Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is the only country in Europe that does not have astronomy as an institutionalized science, nor does it have its own observatory. After the long-term initiative of Dino Djipa, one of the leading astronomers in BiH and a member of the Astronomical Society ”Orion” from Sarajevo, was accepted, this could change the awareness of the City of Sarajevo.
Namely, before the last war in BiH, on mountain Trebevic above Sarajevo, more precisely at the location of Colina Kapa, where the Austro-Hungarian authorities originally built the military fortress Bistrik Tower due to its exceptional strategic location, there was an astronomical observatory, which at that time was the leading institution of its type in the area of Southeast Europe.
The observatory was destroyed by combat operations in the 1990s, especially since the demarcation line was located in that area. After the war, the area was demined, and the idea and initiative arose to restore the observatory and, therefore, astronomy as a science in BiH.
”This is one of the most progressive projects that the City of Sarajevo is realizing at the moment. It is not just about the restoration of buildings, but about the restoration of one of the oldest sciences that was very prevalent in BiH before the war. We want to restore science and personnel and, in cooperation with the University of Sarajevo, we want to establish a department of astronomy and astrophysics, where personnel will be trained to operate the expensive equipment that will be used in the observatory,” Djipa explained.
In addition to the above, the project also has tourist potential because the observatory is located in the protected zone of Trebevic, where tourists, in addition to the contents that would be offered by the renovated observatory, could continue to enjoy untouched nature, a beautiful view of Sarajevo and clean air.
”We are calling this project the Astronomical Center Trebevic, a place for the popularization of science and scientific research. Astronomers from BiH who work and live abroad want to help with the project, and some are ready to return to their homeland and work in the observatory. We need strong political will and project management,” Djipa stated.