Mirza Delibašić Hall, Skenderija Complex

Location: Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Completed: 1969

Architects:​ Živorad Janković, Halid Muhasilović and Ognjen Malkin

Genre: Modernist, Socialist architecture, former Yugoslavia

The Skenderija Complex is a multi-functional cultural, sports and trade centre named after a 15th-century Ottoman governor called Skender Pasha who set up a trading centre, as well as the first Muslim tekke (monastery) in Bosnia, in this location in the late 1400s.

When Sarajevo discovered it was to host the Winter Olympics in 1977, the centre was greatly expanded to become a state-of-the-art ice-sports centre. Ice hockey matches and figure skating competitions were the main events held at Skenderija during the games and, for a few years thereafter, the location thrived as the city’s main centre for sports and culture. But, the onslaught of the Siege of Sarajevo (part of the Bosnian War (April 1992-December 1995)), soon put a halt to all events and during the course of the conflict, the complex was badly damaged by hostile shelling.

There was a period after the war when Skenderija wasn’t used and it rapidly fell into a state of disrepair. It is in use again today and is still seen as an integral part of the city but there are sections of it that are still rather rundown and have an air of decay about them.

Skenderija Cultural and Sports Centre in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina | Modernist | Socialist architecture | former Yugoslavia

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