“How come multi-purpose?” is the question that is popping in your head at the moment. 

Aren’t trams supposed to be used for transportation only? 

Hmm, I messed it up a little bit, didn’t I. Now let’s untangle everything slowly. 

History of Sarajevo Trams

On the
1st of January 1885, 10 AM first horse pulled tram passed through Sarajevo. During this event territory of Bosnia was under control of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Thus the first operator in Sarajevo tram car was Johann Hanke. The news about this technological advancement of Sarajevo spread like a wildfire. Pioneer in transportation among the Balkan capitals. Sarajevo was leading on Balkans and central Europe with a transportation update.

10 years later – On the 1st of May in 1895 “thunderbolt” arrives onto Sarajevo railways. Official appearance of a first electric tramcar in the Capital of Bosnia. A year after they confirmed that everything was working properly, they’d be installing the same one in Vienna as well. Based on the development of the city we could say that Sarajevo was a laboratory of the ruling empire.

First electrical tram in Sarajevo
First electrical tram in Sarajevo

Austrian-Hungarian Empire had 1 purpose for tram’s – TRANSPORTATION.

But people of Sarajevo used their creativity and were able to transform their perception of trams

During the Siege of Sarajevo, trams were used as a cover from the bloodthirsty aggressor. Tram’s were able to provide a slight feeling of safety when you get yourself in open area under snipers eye.

Sarajevo during the siege 1992 - 1996
Sarajevo during the siege 1992 - 1996

Creative side of Sarajevo Trams

Street artists were using tram’s mostly as the gallery on the wheels. For most of the time when you are using Sarajevo tram, you would be able to notice “writings on the wall”. Some of them are great some of them not so much. But one thing is for sure, you won’t feel bored as you have something to occupy your mind with while using transportation.

On the 6th of April, 2015 as part of commemoration 70 years from liberation of Sarajevo from Nazi Germany. One of the Sarajevo trams was reconstructed for the sake of exhibition. Project by the name “Exhibition on the railways” led by a group of an artists which wanted to give the community of Sarajevo something new

During the Sarajevo Film Festival in 2018, one of the trams served as a party zone, you’d be able to “hop on” a party. Well if you have enough luck to encounter it at the station. Raging parties were ongoing for 8 days of the festival, and after the day one interest for it skyrocketed.

Maybe we come up with some new purpose this year as well, who knows. One thing is certain people of Sarajevo never failed to amuse us with their creativity.

nighttime picture of people waiting for a tram and a tram next to them
Party tram during Sarajevo Film Festival 2018

Stay tuned, remain creative and don’t forget to enjoy your time while you are in Sarajevo.