Archive for the ‘Bosnia and Herzegovina’ Category

All right fellows, I admit: I know nothing about this place. My local friend, who actually lives really close to the spot told me it used to be a hotel, destroyed during the long siege of Sarajevo, in the early 90’s. I found it almost by accident, while trying to walk from his place to the toboggan circuit which was part of the Winter Olympics, before the Civilian War here, which is, by itself, a great place for urbex lovers.

Well, in the end I never made it to my objective, but I was happy enough to find these ruins. You can feel the drama here. It’s not like some random factory led to bankruptcy by hard economical conditions. No, in places like this, you can actually feel the pain, the suffering… you hear the shots, the fear of a direct impact. And there are some holes here which had to be caused by artillery direct impacts.

I have nothing else to add. Take a look at the pictures. And this is the location:  43° 50.684’N  18° 25.334’E

As we know, Sarajevo is a little paradise for urban exploration. The scars of the war which devastated the city in the early 90’s are still visible and many buildings which were destroyed are still there. During my visit I was hosted by a friend in the surrounding hills, namely in Trebevic, which was one of the fire positions used by the Serbs during the long siege of Sarajevo.

I was devastated when I learned that the guide I had pick to take me in a “war tour” was not available for any of the four days I stayed in Sarajevo. Well, in the end it didn’t made such a difference as I managed to visit a few impressive locations. Of course, in usual conditions I wouldn’t hire a guide but then there were two factors here:

1) I don’t like to poke around when there are land mines involved. Somehow I fancy ending my days with two legs in they rightly places. And mines are still a threat in Bosnia, even around Sarajevo.

2) My GPS died one me during this trip and I lost all the data I had gathered, namely trail heads and all waypoints  for urbex.


Well, it was a good surprise to find that one of the hottest spots in the list was a few hundred meters from my place in Sarajevo. I had no hopes to visit this police club, which saw plenty of action during the war. And then, there it was, 5 min walking from home. Wow!

So I went there one morning. The dog of my friend escorted me there. Literally speaking as obviously she felt responsible for my safety as a guest, and, being a small animal, didn’t hesitate to attack three wild dogs which were in the grounds of this building. Amazing! The sweet dog showed me around, waited patiently when I wanted to observe something in detail… it was the perfect companion.

Now, attached to the Police club, there is an old Turkish fort, or at least its remainings. Sadly I can’t find any information about the fort, and actually, not much regarding the police club. I’m not even sure it was a police club. That’s what I read online, but then my host told me it was a high security prison for political prisoners.  Never mind. Whatever it was, it hold a bunch of fire during the war. Being a strong structure – bunker like – it didn’t collapse, but a high number of direct hits is visible, not to mention all the holes from light weapons. A great spot with awesome views over Sarajevo and lots of stories to tell.

Here, these are the coordinates: 43º  50.613 18º 24.793.

It’s possible to walk from the center. It’s quite a walk, as all the way is extremely steep. I made it almost every day, but it’s not pleasant. Plus, the streets are a bit puzzling. Taking a taxi might be the best options, especially being them so cheap. Expect to pay no more than 2 Eur from downtown to this place.

I don’t know the story of this building. I saw it for the first time while researching for my trip, in a blog. The author visited it, following a recommendation from the staff of his hostel. Seeing the pictures he published, I knew I had to find it, but somehow it was impossible. Then, a miracle: an Australian girl who stayed in the same dorm in a hostel in Dubrovnik mentioned she had visited the place. Well, and she gave me detailed directions.

I read somewhere it used to be the building of a bank, but some people in Mostar told me it was in fact a shopping center. The Australian just said “the snipers tower”. It doesn’t matter, really. Whatever it was in the past, it was completely destroyed during the war in Bosnia (most probably between 1992 and 1993).

The structure has free access. Wide open. Nobody will care. Wandering around, one understands the nickname the Aussie mentioned. Standing in the upper floors, watching people walking on the streets, I could imagine I was a sniper and was quite aware of the damage I could cause from that position. But I’m not sure if the place was really used by snipers, at least for an extended period of time… I mean, they would be sitting ducks, vulnerable to artillery fire.

I didn’t count the floors, but there are about eight. In the one below the last one, there were traces of homeless people.

Coordinates:  43° 20.645’N  17° 48.375’E

The building is located in the West bank of the river, not far from the city center, definitely walking distance. Don’t be afraid of mines and so. Not in this one. By the way… there are other buildings in the area which were destroyed during the war. Easy to spot, tricky to go in.