What is the most expensive Building built by the Austria-Hungary in BiH?

zemaljski_muzej_sarajevo_bihCultural and scientific institutions testify to the wealth of the beautiful Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as of other parts of the Balkans. Among them is the National Museum of BiH, certainly the oldest contemporary cultural-scientific institution in BiH.

“The Museum was founded ten years after the arrival of Austro-Hungarian authorities, in 1888. Already at the end of the Ottoman Empire, the idea existed about forming an institution that would put the rich Bosnian historical collection into special rooms. The new authority did not want to delete the past, but affirm it and preserve it from oblivion. Thus the Provincial Government was the initiator and financer of the sumptuous museum which was among the first, if not the first, pro-Western type institution in the country,” said Mufid Garibija, an architect from Sarajevo and a person who knows well the history of the city.

According to the regulatory plans for expansion of Sarajevo towards the west, the current location of Marindvor was chosen. The authorities entrusted the Czech architect Karel Pařík with the construction. Under the circumstances, Karel Pařík remained a longtime citizen of Sarajevo and a major constructor throughout Bosnia. Construction of the National Museum lasted for a long time and was completed in 1913. The building was made in neo-renaissance style and the facility consists of four individual buildings with six pavilions. First botanical garden in the region was made in the inner courtyard, between the buildings.

The Museum is special for the vast gallery spaces with magnificent stairs and ceiling lighting. The buildings have two floors with a basement, and were made of Sarajevo bricks. This luscious complex is the most expensive building made by the Austro-Hungarians in BiH ever.

The scientific exhibition is divided into archaeological, ethnological and natural sciences department. The museum has several collections, such as prehistoric, ancient, natural, numerical, folkloric… Among the most valuable exhibits is the Sarajevo Haggadah, brought to the city with the arrival of Jews from Spain. Sultan Mehmed Fatih welcomed them and allowed them to settle here.

According to the project, the main entrance was supposed to be made on the southern end of the complex, on the Wilson’s Promenade. Circumstantially, it was made at its current place.

“Botanical garden with a fountain and stećaks because the most representative location for promotions. Parts of the famous film ‘Walter defends Sarajevo” were made here. It will remain on record that members of the Presidency of BiH used to meet here, after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement,” said Garibija.


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