Serajevo is the seat of the provincial government, of a Roman Catholic bishop, an Orthodox metropolitan, the highest Moslem ecclesiastical authority or Reis-el-ulema, and the supreme court.
Founded, in 1262, by the Hungarian General Cotroman, under the name of Bosnavar or Vrhbosna, Serajevo was enlarged by Husref Bey two centuries later, and takes its name from the palace (Turkish, serai), which he founded.
- Along the Dalmatian border, and through the centre of Bosnia, runs the backbone of the Dinaric Alps, which attain their greatest altitudes (6000-750o ft.) near Travnik, Serajevo and Mostar.
The Bosna issues from many springs near Serajevo, and winds for 107 m.
Mineral springs also abound, and those of Ilidze, near Serajevo, have been utilized since the days of the Romans; but the majority remained unexploited at the beginning of the 20th century.
In Serajevo the mean annual temperature is 50° Fahr.
In the museum at Serajevo there is a large entomological collection, including the remarkable Pogonus anophthalmus, from the underground Karst caves.
- Serajevo museum has a collection of the Bosnian flora, representing over 3000 species; among them, the rare.
Of live-stock, a stud-farm was opened near Serajevo, and foreign horses, cattle, sheep and poultry are imported.
There is a national bank in Serajevo, which carries on a hypothecary credit business and manages the wholesale trade of the tobacco factories.
The other, a narrowgauge line, crosses the Save at Bosna Brod, and follows the Bosna to Serajevo, throwing out branches eastward beyond Dolnja Tuzla, and westward to Jajce and Bugojno.
A farther line, from Serajevo to the frontiers of Servia and Novibazar, was undertaken in 1902, and by 1906 782 m.
Serajevo, with 41,543 inhabitants in 1895, is the capital of the combined provinces, and other important places are Mostar (17,010), the capital of Herzegovina, Banjaluka (14,812), Dolnja Tuzla (11,034), Travnik (6626), Livno (5273), Visoko(5000), Foca (4217), Jajce (3929) and Trebinje (2966).
Its central bureau, with departments of the interior, religion and education, finance and justice, was established at Serajevo; and its members were largely recruited among the Austrian Sla y s, who were better able than the Germans to comprehend the local customs and language.
An appeal, on points of law alone, may be carried to the supreme court in Serajevo, and there tried by five judges without assessors.
In a few cases, such as the Begova Dzamia at Serajevo, the Foea mosques and the Mostar bridge, the buildings raised by the Turks are of high architectural merit.
The patriarch of Constantinople is the nominal head of the Orthodox priesthood; but by an arrangement concluded in 1879, his authority was delegated to the Austrian emperor, in exchange for a revenue equal to the tribute previously paid by the clergy of the provinces; and his nominations for the metropolitanate of Serajevo, and the bishoprics of Dolnja Tuzla, Banjaluka and Mostar require the imperial assent.
The Roman Catholics have an archbishop in Serajevo, a bishop in Mostar and an apostolic administrator in Banjaluka.
Serajevo is also the seat of the Jewish chief rabbi; and of the highest Moslem ecclesiastic, or reis-el-ulema, who with his council is nominated and paid by the government.
In order to conciliate even the Moslems, who include the bulk of the great landholders and of the urban population, its representatives visit the mosques in state on festivals; grants are made for the Mecca pilgrimage; and even the howling Dervishes in Serajevo are maintained by the state.
One of the earliest and best-known private schools is the orphanage at Serajevo, founded in 1869 by two English ladies, Miss Irby and Miss Mackenzie.
For higher education there were in 1908 three gymnasia, a realschool at Banjaluka, a technical college and a teachers' trainingcollege at Serajevo, where, also, is the state school for Moslem law-students, called scheriatschule from the sheri or Turkish code; and various theological, commercial and art institutes.
Up to 1900 no traces of palaeolithic man had been discovered in Bosnia or Herzegovina; but many later prehistoric remains are preserved in Serajevo museum.
Such remains occur frequently near Bihac, Foea, Livno, Jajce and Serajevo; and especially near the sources of the Drina.
Their yearly visits to Serajevo assumed in time the character of an informal parliament, for the discussion of national questions; and their rights tended always to increase, and to become hereditary, in fact, though not in law.
Serajevo was burned in 1697 by Eugene of Savoy, who similarly deported 40,000 Christians.
But after a series of stubbornly contested engagements, the Austrian general, Philippovic, entered Serajevo on the 19th of August, and ended the campaign on the 10th of September, by the capture of Bihac in the north-west, and of Klobuk in Herzegovina.
Katzer, Geologischer Fiihrer durch Bosnien and Herzegovina (Serajevo, 1903); P. Ballif, Wasserbauten in Bosnien and Herzegovina (Vienna, 1896).
The downfall of the Moslem aristocracy resulted in an important administrative change: Serajevo, which had long been the commercial centre of the country, and the jealously guarded stronghold of the nobles, superseded Travnik as the official capital, and the residence of the vali.
The losses on either side were very heavy; even after the capture of Serajevo in August, the resistance was continued; and besides those who fell in battle, a considerable number of the insurgents were put to death under military law.
One line goes north to Nish in Servia, where it meets the main line (Paris-Vienna-Constantinople) of the Oriental railways; another, after following the same route as far as Uskiib in Macedonia, branches off to Mitrovitza in Albania; the extension of this line to Serajevo in Bosnia was projected in 1908 in order to establish direct communication between Austria and Salonica.