Sarajevo City Hall was Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s final stop before his assassination, which led to the outbreak of World War I. On 28 June 1914, the Archduke and his wife, Sophie, arrived in Sarajevo by train and toured the local military quarters. As their motorcade progressed towards City Hall, a member of the Black Hand nationalist youth group threw two bombs at the Archduke’s car. One bomb missed its target and the other bounced off the car and rolled under the car behind, injuring two people. The would be assassin jumped into the nearby river but was quickly apprehended.
The royal couple’s visit continued with a quick trip to City Hall. Upon meeting the mayor, the Archduke quipped that he didn’t expect to be greeted with a bomb. After a short visit, it was recommended that the Archduke continue his visit along an alternate route, driving along the river instead of through Sarajevo’s narrow and crowded streets.
The new plan was not conveyed to the driver, however. Shortly after leaving the city hall, he turned right, away from the river and into the city per the original plan. There, at the corner near the Latin Bridge, Gavrilo Principe, a coconspirator of the first assassin, drew his gun and fired two shots. The first shot killed the Archduke, the second killed Sophie and the rest is history.
I’ve been thinking about interesting locations of events that changed the course of history. This is near the top of my list. Have you been to any places that you think changed the course of history? Let me know in the comments!