A cableway as a symbol of peace
Last April, the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina celebrated the return of a true monument. With the launching of a new cable car to the Trebević, the city closed one of the darkest chapters in its history and revived its local mountain with the help of the latest technology from LEITNER ropeways. The new 10-seater gondola provides fast and comfortable transport from the center of the Bosnian capital to the 1,160-meter-high peak of Trebević for tourists and residents alike. The new installation has an inclined length of 2,158 meters and is supported by ten towers.
The 10-seater gondola cable car provides fast & comfortable passenger transport from the center to the 1,160-meter-high Trebević.
Running at a speed of five meters per second, its 33 cabins can transport as many as 1,200 passengers per hour. Travel time from the lower station of Hrvatin to the Vidikovac station on top of the mountain is 7 minutes and 15 seconds. Inspired by the cable car’s heyday, five of its cabins will ascend the mountain flashing the Olympic colors: red, black, green, blue and yellow. Plus, the technical “inner workings” of the cableway, equipped with the LEITNER DirectDrive system, are the latest state-of-the-art.
To Sarajevo’s residents, the new installation is very important especially since it renews one of the city’s symbols destroyed in the Bosnian war. The old Trebević cable car, built in 1959, transported passengers to the mountain, their popular day trip destination, within 12 minutes. The 1984 Winter Olympics made the cable car world-famous: situated in the immediate vicinity of the bobsled run, it provided a great view of the action underneath.
The installation was seriously damaged between 1992 and 1995 and the surrounding area was mined. Only in 2010, after lengthy clearance works, was the area declared mine-free and the first plans for a new construction, or reconstruction of the old cable car, were made.>
- Transport capacity 1,200 pers./h
- Travel speed 5 m/s
- Height difference 578 m
- Inclined length 2,158 m
- Vehicles 33
- Towers 10
Large private cable-car donor
One person that significantly contributed to these efforts was Edmond “Eddy” Offerman, a Dutch nuclear physicist, businessman and globetrotter residing in the USA. In Sarajevo, he found not only the woman of his life, Maja Serdarević, a nuclear physicist born in the city, but – thanks to the cable car – also a place that captured his heart, Trebević. “I remember my first visit there in 1991. It feels as if that care-free trip with Maja happened only yesterday.
Anton Seeber (left) and Martin Leitner (right) from LEITNER ropeways with Abdulah Skaka, Sarajevo’s mayor, at the Trebević cable car opening ceremony. Photos: LEITNER ropeways.
I was fascinated by the mountain, by the magnificent view of the city,” recounts Offermann. The war years placed a heavy burden on the entire Serdarević family. Afterwards, Offermann, who made his money on Wall Street, set himself a goal: to help with the reconstruction of the destroyed cable car. While the first attempts to implement the new project failed due to bureaucracy in 2011, things started to move forward under the new mayor, Abdulah Skaka.
Offermann’s offer to contribute 3.5 million dollars for the construction led to the opening of a new tender out of which LEITNER ropeways emerged the winner. The value of the project which, apart from the cable car, includes also construction works and a new hotel at the upper station, is nine million euros. The new cable car has become an affair of the heart for Sarajevo residents. A recent project shows how important it is for people from the region: several artists have teamed up to greet the new cable car with music, introducing the song “Trebević opet silazi u grad” (“Trebević is coming back to town”). ts