Abandoned Sarajevo: Olympic Bobsleigh and Luge Track

There are not any other bobsleigh tracks that has seen so much then this one. Witnessing the Winter Olympics and war doesn’t happen on a regular occasion. If concrete walls could talk, they would have a lot to tell.

The 1984 Winter Olympics was held in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (today Bosnia Herzegovina). After the Winter Olympics, the track was used for other competitions until the start of the Yugoslav wars in 1991 that would include the Siege of Sarajevo the following year. The track was damaged as a result of the siege which occurred during the Bosnian War. During the siege, the track was used as an artillery position by Bosnian Serb forces.Today, the tracks are abandoned and still remain mostly intact with war wounds of defensive fighting holes, drilled into one of the last turns of the course.

How to get there

The bobsleigh and luge track resides on Trebevic mountian and goes up to 1300m. If your not a local its a bit of a hassle to get up there. My best suggestion would be going to the tourist office and getting a copy of the Hiking Guide in Bosnia book. This book is at the tourist office and you can use their photocopier to make a copies of the page. The page your looking for is hiking Trebevic Mountain (from Jarcedoli). I’ll wrtie down some pin points from the book and personal experience. Start from the bus stop across the Latin Bridge and take minibus #56. This will take you up to Jarcedoli although you need to get off at the supermarket(this is an unofficial stop but if you ask to be taken to the market, everybody knows what you are talking about). From here turn your back towards the market and go up. You’ll go into some weird roads and pass by peoples homes with some stares. This is when you have to ask where the abandoned bobsleigh track is, otherwise you’ll get lost or end up in some strangers house. Eventually when your off the road, you just have to climb up the dirt track and see the first set of abandoned buildings along the way. Then finally with a bit more walking you’ll see the finish line of the track. Victory!

I also did notice while I was climbing up through the tracks, there were some roads that went to the peak. Maybe it’d be a good idea to ask at the tourist office if there is a way to drive up but where is the fun in that :)

Here are the co-ordinates to get up there 43°50′28″N 18°26′32″E.

How to get in

After climbing up the hill you are already “in”. The bobsleigh track is scattered around the hill and there are no obstacles or fences to jump over to get in.

What you’ll see

You’ll definitely see history passing by you as fast as the bob-sleighers going down the tracks. Make your way up to the Start and go all the way down to the Finish line. Dont be afraid to actually walk on the tracks rather than around them. Despite where you are on the track, you’ll also get a great view of Sarajevo. You might even come across some people having picnics here and there on the weekends. There are also some buildings at the bottom of the track worth exploring.

Any Dangers

If you aren’t able to climb steep hills or afraid of decaying concrete falling on you, then this isn’t for you. For my excursion, I didn’t come across any dangers other than some spike plants.

 

Click here for pics

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  • Gemma

    Very useful post! Thanks Matt.

    • metehans

      Happy to hear my blog helped you discover the abandoned tracks. I hope you enjoyed the trip

  • Thank you very much , your advices are precious !

    • metehans

      Thanks for reading and taking advantage of the info.