Meet your guide and driver at hotel lobby and discover the rich Jewish history of Sarajevo. The history of the Jews can be traced back over 400 years ago when the first Jews arrived in Sarajevo as early as 1541. They were mostly artisans, merchants, pharmacists and doctors. They built their own quarter and a synagogue in 1580 with the help of a Turkish benefactor. Throughout the centuries, Jews in Sarajevo prospered. The city became a major crossroads in the Balkans for Jewish life, and came to be known as Little Jerusalem.
Sarajevo’s National Museum, holds the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of five the most important books in the world. It is a Jewish book of rites (codex), a collection of Biblical stories, prayers and psalms related to Pesah (Passover), the holiday to mark liberation of Jews from Egyptian slavery. It still remains unclear whether we will ever learn the date and place of this book’s making, the symbol of liberation, which has also become a symbol of Sarajevo.
Today your guide will take you for a visit to the sites that represent the Jewish heritage in Sarajevo. You will start with the Old Synagogue and Jewish Museum. The Old Synagogue was built under the directive of the Rumely Bey Sijamus-paša in 1581 together with a large Inn named as the Great Courtyard. The Courtyard was meant to be the residential district of the Sarajevo Jews. Documents and items of Jewish Museum depose about the rich history and culture of Jewish people in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You will continue to the Novi Hram Synagogue (New Synagogue) & Art Gallery, Il Kal Grande (Sephardic Synagogue) Ashkenazi Synagogue and Jewish Community Center built in 1902 that is today the center of Jewish community in Bosnia. You will visit the Old Jewish Cemetery “Kovacici”, the second biggest Jewish cemetery in Europe. The rest of the day is at your leisure.