Trebinje: 18th century trading & crafts centre

02.10.2023 at 12:33

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This southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina is only 28km from the famous city of Dubrovnik. Trebinje ranks with Mostar and Stolac in terms of beauty but fortunately escaped the fates of these two towns and was not heavily damaged during the war, leaving its old town intact. 

The Old Town of Trebinje was established in the 18th century and soon developed into a trading & crafts centre named Kastel.

There is barely a town in Herzegovina that was not erected alongside a freshwater river. Trebinje is no exception: its old town lines the banks of the Trebisnjica River that flows through the heart of the city. The river and the city have always been known for the enormous old mills treading the Trebisnjica. Although they are not fully functional today, they remain a symbol of Herzegovina's not-so-distant past when everything was directly connected to the power of nature. In Trebinje, that power of nature was bigger before the river had been curtailed by the Grancarevo dam, some 15 km north-east from Trebinje. This dam was bound to swallow the Arslanagic Bridge. To save this beautiful example of Ottoman stone bridge building, it was taken, stone by stone, from a village seven kilometres up the river, and rebuilt in downtown Trebinje. 

Klobuk is the large fortress in Trebinje.
 It is assumed to date from the 9th century and is believed that the Slovenian princes of Krajina – Pavlimir and Tesimir were buried here. Since the 12th century it controlled the Nemanjic region until, in 1377, Klobuk became part of the expanded Bosnian state.

In 2000 a memorial dedicated to poet Jovan Ducic was built on the Crkvina hill. This temple resembles the Gracanica Monastery in Kosovo and is therefore called the Herzegovina’s Gracanica. 

Saborna crkva sv. Preobrazenja (Orthodox Church of Transfiguration) in the centre of the city has an eparch residence with a library. The Catholic cathedral was built in the 19th century but the bishop’s residence was first mentioned in the papal bull issued in 1022. 
Osman-pasha’s Mosque located in Kastel is one the most beautiful and largest mosques in Herzegovina. It was built in 1726 by builders from Dubrovnik and therefore traces some elements of Mediterranean architecture. Brankovica kula is a tower built by an old Trebinje family who were highly influential during the period from the 14th century to the first half of the 16th century.

St. Paul’s Cave is located near the Monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul the Apostles in Petrovo Polje. According to the legend, Herzegovina inhabitants were christened in this cave by St. Paul. Many believe that the water running through the St. Paul’s Cave is miraculous. The Monastery of St. Peter and St. Paul in Petrovo Polje was built on the foundations of a 6th century church. The Monastery is located 7 km from Trebinje.

Tvrdos Monastery dates back to the 4th century. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times during the course of time and is famous for remarkable wine cellars. Duzi Monasteryis located on the left bank of the Trebisnjica River, 7 km from Trebinje. A few valuable church manuscripts are kept at the Monastery, as well as the fragment of the Holy Cross. Dobricevo Monastery dates back to the 13th century. According to a legend it was built by the Emperor Constantine and Queen Ilona (Jelena). A hydroelectric dam was later built at the site and the monastery was relocated. The present day monastery is located 20 km from Trebinje.Zavala Monastery is located 40 km from Trebinje. A tale says that the monastery was the endowment of the King Dragutin. It was built in 1271. Church of St. Basil of Ostrog in the village of Mrkonjici. St. Basil (Vasilije Ostroski) was born here in 1610 and the church was later built on the foundations of his birth house. 15th century Church of St. Clement in the village of Mostaci is one of the oldest churches in this area. It is a typical medieval Mediterranean church built in stone. Ornaments on the church walls capture the spirit and dynamics of life. Old Town of Micevac was first mentioned in 1042. It was established on the right bank of the Trebisnjica River. Austro-Hungarian Military Fort “Strac”, southeast from Trebinje, can be reached by car. A wonderful panoramic view of Zubci, Petrovo polje and Trebinje makes this fortress worth paying a visit. 

Outdoor Resort “Lastva”
, 12 km from Trebinje, is great for fishing, and Jazina outdoor resort is great for swimming. According to many, the Studenac Spring is the most attractive spot on the Trebisnjica River. This is one of the favourite outdoor spots of the locals. If you decide to visit you can also witness one of the old mills which gives this site a special charm. 25 km from Trebinje one can find a good skiing spot – Zubacka Ubla

The area is however, best known for wine production. This tradition goes back to the 14th century. Zilavka wine from this area used to be delivered to the Habsburg Monarchy in Vienna. More information about wine cellars can be obtained from the Wine Association “Vinos” in Trebinje: 
address: Republike Srpske 37
phone/fax: + 387 59 226 430
e-mail: [email protected] 
web: www.vinos.ba

The Herzegovina Museum is located in the centre of Trebinje and holds several permanent displays: archaeological, ethnographic, Ducic’s collection, memorial exhibition of Atanasija Popovic’s paintings, etc. 

The Museum is open to public Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visits by appointment only. Entry fee is 2 KM.
 Stari grad 59

phone: + 387 59 271 060
e-mail: [email protected]
web: www.muzejhercegovine.org


Getting there:

By bus: 
Local and International Bus Schedule 

Trebinje - Banja Luka: 10:00 (every day), 21:00 (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
Trebinje - Mostar: 06:15, 10:00, 14:30
Trebinje - Sarajevo: 06:00, 07:30, 11:00
Trebinje - Lukavica: 05:00, 07:30; 11:00; one-way ticket costs 24,50 KM 
Lukavica - Trebinje: 07:45, 13:00, 16:06
Trebinje - Dubrovnik: 10:00 (except on Sunday); one-way ticket costs 5 KM 
Dubrovnik - Trebinje: 13:30

Tourist information can be obtained in:
Tourism Organization of Trebinje:
address: Preobrazenska bb 
phone: + 387 59 273 120, 273 121
fax: + 387 59 273 122
e-mail: [email protected]
web: www.trebinjeturizam.com 
Tourist Information Centre in Trebinje: 
address: Jovana Ducica bb 
phone: +387 59 273 410, 273 411 
fax: + 387 59 273 412 
e-mail: [email protected]

A small souvenir shop is also housed in the Tourist Information Centre.




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