Sarajevo’s landmark cable car in Mount Trebevíc has resumed service, and it is expected to be a great addition to the city for visitors and residents alike. Closed in the 1990s when it was destroyed during the Bosnian War, it has 32 gondolas that run from the heart of Sarajevo to the top of the Trebević mountain, which was the venue for the bobsleigh course in the 1984 Winter Olympics.
The gondolas are painted to reflect either the Bosnia and Hercegovina flag or the colours of the Olympics. The cable car will travel from the old town near Baščaršija to the pine forests of Trebević, where Sarajevans enjoyed walks, picnics and winter sports before the conflict. The nine-minute cable car journey will cover 2km, and a return ticket will cost six marks ($3.80) for residents and 20 marks ($12.65) for visitors.
The Trebevíc mountain was a vantage point for snipers and mortar positions during the siege of the Bosnian capital that lasted from 1992 to 1996. Even after the war ended, worry over lingering landmines and a lack of usable roads prevented locals from returning there. However, the last of the mines have been removed, roads have been rebuilt, and hotels, restaurants, cafés and a leisure park have been opened, which is great news for visitors who want to explore there.
Restoring the 59-year-old cable car has cost $8 million (£5.68m), half of which was donated by American doctor and philanthropist, Edmond Offermann. A driving force behind the restoration project, he is married to a Bosnian scientist, Maja Serdarevic Offermann. With funding from the Swiss Embassy in Bosnia, he organised the transport of a dismantled cable car from Switzerland to Sarajevo. The cable car has now been named after a former guard, Ramo Biber, who was killed in 1992 at the start of the war.