A true testament to Austro-Hungarian times is the spectacular Sarajevo Cathedral. “The Roman Catholic cathedral Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, or as everyone in Sarajevo simply calls it Sarajevo Cathedral, was built in the 19th century,” explains Samra. “Located in the municipality of the Old Town, it is the seat of the archbishop. The cathedral was declared a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2005.”
A symbol of the city, the design above the door to the cathedral is part of the flag and seal of Sarajevo Canton and the Romanesque towers are featured on the flag and coat of arms of Sarajevo.
“More recently the Cathedral was the site of a very significant event for Sarajevo,” Samra says. “In 1997 Pope John Paul II visit the city, soon after the war and the siege of Sarajevo ended.” Some 50,000 people filled Sarajevo’s Kosevo Stadium to hear the Pope call for peace, forgiveness and reconciliation.
“John Paul II spoke out, urging for peace many times during the period of the war,” she says. “He is remembered as a peacemaker and is respected by many Bosnians regardless of their faith.” In 2014, the three-meter statue of Pope John Paul II was unveiled in Sarajevo at a ceremony attended by thousands.
You might also be interested to read: The unknown icons of travel you’ve never heard of, but should have