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7 of the best World War I sites you can visit

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 22, 2016, 3:20 p.m.
A plaque marking the site of Franz Ferdinand's assassination

Photo: IZZARD/Shutterstock

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Franz Ferdinand's assassination

Though not a battleground, the place where Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, now part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is an important place in World War I history. The killing of the Austro-Hungarian archduke and his wife by a Serbian nationalist is the event that caused simmering tensions in Europe to explode into full-blown war. Seeking to punish Serbia, which it thought had ordered the assassination, the Austro-Hungarian Empire planned to attack with the help of Germany, its ally. The two powerful countries knew that Russia would come to Serbia's aid, and once Russia was involved, its allies, including France and Great Britain, would join the conflict as well.

The Latin Bridge, where the assassination took place, still stands in Sarajevo. The house of the assassin, Gavrilo Princip, was made into a museum, but it was destroyed during the Balkan Wars in the early 1990s. There's a plaque on the wall outside the Assassination of Franz Ferdinand Museum (pictured). The plaque is located at the place where Princip stood when he fired the fateful shots into the archduke's car. A statue of Princip, who died in prison in 1918, was erected in Sarajevo on the 100th anniversary of the assassination. He has become known as a symbol of independence for people throughout the Balkans, especially Bosnian Serbs.