cable car trebevic sarajevo2

Olympic Mountains: Trebević

Trebević  is a mountain  located to the southeast of Sarajevo, in the territory of East Sarajevo city, bordering Jahorina mountain. Trebević is 1,627 meters (5,338 ft) tall, making it the second shortest of the Sarajevo mountains.

Trebević has a special significance to all the citizens of Sarajevo. There are many songs and poems written about it, it’s tied to both bad and wonderful memories and it remains till this day one of the favorite locations for outdoor activities. It’s very popular for tourists as well, since it’s very easy to get there from the city.

During the Middle Ages, Trebević was known as Zlatni Do. During the 1984 Winter Olympics Trebević, like the other Sarajevo mountains, was used for a number of Olympic events.

One of the things that Trebević is known for is the old bobsleigh and loge track. When Sarajevo was awarded the 1984 Winter Olympics in 1977, a bobsleigh and luge track was proposed. The track design was approved in 1981, with construction starting on 1 June of that year. Construction was completed on 30 September 1982 at a cost YUD 563,209,000. The first international competition of merit held at the track was the 1983 European Bobsleigh Championships in January of that year.  The 1984 games had 20,000 luge spectators and 30,000 bobsleigh spectators. After the Winter Olympics, the track was used for World Cup competitions[ until the start of the Yugoslav wars in 1991 that would include the Bosnian War the following year. The track was damaged as a result of Siege of Sarajevo. During the siege, the track was used as an artillery position by Bosnian Serb forces. Today, the tracks still remains mostly intact with war wounds of defensive fighting holes, drilled into one of the last turns of the course. The tracks have been used for graffiti and bicycling since the end of the war, which makes it a very interesting sight for tourists.

Besides the bobsleigh track, you can also visit the abandoned Čolina Kapa Astronomical Observatory.  During World War II, an Austro-Hungarian military fortress was built on Mount Trebević. The mountaintop provided views of the entire city, and was a key point in military observation. After the war this lookout point proved useful again, when the fortress was converted into an astronomical observatory. 

Unfortunately,  a few decades later in the 1990s much of Sarajevo was devastated by shelling during the Bosnian War. The astronomical observatory was no exception. The Čolina Kapa Observatory and all its instruments were completely destroyed between 1992 and 1995. The area was absolutely shattered by the conflict, and without adequate funding, the observatory was abandoned.

Today it remains an important symbol of Sarajevo, as its white building still looks over the city from Mount Trebević, though today the walls are crumbling and decrepit. Though the abandoned building is a popular attraction for urban exploring hikers, most Sarajevans would prefer that the observatory be restored.

Trebević is also a good place to go if you just want to enjoy the nature and the amazing view. It’s ideal for long walks and picnics. You can get simply by using the Cable Car starts right from the center of the city.