a fateful corner and world war 1

Story: Six Yugoslav nationalist conspirators worked together to assassinate the archduke of Austria. The first attempt failed, though it injured several in Franz Ferdinand’s entourage and some civilians on the street. When Ferdinand was enroute to visit the injured at the hospital, the driver made a wrong turn. That fateful wrong turn was on Franz Josef Street where another conspirator, Gavrilo Princip took aim and with two shots killed the archduke and his wife, Sophie. Those two shots on June 28, 1914 on this corner in Sarajevo, led to a string of events culminating in The Great War or World War 1.

Recommendations: This is the 100 year anniversary of this historic assassination, so it is a good time to visit and explore some of the causes of World War 1. On the street, signage and pictures tell a bit of the story. You can gain a fuller understanding when considering two things. First, the archduke wanted to stay out of the city center because of all the tension and previous failed attempt. Seeing the river and how the city is elongated along it, it becomes clear why a wrong turn at this point would cause problems. Second, viewing the varying architecture and the placement of key buildings in strategic high points, the tensions of the past become clear. There was deep-seated anger by many toward the Austro-Hungarian empire and a desire to be independent from them.

Notes: Since that fateful day, Princip and his revolutionary band have been hailed as heroes and at other times been viewed as thugs depending on the politics of the day. Like so much of the region, this leads to various interpretations and stories about the past.

Place: At the corner of Franz Josef and Obala Kulina Bana Streets just across from the Latin Bridge.

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