PHOTOS: Sarajevo’s landmark hotel faces hard times amid pandemic

Updated On Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

The bright yellow Hotel Holiday in downtown Sarajevo has seen good times and bad times in its 37-year history. Mostly, it has been a symbol of survival in the once-turbulent Bosnian capital. Now the boxy landmark is in danger once again, with the coronavirus pandemic leaving it with few guests. Bosnia, like the rest of the Balkans, has been hit hard by the virus. Cases have been rising in Bosnia since mid-May, when a strict lockdown was lifted and many people seemed to start disregarding social distancing rules and ditching masks. Just before the start of the war in 1992, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic — now a convicted war criminal — used the hotel as his headquarters, surrounded by armed men wearing masks to hide their identities.

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The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, is seen through a fence in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The bright yellow Holiday Hotel in downtown Sarajevo, a famous symbol of survival of the Bosnian capital, has seen good and bad times in its turbulent history, but now the landmark's survival is in more danger than ever, with the coronavirus pandemic leaving it with only a few occasional guests. (AP Photo/Kemal Softic) (AP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, is seen through a fence in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The bright yellow Holiday Hotel in downtown Sarajevo, a famous symbol of survival of the Bosnian capital, has seen good and bad times in its turbulent history, but now the landmark's survival is in more danger than ever, with the coronavirus pandemic leaving it with only a few occasional guests. (AP Photo/Kemal Softic) (AP)

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The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, photographed from a nearby building, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, photographed from a nearby building, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP)

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The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, is reflected in the windows of a nearby building in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, is reflected in the windows of a nearby building in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP)

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A man walks outside the Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

A man walks outside the Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP)

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Staff members work at the bar of the Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

Staff members work at the bar of the Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. (AP)

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FILE - In this Sunday May 14, 1995 file photo, a French UN peacekeeper stands by his anti-sniper position backdropped by the Holiday Inn hotel on Sarajevo's Sniper Alley. The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's. (AP) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Jul 30, 2020 07:10 PM IST

FILE - In this Sunday May 14, 1995 file photo, a French UN peacekeeper stands by his anti-sniper position backdropped by the Holiday Inn hotel on Sarajevo's Sniper Alley. The Holiday Hotel, which opened as Holiday Inn, a luxurious accommodation for world's royalty, film stars and other dignitaries who came to watch the 1984 Winter Olympics, and less than a decade later, became ground zero of the bloody siege of Sarajevo in the 1990's. (AP)

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