Home Tourism The stubborn heart of Sarajevo: the story of Inat Kuca

The stubborn heart of Sarajevo: the story of Inat Kuca

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Are you ready for a journey filled with flavor mixed with history? During your visit to Sarajevo, you can make your memories more colorful by enjoying a hot coffee at Inat Kuca, a place with an interesting history and connection to the past. You can also try unique Bosnian flavors to give your taste buds a memorable experience.

In this article, I want to take you to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the most melancholic city in the Balkans. Sarajevo wakes up to sunny mornings despite the bullet scars on the walls of its houses. It is a city which, on the one hand, wishes to erase the traces of the war so that they are not relived or forgotten.

This melancholic Balkan gem will offer you a completely different travel experience through its friendly locals, delicious cuisine and streets steeped in history.

Although it is a small city, its diversity continues the spirit of the Ottoman Empire to the present. It has many places to see and witness a multitude of historical events.

If you go to Sarajevo, get lost in its beautiful streets, listen to the heartbeat of the city in the Bascarsija, feel the European side of the city in Ferhadija Street, see the Latin Bridge where the First World War began, visit the tunnel of I hope to feel the power of hope and admire the view of the National Library, which was at risk of being completely destroyed by a major fire but which has risen from the ashes.

The reconstructed City Hall and National Library, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 28, 2021. (Photo Getty Images)

National Library

Inat Kuca is the main character of the story I want to tell you about. Remember this name when I share some information about the National Library.

The National Library, once one of the most important structures in Sarajevo, is located on the banks of the Miljacka River. With its remarkable architecture, the National Library was used as a municipal building from 1896 until the end of World War II.

During the construction of this building, which served as a municipal building during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the story of Inat Kuca, which I will describe soon, was revealed.

In 1946, the building was transformed into the national library, housing approximately 2 million priceless books and manuscripts. However, during the Bosnian War between 1992 and 1995, the library suffered significant damage. Subsequently, thanks to national and international support, the library was rebuilt and reopened in 2014.

It is said that the Austro-Hungarian prince Archduke Ferdinand, who marked the start of the First World War, left this building before being assassinated on the Latin Bridge, located just in front of the building.

Inat Kuca is one of the tourist sites in Sarajevo. You can add it to your list of places to see during your visit to Sarajevo. The reason why this building attracts tourists is due to the following history:

“Inat” means stubbornness or defiance in Turkish, and “kuca” means house in Bosnian, so it is the “House of Challenge”. Of course, there is a connection between his name and the story. Anyone who knows Balkan culture knows stubbornness. This house has become a symbol of this very trait.

The history of this house dates back to the 19th century. After the Treaty of Berlin in 1878, Sarajevo came under the control of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. From this point on, intensive construction efforts were made in Sarajevo.

During the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in Sarajevo, they built magnificent government buildings throughout the city to showcase the power of the state. After the post office, the national museum and the courthouse, they also decided to build a municipal building.

The empire undertook the construction of a large municipal building on the banks of the Miljacka River. They planned to build this building at the foot of the bridge over the Miljacka River.

The empire purchased all the properties and land in the area where it intended to construct the municipal building. However, there was a major obstacle for the mighty empire. The obstacle was a person from Bosnia who owned a house in this area. This person said firmly: “I will not allow you to destroy my house. » They offered the owner a lot of money and asked important people to help them negotiate, but the owner refused to give up his house despite all efforts.

The owner agreed to allow the construction of the municipal building on the condition that it replicated his house exactly on the other side of the river. It was such a strange request that he requested that all the building materials for his house be transported one by one and the house be built that way.

The owner agreed to build the government building, but only if he built an exact copy of his house across the river. He insisted that they transport all the materials from his house and use them to build the new one, piece by piece.

The empire had no choice but to accept the deal. From that day on, people started calling the house “Inat Kuca”. And if you look at the sign at the entrance, it says: “I was on the other side and I didn’t give you the house because I’m stubborn.”

Inat Kuca restaurant in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 21, 2016. (Photo Getty Images)

Stubbornness aside, it is not easy for anyone to abandon their home. But if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, remember the outcome of this story and don’t step on the stubbornness of any Balkan.

In 1997, Inat Kuca became a restaurant that still offers a unique dining experience today, filled with historical artifacts. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit, taste coffee and enjoy delicious Bosnian dishes.

In Sarajevo you can hear many stories apart from those in the National Museum and Inat Kuca. Despite its small size, Sarajevo is full of buildings that have witnessed important historical events, each with its own story.

I highly recommend extending your trip to fully explore the rich history of this city. Additionally, as winter approaches, despite some hesitation about visiting Balkan cities during this season, we had a fantastic experience traveling to Bosnia and Herzegovina in winter. The snow-covered landscapes add a magical touch to the city, making exploring its historic sites under a blanket of snow a truly nostalgic experience.

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