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The Sarajevo assassination triggered the onset of the First World War. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip , member of the clandestine organisation Young Bosnia, assassinated the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and his wife Sophie.

Franz Ferdinand arrived to Ilidža, just outside the city of Sarajevo, during the afternoon of 25 June 1914, having travelled by train from Metković. His wife Sophie arrived on the same day from Bosanski Brod. They stayed at Hotel Bosna at Ilidža.. The occasion for the visit was to attend the military manoeuvres in the area. While Franz Ferdinand attended the manoeuvres on 26 and 27 of June, his wife visited Catholic churches, schools, cloisters, boarding schools and charitable institutions.

At 10 o'clock on Sunday, 28 June, the couple was brought by a special train to the Sarajevo West Railway Station. They were greeted by the Head of the Provincial Government, General Potiorek, and Fehim effendi Ćurčić, the Mayor. Following a short visit to the nearby army barracks, a convoy of three cars with escort drove towards the city centre. They made a brief stop at the new Central Post Office building and continued towards Vijećnica, the Town Hall. As they approached the Ćumurija Bridge, Nedeljko Čabrinović threw two hand grenades towards the Archduke's car. The first grenade missed the vehicle and fell behind it, and the second one ricocheted against the car and exploded under the next one, injuring two of the escorts. Čabrinović jumped into the Miljacka River and was then apprehended. The Archduke and his entourage proceeded towards Vijećnica, where he was to be met by the Mayor and his Deputy.

He thanked them for the welcome and said that he had not expected to be greeted by bombs, adding that he would visit the injured escorts before leaving. General Potiorek suggested that they should drive back along the bank of the Miljacka River, in order to avoid a procession through the narrow city streets. An order followed to change the official route but it never reached the Archduke's driver.

From the Town Hall , the convoy reached the Latin Bridge and following the original plan, the driver made a right turn towards the city centre. Warned about the mistake, he stopped the car right in front of Gavrilo Princip, who fired two shots at the Archduke. The first one hit him and the second hit his wife. They were transported immediately to the nearest medical facility, but they were both already dead.

Their bodies were embalmed at Konak, the imperial residence, on the same day. The next morning, the caskets were transported to the Bistrik Railway Station. Numerous mourners lined the streets as they were driven past. The train left for Vienna at 6 in the afternoon. Black flags were displayed on all the public buildings in Sarajevo, and religious services for the deceased monarch and his wife were offered across the Empire.

Thus, the shots fired in Sarajevo interrupted the city's path towards Europe and announced the beginning of the Great War.