Vijećnica is the most extravagant building constructed in Sarajevo during Austro-Hungarian occupation and serves as a symbol of the meeting of world civilizations.
The project was overseen by Alexander Wittek, who had proposed his Pseudo Moorish design – the perfect architectural unity of East and West – for the future seat of the city’s government.
Since it first opened on April 20, 1896, the building has become the most important symbol of Sarajevo and is featured as an iconic motif in many photographs of the city.
After World War II, Vijećnica became home to the National and University Library of BiH.
On the nights of August 25-26, 1992 during the last war, Vijećnica was set ablaze. Nearly 90% of the library’s collection went up in flames and the building became a symbol of the Siege and tragedy of Sarajevo.
Vijećnica’s reconstruction got underway in 1996 and the official opening took place on May 9, 2014, the same day that Europe Day and the Day of Victory over Fascism are observed.