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Cycling: Austro-Hungarian Fortificarions and Adventure park Fortica

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1 Day
Availability : From March till November
Mostar
Fortica/Podveležje
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 50

With the arrival on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy brought a new era in the development of civilization, culture and modern methods of warfare and fortification.

With their arrival to the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, besides new culture and new way of living the Austro-Hungarian monarchy also brought along a new way of modern warfare and new way of defending the borders. One of novelties was also the construction of belt fortifications i.e. rings consisting of several independent forts and interpositions (so-called intervals) around a larger inhabited area.

The Austro-Hungarian engineering directorate dedicated great attention to the defense and fortification of its eastern borders. The most threatened part of the eastern border was located in Herzegovina, thus 90 percent of fortifications built in Bosnia and Herzegovina were built precisely at this area.

One of the strongest monarchies in history, the Austro-Hungarian one, has left an important mark in the history and development of Mostar. As the city was one of the most important, the Monarchy built a system of fortifications around the city. Forts or permanent fortifications were built on the hills from which a good view was necessary for defense against the enemy, and thus a visual connection with the neighboring fortifications was provided. Most of the fortifications were built southeast of Mostar in the area of Podveležje, where this cycling trail passes. At the same time, the route of this trail belongs to the area of Bike Park Velež, and all the fortifications in that area are more precisely marked there.

The first fortified line was at the area of Trebinje and Bileća, including Avtovac as impedimental area. The defense line Kalinovik, Ulog-Obrnja, Nevesinje, Stolac was built as the second line within Herzegovina. The belt fortification Mostar was a background stronghold, a logistics base and command spot for the first two lines, and eventually the administrative and military headquarters of Herzegovina.

In addition to numerous fortifications in the area, a huge infrastructure network was also built as logistics support, in terms of roads, railways, warehouses, water tanks with collectors, water supply network in the urban area of Mostar, firing fields, hospitals, army cemeteries, air base in Jasenica, etc.

Unfortunately, not many fortresses are preserved around Mostar today. Remains of six military fortifications can be seen in the area of Podveležje, which have been used in the past war as well by military formations passing through this area. Therefore, even twenty years after the last war the remnants of weapons and military equipment can still be found around the forts.

All facts mentioned above indicate that Mostar was the most fortified city in B&H, and some areas such as Podveležje and especially the hill Hum above Mostar make up possibly the most dense system of fortifications in the world.

The forts in Herzegovina have completely served their purpose during the First World War, thus this part of the battlefield was never endangered.

Only four Austro-Hungarian fortifications in BiH have been declared a national monument, not because they are Austro-Hungarian, but because three are within the existing medieval fortification complexes.

Tour Details

Departure & Return Location

Mostar (Google Map)

Departure Time

10.00 AM

Price Includes

  • Assistance & Suggestions
  • Lunch: Local cuisine
  • Coffe or Tea in Adventure park Fortica
  • Maps (map or GPX)

On request

  • Professional Cycling guide
  • Accommodation organization
  • Transfer & Bike transfer
  • Zip Line - 25 €
  • Garmin device: additionally 10.00€
  • Bicycle rental: MTB Bicycles – 15 €; E-Bike – 30 €Complementaries: Helmet, Bike lock, Tire repair kit

Not included

  • InsuranceTravel insurance is not included. Please buy it at home country.
  • Guide TippingTips are not included in the tour costs. If you receive excellent service, please consider tipping.
  • Private TourAll tours are shared, unless specifically booked as private.
What to Expect

Using the existing remains of the Austro-Hungarian heritage on the hill Fortica, the tourist offer of Mostar is enriched by the so-called “The path of the Austro-Hungarian fortifications”, which goes around the remains of the fortifications on the Fortica. Part of the route of the Austro-Hungarian fortifications also entered the bicycle route, which is 42 km long and on which all fortifications in this area are marked with signposts.
The tour is best started from the Mostar settlement of Opine, from where you follow the almost 14 km long road, along which there are six Austro-Hungarian fortifications: Werk 9, Fortica, Mali grad, Guberača, Merdžan-glava and Sveta gora.

Above the Mostar settlement of Opine, the first fortification Werk 9 is reached. Four kilometers further, in the continuation of the macadam road towards the Podveležje plateau, there are the remains of the Mali grad fortress. Continuing further along the macadam, in 15 minutes walk you reach the next fort, Guberača. Half an hour’s walk further you come to the next fort, Merdžan-glava. From Merdžan-glava, there is an Austro-Hungarian road about six kilometers long towards the Mostar settlement of Zalik, which is paved, and which forks in one place towards the remaining two fortifications: Sveta Gora and Fortica.

After visiting the fort Merdžan-glava, we continue the ride towards village Gornje Gnjojnice, and take a short break to have a lunch at the Montanaro restaurant in Podveležje. After lunch we continue cycling to the hill Fortica  or the adventure park “ZipLine Fortica”. Rising above Mostar, there is a beautiful view of the City of Mostar, and its peak is at the mountain lodge Fortica where you can try descending to the “Zip Line”, walking on the glass bridge from where there is a beautiful view of Mostar or ViaFerata. This arrangement includes an unforgettable experience of descending to the “Zip line” Fortica in a total length of 1,000m with a beautiful view of Mostar and the surrounding area. There are two cables, one 570m long and the other 430m connecting the two elevations above Mostar. If you decide for a short training is included, with the use of equipment and the help of an instructor.

BEFORE YOU GO:

  • Suitable for MTB bikes
  • Trail length: 44km
  • Altitude: 1.072m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • YOU WILL VISIT THESE DESTINATIONS:
  • Visiting Fortress: Fortica; Mali grad; Guberača; Merdžan glava; Sveta gora and fortress Werk 9
  • Adventure Park ForticaProviding services: ZIP Line; Climbing; Abseil (Rappel); Via ferata + Hiking; Giant swing...
  • Passing by windmills
  • Lunch: local cuisine in the restaurant Montanaro
Itinerary

10.00 AMStart point: Mostar

10.00 AM - 2.00 PMCycling: Mostar - Opine - Podveležje - restaurant Montanaro - Fortica - Mostar

1.00 PMLunch: local cuisine in the restaurant Montanaro

2.30 PMZip Line Fortica

4.00 PMEnd trip: Mostar

Map

Photos
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