Culture, History, and Business
Sarajevo is often called “The Jerusalem of the Balkans” due to its mixture of Christian, Muslim and Jewish groups. It was long an important city in the Ottoman Empire, before being occupied and later annexed by the Austo-Hungarian Empire in the late 19th century. During this period Sarajevo grew considerably and became the first city in Europe to construct an electric tram system. In 1914, the city was infamously the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which set off World War I and ultimately led to the formation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and later the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina within Yugoslavia after World War II. While Sarajevo prospered during the Cold War and hosted the Winter Olympics in 1984, it suffered greatly during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s and was victim of the longest siege of a capital city in modern times.
Since the end of the war, Sarajevo has worked hard to rebuild and to shed its wartime image. It is now an important manufacturing and media center for the region, and the city center has seen new skyscrapers going up that hide many of the physical scars of its recent history. Tourism has played an exceptionally important role in Sarajevo’s rejuvenation, with the city often ranked as one of the best places to visit in Europe.
It is Sarajevo’s tourism appeal that makes it especially attractive to foreign investors. The city is one of the rising stars of Europe’s tourist circuit. While not quite as off-the-beaten path as it used to be, there is still plenty of room for growth for the tourist sector in the city. That means investors benefit from being able to get in early on a tourism market that looks set to grow even more in the coming years.
The cost of acquiring property in Sarajevo is also extremely low and while Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a member of the European Union yet, it is a potential candidate country. While not a risk-free prospect, Sarajevo has the potential to deliver significant rewards for adventurous investors.