Trebinje (Serbian Cyrillic: Требиње, pronounced [trěːbiɲe]) is a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the southernmost city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is situated on the banks of the Trebišnjica river in the region of East Herzegovina. As of 2013, it has a population of 31,433 inhabitants. The city's old town quarter dates to the 18th-century Ottoman period, and includes the Arslanagić Bridge, also known as Perovića Bridge.

Требиње (Serbian)
Grad Trebinje
Град Требиње
City of Trebinje
Clockwise, from top: View of Trebišnjica from Gornji Orahovac, Sultan Ahmed's mosque, Old town, Hercegovačka Gračanica, Panorama of Trebinje, Arslanagić Bridge
Flag of Trebinje
Coat of arms of Trebinje
Location of Trebinje within Republika Srpska
Location of Trebinje within Republika Srpska
Location of Trebinje
Trebinje is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Coordinates: 42°42′43″N 18°20′46″E / 42.71194°N 18.34611°E / 42.71194; 18.34611
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entity Republika Srpska
Geographical regionHerzegovina
City statusJuly 2012
 • MayorMirko Ćurić (SNSD)
 • City854.05 km2 (329.75 sq mi)
275 m (902 ft)
 (2013 Census)
 • City31,433
 • Density36.8/km2 (95/sq mi)
 • Urban
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code+387 59



Physical geography


The city lies in the Trebišnjica river valley, at the foot of Leotar, in southeastern Herzegovina, some 30 km (19 mi) by road from Dubrovnik, Croatia, on the Adriatic coast. There are several mills along the river, as well as several bridges, including three in the city of Trebinje itself, as well as a historic Ottoman Arslanagić Bridge nearby. The river is heavily exploited for hydro-electric energy. After it passes through the Popovo Polje area southwest of the city, the river – which always floods in the winter – naturally runs underground to the Adriatic, near Dubrovnik. Trebinje is known as "the city of the sun and plane-trees", and it is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is the economic and cultural center of the region of East Herzegovina.

Political geography


The Trebinje municipality is located in the most southern part of Republika Srpska and the municipalities of Bileća, Ljubinje and Ravno in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Trebinje municipality has an area of 904 km2 and makes up 3.68% of the total territory of the Republic of Srpska.



Trebinje experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) with heavy precipitation, typical of the southern Adriatic coastal areas.

Climate data for Trebinje (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.6
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 10.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.9
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 1.9
Record low °C (°F) −10.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 153
Mean monthly sunshine hours 130 133 176 194 249 289 336 312 236 184 133 112 2,484
Source: World Meteorological Organization[1]



Middle Ages

Serbian Orthodox Tvrdoš Monastery, founded in the 15th century.

Tribulium was the original name for this settlement and the etymology of it may be analyzed as tri-bulium, or the place of the 'three hills', from the numeral 'three' (*trei-) and an appellative derived from the IE root *b(h)eu- 'to swell, puff.[2]

De Administrando Imperio by Constantine VII (913–959) mentioned Travunija (Τερβουνια). Serbian Prince Vlastimir (r. 830–51) married his daughter to Krajina, the son of Beloje, and that family became hereditary rulers of Travunija. By 1040 Stefan Vojislav's state stretched in the coastal region from Ston in the north, down to his capital, Skadar, set up along the southern banks of the Skadar Lake, with other courts set up in Trebinje, Kotor and Bar.[3]

The town commanded the road from Ragusa to Constantinople, which was traversed in 1096 by Raymond IV of Toulouse and his crusaders.[4] Trebinje diocese has its episcopal seat in Polje near Trebinje.[5] At the end of the 12th century Stefan Nemanja conquered provinces that include Trebinje.[6] Under the name of Tribunia or Travunja it belonged to the Serbian Empire until 1355.[4] Trebinje became a part of the expanded medieval Bosnian state under Tvrtko I in 1373. There is a medieval tower in Gornje Police whose construction is often attributed to Vuk Branković. The old Tvrdoš Monastery dates back to the 15th century.

In 1482, together with the rest of Herzegovina (see: Herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača), the town was captured by the Ottoman Empire. The Old Town-Kastel was built by the Ottomans on the location of the medieval fortress of Ban Vir, on the western bank of the Trebišnjica River. The city walls, the Old Town square, and two mosques were built in the beginning of the 18th century by the Resulbegović family. The 16th-century Arslanagić bridge was originally built at the village of Arslanagić, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north of the town, by Mehmed-Paša Sokolović, and was run by Arslanagić family for centuries. The Arslanagić Bridge is one of the most attractive Ottoman-era bridges in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It has two large and two small semicircular arches.

Among noble families in the Trebinje region mentioned in Ragusan documents were Ljubibratić, Starčić, Popović, Krasomirić, Preljubović, Poznanović, Dragančić, Kobiljačić, Paštrović, Zemljić and Stanjević.[7]

Ottoman era


The burning of Saint Sava's remains after the Banat Uprising provoked the Serbs in other regions to revolt against the Ottomans.[8] Grdan, the vojvoda of Nikšić, organized revolt with Serbian Patriarch Jovan Kantul. From 1596, the center of anti-Ottoman activity in Herzegovina was the Tvrdoš Monastery in Trebinje, where Metropolitan Visarion was seated.[9] In 1596, the uprising broke out in Bjelopavlići, then spread to Drobnjaci, Nikšić, Piva and Gacko (see Serb Uprising of 1596–97). The rebels were defeated at the field of Gacko. It ultimately failed due to lack of foreign support.[9]

The hajduks in Herzegovina had in March 1655 carried out one of their greatest operations, raiding Trebinje, taking many slaves and carrying with them out much loot.[10]

On 26 November 1716, Austrian general Nastić with 400 soldiers and c. 500 hajduks attacked Trebinje, but did not take it over.[11] A combined Austro-Venetian-Hajduk force of 7,000 stood before the Trebinje walls, defended by 1,000 Ottomans.[11] The Ottomans were busy near Belgrade and with hajduk attacks towards Mostar, and were thus unable to reinforce Trebinje.[11] The conquest of Trebinje and Popovo field were given up to fight in Montenegro.[11] The Venetians took over Hutovo and Popovo, where they immediately recruited militarily from the population.[11]

Ottoman rule lasted from 1466 until 1878. The Trebinje region suffered especially in the 16th century, mostly from the hand of uskoks of Senj and various hajduk bands.[12] The calmer period during the Ottoman rule was the 18th century.[12] The Serb elders from Trebinje, together with the people of Nikšić, planned a great uprising in the summer of 1805, under the influence of the First Serbian Uprising. Their project was suppressed by the Ottoman pasha and probably with the help from the local Slavic Muslims.[12]

The Christians of Trebinje, together with the Montenegrins, fought against Napoleon's troops and in several conflicts they managed to defeat the French troops, such as the knife fight which took place on 2–3 October 1806 leaving several thousands of French soldiers dead, after which the French withdrew for a while.[12]

Notable participants in the Herzegovina Uprising (1852–62) from Trebinje include Mićo Ljubibratić.

During the Herzegovina Uprising (1875–77), the Bileća and Trebinje region was led by serdar Todor Mujičić, Gligor Milićević, Vasilj Svorcan and Sava Jakšić.


Austro-Hungarian soldiers hanging Serb civilians

With the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, many reforms took place. New administrative division was introduced and a large number of Austro-Hungarian troops were located in Trebinje, which was seen as a city of strategic value and position.[13] No factories or bigger investments were made in Trebinje during the AU rule.[13]

After the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand Croat-Muslim volunteer corps (German: Schutzcorp) terrorized Serb civilians of Bogojevići and other villages in Trebinje, which resulted in 83 children killed and 85 adults hanged.[14] Those and related actions resulted in migrations of the local population to Serbia.[15]

During the period of Austro-Hungarian administration (1878–1918), several fortifications were built on the surrounding hills, and there was a garrison based in the town. The imperial administrators also modernized the town, expanding it westwards, building the present main street, as well as several squares, parks, schools, tobacco plantations, etc.

SFR Yugoslavia (1945–92)

Monument dedicated to the fighters who died during the struggle against fascism in 1941–1945

Trebinje grew rapidly in the era of Josip Broz Tito's Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia between 1945 and 1980. It especially developed its hydroelectric potential with dams, artificial lakes, tunnels, and hydroelectric plants. This industrial development brought a large increase in the urban population of Trebinje.

Bosnian War (1992–95)


Trebinje was the largest town in Serb-held eastern Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. It was controlled by Bosnian Serb forces from the fall of 1991, and was used as a major command and artillery base by Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) troops besieging the Croatian town of Dubrovnik. In 1992 Trebinje was declared the capital of the self-proclaimed Serbian Autonomous Region of Herzegovina (Serbian: Српска аутономна област Херцеговина). Bosniak residents were subsequently conscripted to fight with the JNA and if refused they were executed, and thus they fled the region.[16] Ten of the town's mosques were razed to the ground during the war.[17]



Trebinje is one of two municipalities created from the former Yugoslav municipality of Trebinje of the 1991 census, the other being Ravno in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As of 2018, it has a total of 178 settlements that comprise it (including city proper area of Trebinje):

Panorama of Trebinje



According to the 2013 census results, the city of Trebinje has 31,433 inhabitants.


Population of settlements – Trebinje municipality
Settlement 1948 1953 1961 1971 1981 1991 2013
Total 27,401 27,720 24,176 29,024 30,372 30,996 31,433
1 Bihovo 658 305
2 Donje Čičevo 258 497
3 Lastva 523 368
4 Pridvorci 419 632
5 Todorići 121 260
6 Trebinje 3,530 17,271 21,870 25,589
7 Vrpolje Ljubomir 73 278

Ethnic composition

Ethnic composition – Trebinje city
2013 1991 1981 1971
Total 25,589 (100,0%) 21,870 (100,0%) 17,271 (100,0%) 3,530 (100,0%)
Serbs 22,344 (94%) 14,915 (68,20%) 9,489 (54,94%) 1,788 (50,65%)
Bosniaks 676 (2,8%) 4,228 (19,33%) 3,039 (17,60%) 1,211 (34,31%)
Yugoslavs 1,470 (6,722%) 3,364 (19,48%) 124 (3,513%)
Others 549 (2,3%) 910 (4,161%) 158 (0,915%) 51 (1,445%)
Croats 201 (0,8%) 347 (1,587%) 412 (2,386%) 208 (5,892%)
Montenegrins 727 (4,209%) 120 (3,399%)
Albanians 31 (0,179%) 7 (0,198%)
Macedonians 29 (0,168%) 2 (0,057%)
Slovenes 22 (0,127%) 19 (0,538%)
Ethnic composition – Trebinje municipality
2013 1991 1981 1971
Total 31,433 (100,0%) 30,966 (100,0%) 30 372 (100,0%) 29,024 (100,0%)
Serbs 27,276 (93,42%) 21,349 (68,94%) 18,123 (59,67%) 19,362 (66,71%)
Bosniaks 995 (3,408%) 5,571 (17,99%) 4,405 (14,50%) 4,846 (16,70%)
Others 632 (2,165%) 1 158 (3,740%) 199 (0,655%) 157 (0,541%)
Croats 295 (1,010%) 1 246 (4,024%) 2,309 (7,602%) 3,350 (11,54%)
Yugoslavs 1 642 (5,303%) 4,280 (14,09%) 424 (1,461%)
Montenegrins 865 (2,848%) 776 (2,674%)
Albanians 119 (0,392%) 59 (0,203%)
Macedonians 36 (0,119%) 18 (0,062%)
Slovenes 22 (0,072%) 32 (0,110%)
Roma 14 (0,046%)


Hercegovačka Gračanica, a Serbian Orthodox monastery located on the Crkvina Hill overlooking the town.

The Serbian Orthodox church in Trebinje, Saborna Crkva, was built between 1888 and 1908. The Hercegovačka Gračanica monastery, a loose copy of the Gračanica monastery in Kosovo, was completed in 2000. The churches are located above the city, on the historic Crkvina Hill. The 15th-century Tvrdoš monastery is located two kilometres south-west of Trebinje, including a church which dates back to late antiquity. The Duži Monastery is located 10 kilometres west of Trebinje. There is also the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Birth of Mary in the town centre, as well as monuments dedicated to acclaimed poets Njegoš and Jovan Dučić (who was from the town). The Osman-Paša Resulbegović mosque, located in the Old Town, was originally built in 1726 and fully renovated in 2005. The Old Town walls are well preserved. The Arslanagić Bridge (1574) is located 1 km north of the town center.

A banner emblazoned with ‘Music and More Summer Festival 2023’ adorns the road “Kralja Petra I Oslobodioca” in Trebinje, suspended at the level of a second-story building.

The Music & More SummerFest has recently become an annual tradition in Trebinje, spanning approximately two weeks in August. This vibrant event not only showcases concerts but also offers academies led by world-renowned classical musicians. The festival is held at a variety of venues, including the Amphitheater Crkvina, KCT culture center Trebinje, local music school, Villa Lastva, and the Museum of Herzegovina.[18]



The local football club, FK Leotar Trebinje, plays in the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske headquarters

The headquarters of Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske, which is the largest employer in Republika Srpska (as of 2016), is located in Trebinje. As of 2016, most of its economy is based on services.

The following table gives a preview of total number of registered people employed in legal entities per their core activity (as of 2018):[19]

Activity Total
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 152
Mining and quarrying 9
Manufacturing 1,440
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 1,286
Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 214
Construction 362
Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 1,157
Transportation and storage 151
Accommodation and food services 521
Information and communication 134
Financial and insurance activities 128
Real estate activities 1
Professional, scientific and technical activities 174
Administrative and support service activities 136
Public administration and defense; compulsory social security 972
Education 635
Human health and social work activities 601
Arts, entertainment and recreation 124
Other service activities 157
Total 8,354



Airport project


The plan for the Trebinje airport was resurrected in 2020 in the context of the RS-Serbia relations. The new airport will be built in the village of Mionići, some ten kilometres from Trebinje. It will feature a 3.5-kilometre runway, taxiways totalling 4.5 kilometres and a 7.000 square metre terminal building. The airport shall be in the full ownership of the Republic of Serbia, which will invest over EUR 50 million in its construction. Mladen Stanković, from the Niš Airport, was appointed head of the new airport management company. Works will be carried out by a consortium of Herzegovinian construction companies.[20] In September 2020, the RS passed a law on the special procedure of expropriation for the construction of the airport in Trebinje. First flights are expected by 2022, thought works at the airport will continue for up to 4 years.

Notable people

Jovan Dučić
Luka Ćelović
Nikolina Milić
Nebojša Glogovac


  1. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1981–2010". World Meteorological Organization. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Illyricum". Retrieved 2 July 2024.
  3. ^ Fine 1991, p. 206.
  4. ^ a b   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Trebinje". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 27 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 232.
  5. ^ Muhamed Hadžijahić; (1985) Pitanje rasprostranjenosti Metodove nadbiskupije južno od Save (in Croatian) p.4; Croatica Christiana Periodica, Vol. 9 No. 15, [1]
  6. ^ Ivica Puljić, 2015, Sedam stoljeća otoka Mrkana u naslovu trebinjskih biskupa,, #page= 91
  7. ^ Milan Vasić (1995). Bosna i Hercegovina od srednjeg veka do novijeg vremena: međunarodni naučni skup 13-15. decembar 1994. Istorijski institut SANU. p. 77. ISBN 9788677430078.
  8. ^ Bataković 1996, p. 33.
  9. ^ a b Ćorović, Vladimir (2001) [1997]. "Преокрет у држању Срба". Историја српског народа (in Serbian). Belgrade: Јанус.
  10. ^ Mihić 1975, p. 181.
  11. ^ a b c d e Mihić 1975, p. 196.
  12. ^ a b c d Храбак, Богумил (2005). "Требињски крај у време првог српског устанка". Трабуниа. 11.
  13. ^ a b Mirjanović, Zoran (2005). "Služba civilne zaštite u srezu Trebinjskom između dva svjetska rata". Trabunia. 11: 139–140.
  14. ^ Vidić, Velibor (2015). Suffering and compassion Valjevo hospital 1914-1915. Archive of Serbia. p. 11.
  15. ^ Vidić, Velibor (2015). Suffering and compassion Valjevo hospital 1914-1915. Archive of Serbia. p. 11.
  16. ^ Human Rights Watch 1993, p. 382.
  17. ^ Bose 2002, p. 156.
  18. ^ "2023 ARTIST FACULTY & RESIDENT MUSICIANS". Retrieved 24 September 2023.
  19. ^ "Cities and Municipalities of Republika Srpska" (PDF). Republika Srspka Institute of Statistics. 25 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  20. ^ Sarajevo Times