Keywords Change this

Yugoslav Modernism, Monument

Project timeline

1945 – 1946


Monument & Memorial

Location Change this

71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Architect Change this


Article last edited by Bostjan on
October 27th, 2022

Monument of the Eternal Flame Change this

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
by Juraj Neidhardt Change this
1 of 6

Description Change this

Eternal flame in Sarajevo is a monument to the People’s Liberation Movement erected to commemorate all military and civil victims of the Second world war in Sarajevo. Spomenik was commissioned by the City of Sarajevo as a symbol of gratitude for all brutally murdered Sarajevans by the fascist invaders from 1941 to 1945.

Eternal flame is a motif used in numerous socialist monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina but also in the neighboring countries that used to be part of the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia. Same motif can be found in former communist countries of East Europe that used to be occupied by the Soviet Union. The eternal flame carries with it a strong symbolism of an everburning flame that burns forever and holds the memory of the victims forever.

The Eternal flame in Sarajevo is located in the city center, on the corner of streets Maršala Tita and Ferhadija, in front of a building built in 1885 by Karl Paržik. Below a dominant balcony on the west facade of the building are 3 memorable arches that point out towards the main entrance to the building. After the Second world war, the City of Sarajevo commissioned a monument that would symbolise its gratitude towards Sarajevans who gave their lives for the liberation of the city. Juraj Neidhardt closed the central arch below the balcony and formed a concrete concave niche on which wall is written: "Through bravery and spilled blood of heroes of Bosnian and Herzegovinian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Serbian brigades of glorious Yugoslav army, with common efforts and sacrifices of Sarajevan patriots Serbs, Muslims and Croats - 6 April 1945 Sarajevo the capital of people's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was liberated. Forever glorious and thankful to its fallen heroes. Ever-grateful Sarajevo."

Text is written in 3 colors, blue, white and red, which symbolize the colors of the yugoslav flag. The eternal flame is positioned in the center of the niche, as a symbol of eternal gratitude, as well as the symbol representing the coat of arms of the former country. Green wreath on the monument symbolizes the laurel wreath that’s been used in ancient Greece and Rome to represent victory, eternity and immortality. The only time the eternal flame didn’t burn was during the siege of Sarajevo which lasted 1,425 days from 1992 until 1996 when there was no gas, water or electricity in the city, as part of the aggressor's strategy to break the city. But Sarajevo never broke, and the flame of the Vječna vatra burns today and will burn as long as there’s Sarajevo and Sarajevans.

Subtly, as it was meant to be seen only by the ones who want to notice, on the stone base just below the wreath of the eternal flame, in cyrilic letters it’s written: "Grave perhaps, slave never!"


  • Dunja Krvavac


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