The iconic city hall in the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, has opened its doors to visitors almost two decades after it was damaged during the Bosnian war.
The landmark building came under mortar attack and went up in flames by shelling during the siege of the city in 1992.
Nearly two million books and manuscripts including rare volumes were destroyed in the attack, despite efforts to save the collection.
It took architects and builders 18 years to restore the nineteenth-century building to its former glory with a budget of 22 million dollars, mostly funded by the European Union.
The building, which stands out in the city’s old Turkish quarter with its Islamic-style arches, will house the national library, city council and a museum.
“Vijecnica (city hall) is a symbol of Sarajevo ... because the history of Vijecnica is the history of Sarajevo,” said Sarajevo Mayor Ivo Komsic.
The building, first opened in 1896, has been restored to mark the anniversary of the First World War, which was triggered by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand.