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Fencing with Kierkegaard has been neglected of late due to other writing obligations, but my recent trip to Sarajevo was interesting and I thought I might share of the historical and religious history tid-bits I came across while there (and on my return to Leiden, to finish the roll. Yes, I used film.)

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Seen from the west, this is the famous “Latin” bridge over the river which bisects Sarajevo. In many ways modern history was written here when the Archduke Ferdinand was shot, leading to the demise of both empires which had been ruling Sarajevo for the previous centuries (Austrian and Ottoman).

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The Ottoman Empire can still be seen around Sarajevo, with remains like this massive caravansary (above and below).

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Sarajevo has long housed Jews, Christians, and Muslims, and their relations here have typically been better than elsewhere in Europe. Below are pictures of the “Old” Synagogue which was built by an Ottoman emperor for the Sephardic Jews expelled from Spain and an imperial Mosque built for the city.

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The recent history of Sarajevo has been tragic, and the City hall is a symbol of it. This building had housed a massive collection of rare and important manuscripts, including the Sarajevo Haggadah. Its collections were largely destroyed in the war.

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Sarajevo sits cradled in a rather narrow valley, and quickly the city ascends on either side. Here is a view of a Muslim cemetery slightly up one of the hills.

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The following is a much newer and larger synagogue, for the Ashkenazi Jewish community of Sarajevo. It is supposed to be the largest synagogue in Europe (not sure if that is true).

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I believe the majority of the Christian population here has traditionally been Orthodox, and below is a view of one of the Orthodox churches in the center.

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There is, however a Roman Catholic cathedral as well, from which the painting and stained glass come.

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As is visible in the above shot of the cathedral, the mountains are readily visible from the center.

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Lastly from Sarajevo, a traditionally popular game in Bosnia is played next to a monument, I believe for the war.

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Since I had to finish my roll on returning to Leiden, here are two more buildings of interest for the history of religions. The first is a (now unused, I think) synagogue from Leiden, and the latter is the first Dutch church which was built to be a Protestant church (rather than converted from having being Roman Catholic).

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Sept. 2013.