|Vijećnica - City Hall|
The National Library or City Hall, is the largest and most representative building of the Austro-Hungarian period in Sarajevo. It was built with purpose, to be the headquarters of the city and authority. Design was composed in 1891 by the architect Karl Parik, but criticisms by the minister, Baron Benjamin Kallay, caused him to stop working on the project. Next in line was Alexander Wittek, who worked on the project in 1892 and 1893, fell ill and died in 1894 in Graz, and the work was completed by Ćiril Iveković. The edifice was built in a stylistic blend of historical electisim, predominantatly in the pseudo-Moorish expression, for which the stylistic sources were found in the Islamic art of Spain and North Africa. Building works began in 1892 and were completed in 1894. It was formally opened 20 April 1896, and handed over to the City Authority, which occupied the property until 1949, when it was handed over to the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
|Postcard of City Hall Vijećnica|
|Vijećnica in a stormy night|
During quantites of heavy artillery and incendiary bombs, burned out and largely destroyed, causing incalcuable dmage to the physical structure of the building and to the library holdings.The majority of the books could not be saved from the flames.
|City Hall in flames|
|Vijećnica before the war|