Historic Sarajevo

Its horrifying recent history has imbued the streets of Sarajevo with a pathos that is striking to first-time visitors, the pavement 'roses' poignant reminders of the devastation wrought by the three-year siege in the 1990s. But equally palpable is the fact that Sarajevo isn't a city busy feeling sorry for itself: buildings have been spruced up and are sparkling anew, trams rattle past lively cafes, and the go-ahead public life in the squares and streets, mosques and churches attest to a people intent on getting on with life. Visitors are made welcome, and are soon at home in a city packed with more life than some places ten times the size. Indeed, the Turkish quarter's alleys and streets are a haven for curious travellers, a place where maps should be discarded in favour of some aimless ambling among the artisans and coffeehouses, and the chance to soak up a unique ambience that can feel equal parts Orient and Europe.

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