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Bern, Press release, 11.11.2011

The Trebevic cable car in Sarajevo, which was destroyed in the Bosnian war, is being reconstructed with Swiss aid. The municipalities of Grächen and Saas Fee in the Canton of Valais have donated the equipment of the Hannigalpbahn cableway for this purpose. The Swiss Armed Forces in conjunction with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) will start transporting the equipment next week. On Monday, the Swiss Ambassador to Bosnia-Herzegovina will sign an agreement on cooperation on this project with the City of Sarajevo.

The Trebevic cable car was built in 1959 and proved particularly popular in 1984, for example, when the Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo. It was destroyed during the 1992-96 siege of the Bosnian capital. The cableway links the city to the nearby Trebevic mountain, and its reconstruction has great symbolic importance: as the base station is in the city centre while the top station is located in an area with a Serb majority, it links the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Republika Srpska. This project is founded on close cooperation between two political entities – the Federation with a Bosnian-Croat majority and the Serbian republic – thus fostering relations between the two ethnic groups in a country which remains divided. 

The Swiss army is planning a total of four transports in 2011 and 2012. The first is due to leave Switzerland on 14 November, travelling via Italy, Slovenia and Croatia and reaching Sarajevo on 15 or 16 November. The European Union’s military mission, EUFOR, is assisting with the transfer and storage of the Hannigalpbahn equipment. Switzerland is financing the transport costs of CHF 150,000, these being split equally between the SDC and the Swiss Armed Forces.  

Completion and commissioning of the rebuilt Trebevic cable car is scheduled for 2013. This will be assumed by the City of Sarajevo with funding mainly from the EU.

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