Feature: Pyramid of the Sun

On top of Visoko's 220m-high Visočica Hill are a few restored fragments of a fortress wall recalling Visoko's medieval role as Bosnian capital. It's well worth taking the steep walk to the top for the outstanding views that it affords. But is this really the summit of the world's greatest pyramid? That's the intriguing theory of Semir Osmanagić, an American-Bosnian businessman who claims it was built approximately 12,000 years ago (or perhaps 30,000, according to some 'pyramid' guides) by a long-disappeared superculture. This mainly forested 'Pyramid of the Sun' does indeed have a pyramidal shape when viewed from some angles (despite a long ridge at the back).

The Bosnian Pyramid theory has been widely discredited by archaeologists and geologists who deplore Bosnia's concentration of efforts on Visoko when so many more credible historical sites remain little investigated. But even so, the sheer audacity of the 'pyramid' claim is fascinating in its own right.

The theory is expounded at an excavation site on the side of the hill facing the town, situated at the end of a narrow lane with limited parking. Guides will direct you to slabs of exceedingly hard ancient 'concrete' cited as having once covered the hill, creating an artificially smoothed surface (credible geologists have described this as naturally occurring layers of conglomerate typical to the area). The presentation includes much talk about 'frequencies', culminating in a powerful beam of 'levitation frequency' said to emerge from the apex of the 'pyramid' (skeptics are free to smile and nod).

Visoko's most popular tourist draw is a guided tour through the Tunnel Ravne. At this highly commercialised site, a dozen or more kilometres of tunnels supposedly form a labyrinth that dates back many millennia. Guides postulate that the tunnels were originally excavated by the same superculture that built the 'pyramid'. Believers assert that monoliths found here give healthy vibrations, that the water inside is unusually pure (small bottles are sold for the princely sum of 10KM) and that 'negative radiation' probably made the site a place of healing. A half-hour hard-hat tour through the ever-growing network of accessible tunnels is a curious experience. The site is accessed from an unnamed road that's well signposted from Kakanjska at the northwestern approach to town. The ticket booth is part of a souvenir strip with stands hawking crystals and alternative 'healing' products, along with a juice and gelato bar.

In the meadow below the tunnel entrance is Ravne 2 Park, full of features designed to focus what Pyramid-ists believe to be powerful energy fields. These include a spiral herbarium, 'purification labyrinth', three concentric rock circles forming an 'aura-field amplifier' and 24 standing stones inscribed with circular 'cosmograms'.