Bentbaša, often pronounced as Bembaša, is a captivating district along the course of the Miljacka River in Sarajevo.
This historical site once hosted Isa-beg’s mills and guesthouses, adding to its significance in the city’s origin.
In the past, a bridge made of goat hides spanned the river here, commissioned by Omer-paša Latas. Later, a wooden bridge constructed in 1793 served the purpose of extracting timber logs that were then transported downstream through the Paljanska Miljacka River, vital for the city’s development. Traders known as “Tomrukčije” extracted these logs at Bentbaša for selling.
With the arrival of the Austro-Hungarian rule, the Da Riva Bath was built in 1884, which flourished due to the road towards Kozija Ćuprija, along with the tunnel and the Narodna Banja spa, opened on July 20, 1902. This location also witnessed Sarajevo women washing laundry and carpets in the river while enjoying boat rides called “kerepi”.
Bentbaša found its place in the lyrics of traditional sevdalinka and other songs. The Hadži-Šaban’s coffeehouse was known for lively Armenian dances and the rhythmic sound of dibek (crushed coffee beans being pounded), extending its festivities until dawn. The coffeehouse had two levels, featuring a terrace on pillars above the water. On the hill across the river, you could find Babića Bašta café and one of Sarajevo’s earliest children’s playgrounds. The neighborhoods of Toplik on the left and Brodac on the right bank of the Miljacka River connected Bentbaša to the city.
And as you explore the history and resonating melodies of Bentbaša, take a stroll along the picturesque Ambassadors’ Alley & tunnel at Da Riva, a testament to Sarajevo’s rich tapestry of international diplomacy:
Da Riva Bentbaša not only boasts historical charm but also offers a thrilling adventure for rock climbing enthusiasts. The towering cliffs and rocky formations in this area provide an excellent opportunity for rock climbers of all levels to test their skills and conquer new heights.
Bentbaša Cliff Diving
If you happen to find yourself in Sarajevo during the time of the cliff diving event, we highly recommend paying a visit.
The tradition of diving off the cliffs of Bentbaša, well-known and cherished by all, continues to captivate spectators. The event showcased the talents of the finest divers from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the surrounding region, all vying for the title of the best. The tradition of these dives dates back to the past: with the construction of the dam in 1958, the practice of cliff diving began. Dives included various styles like “straight dive,” “twist,” “tuck jump,” and for the bravest, the renowned “swallow dive.”
Don’t miss the chance to witness this exhilarating tradition that beautifully combines athleticism with the stunning backdrop of Sarajevo’s iconic Bentbaša location.
So discover the stories of Bentbaša through its rich history and cultural melodies, echoing within the city’s heart along the Miljacka River.