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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Serajevo

SERAJEVO (pronounced Serájevo, “the city of palaces”; Turkish, Bosna Serai; Ger. Sarajewo; Ital. Seraglio), the capital of Bosnia, situated on the Miljačka, a small right-hand tributary of the Bosna and on the railway from Bosna–Brod, 167 m. N., to Ragusa. Pop. (1895) 37,713, chiefly Serbo-Croatians, with small colonies of gipsies and Jews. The city, frequently called the “Damascus of the North,” spreads over a narrow valley, closed on the east by a semicircle of rugged hills. Though still half oriental, and wholly beautiful, with its Turkish bazaar, its hundred mosques, wooden houses and cypress groves, it was largely rebuilt, after 1878, in western fashion. The river was also canalized, a telephone service introduced, and extensive drainage works carried out. Serajevo is the seat of the provincial government, of a Roman Catholic bishop, an Orthodox metropolitan, the highest Moslem ecclesiastical authority or Reis-el-ulema, and the supreme court. It is the centre of Bosnian education, containing the celebrated orphanage founded in 1869 by Miss Irby and Miss Mackenzie (afterwards Lady Sebright); the Scheriat-Schule, which derives its name from the Turkish code or scheri, and is maintained by the state for Moslem law-students; a gymnasium, a technical institute and a teachers' training-college. The Begova Djamia (Džamia), or mosque of Husref Bey, is only surpassed, among European mosques, by those of Adrianople and Constantinople. It was founded, in 1465, by Husref or Usref, pasha of Bosnia. The castle and barracks, occupied by an Austrian garrison, stand on a cliff commanding a fine view of the city. Other noteworthy buildings are the konak or governor's residence, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox cathedrals, the hospital, the townhall and the museum, with fine antiquarian and natural history collections. In the Sinan Tekke or Dervish monastery the ceremonies of the howling and dancing Dervishes may be witnessed. Turkish baths and cafés are numerous. The bazaar, or čaršija, is a labyrinth of dark lanes, lined with booths, where embroideries, rugs, embossed fire-arms, filagree-work in gold and silver, and other native wares are displayed. There are also large potteries, silk-mills, a brewery and a tobacco factory. At the mineral baths of Ilidze near the city, where many Roman remains have been found, a hydropathic establishment was opened in 1899. The whole neighbourhood is rich in prehistoric remains.

Founded, in 1262, by the Hungarian General Cotroman, under the name of Bosnavar or Vrhbosna, Serajevo was enlarged by Husref Bey two centuries later, and takes its name from the palace (Turkish, serai), which he founded. During the wars between Turkey and Austria, its ownership was often contested; and it fell before King Matthias I. of Hungary in 1480, and before Prince Eugene of Savoy in 1697. Destructive fires laid it waste in 1480, 1644, 1656, 1687 and 1789. It was chosen as the seat of Turkish government in 1850, instead of Travnik. In 1878 it was seized by the Austrians, under Baron Philippović.