The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city lies on the small river of Miljacka, but more importantly, it is on the crossroads of major paths along the valleys of the rivers Bosna and Neretva.
The first settlement on this spot was founded in pre-historic ages, but Sarajevo itself grew from settlements founded around a mosque founded with a vakufnama (a document of endowment, a vakuf, really a trust fund) of the Isa-beg Ishaković in 1462, and an adjacent school that Ajas-beg founded on June 23rd, 1477.
Through history, Sarajevo was a precious battle trophy for the armies such as those of Ottoman Empire or Austria-Hungary. It became a magnificent melting pot of cultures and religions - Catholic Croats from Croatia, Orthodox Serbs from Serbia, Sephardic Jews from Spain and Muslims from Turkey.
Baščaršija is the most famous city čaršija -- an open establishment that consists of hans (inns for merchant travellers), bezistans (closed markets, usually for clothes), dairas and magazas (communal resp. private stone storage areas for goods), kafanas (coffee shops) and finally numerous dućans (shops). More than just a sum of its parts, čaršija is a place not only for trading, but for meeting people and sightseeing.
Modern Sarajevo was one of the cultural and intellectual centers of socialist Yugoslavia. It even hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. Its population tripled, and it had over 300000 residents in 1991.
The city was devastated in the 1992-1996 war, when the Bosnian Muslim/Croat forces defending it endured a four-year siege by the Bosnian Serb forces in the surrounding mountains. Among the biggest atrocities were shellings of the busy city marketplace and sniper fire on motorways.
Today, Sarajevo is being rebuilt. The economy of the Sarajevo canton is based on trade, light industries like food products and clothing, and heavier industries that produce furniture, cars and metal products.
The city of Sarajevo web site is at http://www.sarajevo.ba/ and the canton web site is at http://www.ks.gov.ba/