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9 Most Interesting Abandoned Places in Sarajevo

Empty buildings with soulful walls?

I don’t know why, but there is some kind of urge in ”forbidden” places, places ”off the path” to sum you in.

Like they are calling you to go inside. I didn’t think of it, until recently we didn’t went to explore those places in Sarajevo, as research for our new tour.

Just by looking on abandoned buildings in Sarajevo, I actually never thought what was there before? Why are they still ruins? What is with reconstruction? On the other hand walls are hiding mystery which calls you to explore it. But fear to go inside is always present. Fear of unknown, what will you see there?

Through these 20 years we had lot of them. After all of what happened at the beginning of 90’s, ”ABANDONED” was one of main synonyms for certain parts of Sarajevo. When we went to do this research, I was simply amazed, of different kind of world that I’m in.

By walking among them main thought was “What if walls could talk, what would be their story?” Graffiti art, lot’s of garbage, corners where you could see that people still live in.

A lot of emptiness intertwined with so much life.

1) Deserted Čolina kapa observatory and Bistrik Kula

We had Observatory, like actual one where you can go to look at the stars and sky. Unfortunately we don’t have it anymore.

During the 1990’s siege, the besiegers used it as an observation post and military strong point for artillery, along with many other locations on the hill. It’s abandoned since then. This slope commands excellent views of Sarajevo down at the base in the valley. It consists of two towers.

After the Second World War, Bistrik Kula place lost its military function and in the 1960’s it was entrusted to the Orion Astronomical Society. Between 1969 and 1972, Orion worked to establish the only astronomical observatory of its kind in BiH. Two domes, which housed instruments used in observing the sky, were placed on the old fortification and a special observatory was installed next to the tower. This would serve as the base for the third dome, which measured eight meters in diameter.

From this perspective now, as a grown up woman, I would like to have something like this in my city. Among other abandoned places in Sarajevo Today Observatory have stories, that we don’t know, hidden among these walls, waiting some other time to be told, among other abandoned places in Sarajevo.

How to find it? You will need car to follow this Google Map.

Čolina Kapa Observatory at Trebevic Mountain near Sarajevo
Čolina Kapa Observatory at Trebevic Mountain

2) Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympic Bob Sled

Known as fastest and steepest in the world, bob sled was designed and constructed for the needs of Olympic games that were held here in 1984. Construction of it’s time, which today defies it, as the guardian of Trebević.

Stained with graffiti, each of which carries a specific message about the past, about the present and the future. If it were not for the same, it would be a great surprise for every passerby, whom he would put on the Trebević Mountain. He would be pleasantly surprised by the fact that abandoned Bob sled is jealously guarding the forest.

Sled used Bosnian Serb army as shelter to pointing the city and shooting people, as most of places from Trebević mountain. Now has a purpose of training point, for world wide bob sled teams. Honestly I like it like this. Mountain, nature and track are connected into one beautiful universe and as if they keep each other, from rest of the world.

Sarajevo Olympic Bobsled
Sarajevo Olympic Bobsled

How to find it? Follow this Google map and from Funicular upper station, walk down the Bob sled (15 minutes of easy walking). Or take on of our two tours, Sarajevo Total Siege Tour / Sarajevo Street Art & Graffiti Workshop Funky Half Day Tour of Sarajevo, and we will make sure that you visit this sight.

3) Abandoned Vraca Memorial Park

Built at the beginning of 80’s, as a remembrance for 9000 people who died in a period of a Second World War. In occupation of Sarajevo during Second World War, the fortress of Vraca was turned into a concentration camp. It was a place where the citizens of Sarajevo were killed. Within and around the fortress, they were buried in the fortress itself, as well as in detainees who were killed or died in police torture in the city itself.

Nevertheless, as Vraca became synonym for the resistance and struggle of citizens against fascism. They decided to build a memorial park in that area, and to turn fortress into museum.

Irony is that place Bosnian Serbs used in war, 20 years ago, as shooting point towards Sarajevo, killing people again, for some others ideals, desires and goals. Nowadays abandoned place, surrounded with beautiful nature, waiting for it’s dignity to be returned.

Sarajevo Vraca Park Memorial
Sarajevo Vraca Park Memorial

How to find it? For this one, you will also need a car. In case that you have it, follow this Google map, and you will reach the memorial.

4) Emptiness of Jajce Military barrack

Austro Hungarians made one of the most beautiful military and civilian buildings of that time in Sarajevo, Barracks were built in the 1914. for the purposes of Austro-Hungarian Army and was named after Prince Eugene of Savoy, so the name “Jajce Barracks” bears since 1915. when Austrian military hospital from Jajce moved in.

Abandoned barracks dominates (with the White bastion) throughout the city, so it is visually impossible to go unnoticed. The building is declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it is located in the street Pod Bedemom.

There is a legend that says Hitler worked as painter inside the Barracks, during his time in Austro-Hungarian military. Also one of the most famous Yugoslavian movies was filmed here. Name of the movie is “Walter defends Sarajevo”.

Jajce Barracks above Sarajevo

How to find it? Follow this Google map, that leads from main square in the Old town, from fountain of Sebilj. In total is around 15 min of easy walk, where you can enjoy most beautiful part of the Old town.

Also note that most probably access to Jajce barracks will be disallowed as it is currently not accessible

PRO TIP: In this direction, under the Barracks, you can visit also Yellow Fortress, one of the main view points for Sarajevo.

5) Unrestrained Crni Vrh – Institute for Addiction Treatments

For me, this one is the most interesting because I’ve never been here before. I knew that we have something like this in Sarajevo, but I never had a chance to go.

Complex of abandoned buildings, that were never finished basically, since war interrupted the construction. Now covered with graffiti art, saying different kinds of messages to the public. View from this point on the city I like a lot and whole background of what that institute was made for.

In my head again I have a picture of how life is made out of irony. This place today is, probably, used as hiding spot of young ones, to drink or use drugs in between unfinished walls. By knowing our people and government, for sure they are waiting good opportunity to sell it and to make hotel complex. This ruin I like a lot, if you can say that actually you can like something like that.

Crni Vrh Sarajevo

How to find it? Follow this direction from Bascarsija tram line terminal, take tram No. 1, 2, 3 or 5 to station Park, Google maps, then from Park station with slow walk you can explore down part of city centre, over Odobasina street. And last, but not least, you can go with us, by taking our Sarajevo Street Art & Graffiti Workshop Funky Half Day Tour of Sarajevo.

6) Stranded Hotel Igman

I’m a member of mountain rescue service, and we had a drill here. How to save people from ruined tall buildings with no possibility of way out, only with all of gear that is needed, so that they could be saved. Running through the abandoned corridors of hotel, through the building that is tearing apart from the inside, is something.

Not so long ago through these corridors you could see happy people, enjoying the big event such as The Olympics. Happy kids, happy old ones with most beautiful reason ever, that one country could have. Now again empty walls.

For 20 years government is trying to sell this object but no one is interested to buy it. Yahoo travel listed this hotel among most bizarre and abandoned hotels in the world. The walls of this hotel remember the torture, murder, and warfare that took place in this mountain. The collapse of the abandoned hotel now stands as a silent monument of warfare with message how can you turn good times into hell.

Hotel Igman near Sarajevo
Hotel Igman

How to find it? For this one you should have a car, and follow this Google map. Or simply take our Utopia of Yugoslavia Tour.

7) Forsaken Igman Ski Jumps

It looks like that time on Igman stopped 20 years ago, and that future actually doesn’t exist. So much potential, but not so much investors and money.

I love ski jumps. Skiing somehow in my family is something that is going from father to son, in this case daughter. You have to know how to ski, simple as that. My grand grandfather was good skier, my grandfather was one of the first ones who went for jumps in Slovenia, Planica ski jumps and he continued to do that in Bosnia, up on Igman mountain. He was directly involved within the organisation of Winter Olympics, and Igman was mountain where we learned our first ski steps.

Igman had it’s glory and lost it like in a blink of an eye. Ski jumps were also made for the needs of Winter Olympics in 84, with Nordic skiing track all the way around it, but as most of the places that were significant then, today is waiting for someone to recognise the potential that abandoned mountain has, and to invest money making it live again.

Igman Ski Jumps near Sarajevo
Igman Ski Jumps

How to find it? For this one you should have a car, and follow this Google map. Or simply consider our Utopia of Tito’s Yugoslavia Tour.

8) Unused Old Nursing Home Nedžarici

To me one of the most colourful buildings that Sarajevo had right before war began.

As a girl that was 5 years old right before war started, I remember this nursing home as one of the fairy tale buildings from that time. All with vivid and bright colours, like a small castle. I remember that I was always curious why would old people needed building like that, when it would be much more appropriate for the kids. From this perspective now, as grown up woman, I know why bright colours.

This nursing home was constructed right before the war, and actually never moved in. When I saw that building, after war ended, I was totally disappointed. The biggest dream had been ruined with no potential to be alive again. Renovation is intertwined with governmental issues of possibility to buy, sell and eventually make something out of it.

Until then it will stay abandoned and ruined.

Old Nursing Home Nedzarici Sarajevo

How to find it? From tram line terminal in Bascarsija, Old town of Sarajevo, take tram No.3 and follow Google maps to station Avaz B. When you go out from tram you will see this building just across the station.

9) Deserted Military Barracks Marsal Tito

From concentration camp all the way up to university campus.

The construction of a large military camp (today’s Marshal Tito barracks) began at the beginning of the twentieth century in Sarajevo. The former name is the so-called Filipović camp. Name Marshal Tito Barracks was given after World War II, and in the park there is a bronze statue of the President of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito.

University is planning to reconstruct and to open also one part of Music academy in these abandoned buildings. Until then they will remain empty rooms within, filled up with sadness of one era.

Deserted Marshall Tito Barracks
Deserted Marshall Tito Barracks

How to find it? On main tram terminal on Bascarsija, Old town of Sarajevo, take tram No. 3 or 5, follow this Google maps, and go out of tram on station Univerzitet B and go through the University Campus, that is just across the station. Or just simply take our Sarajevo Street Art & Graffiti Workshop Funky Half Day Tour of Sarajevo. And we will take you there.

Fact or illusion?

There are so many mysterious and abandoned places in this world that you never heard of, yet alone see, about which you most often could not find out anything in the files of official history. Those places have their great story. Mystery. Intrigue. Sometimes we look at them, but which nevertheless it succeeds to enchant us and take it to ourselves.

Everyone says that Sarajevo recovered really fast. Period of 20 years is nothing regarding the number of renovations that was done for this period of time. People who were coming back here in these 20 years, from time to time, are saying that rarely you can see war scares.

But did it? Did we recovered? Is there more truth in these abandoned places, then in every days life of us, and do these ruins represent something that we all have deep down in our souls.

If this is too much of Sarajevo, and you need a little escape, please read our blog about Mostar and Herzegovina region, and find some reasons why you should visit. We have several TIPS for that also.

IMPORTANT NOTICE

To visit these abandoned places you have to be careful because buildings are in this ruin stage for decades now. Some of them are easily accessible, while some of them require much more attention when walking around those.

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