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National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Title: National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina  
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Language: English
Subject: European Library, National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina
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National Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Nacionalna i univerzitetska biblioteka Bosne i Hercegovine
English National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Established 1945
Location Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Items collected books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, databases, maps, prints, drawings and manuscripts

The National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina (NUBBiH) (Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian: Nacionalna i univerzitetska biblioteka Bosne i Hercegovine) is the national library of Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the city of Sarajevo. It was designed in 1891 by the Czech architect Karel Pařík, but criticisms by the minister, Baron Benjamin Kallay, caused him to stop working on the project. It was initially the largest and most representative building of the Austro-Hungarian period in Sarajevo and served as the city hall.[1][2]


Alexander Wittek, who worked on the project in 1892 and 1893, fell ill and died in 1894 in Graz, and the work was completed by Ćiril Iveković. The edifice was built in a stylistic blend of historical electism, predominantly in the pseudo-Moorish expression, for which the stylistic sources were found in the Islamic art of Spain and North Africa.

Building works began in 1892 and were completed in 1894, at a cost of 984,000 crowns, with 32,000 crowns provided for fixtures and fittings. It was formally opened 20 April 1896, and handed over to the City Authority, which occupied the property until 1949, when it was handed over to the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On 25 August 1992, Serbian shelling during the Siege of Sarajevo caused the complete destruction of the library; among the losses were about 700 manuscripts and incunabula and a unique collection of Bosnian serial publications, some from the middle of the 19th century Bosnian cultural revival.[3] Before the attack, the library held 1.5 million volumes and over 155,000 rare books and manuscripts.[4] Some citizens and librarians tried to save some books while they were under sniper fire, at least one person died.[4]

The majority of the books could not be saved from the flames. The structural repair of the building was planned to be carried out in four stages: 1996-1997 (financed by a donation from Turkey), and 2000-2004 (financed by a donation from the Turkish Commission). The third stage is predicted to end sometimes in September 2012, with an estimated cost of KM 4.6 million (about 2.37 million) and will return the city hall to its former grace. The fourth stage is slated to begin following the completion of the third stage and will last about 20 months, with a predicted finish at the end of 2013 and cost of KM 14 million (about €7.23 million) which are secured through the IPA. In this stage the whole interior will be built and reconstructed (paintings, sculptures, books), meaning the building will be brought back to function. Everything that was possible to restore has been done so, while those things that were not possible to save have been made anew through special molds. The whole reconstruction and restore process is predicted to cost about KM 25 million (about €13 million). The opening of the reconstructed building is scheduled in the first half of 2014.

After it is repaired, the building, now a national monument, will be used for variety of events. The national and university library of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be placed in it, as well will be the City Council session hall. Its space will be also used for various protocol events for all levels of government, concerts and exhibitions.[5]

The institution is due to close its doors because of disputes about its funding.[6]

See also

  • Gimnazija Mostar, also built in Moorish Revival style


See also

External links

  • — National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Sarajevo's burned library testifies to multiethnic past

Coordinates: 43°51′33″N 18°26′00″E / 43.85917°N 18.43333°E / 43.85917; 18.43333

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