Sarajevo, the capital city of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is situated on the banks of the Miljacka river.
It has a population of approx. 350,000.
Magdeburg and Sarajevo are separated by a distance of 1051 km.
Since World War II, the city has developed into an important industrial centre for mechanical engineering where many companies are active in the areas of electrical engineering, precision engineering and optics. The region surrounding Sarajevo is rich in natural resources, for example metals such as lead, zinc and mercury.
The population contains a multinational mix of Bosnians, Croatians and Serbs.
Although all religious persuasions are represented in the city, the Muslim faith is predominant.In 1984, Sarajevo hosted the XIV Olympic Winter Games. It also applied to host the Olympic Winter Games in 2010.
Since 29th September 1977, Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been officially twinned with Magdeburg (signing of the agreement).
In the years following the Yugoslavian War, Magdeburg as capital of Saxony-Anhalt has taken various steps to support the reconstruction of Sarajevo.
In 1996, for example, task forces and private initiatives assisted the Johanniter Unfallhilfe, a charity organisation, in its endeavours to ship nursery furniture, medical equipment from local hospitals, clothes, blankets, tents and other donations to Sarajevo. The donations were given to a Sarajevo hospital as well as various child care institutions. In 1996 and 1998, more transports of humanitarian aid for a special needs school and an orphanage were facilitated by the capital city Magdeburg.
In 1998, the Mayors of Magdeburg and Sarajevo held an official meeting in the capital of Saxony-Anhalt.
On 27th November 1998, the "Joint Declaration of the Mayors of Sarajevo and Magdeburg to Strengthen the Partnership between the Two Cities" was signed, establishing a foundation for the renewal of the twinning agreement. As a result, many links with the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry have been established.
As the first active step to renew contact and provide fresh impetus to the partnership between Sarajevo and Magdeburg following the 1998 twin city agreement, a delegation headed by the Mayor of Sarajevo, Professor Dr Muhidin Hamamdzic, visited Magdeburg from the 15th to 18th January 2002.
On the 25th March 2004, the Georg Philipp Telemann Music Conservatory in Magdeburg hosted the concert “A Tribute to Sarajevo”, in which performances were given by pianists and singers from the twin city Sarajevo.
From 6th to 12th April 2004, a delegation from Magdeburg visited Sarajevo for the first time since the political shift had taken place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This visit gave rise to the initiation of a fundraising campaign for the Sarajevo Music Academy. The resulting donations were handed over by a delegation from Magdeburg in May 2005.
On 21st May 2005, three bands from Sarajevo were invited to the UPGRADE music festival by newcomer bands from Magdeburg and its surroundings. The visit was returned on the 25th June when organisers from the registered cultural organisation Kante e.V, together with three bands from Magdeburg, performed at a large rock festival in Sarajevo, 1400 km away from home. Bands from both cities participated again in the festivals in 2006 and 2007, when they were successfully repeated in Magdeburg and Sarajevo.
Between the 18th and 27th July 2005, 25 young people from the association fjp-media in Magdeburg visited Sarajevo to film a travel documentary. Encouraged by these activities, another delegation travelled to Sarajevo between the 25th June and 2nd July 2006 in order to prepare for the 30th anniversary of the twinning partnership.
A partnership between the Independent Waldorf Kindergarten in Magdeburg and the Phoenix Waldorf Kindergarten in Sarajevo has existed since 2007.
In April 2007 the Magdeburg Puppet Theatre travelled to Sarajevo to give a guest performance of the solo piece “Rotkäppchen” (Little Red Riding Hood) by Frank Alexander Engel.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the twinning partnership between Sarajevo and Magdeburg, the Mayor of Sarajevo, Semiha Borovac, attended the Town Hall Festival in Magdeburg. The anniversary was marked by a celebratory reception, a display of works by a photographer from Sarajevo and a presentation by societies in Magdeburg in order to show their twin city their various activities.
Between the 5th and 7th April 2008, the Mayor of Magdeburg, Dr Trümper, the Councillor for Municipal, Environmental and General Administration, Mr Platz and the Councillor for Culture, Education and Sport, Dr Koch visited the twin city on the occasion of Sarajevo Day. During the course of the celebrations, discussions were held with Sarajevo representatives concerning the expansion of cooperation between the two cities.