Monuments to the communist era in Bosnia and Herzegovina are quite common. Two monuments in Sarajevo are particularly famous – the Eternal Flame and the Vraca Memorial Park.
The Eternal Fire is a monument to Sarajevo’s military and civilian victims of the Second World War. This monument was built on April 6, 1946, on the first anniversary of the liberation of Sarajevo from German occupation.
The monument consists of a plaque with text written in the colors of the flag of the former Yugoslavia – blue, white, and red, in front of which there is a copper hearth in the shape of a laurel wreath, with an open and constantly lit flame, which symbolizes the eternal living memory of the liberators of Sarajevo, but also coat of arms of the former Yugoslavia. Eternal Fire is located between Maršala Tito and Ferhadija streets in the city center.
The only time when the fire was not burning was during the siege of Sarajevo, the flame on the monument was extinguished because there was no fuel needed in the city.
Memorial Park Vraca
In 1898, Austria-Hungary built a military fortress on the slopes of Trebević, in the southern part of the city. On Austro-Hungarian maps, the location is marked with the name VRATCA (small door).
During the Second World War, when Sarajevo was in the Independent State of Croatia, the Vraca fortress building was turned into an official execution ground and dumping ground where the citizens of the city of Sarajevo were killed. At the same time, Sarajevo citizens were deported to Nazi camps throughout Europe. Since Vraca became synonymous with the resistance and struggle of citizens against fascism, a Memorial Park was built and opened on November 25, 1981, and the fortress was given the purpose of a museum. 9,091 names of war victims who were killed in and around Sarajevo were inscribed in the atrium.
In the 1992-1995 war, during the Siege of Sarajevo, the Memorial Park served as the place from where the city of Sarajevo was targeted by heavy artillery and snipers. Then, and for a while after the war, the entire complex was devastated.
Vraca Memorial Park was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.