Trebinje, pure small perfection.

The town of Trebinje in on our radar because it looks to be off the tourist trail – a nice, undisturbed town – a contrast to the ultra-touristy Dubrovnik nearby. And it has a beautiful old stone bridge.

The  bridge was originally further from town, but during the Yugoslav years the river was dammed and the bridge flooded; eventually is was dismantled, put aside, then moved and carefully re-assembled in its present location. It seems that moving old bridges is fairly common in Europe. One thing that is striking is how much less prosperous the town seems than anywhere in nearby Croatia or even Montenegro. It seems like a fairly poor town, even though, supposedly, it has been one of the more prosperous towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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You can hike up to Arhangel Mihailo Church, a brand new church with excellent views back over the town and the surrounding hills and walk along the Trebišnjica River to get to the beautiful double-backed Arslanagic Bridge, Trebinje’s most famous landmark.

Then you can climb up Hercegovacka Gracanica hilltop for yet more great views and to see the imposing Presvete Bogorodice Church.Trebinje’s walled Old Town is attractive but far smaller than Dubrovnik’s, with an unpretentious, very much ‘lived in’ feel. The town’s Bosnian-Serb population might help you get a greater understanding of events in the history of the 1990s conflict. Many streets and monuments commemorate local hero Jovan Dučić (1871–1943).

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