Hotel Europe (Sarajevo)
|Former names||Hotel Evropa (1882-1992)|
|Location||Stari Grad, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Address||8 Vladislava Skarića Street|
Sarajevo 71000, B-H Federation, Bosnia and Herzegovina
|Opening||12 December 1882|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Sead Gološ (current)|
Karel Pařík (original building)
Hotel Europe (originally known as Hotel Evropa) is a historic hotel in central Sarajevo.
Built and opened in the early days of what turned out to be a 40-year Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the hotel holds a special place in the city's lore as its first modern hospitality venue. Over its almost century and a half long existence, the hotel saw many changes often brought upon by sudden geopolitical events, reflecting the city's turbulent political and social history.
For 60 years, from its construction and grand opening until World War II, Hotel Evropa had been owned and run by the Jeftanović family, father and son Gliša and Dušan, respectively, Serb merchants and industrialists from Sarajevo. During the communist period in Yugoslavia from 1945 until 1990, the hotel was nationalized and run by various state-owned entities such as HTP Evropa. Since the Bosnian War, the property has been re-privatized in 2006 by the Sandžak-born Bosniak businessman Rasim Bajrović who re-opened the venue in 2008, this time under a modified name Hotel Europe.
Hotel Europe is located at 8 Vladislava Skarića Street in the central part of Sarajevo's Stari Grad municipality.
It overlooks the Gazi-Husrev Beg's Bezistan and the ruins of the former Tašlihan while it's short walking distance away from the Latin Bridge, Despić House, Baščaršija, Sahatkula, Ferhadija pedestrian promenade, and other sites of interest.
Funded by wealthy merchant and industrialist Gligorije "Gliša" Jeftanović (1841-1927), the site near the former Tašlihan, a mid-15th century caravanserai that burned down in the great fire of August 1879, was selected as the location for a new hotel. The building design was commissioned to architect Karel Pařík. Hotel Evropa got officially opened on Tuesday, 12 December 1882 and right away Jeftanović leased the premises out to Edvard Lasslauer who began running the hotel's day-to-day operations.
Opened four and a half years since Austria-Hungary had occupied the Ottoman Empire's Bosnia Vilayet and had de facto been governing the territory as another one of its provinces, the hotel very much reflected the newly imposed k. und k. cultural model. As the first of its kind in Sarajevo, the venue became the focus of the city's embryonic hospitality and tourist industries. In addition to lodging, it offered entertainment and leisure options with in-house establishments like Bečka kafana and Zlatni restoran, night club Plavi podrum, and the hotel garden. Though operating as part of the hotel, these establishments also managed to create an identity of their own, becoming instantly popular so that they began to be frequented not just by the hotel guests, but also by the city inhabitants. Drawing on various aspects of the Viennese and Germanic cultures, the social concept of Stammtisch was introduced to the city. Furthermore, Bečka kafana incorporated Wiener Kaffeehaus details such as Zeitungsständer (newspaper stand) and wallpapers depicting secessionist and Schönbrunn interior motifs, while Zlatni restoran offered desserts like Apfelstrudel, Kuglof, and Sachertorte.
By the early 1900s aging Gliša Jeftanović handed the reins of many of his business holdings including Hotel Evropa over to his son Dušan (1884-1941), a juris doctor by profession.
The hotel was attacked on 29 June 1914, during Anti-Serb riots in Sarajevo. Soon afterwards, with Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia and with the conflict expanding into World War I, the Austro-Hungarian Army occupied part of Hotel Evropa by the joint decision of the government's Sarajevo trustee and the Sarajevo Fortress military command. In late October 1914, Gliša Jeftanović received a cable from the Sarajevo vice-mayor Damjanović, informing him about the minimal compensation he would be receiving for k. und k. officers and soldiers using the first two floors of his hotel.
With the 6 April 1941 Nazi German invasion of the Yugoslav kingdom, the country was quickly dismembered into several client states, the biggest of which was the Ustaše-run Independent State of Croatia that swallowed up all of Bosnia including the city of Sarajevo. German units marched into Sarajevo on 15 April setting the scene for the first Ustaše contingent to enter the city en route from Zagreb during the night of 23–24 April. Within weeks of their arrival, on 5 May 1941 Ustaše arrested dr. Dušan Jeftanović along with several other prominent Sarajevo Serbs. He was taken to Zagreb where for some time he had been detained in the Petrinjska Street police jail before Ustaše eventually executed him.
After World War II, Hotel Evropa, along with the rest of the Jeftanović family property, was nationalized by the new communist authorities. Soon, another wing, built in the contemporary architectural style of the period, was added to the hotel.
The hotel was privatized in 2006 by the Sarajevo-based Astrea company, owner of another hotel, the nearby Hotel Astra. The building of the hotel was restored in 2007. The restoration project was done by architect Sead Gološ. The colour of the facade was chosen by the citizens of Sarajevo by ballot vote. It re-opened on 12 December 2008, on the 126th anniversary of its opening.
The hotel offers 125 luxurious rooms, 10 suites, 4 presidential suites, 4 conference halls and a wellness centre for fitness, swimming, tanning, sauna and Turkish hamam, massages and beauty cosmetics.
Hotel Europe's storied history continues to draw dignitaries. During an official state visit in July 2011, the Sarajevo-born Serbian president Boris Tadić had a photo-op meeting with local celebrities Dino Merlin, Halid Bešlić, and Ivica Osim in the hotel's garden. Also in hotel, later that day, he was given a medal by the European Movement's Bosnia branch.
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- Jazvić, Dejan. "Bajrović je preporodio dva hotelska simbola Sarajeva - Europe i Holiday". www.vecernji.ba (in Croatian). vecernji list. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
- "Na hotelu "Evropa" fasadni radovi počinju krajem jula 2007. godine". ekapija. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
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