Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia, a former republic of Yugoslavia, is one of Europe's best kept secrets. Situated in a valley, the city has a stunning backdrop of green hills dotted with red-roofed buildings and minarets. Sarajevo wears the influences of the different powers that have controlled it: Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and communist. Although the city is predominantly Muslim, it accepted those of other religions for centuries before multiculturalism was even a word, and is often called the Jerusalem of Europe. Between 1992 and 1995, it was targeted by fascist Serbian forces, who surrounded the city in what became the longest seige of modern warfare. The city still bears the scars of this very recent conflict: buildings are pockmarked with bullet holes, and Sarajevo roses mark where artillery shells killed Bosnians, Croatians and Serbians alike. Despite the trauma of war, Sarajevo is a hauntingly beautiful place with delicious food, stunning architecture and amazing people. The city remains a symbol of peace, perseverance and religious acceptance.
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