The emergence of modernism in post-World War II Bosnia was simultaneous with the development of the Yugoslav socialist regime and the desire to redefine the role of religion and ethnicity in the construction of a new national identity. The debate as to the relevance of the Serbian, Croatian, and Muslim national narratives to the broader universalist and secular Yugoslav agenda brought into question the cultural significance of the Bosnian built heritage. How was the existing built fabric to inform the architecture of the revolution? In this context, the work of Juraj Neidhardt, a former employee of Le Corbusier's, is significant since his seminal text, Architecture of Bosnia and the Way Toward Modernity (1957), articulates a critical link between the existing built fabric and "modern socialist" architecture. In discussing his work within the broader political context of socialist Bosnia, this paper focuses on an architectural and textual analysis of Neidhardt's proposal to turn Baščaršija, the Ottoman-established urban core of Sarajevo, into a cultural center for socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is argued that the specific urban and architectural strategies Neidhardt employed were reflective of his desire to secularize the Ottoman built fabric and thereby allow a distinctly Bosnian narrative to coexist and contribute to the architecture of the socialist regime.

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