Fifty Years ago on This Day there were 6.000 Guests at the Opening of ‘’Skenderija’’


Fifty years ago, Sarajevo got the ‘’Skenderija’’ Cultural and Sports Center. Mufid Garibija, a Sarajevo architect and a good expert in the history of the city, begins his story. The spectacle that happened in that period was not only the promotion of’’ Skenderija’’, but also of Sarajevo in a particular way.

‘’Skenderija was built in the former area that was given by Skender Pasha, who was a Bosnian sanjak bey and ruled in the late 15thand early 16thcentury. He left behind great assets,’’ says Garibija.

The construction of modern sports and cultural center which was supposed to be the best in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and beyond its borders, was planned precisely in this great plateau and area. The project architects were Zivorad Jankovic, Halid Muhasinovic and Ognjen Malkin.

The complex covered 70.000 square meters of sports, cultural and economic space, and was perfectly integrated into the landscape area below Trebevic mountain.

‘’In 1969, the famous movie ‘Battle of Neretva’ was completed, which was supposed to be shown during the premiere at the opening of ‘Skenderija’ on November 29th. Josip Broz Tito and his wife were the guests in Sarajevo at the opening of ‘Skenderija’ and the movie premiere. Besides high officials in Sarajevo, guests were actors Milena Dravic, Ljubisa Samardzic, Boris Dvornik, and others, and also other famous people like Carlo Ponti who came without Sophia Loren, who was ill, and well-known Omar Sharif. Tito personally invited them, and other guests were Yul Brynner, Sylva Koscina, Orson Welles… About 6.000 people were invited,’’ Garibija says.

The plateau was decorated with posters of the lead actors, as well as a large model of the bridge on the Neretva River. This extraordinary promotion of Sarajevo was opened by President Tito.

Actor Yul Brynner lost the documents during his arrival at the premiere, so it took a little while for the former security to recognize him, and let him be present at the screening of the movie in which he starred, avaz.ba portal reports.

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