The siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War lasted for almost four years. This made it the longest siege in modern warfare, surpassing well-known historical events such as the sieges of Stalingrad and Leningrad.
The population of Sarajevo suffered terribly under the blockade by the Bosnian Serb forces. Food supplies and medicine ran low as water, electricity, and heat were disconnected. The city was constantly bombarded; an average of 329 shells were fired into Sarajevo every day, with a maximum of 3,777 on July 22, 1993.
The owner of the War Hostel in Sarajevo, who goes by Zero One, lived through the war, and now operates a unique hostel that recreates the experience for its guests.
Normal hostel bunk beds have been replaced with mattresses on the floor lined with military sheets. Lighting inside comes from makeshift wartime lightbulbs powered by a car battery. The walls are covered with bullet holes, and the sound of machine-gun fire and exploding shells can be heard throughout.
The owner stresses that this is a place to visit specifically for educational purposes, for those who want a better understanding of life for the people of Sarajevo during the war. Visitors who are looking for a comfortable place to stay are encouraged to find another hostel.