Trebišnjica river near Gornji Orahovac, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Trebišnjica River
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
River mouth Neretva River and Adriatic Sea
Basin size The Neretva with Trebišnjica
Physical characteristics
Length 98 km (61 mi)

Trebišnjica (Serbian Cyrillic: Требишњица) is a river in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It used to be a sinking river, 96.5 km (60.0 mi) long above the ground. With a total length of 187 km (116 mi) above and under the ground, it is one of the longest sinking rivers in the world.

Upper course

As it flows in an area of karst (limestone), the Trebišnjica actually represents a very complex system of the above and underground streams. It originates in Bosnia and Herzegovina from two streams from the Lebršnik and Čemerno mountains:

The river shortly re-appears in the Fatničko Polje (Field of Fatnica) under the name of Fatnička reka (River of Fatnica), only to sink again after a short flow above the ground.

Middle course

Trebišnjica in Popovo Polje

After a total underground flow of some 30 km (19 mi), the waters of the sinking Fatnička reka re-appear as a series of very powerful cave springs near the town of Bileća, which are joined into one river, the Trebišnjica, the most important river in eastern Hercegovina. The river flows to the south, through the depression of Miruša. On the southernmost part of the depression, the river is dammed by the Grancarevo Dam at the village of Gornje Grančarevo and completely flooded upstream by the artificial Lake Bileća. Nearly all of the eastern bank of the lake belongs to Montenegro.

The Trebišnjica turns west between the villages of Donje Grnčarevo and Lastva into the Trebinjsko polje (Field of Trebinje), being dammed once again at the village of Gorica, with a small reservoir. The river continues to the west following the southern slopes of Bjelasnica mountain, through the town of Trebinje and villages of Dražin Do, Tvrdoš, Gornja Kočela and Donja Kočela, and enters the largest karst field in the Balkans, Popovo Polje (Field of the priest).

In Popovo Polje, the Trebišnjica used to sink (see Regulation below), right after the Trebinje. In the field, the river turns northwest, next to the villages of Staro Slano, Đedići, Dobromani, Žakovo, Tulje, Sedlari, Grmljani and Zavala, near the Vjetrenica cave, the largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The river then turns north, makes a big curve between the villages of Dvrsnica, Orašje, Čavaš and Turkovići and in the lower Popovo Polje, near the Croatian border, sinks into the several big sinking holes (most notably, the Doljašnica and Ponikva holes).

Lower course

The waters of the Trebišnjica from the Popovo Polje, re-appear as three separate outflows:

The total drainage area of the Trebišnjica covers 4,926 km2 (1,902 sq mi), of which 600 km2 (230 sq mi) is shared with the Neretva drainage area (the spring of Čapljina). The drainage area of the central, longest part of the river covers 2,225 km2 (859 sq mi).

Regulation and importance

Bileća Lake

As a river that flows in geologically unstable terrain (karst) and with such an interrupted flow, the Trebišnjica contains enormous potential for hydroelectricity production. As a result, regulatory works on the Trebišnjica were arguably the most massive ones in the former Yugoslavia.

See also


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Coordinates: 42°42′45″N 18°20′51″E / 42.71250°N 18.34750°E / 42.71250; 18.34750

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