Coordinates: 43°52′10″N 18°17′27″E / 43.869409°N 18.290759°E / 43.869409; 18.290759
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Miljacka in Sarajevo
Miljacka is located in Bosnia and Herzegovina
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
MunicipalityPale, Istočni Stari Grad, Stari Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Novi Grad, Ilidža
Physical characteristics
SourcePaljanska Miljacka Gornje Pale
 • locationPale
 • coordinates43°47′16″N 18°34′20″E / 43.787836°N 18.572217°E / 43.787836; 18.572217
 • elevation1,025 metres (3,363 ft)
2nd sourceMokranjska Miljacka Mokro Cave
 • locationKadino Selo near Mokro
 • coordinates43°55′29″N 18°35′45″E / 43.924791°N 18.595741°E / 43.924791; 18.595741
 • elevation1,135 metres (3,724 ft)
3rd sourceConfluence of the two Miljacka, Mokranjska & Paljanska
 • locationnear Bulozi, Stari Grad
 • coordinates43°50′05″N 18°29′20″E / 43.8347241°N 18.4889174°E / 43.8347241; 18.4889174
 • elevation627 metres (2,057 ft)
MouthBosna river
 • location
Bojnik, Sarajevo
 • coordinates
43°52′10″N 18°17′27″E / 43.869409°N 18.290759°E / 43.869409; 18.290759
 • elevation
488 metres (1,601 ft)
LengthMokranjska Miljacka 21 kilometres (13 mi); Paljanska Miljacka 13 kilometres (8.1 mi); from the confluence to mouth in Bosna 21 kilometres (13 mi)
 • average5.7 cubic metres per second (200 cu ft/s)
 • minimumcca. 2.5 m³/s
Basin features
ProgressionBosnaSavaDanubeBlack Sea
River systemDanube>Black Sea
 • leftBistrica (Jahorinska), Bistrički Potko
 • rightLapišnica, Mošćanica, Koševski Potok
BridgesGoat's Bridge (Bosnian: Kozija Ćuprija), Šeher-Ćehaja Bridge, Careva ćuprija, Latin Bridge (aka Principov most), Ćumurija Bridge, Drvenija Bridge, Čobanija Bridge, Festina lente bridge, Skenderija Bridge (aka Ajfelov most), Suada and Olga bridge (aka Vrbanja most)

The Miljacka (Serbian Cyrillic: Миљацка) is a river in Bosnia and Herzegovina that passes through Sarajevo. Numerous city bridges have been built to cross it.


Eastern entrance and cliff Diving location

The Miljacka river originates from the confluence of the Paljanska Miljacka and Mokranjska Miljacka rivers. The Miljacka is a rather small river, only 21 kilometres (13 mi) long from the confluence, or 34 kilometres (21 mi) and 42 kilometres (26 mi) depending on source (Pale or Mokro). By the time this tributary flows into the Bosna river in Sarajevo, it has an average discharge of 5.7 m³/s. The Miljacka river flows from east to west in a general direction through the city.

The Bosna is a right tributary of the Sava River, with its mouth in Bosanski Šamac. That river in turn flows into the Danube River, which goes southeast and enters the Black Sea chiefly in Romania.

Paljanska Miljacka[edit]

The Paljanska Miljacka, 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) in length, begins at Gornje Pale, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) eastward in the town of Pale, under the slopes of Jahorina, near Begovina), at an elevation of 1,025 metres (3,363 ft).

Mokranjska Miljacka[edit]

The Mokranjska Miljacka, 21 kilometres (13 mi) in length, springs from a large cave, yet to be fully explored, near the village of Kadino Selo at an elevation of 1,135 metres (3,724 ft) near the base of Romanija mountain.

Mokranjska Miljacka cave[edit]

The cave at the spring of Mokranjska Miljacka, located about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) from the village of Mokro, near Pale, is officially the longest cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As of August 2015, the length of mapped caverns was 7.2 kilometres (4.5 mi).[1] The Miljacka runs out of the cave practically as an underground flow, a subterranean river, where its temperature is measured as low as 5 degrees and temperature of air as low as 8 degrees Celsius.[1][2]

The exact location of the cave is not yet mapped for the public, but local authorities have released a map which can be used to find its location, as well as a gallery of discoveries within the cave.[3]

A new species of spiders, named Nemanela Lade ("Lada's Little Monster" for its discoverer, Dr. Lada Lukić-Bilela from the Institute for Genetic Technology, Sarajevo), has been found here. Also found are at least five more species of spider, as well as certain species of bats. A skeleton head of a cave bear has also been found at the location.[4][5]

Paleontological finds, traces of human habitation, stalactites and stalagmites, as well as pisolite rocks, the river Miljacka wellspring, all makes this cave among most valuable speleological objects in Bosnia and Herzegovina.[2] Researchers believe to have discovered bubbles of air, a possible sign of tectonic activity.[6]


Because of its poor discharge, the Miljacka is known for its peculiar smell and brown waters. Miljacka river cascades, which regulate the waterbed and enrich the water with oxygen, trap plastic scraps, stranded balls, car tires, and various other waste. The main collector that drains fecal matter is parallel to the flow of the river up to its mouth at the river Bosna. The sewer system is not connected to the main collector, causing leakage of fecal matter directly into the waters of the Miljacka in several places. During the Bosnian War, water treatment was stopped and plant equipment was looted, preventing the local government from dealing with the issue. Estimates of the cost to repair the wastewater plant range from 50 to 60 million euros.

In April 2015, a project called Čista rijeka Miljacka (Clean river Miljacka) was presented. The aim of the project was to bring the river status to category A, which would make the water clean enough for swimming.[7]

In August 2015, the city of Sarajevo signed a contract with ER Project d.o.o. company to clean up 48 river cascades from Šeher-Ćehaja bridge to Dolac Malta suburb bridge.[8]

Floods of 2014[edit]

The river swelled almost to the level of city bridges during the 2014 Southeast Europe floods, which brought significant flooding to Bosnia and Herzegovina.[9][10]

Floods of 2021[edit]

The Miljacka was close to submerging some bridges in Sarajevo during the 2021 Bosnia and Herzegovina floods.[11]


There are over a dozen bridges over the river Miljacka. Some of the better known ones are:


Bentbaša Cliff Diving is a sport organized at location Bentbaša dam every summer at the eastern entrance into the city of Sarajevo (in close proximity to Vijećnica, a library and former City Hall). The diving location water depth is at 3.5 to 4.4 meters depending time of month.[13][14] Support to this sport in Sarajevo was given by Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion Rhiannan Iffland and competitor Jonathan Paredes who attended the 2019 edition.

Past champions of the event:

  • 2019 - Serbia Dragan Milnović (head jump) / Slovenia Aleš Karničnik (high jump)
  • 2018 - Bosnia and Herzegovina Igor Arsenić from Banja Luka
  • 2017 - N/A
  • 2016 - N/A
  • 2015 - Bosnia and Herzegovina Dino Bajrić from Sarajevo

Image gallery[edit]

Popular culture[edit]

A number of popular local songs were sung about Miljacka river, including "Halid Bešlić - Miljacka" and "Himzo Polovina - Kad ja pođoh na Bembašu".


  1. ^ a b "Izvor Mokranjske Miljacke: Najduža dokumentovana pećina u cijeloj BiH". 22 August 2015. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Pećina na izvoru Mokranjske Miljacke najduža u BiH". 15 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Pećina(Cave) izvora Mokranjske Miljacke". 10 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Slobodna Bosna broj 665 (Scribd PDF download)" (PDF). Scribd. 13 August 2009. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  5. ^ "PALE-SARAJEVO: MILJACKA - OD IZVORA DO UVORA". Govore ljudi - Youtube. 10 September 2014. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Izvor Miljacke je mamac za avanturiste". 24 May 2009.
  7. ^ "Prezentiran projekt "Čista rijeka Miljacka"". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Iz Miljacke se u naredna tri mjeseca uklanjaju plastične flaše, lopte, šiblje i drugi otpad (FOTO)". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Policija zabranila prelazak mosta na Drveniji zbog vodostaja Miljacke". (in Croatian).
  10. ^ "Sarajevo: Miljacka narasla gotovo do mostova". (in Bosnian).
  11. ^ "Nabujala Miljacka prijeti pojedinim mostovima". 5 November 2021.
  12. ^ Destination Sarajevo,The Malaysian-Bosnian and Herzegovinian Friendship Bridge, accessed 24 August 2017
  13. ^ "Bentbaša Cliff Diving 2019".
  14. ^ "Dan kada Bentbaša oživi: Skakači iz cijelog svijeta impresionirali Sarajlije".

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Miljacka at Wikimedia Commons