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Location Sarajevo.svg

Sarajevo is the capital city and largest urban center of Bosnia and Herzegovina with a population as of the census 2013 of 275,524 people, with the region around the city counting 555,210 inhabitants.


Sarajevo is also the capital of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, and the de jure capital of the Republika Srpska entity, as well as the center of the Sarajevo Canton. Sarajevo is located in the Sarajevo valley of Bosnia proper, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated around the Miljacka river. The city is famous for its traditional religious diversity, with adherents of Islam, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Judaism peacefully coexisting there for centuries.

Although settlement in the area stretches back to prehistoric times, the modern city arose as an Ottoman stronghold in the 15th century. Sarajevo has attracted international attention several times throughout its history: In 1914, it was the site of the assassination that sparked World War I (by Gavrilo Princip).

After the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was conquered by the Axis powers during the Balkans Campaign in World War II, all of Bosnia was ceded to the newly created Independent State of Croatia. Starting in 1941, Yugoslav communists under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito spread their terror against Axis and Chetnik forces, but also against civilians. During the war, and following the massive deterioration of internal security under the Ustaše, the Germans created a Waffen-SS unit in Bosnia called the 13th Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Handschar (1st Croatian) in February 1943. Imam Halim Malkoć was one of few Muslims to earn the German Iron Cross during World War II.

At the end of the war, the establishment of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, with the constitution of 1946, officially forced Bosnia and Herzegovina to become one of six constituent republics in the new communist state.

Sarajevo became the host city of the 1984 Winter Olympics. More recently, Sarajevo underwent the longest siege in modern military history during the Bosnian War. Today the city is recovering and adjusting to a post-war reality, as a major center of culture and economic development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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