Photo: Igor Isanovic, Isanovic Photography, 2017

Sarajevo´s Modernist Olympic Ruins – A Future for the Vanishing Past?

In 1984 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) organized the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo. It was a time when severe economic problems and socio-political changes were on SFRY’s horizon. The state which after the death of Tito in 1980 started to fall apart, tried once more to overcome and above all to mask all the problems and disagreements that had accumulated and eventually culminated in civil war (1991 ‒ 1995) which was most intense in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in its capital Sarajevo. The paper explores the developmental context of tourism and sports in the country and especially in Sarajevo and the existing situation of its legacy, which is unfortunately in a very bad condition. The goal of the paper is to rise awareness that looking after heritage and to demonstrate that rather than being a symbol of Sarajevo’s highlights, the Olympics ruins are iconic and legacy buildings, which represent a positive inheritance of Sarajevo’s modernist architecture.

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