In Sarajevo in 1878, after the Austro-Hungarian empire had taken control of the city, they set to work transforming Sarajevo into a modern city. Their ambitious projects included the construction of a new tram system, with cars pulled by horses. This tram network still operates within the city today, minus the horses. Another development saw the construction of a new city hall in 1892. The building was to be an impressive demonstration of Austrian might, with modern architecture and striking designs.

Before construction could start on the new city hall, the town’s officials had to clear the site for construction. The Austrians bought several residential properties adjacent to the River Miljacka and demolished them to make way for the magnificent hall. But one man, Benderija, refused to sell his property. They offered him more money, but still, he refused.

Lengthy negotiations between the stubborn old Benderija and the mighty Austro-Hungarian empire took place. The empire’s Minister of Finances even got involved in the talks and, finally, Benderija agreed to the sale of his property, on one condition: he wanted the officials to move his house, brick by brick, to a plot on the other side of the river.

The authorities duly agreed, and workers transported his house, brick by brick to the property’s current location; directly opposite the Vijećnica city hall, on the other side of the river. The story has it that Benderija watched the whole process from the vantage point of the nearby bridge, smoking cigarettes.

Once the rebuilding process had been completed, the house had a new name; Inat Kuća, the Bosnian words meaning ‘the house of spite’.


Featured image from Wikimedia Commons

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