When you think of astronomy, NASA is the first thing that comes to mind, that is NASA and the United States. When I arrived to Sarajevo, I had a local tell me that I had to go up to Trebević. Trebević is  a mountain that is probably well known to us tourists because it is home to abanonded bob sledge track from the 1984 winter olympics. They told me that this was not the reason why I should go up there, yet because of the astronomical observatory that was located on Trebević- wait obsevatory? In Bosnia? But how and why?

Unfortuantely, the observatory was completey destroyed by the invadors during the war in the 1990s. Prior to the war, Bosnia had a rich history and tradition of astronomy, this was the first time I heard this because honestly, I didn’t think Bosnia cared about the stars, planets and what not. Astronomy education and astronomical research was well developed prior to the war. The first astronomical society in Bosnia was founded in 1963, and it was called the Academic Astronomy Club. Astronomy was taught in secondary schools and universities. The Bosnians then decided to build an observatory with modern and up to date instruments. The observatory was built in the old Austro-Hungarian fortress on top of mount Trebević.

After the siege of Sarajevo and the horrible war that left hundreds of thousand people dead, the war destroyed everything including this great observatory. Today the locals tell me that this is the place to go to at night to watch the stars. There is no air pollution and the city lights are not in your way. This was a goal of mine before I leave Sarajevo, I must go up there.

 

It was the third day in Bosnia and I thought I could not fall in love wiht more than I already did. Boy was I wrong. We were on our way to Jajce. I had seen pictures of Jajce before because it is home to a beautiful waterfall located just in the center of the city. The waterfall is where the two rivers meet- the Pliva and the Vrbas. Another interesting fact is that the city of Jajce was the capital of the Bosnian kingdom during the 14th century.

Hidden from blind sight, you will find the beautiful watermills near the Pliva lake. The Pliva lake is located some 5km away from Jajce, and are home to a beautiful national monument, a beautiful ensemble of watermills. Yeah you read that right, watermills are a national monument.

jajce

This does not surprise me though because the first watermills to have been built here date all the way back to the Austro-Hungarian period. Each of the mills are almost identical and how amazing is that.

Once we arrived to the watermills, I was amazed by the beautiful nature that surrounded it. You basically had a beautiful park full of trees and the green grass. And then you look up and you can see 19 identical watermills that were renewed. Unfortunately, the watermills can not be used yet they are just there to show tourists and any visitor what a watermill looks like because after all the Bosnians used them throughout the years.