Split Sarajevo tour
Gecko tours offer a wonderful overnight tour of Mostar and Sarajevo from Split. We provide a fully guided tour and offer great accommodation. The wonderful eating opportunities are endless and it’s a highly recommended and fascinating eastern cultural experience – Mostar is just a 2 hour ride from Split and Sarajevo approximately 2 hours beyond.
See our Split to Sarajevo and Mostar tour
Quite apart from the charm of Sarajevo which oozes from every pore, the Gecko wanted to give a potted overview of an event that took place over 100 years ago and for which the city is probably best known. In fact, Sarajevo is such an unassuming place, you can stand on the very spot that on June 28, 1914, WW1 started and be entirely alone in doing it … read on
The Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
• Next in line for the Austro-Hungarian throne, Ferdinand had not been particularly well liked in Austrian aristocratic circles on account of marrying “beneath himself” – he married a relative commoner, a Czech named Sophie Chotek in 1900. Despite that, Ferdinand remained Franz Josef’s heir and inspector general of the army
• As a result, Ferdinand’s children were declared ineligible for the throne. Sophie also became the victim of countless petty slights. At imperial banquets, for example, she entered each room last, without an escort, and was then seated far away from her husband at the dinner table.
• Ferdinand attended a series of June 1914 military exercises in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Austria-Hungary had just annexed these provinces a few years earlier against the wishes of neighbouring Serbia, which likewise coveted them.
• Ferdinand publically calls the Serbs “pigs,” “thieves,” “murderers” and “scoundrels.
• Upon learning of Ferdinand’s upcoming visit, the “Young Bosnians”, a secret revolutionary society of peasant students, began plotting to assassinate him.
• In May 2014, Gavrilo Princip and other “Young Bosnian” friends travel to Serbia where they are supplied with arms and likely assisted by the Serbian army and government (controversial still!!) – they practice shooting in a Belgrade public park!
• When the motorcade passes by, its route having been published in advance, one of the young Bosnians (Cabrinovic) asked which car carried the archduke. He then hurled his bomb at the car, only to watch it bounce off the folded-up roof and roll underneath the wrong vehicle. Cabrinovic jumps into the mostly dry riverbed and makes a half-hearted attempt to kill himself before being apprehended. “I am a Serbian hero,” he purportedly shouts as the police led him away. Not a very professional hit!
• In order to dissuade any other bomb throwers, the motorcade zipped down the Appel Quay at high speeds. By mistake, however, the first three cars turned onto a side street right where Princip happened to be standing
• Princip whips out his pistol and fires two shots at the archduke from point-blank range, piercing him in the neck and also striking Sophie’s abdomen. “Sophie, Sophie, don’t die—stay alive for our children,” Ferdinand murmured. Within minutes, though, both had passed away.
• Three weeks too young for the death penalty, Princip was given a 20-year sentence, but contracted tuberculosis and died in jail in April 1918, at the age of just 23. The other members of the young Bosnians are mainly executed
• With tensions already running high among Europe’s powers, the assassination precipitates a rapid descent into World War I.
First, Austria-Hungary gained German support for punitive action against Serbia. It then sent Serbia an ultimatum, worded in a way that made acceptance unlikely.
Serbia proposes arbitration to resolve the dispute, but Austria-Hungary instead declares war on July 28, 1914, exactly a month after Ferdinand’s death.
By the following week, on account of pre-existing commitments and alliances, Germany, Russia, France, Belgium, Montenegro and Great Britain are all drawn into the conflict, and other countries like the United States enter later. Overall, more than 9 million soldiers and nearly that many civilians would die in the following 4 years.
Come and join us on the Split Sarajevo tour and see the many sights of Mostar and Sarajevo plus a whole lot more … Split to Sarajevo and Mostar tour