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A Sarajevo Rose marking where an individual was killed by a mortar explosion.

A Sarajevo Rose is a concrete scar caused by a mortar shell's explosion that was later filled with red resin. Mortar rounds landing on concrete create a unique fragmentation pattern that looks almost floral in arrangement. Because Sarajevo was a site of intense urban warfare and suffered thousands of shell explosions during the Siege of Sarajevo, the marked concrete patterns are a unique feature to the city.


As the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo was a central zone of conflict during the Bosnian War. The Bosnian Serb Army deployed troops and artillery in the surrounding hills, and on 2 May 1992 began imposing a blockade on all traffic in and out the city, starting what was to be known as the siege of Sarajevo. The Bosnian Serb Army constantly bombarded the civilian population in the city in an effort to prevent the home army from deploying. It has been estimated that on an average day more than 300 shell rounds were fired into the city.


Throughout the city, explosion marks have been filled with red resin to mark where mortar explosions resulted in one or more deaths.

The Sarajevo roses are disappearing as the asphalt is replaced.


  • Campbell, Greg. The Road to Kosovo : A Balkan Diary. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1999. ISBN 0-8133-3767-4

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