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[Bosnia] Hotel Igman and the 84′ WO complex

The morning of Day 3 we visited a hotel situated on the slopes of Igman mountain. As most of the country was covered in snow we were able to capture the site in the season in which it was supposed to shine the most. Upon arrival we noticed that we haven’t encountered a single soul since we started driving up the mountain. We were welcomed by overwhelming silence. Designed by architect Ahmed Džuvić for the 1984. Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, this six story building houses 162 rooms in its over 5,000 sqm of floor area. Now it’s used only as a canvas for photographers and ocasionally for paintball sessions.

Hotel Igman exterior

Hotel Igman exterior

The “Malo Polje” area of Igman is fairly close to the hotel, as it was a part of the same Olympic structure and complex for the Winter Olympics in 1984. The design of the ski jump was approved by FIS on 18 October 1979. Work on auxiliary infrastructure started in mid-1979,including a new road from the city to Igman.

Winter Olympics 84' logo

Winter Olympics 84′ logo

During the Siege of Sarajevo, Igman became part of the buffer zone between the belligerents of the Bosnian government and the Army of Republika Srpska. The area around the ski jumping hill saw heavy fighting during the civil war and was also used for executions. Since then the structures have been littered with war and bullet holes, the hills were no longer useable. In 2010, the Olympic legacy company ZOI’84, which owns the hills, launched plans to renovate the venue. Estimated to cost between €7 million and €10 million, the in-runs would have been completely rebuilt, as they are in too poor condition to be renovated. Since then nothing has happened, hopefully sometime in the future.

Abandoned judge tower next to the slope

Abandoned judge tower next to the slope

During our visit, it was completely covered in snow and from a distance it looked like a completely operational ski area. When you get closer to the structures, you can see that they are quite damaged. The people working here were great and friendly. One of the managers took us around and talked to our cameras giving a very interesting report of the times of war and what exactly happened here.

Ski jumping slopes

Ski jumping slopes

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