The municipality, so-called Beledija, was established and commenced its activities in 1865, as the first territorial political organization in Sarajevo.
In 1878, or more precisely, on August 20th of the year, after the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, General Filipoviæ ordered that the city authority – Beledija should recommence its activities, and a municipal council (with six Orthodox Christians, five Muslims, four Jews and three Catholics) should be established. Mutaj-beg (bey) Fadilpašiæ (1878-1892) was appointed the first mayor of the municipality. From 1893 to 1899, while they were building the City Hall, the mayor’s position was entrusted to Mehmed-beg Kapetanoviæ Ljubušak. The city administration abode by a temporary city statute dated August 22nd 1878. On January 9th, 1884, Sarajevo got its permanent Statute, which underwent minor modifications in February, 1899. As per this decree, the city of Sarajevo consisted of the municipality itself and seven counties (regions).
The city administration was initially housed in a building on the left bank of the Miljacka – in old Zildžiluk, and moved to the Dženetiæ house at Bistrik in 1886. Even though the need for a City Hall building was expressed as early as in 1880, its construction started not sooner than 1892. In November 1894, as soon as the construction works ended, the city administration moved in the new building, but it was not officially (formally) opened until 1896.
Apart from the city administration, the City Hall (Vijeænica) housed the District Court for a time and, from 1910-1914, the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina was also there. The building had served its original purpose until 1949 when it was given to the National and University Library, which was a basis of scientific work and educational activities in Sarajevo University, as well as a treasury of spiritual creativity of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the National Library, it contained holdings of BOSNIACA (publications and manuscripts either written and published in Bosnia and Herzegovina or written by the BH writers (more than 1,200,000 units), holdings of periodicals in 33,000 volumes (1854-1941), a department of RARE BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS with collections which held the four incunabula, the collection of rare books handwritten in Bosanèica, the collection of oriental manuscripts with about 400 codes and 700 individual documents, manuscripts of local authors written in oriental languages, and the literary holdings of the societies for culture and education (“Napredak”, “Prosvjeta”, and “Gajret”), the Vilajet press issues, etc.
Nonetheless, in just one night of 25th-26th August 1992, in the course of the aggressor’s grenade attack, 90 per cent of the total library holding was destroyed and this beautiful and precious cultural monument devastated.