sarajevo, as in Jerusalem, all the major religions of the Western world are represented. Mosques, cathedrals and temples co-exist within a few hundred feet of each other, testament to Sarajevo's long tradition of ethnic and religious tolerance.
What had taken centuries to build has been brought to the edge of ruin in a matter of months, victim of a ruthless campaign against diversity and freedom of expression. During the siege of Sarajevo religious buildings were targeted for their emotional value. Those who wished to destroy the community recognized that the Old Town is its heart, and that to break the historical bonds that bind the city they had first to loosen the spiritual moorings that hold neighbors firm to their beliefs.
We seek to highlight and enhance the common ground of the religious district, both literally and figuratively, to de-emphasize symbols of contention among competing ethnic groups while emphasizing their shared heritage and the doctrine of toleration common to all the world's great religions.
Just as Sarajevo, as an intersection of fervent beliefs, might prove to be the flash point once again for a war reaching far beyond the boundaries of Bosnia, so too can it be the place where reconciliation gains rebirth.
Studies should focus on linking foot traffic between religious
sites and nearby parks and markets. Motor traffic and parking
must be accommodated, perhaps with space taken from demolished
buildings, in order to embrace future tourism.
The Bosnia Network Home Page
Sarajevo Master Plan
Redevelopment of Old Town Sarajevo
Sarajevo's Parks and Cemeteries