Sacred Heart Cathedral, Sarajevo

Coordinates: 43°51′34″N 18°25′31″E / 43.8594°N 18.4254°E / 43.8594; 18.4254
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Sacred Heart Cathedral
Katedrala Presvetog Srca Isusova
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
DenominationRoman Catholicism
DedicationSacred Heart
Consecrated14 September 1889
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Josip Vancaš
Architectural typeCathedral
Groundbreaking25 August 1884[1]
Completed9 November 1887
Length41.90 m (137.5 ft)[1]
Width21.30 m (69.9 ft)[1]
Number of spires2
Spire height43.20 m (141.7 ft)[1]
ArchdioceseArchdiocese of Vrhbosna
ArchbishopTomo Vukšić
Bishop(s)Msgr. Pero Sudar
ProvostThe Very Rev. Pero Pranjić
RectorMsgr. Ante Meštrović
Vicar(s)Msgr. Bosiljko Rajić

The Sacred Heart Cathedral (Serbo-Croatian: Katedrala Srca Isusova/Катедрала Срца Исусова) is a Catholic church in Sarajevo; commonly referred as the Sarajevo Cathedral (Sarajevska katedrala/Сарајевска катедрала), it is the largest cathedral in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[1] It is the seat of the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, currently Tomo Vukšić, and center of Catholic worship in the city. The cathedral is located in the city's Old Town district.


Sacred Heart Cathedral was built in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, an important Catholic concept. The building is in the Neo-Gothic style, with Romanesque Revival elements. The building was awarded to the Viennese contractor Baron Karl Schwarz with supervising architect Josip Vancaš. He modeled it after the Notre-Dame in Dijon (France). Work began on 25 August 1884, and was completed on 9 November 1887. The Bishop of Dubrovnik was present for the consecration on 14 September 1889.

Peace demonstration in front of the cathedral in September 1991 prior to the outbreak of the Bosnian War.

The building was damaged during the Siege of Sarajevo, but not completely destroyed, and the damage has since been repaired. The building is often considered as a symbol of the city: The design above the door to the cathedral is part of the flag and seal of Sarajevo Canton and the Romanesque towers are featured on the flag and coat of arms of Sarajevo.


The cathedral is 41.9 meters long and 21.3 meter wide. It was constructed in Neo-Gothic style; The two bell towers are 43.2 m high. Above the portal is an octagonal rosette and a statue of the Sacred Heart.


  • The main altar was designed by Josip Vancaš and made from Grisignano marble. It rests on four small columns of red Tyrolean marble. The seven niches behind the altar depict in the central position: Sacred Heart of Jesus; on the left side: St. Joseph and St. Francis of Assisi; on the right side: St. Michael and the prophet Elijah; on the extremities: statue of an angel.
  • Side altars: in the western aisle is an altar dedicated to the Immaculate Conception (a donation of Emperor Franz Joseph I). In the eastern aisle, an altar dedicated to the apostles of the Slavs, St. Cyril and St. Methodius (a donation of the people of Bohemia).
  • Pulpit: the pulpit is mounted on a richly decorated pedestal. The enclosure shows in the central part Jesus as teacher, flanked on each side by two Evangelists.
  • Frescoes: in 1886 the frescoes were commissioned to Alexander Maximilian Seitz (1811–1888). Due to his deteriorating health he could only finish the designs in 1887. The execution was undertaken by his assistant Alberto Rohden.
  • Organ: manufactured by the Heferer Company of Zagreb. It has mechanical tractions, two manuals, pedal and 22 sound registers.
  • Grave of archbishop Stadler, the first archbishop of Vrhbosna by the sculptor Marin Studin.
  • The five stained-glass windows in the apse were designed by Josip Vancaš and executed by the Tiroler Glasmalerei of Innsbruck.
  • The stained-glass windows in the side aisles were executed by the Vienna workshop of the Tiroler Glasmalerei.



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Katedrala Srca Isusova u Sarajevu" [Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Sarajevo]. Katolička tiskovna agncija Biskupske konferencije Bosne i Hercegovine (in Croatian). 6 January 2011.
  • Msgr. Ante Meštrović: A short guide to the cathedral in Sarajevo (2011), booklet on sale in the cathedral.

External links[edit]

43°51′34″N 18°25′31″E / 43.8594°N 18.4254°E / 43.8594; 18.4254