Bosnia and Herzegovina is shaped like a heart. Not one of the hearts you get with candy on
love letters on Valentines Day, rather it is shaped like an actual heart – the heart that beats
inside a person’s body.
It makes sense that BiH is heart shaped, because Sarajevo, its capital, could be described as
the heart of Europe. It is European and Ottoman, with Habsburg architecture next to Ottoman
souks. The ruins of caravansarays (the origin of the name Sarajevo) exist near Orthodox
churches from the sixth century. One of the most famous governors of the Bosnian province
under the Ottoman rule not only built a large mosque and madrassah but also donated large
amounts to the building the Sephardic Synagogue for the local Jews to worship.
The line in Europe where the traditions of the East meet those of the West is Sarajevo.