15 Interesting & Surprising Things To Do In Sarajevo Now

We’ve been ticking off our list of visiting countries in the Balkans region. 

Having stayed in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) for about 3 months… it became evident when speaking with locals that it’s a complex situation in BiH. They were expressing their mixed feelings and thoughts about living there. And wow, was it an eye-opener when we dug deeper.

Yet, in this blog post I won’t go into the political chaos that impacts the residents of BiH.

Now, having been in BiH for almost 3 months, we also had mixed experiences… some great and some not so good. 

Yet, we did get to experience BiH when transiting seasons from Spring to Winter, and boy… was it such a contrast. 

From warm sunny days, through to the ice-cold chilly days… from beautiful clear blue skies to a pretty snow-covered capital city. It sure was lovely to have experienced both.

Now, in this travel blog post, I’ll highlight 15 things to do in Sarajevo, the capital of BiH… to help give you an insight into this city, and it’s interesting history.

Things to do in Sarajevo #1 – Baščaršija (Sarajevo Old Town)

Whether you’re an international or local tourist… one of the top places to see in Sarajevo is the Old Town (Bascarsija). The first time we went it was a beautiful sunny day, on a weekend. And, it sure was a bustling place to be. 

The history of Sarajevo Old Town dates back to the 15th century… when it was and still today is a central hub of Sarajevo. And, if you’ve visited bazaars in other parts of world… you’ll experience a similar feeling in the Old Town of Sarajevo too. 

As you wander down the cobblestone streets and alleys of the Bascarsija… you’ll see many small shops, cafes and eateries. There are baklava shops, teahouses, bag shops, souvenirs… through to metalware shops.

And, with lots of cafes to choose from… take a break, relax and watch the world go by. Now, once you’re at the Old Town there’s another key landmark that you can’t miss…

Things to do in Sarajevo #2 – Sebilj Sarajevo

First of all, you may be wondering what is sebilj? A sebilj is a fountain made from wood and stone… which is commonly built in public squares or key intersections. These types of fountains were common during the era of The Ottoman Empire. 

The sebilj in the Bascarsija area of Sarajevo was built in 1753. And, it’s said to be only surviving sebilj here. 

Now, I mentioned earlier that you can’t miss this landmark… and that’s because you’ll see the flock of pigeons around the fountain. That’s why it’s also known as Pigeon Square Sarajevo.

And, you’ll see lots of people taking selfies… feeding the pigeons, or chasing them away!

I don’t know about you… but hanging out with pigeons and being swooped by them isn’t my thing! Yet, it’s great for a photo opportunity… and to witness a last standing important landmark in Sarajevo’s history.

Things to do in Sarajevo #3 – Latin Bridge

One of the key bridges to see in Sarajevo is the Latin Bridge.

Now, while it may not look as grand as other bridges you may have seen on your travels… the Latin Bridge plays an important part in Bosnia’s history.

Back in June of 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife had been assassinated… on that very bridge. And, it was this event that led to the start of World War I.

So, as we were walking across the bridge… I felt pins and needles flowing through my body where this historical event took place. 

And, thinking about it, out of all the places in Europe it could happen, it was in Sarajevo… a place that many people would not think to visit on their travels.

Things to do in Sarajevo #4 – Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque

If you don’t have much time to spend in Sarajevo, one of the most popular mosques you’ll most likely visit is… the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque.

This mosque, built way back in 1530’s is the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s convenient location in the Sarajevo Old Town makes it a must to visit. Although it was damaged during the Siege of Sarajevo in the 1990’s… the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque was restored. 

This mosque features the familiar Ottoman architecture… and outside is a large courtyard with a fountain. And, right next to the Gazi Husrev Beg Mosque is this other landmark in Sarajevo…

Things to do in Sarajevo #5 – Clock Tower Sarajevo

Standing at around 30 metres… the Sarajevo Clock Tower is the tallest clock tower in the country. 

So, we found out that there was something significant about this clock. And, that’s because it shows a lunar time, otherwise known as “a la Turca.” 

The clock ticks for 12 hours at the time of sunrise, and then at sunset… as well as changing at various times throughout the year. And, because of that, there’s a muvekit (aka timekeeper) to ensure that the clock’s time is accurate. What a job to have! 

Things to do in Sarajevo #6 – Sarajevo City Hall

One of the most striking and more “modern-looking” buildings you’ll discover is… the Sarajevo City Hall (Vjećnica). 

The architecture of this building is an example of the Austro-Hungarian era. This City Hall was built in the late 1890’s. Yet, during the Siege of Sarajevo damage to the building was significant. Thus, Sarajevo City Hall underwent a major refurbishment. 

If you have time, be sure to visit it during the day and night… as when the sun goes down the building looks beautiful. 

And, if you’re interested in architecture, there are many other magnificent buildings to see including… the Fine Arts Academy, Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, Avaz Twist Tower and Ali Pasha’s Mosque.

Things to do in Sarajevo #7 – Sarajevo Rose

Now, while there are ancient buildings to see and cute cobble stoned streets to wander down… there are some reminders of the harrowing times the people were subject to. 

So, you may notice when you walk around Sarajevo, are markings similar to this in the concrete…

And, these are important in the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina… as the indents in the concrete are from the explosion of mortar shells. In memory of the people who passed during this time… red resin was added to represent the blood-shed.

I don’t know about you, but every time I saw one of them… I had to walk around the Sarajevo Roses and NOT through them.  

Things to do in Sarajevo #8 – Jewish Cemetery Sarajevo

We found out that the Sarajevo Jewish Cemetery… had been put forward to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And, as such we delved a little deeper and made the long walk from our apartment to this cemetery.

Now, while we don’t usually visit cemeteries for a touristic site… we thought that this is a must see in Sarajevo. It’s said to be the largest Jewish cemetery in the South East of Europe.

And, when you walk further up the cemetery you can see sweeping views of Sarajevo… as the cemetery was built high up on Trebevic mountain.

Things to do in Sarajevo #9 – Mount Trebevic & Surrounds

Speaking about Trebevic Mountain, this is definitely a place to visit in Sarajevo. Now, you may be able to hike up it, yet there may not be easy hiking trails. Yet, for us, as our Airbnb accommodation was a stone’s throw away from the gondola… that was our choice for getting up the Mount Trebevic.

Now, just so you know, there are 2 different pricing structures to ride the gondola… one for tourists and one for locals. So, on our travels we have seen this before, for example at certain places in Thailand. 

Yet, it was no big deal for us… with the price being 20 Bosnian Mark per person for a return ticket (about USD $11.60 / 10.25 Euros).

Once we were on our way up the gondola, there were magnificent views of Sarajevo. And, it was even better as we reached the top and walked around…

Back in 1994, there was the Sarajevo Winter Olympics with events held on Mount Trebevic. So, when you’re at the mountain… take the opportunity to walk on the old Winter Olympics Bobsled Track, covered with graffiti!

Plus, around the lower area of the Sarajevo bobsled track, with a walk through the open forest is… the remains of the Bistrik Tower (Bistrik Kula). 

Bistrik Tower, was an Austro-Hungarian fortification, and you’ll see the many bullet holes. Yet, after after World War II its use as a fort was no longer needed. So, then it was transformed into an observatory. And, the views from the top are awesome.

Things to do in Sarajevo #10 – Yellow Fortress

If you’re up for a walk from the centre of Sarajevo to see some amazing views for free… then head on up to the Yellow Fortress.

The Yellow Fortress is one of the forts that made up the defensive wall of Vratnik… one of the oldest towns of Sarajevo. And, one of the great things is… this 18th century fortification is only about a 15 minute walk from Sarajevo centre.

So, if you’re pressed for time… you can still visit an historic fortress, and witness incredible views over the city for free.

Things to do in Sarajevo #11 – Eternal Flame (Vječna Vatra)

The Eternal Flame Sarajevo is a monument… in dedication to the those who lost their lives during World War II. 

Behind the flame is an inscription. And, you’ll notice that it’s written in three different colors… blue, white and red, which also signifies the colors of the former Yugoslavian flag.

You can find the Eternal Flame at another of Sarajevo’s tourist attractions…

Things to do in Sarajevo #12 – Ferhadija Pedestrian Street & Meeting of Cultures

Once you’ve experienced the sights, food and drinks in the Sarajevo Old Town, as you continue to walk down the main street of Saraci, you’ll see this on the ground…

This is a symbol linking the 2 main cultures of East and West that were brought together. The East is the Ottoman and Islamic representation… whereas the West signifies the Austro-Hungarian and Christians.

And, once you walk over this sign, you’ll notice how different the environment is. Gone are the Ottoman style small shops, little cafes and many cobble stoned streets. Instead are more mainstream and upscale stores, bars, pubs, modern restaurants and more.

Things to do in Sarajevo #13 – White Fortress

If you’re up for some walking from the centre of Sarajevo to witness some great views… then take a walk to the White Fortress.

To get there, we found that it’s not sign posted that well. We took a few wrong turns through neighborhood streets… yet the locals were helpful and we got there eventually.

We didn’t realize it, but there’s an entrance fee to get in and see the White Fortress. Yet, it’s only a small fee of 5 Bosnian Mark (about 2.55 Euros / USD $2.90).

The exact date of when the fortress was in construction is said to be unknown. Yet, estimates have the White Fortress dating back to around the 1500’s. You’ll see the remnants of the fortress… as well as wide sweeping views of Sarajevo.

Things to do in Sarajevo #14 – Ilidža

consider heading to Ilidža. 

So, when we were there we had some “fun” with the public transport. We thought we could take the tram all the way out to Ilidža. Yet, what we didn’t realize was that they were upgrading the tram system. And, in broken English the tram driver said we had to get a bus to get there. 

Yet, it wasn’t clear where the stop was. So, we ended up walking about 20 minutes to get to Ilidža, and thankfully it didn’t rain otherwise it would’ve been unpleasant… as there’s no cover!

So, after our walk we were in need of some food. And, there’s a little burek place we recommend for delicious and reasonably priced bureks. It goes by the name of, Buregdžinica Zvrk. It’s a smaller burek shop which is in the bus terminal area. 

We did a taste test of a cheese burek and a potato burek. And, we both agree that the potato bureks are delicious… with a hint of curry and flaky, flavorsome pastry. For 2 bureks it cost 3.50 Bosnian Mark (about 1.80 Euros / USD $2). Of course, Paul couldn’t stop at 1 burek and had to get more!

Now, that aside… the main attraction for us to see in Ilidža is the walk to Vrelo Bosne. This is a woodland area with a park, cafes, pool and more. Yet, it’s a lovely stroll through the woods via the main path…

Things to do in Sarajevo #15 – Markets

While we were in Sarajevo, we bought up lots of produce when we wanted to cook at our apartment. And, where we were the more convenient places to buy produce were at the supermarkets. 

Yet, for fresher and better produce there are markets. And, one of the most popular you’ll hear about is the Pijaca Markale.

So, not only is it known for being a big undercover outdoor market for fresh fruit, veggies, clothes, household goods, and more… an important event happened here.

During the Siege of Sarajevo, in 1994, this market underwent one of the biggest massacres. Here, in the first instance tragically 68 innocent people lost their lives… and about 150 more suffered injuries. And, as you walk around the market, you will see one of the most prominent Sarajevo Roses.

Now, only a few minutes walk from the Pijaca Markale… is another market which is fully undercover in a building. And, we didn’t realize that we had walked past it several times! That’s because there’s not an obvious sign for us to show that it’s the City Market. 

Yet, once you find it, inside are many stalls selling lots of homemade produce. From cured meats, to homemade cheeses, ajvar, stuffed peppers and more… there were lots of yummy local goods to get your hands on. 

Now, in the Bascarsija area of Sarajevo, is the Old Town Market. And here, it reminded us of the market shops that we were walking through in parts of Turkey. You can find an array of fragrant spices, herbs, bag shops, jewellery and more. 

So, they were 15 things to do in Sarajevo and of course… there are heaps more places to see. On our travels and talking with others… we found that many people do not put Bosnia and Herzegovina on their list of places to visit. 

Yet, if you’re in the area then why not check out BiH. And, with these 15 things this to do in Sarajevo, the capital of BiH… it will help in putting a list together to see some of the top sites and have memorable experiences. 

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Note: All of our reviews and comments are our opinions and no-one else’s. Even if we receive complimentary goods or services we share our opinions honestly.

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7 Interesting Statues To See When You Visit Podgorica Montenegro

We’ve been enjoying our travels around the Balkan countries… and it’s been a pleasant surprise. We’ve had many amazing experiences that will be in our memories forever. Plus, there’s been some not so great times… yet, not everything can be perfect!

So, one of the Balkan countries we visited for a short time was Montenegro… as we had to make a detour to Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro. 

We spent about 1 week there and then had to leave Montenegro. Even so, we’ll be back to visit other parts of Montenegro as it looks incredible in photos!

So, in one of our other travel blog posts… we highlighted 13 places to see in Podgorica city, as well as our thoughts about it.

Now, if you haven’t seen that blog, check it out first by clicking HERE.

We had plenty of time to walk around and see some of the Podgorica tourist attractions. Yet, in one of our travel blogs about Skopje… you may recall that there are HEAPS of statues there! 

Now, while Podgorica sure doesn’t have as many statues… there are some monuments and statues we thought were interesting.

And, here’s some of them that caught our attention…

Vladimir Vysotsky Monument 

One of the most important prominent Podgorica tourist attractions is the Millennium Bridge. 

And, when you’re on the “new town” side of Podgorica, heading towards the Millennium Bridge… is a different type of monument. This one sure has an upbeat feeling when you look at it. And, that’s because it looks like a fun, rock ‘n roll statue. 

So, the monument is a tribute to Russian writer, singer, and actor Vladimir Visotsky. Yet, we’ve heard of others calling it the Russian Elvis Statue! Rock on!

Monument to Partisan Fighters

If you’re heading to check out Gorica Park, then along the way is the Monument to Partisan Fighters.

This historical landmark was built in 1957… representing a mausoleum for fighters from World War II. Two commanding soldier statues guard the outside of it.

There’s also another entry point to the monument if you miss the first path. Yet, the first one is better, as it has a big white staircase leading up to it… so it looks more dramatic when taking pics.

Petrovica Park Statue

Petrovica Park is a cute park, where King Nikola’s Palace was built in the 1890’s. Yet, the Palace has now been converted into a gallery… and displays the works from international and local artists. 

There are a few spots to sit down and enjoy the serenity of the park. Yet, while you’re taking a stroll through PetrovićaPark, you may bump into this cute statue…

King Nikola Monument

For a small capital city, there are several parks in Podgorica where you can chill out! And, King’s Park is no exception. The park, as the name suggests… is named after the former king of Montenegro, Nikola Petrovic-Njegos.

He was the ruler of Montenegro for decades, and in 1910… it was King Nikola who declared Montenegro a kingdom.

Petar I Petrovic Njegos

When you’re strolling around near the University of Montenegro… standing tall is this huge statue.

This monument is dedicated to Petar I Petrovic Njegos… who held the throne of Montenegrin bishops for decades.

During his life, he was also seen as a visionary, leader… and founder of the modern Montenegrin state.

Spomenik Jeleni Savojskoj Monument

If you’re heading to the Dječiji Park area (also known as Children’s Park)… you’ll come across this svelte statue.

And, this is a monument to the Montenegrin princess Jelena Savojska… as created by the Montenegrin sculptor Adin Rastoder.

And, it’s said that this was the first statue of a woman, that included her entire body!

Alexander Pushkin and Natalia Goncharova Monument

If you happen to be wandering near the corner of Njegoševa and Svetog Petra Cetinjskog Streets, you’ll see this monument…

And, this is the monument gifted to the Montenegrins from the Russians… showing the friendship between the two. Alexander Pushkin is an historical figure, who is seen as one of the greatest Russian poets… as well as the founder of modern Russian literature

So, while Alexander Pushkin is reciting some poetry… there sits his wife, Natalia Goncharova, listening happily to her husband’s words.

And, if you feel like being a part of the moment, take a seat next to Natalia and get a photo!

So, they are 7 different statues and monuments you can check out… outside of the other Podgorica tourist attractions you’re likely to discover.

That’s it for now, as we eat, drink and travel around the world!

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13 Interesting Places To See In Podgorica Today

13 Interesting Places To See In Podgorica Today

After spending about 3 months in Albania, our Balkan adventures would continue on! And, our next destination for a short trip would be Podgorica in Montenegro.

Now, if you haven’t been to Montenegro’s capital city of Podgorica… you may have heard mixed stories and feelings about it. We’ve heard that people either love it or hate it. And, that’s not because of the people!

For travelers who’ve visited Podgorica city and haven’t enjoyed it, they’ve said things like… “It’s one of the most boring capital cities in the world!”

Yet, we’re all different in terms of what we like to see and do on our travels. 

And, although Podgorica wouldn’t have been our first choice in places to visit in Montenegro… we had to make a detour to Podgorica for personal reasons. And, in the end we were spending about 1 week there.

So, we want to share with you some places to visit in Podgorica and things to do. And, I trust that this will help you to decide if you go there, or if you decide to bypass it.

Let’s begin!

Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection

This magnificent landmark was one of the first sites that we saw. And, our eyes would have to be closed if we missed it… as it stands out with stature and so brilliantly in Podgorica city. 

Construction of the Cathedral started in 1993… and building was ongoing for about 20 years. The towers are over 25 meters high, and within them are 17 bells. Now, that will definitely put a ring in your ears!

It looks breathtaking from the outside, and inside is beautiful too… with the colorful decoration and gold trimmings. Yet, we don’t believe that photos give this church the justice it deserves!

Millennium Bridge Podgorica

Another important landmark to visit in Podgorica is the Millennium Bridge. Not only is this an icon for the Podgoricans, but for Montenegrins as a whole. 

The design of the bridge was by architect Mladen Ulicevic… and was said to cost about a whopping 7 million euros. The cable-stayed bridge spanning about 170 meters, with 12 cables, 24 counterweights… and rising 57 meters high above the road, makes it eye-catching.

It took about 1 year to complete. And, on July 13, 2005, the opening of the Millennium Bridge took place… connecting the older town area of Podgorica to the new town area.

Moraca River 

Now, when you’re looking at the Millennium Bridge, you can’t miss the wide, open river beneath it!

So, that waterway which is the main one running through Podgorica city is… the Moraca River. And, what was surprising about this river was how crystal clear the water is. Plus, the water is such a beautiful aqua color, and when the sun shines it’s like it glistens.

Along the river, there are several spots where you can head down… and dunk your feet in the water. When we went, in late Spring, we didn’t see anyone swimming in it. Yet, we did see some people fishing in the river, and having picnics. 

Gorica Park

Gorica Park the biggest park in Podgorica… where you can relax amongst nature and enjoy the serenity. Yet, it was surprising to discover that there’s a not so peaceful area too… the adventure park! 

That’s right, at Gorica Park there are outdoor activities for the young… and young at heart. There’s rock climbing, cable and rope walks, and more.

So, you could easily spend hours here, especially if you have a crack at some of the activities. 

And, if you work up an appetite there are several places selling food and drinks… otherwise you could pack a picnic and enjoy some leisurely time out. 

Also, during the Summer months… there are special events and other activities held at Gorica Park. So, it’s a great spot to enjoy time with family and friends.

St George Church

From the biggest church in Podgorica of Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrectionto a small church is… St George Church. Yet, what makes this church special is that it’s the oldest one in Podgorica city.

It’s said to have been built around the 10th century, sitting at the foot of Gorica Hill. And, when getting close up to the church… you can see the ancient character that has been preserved. 

Surprisingly, it’s said that behind the altar of St George Church is a “secret” passageway… which supposedly led to the Serbian state of Duklja!

Independence Square

So, when we think of a Republic or Independence Square for a country… we’re picturing big and grand. And, a place where people are proud to congregate as a representation of freedom.

Yet, we have to admit we were disappointed with the Independence Square in Podgorica. 

To us, it felt unloved and drab even with a fountain! Here’s a pic we took of it in the middle of the day with lots of sunshine, and look how deserted it is…

Old Ribnica River Bridge

This historical stone bridge is one of the things to do in Podgorica when you’re here. 

The construction of the Old Ribnica Bridge dates back to the Roman period. Then, in the 18th century… reconstruction of the bridge was directed under Ottoman rule. And, that’s why you can see the Ottoman style of the bridge today.

When we were visiting the bridge… all sorts of people were there from families, groups of youngsters through to couples. 

There aren’t any tables or seats. Yet, there are different spots nearby the bridge, and closer to the river. Some people brought picnic blankets, even fold up chairs, and food to chill out. 

So, take your pick of where to enjoy the greenery, water and sunshine.

Clock Tower (Sahat Kula)

When you’re wandering through the old town area of Podgorica… one of the landmarks you’re likely to see is the clock tower. It sure does stand out amongst the shops and homes that surround it.

For us though… it didn’t look like a breathtaking clock tower compared to others we’d seen. Yet, an interesting fact is that the clock tower was still intact, after the World War II bombing of Podgorica… and it’s one of the few Ottoman landmarks that did survive. 

So, from an historical perspective… it is a remarkable part of Podgorica’s past that still stands strong today.

Petrovića Park and Palace

This is a quaint park, which is where the Palace of King Nikola was built in the 1890’s. Nowadays, the Palace has been converted into a gallery… show casing works from local and international artists. 

Oh, and get this… 

While we were walking around the back of the Palace taking pics nearby the staircase… we were warned by a security guard that the US Embassy was next door. So, we had to be wary of not taking pictures of the Embassy! Not sure if anyone else had this warning too?

Need To Eat And Drink? 

Here Are Some Places to Visit in Podgorica to Tantalize Your Tastebuds…

Hard Rock Café

OK, you might be thinking… why would we want to visit a Hard Rock Café in Montenegro? Surely, we’d want to try the local cuisine rather than a “burger joint?!”

Well, first of all we’d been having cravings for a while for a delicious big burger. 

And, when we discovered that Podgorica has the only Hard Rock Café in the Balkans region… we had to take up the opportunity. Because who knew when we could visit another Hard Rock Café again?

And boy, were the burgers delicious and what we needed to satisfy our cravings… especially for a Hard Rock Café burger.

Craft Beers

There are many places to have an alcoholic drink or two or more in Podgorica. And, a popular area is in Downtown Podgorica. When we were there, we found it to fairly quiet during the day… yet, at night is when to go for a lively atmosphere.  

If beer is your drink of choice, especially craft beer… then we recommend you check out PG akademija piva (PG Beer Academy). They have a decent range and selection of craft beers. From lagers, to weissbier to pale ales… there’s sure to be something to please your tastebuds! 

And, if you can’t choose, then grab yourself a tasting paddle of beers. Cheers!

Bureks

If you’ve been keeping up-to-date with our travel blogs around the Balkans… then you’ll know what food is a MUST. Yep, that’s right, bureks!

There are many bakeries and buregdžinicas to try the local Podgorican bureks. And, a popular one behind the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection is… Pekara Zora. 

This place usually has a line of people waiting, so you better be patient! For us the bureks were fine, and they were huge. Yet for us, they were a bit too “doughy.” Worth a try, though.

Now, for a cute little buregdžinica, check out BLOK Burek. 

When we got there, we had to wait to get a champignon burek. Sounds gourmet, right? We were happy to wait, as we knew it’d be fresh and piping hot. And, as we sat on the stools outside the shop, we could watch the world go by. 

Then, when our bureks were ready, they were preseneted on a wooden board.

So, there you have 13 things to do in Podgorica and places to visit. 

Yes, Podgorica is a small capital city compared to other places in the Balkans. Yet, one of the benefits is that it’s easy to walk around to tourist sites, parks, eateries, bars and more. And, because of this you could spend a couple, or few leisurely days in Podgorica. 

So, having been in Podgorica Montenegro for about 1 week, it wasn’t the worst capital city we’ve been to. Even so, for us Podgorica wasn’t the prettiest or action-packed capital city. And, we thought it’d be boring if we were to spend more time here.

Yet, why not check out what Podgorica city has to offer for yourself. Everyone’s interests when exploring new places differs. So, you may end up loving Podgorica!

Like This? Share it and comment on it!

Note: All of our reviews and comments are our opinions and no-one else’s. Even if we receive complimentary goods or services we share our opinions honestly.

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