Scroll to Content

Trebinje (Serbian Cyrillic: Требиње) is the southernmost municipality and city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a part of the Republika Srpska entity and is located in southeastern Herzegovina, some 20 km from the Adriatic Sea. The city was first mentioned in the 10th century.

The city lies in the Trebišnjica river valley 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 Arslanagic bridge nearby.

For Trebinje is said that it is “the city of the sun and platan trees”, and it is one of the most beautiful cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The city is economic and cultural center of the region of Eastern Herzegovina.

The toponym Trebinje is first attested in De Administrando Imperio by Constantine VII (905-959), when describing the geography of the Serbs. Travunia (Τερβουνια) was a province of the Serbian Principality under the Vlastimirović dynasty. The first known office holder was Beloje, a count, who ruled under Prince Vlastimir (also possibly under Radoslav or Prosigoj, fl. 819). The town commanded the road from Ragusa to Constantinople, which was traversed in 1096 by Raymond of Toulouse and his crusaders. Under the name of Tribunia or Travunja (the Trebigne of the Ragusans), it belonged to the Serbian Empire until 1355. 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 16th-century Arslanagić bridge (or Perovica 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.

The old Tvrdoš Monastery dates back to the 15th century – Monastery Tvrdos is dedicated to the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos and was built upon the stone formations of Tvrdos along the right side of the banks of the Trebisnjica River, four kilometers west of Trebinje.

Referring to Tvrdos, our historians considered it sufficient to say that it is a monastery dating back to the “Middle Ages” and that it is famous as a monastery in Trebinje.  However, according to legend which is a fact relatively recently documented, Monastery Tvrdos was founded by the Czar, Saint Constantine, and his mother Saint Helen. Further after it was destroyed and abandoned, it became the endowment of the Serbian King Milutin at the end of the 13th or the beginning of the 14th century.  A thorough restoration in 1509 was made by Metropolitan Visiarion I of  Trebinje.

In an old epic folk poem the monastery Tvrdoš and its cellars, or monastic closets filled with wine are mentioned. In the dark times after the collapse of the medieval Serbian state, Serbian monks in monasteries preserved a seed of the Serbian spirituality and culture, and the tradition of Serbian winemaking. After all, just the same as in the entire Europe, in our winemaking the greatest credit for the transfer of knowledge on growing grapewine and producing wine belongs to monasticism. Many famous wine houses of France, Italy, Spain and Germany were established at the old monastic estates or as the successors of their tradition. There are many Serbian monasteries that saved the winemaking reputation to this day: Visoki Dečani, Ljubostinja, Tvrdoš .

The monks of the monastery Tvrdoš started ten years ago a new chapter in the story of the monastic winemaking in our country. They took care of the grapevine in Trebinjsko polje, where the old plantations of the Vranac are located on 70 hectares of land and even built 60 hectares of young vineyards in Popovo polje.

Today the monastery has two cellars. In an old stone cellar from the 15th century, in hundred-year-old oak barrels vranac matures, and only ten meters away, next to the Trebisnjica, a new cellar is dug, equipped with the latest technology, but perfectly integrated into the existing complex.

Modern technological solutions include also a gravitational transport of wine during processing, enabled by height differences between different levels of cellars.