Dariva: Sarajevo''''s oldest promenade

At Sarajevo’s eastern entrance, between Bentbaša and Kozija Ćuprija, there is a place called Dariva.

 Actually, the city’s oldest walking path passes through this area. It stretches for 8 km along what was once the rugged Miljacka Canyon, whose beauty became evident to Sarajevans only after the Austro-Hungarians had built a railway line there. This promenade is now closed to traffic, making it a wonderful place to take a walk along the river. It’s just like something out of a fairy tale, and during the day there are plenty of visitors enjoying the natural beauty, relaxation and recreation, and sometimes you’ll even find ambassadors and members of the diplomatic core.


Twelve years ago, at the behest of the Mayor of Old Town, Bentbaša-Dariva was given the name "Ambassadors Alley”, where diplomats who were residing in Bosnia planted over 150 linden trees. There are small plaques in front of the trees which bear the names of those who planted them. At a point along the promenade, there is a rock called "Dariva” that can be used for climbing. It’s a favorite spot among many climbers who can use the marked climbing routes, with or without a rope. Dariva is not far from the rock called Babin Zub, where the history of alpinism in Sarajevo begins.


Like everything else in Sarajevo, Dariva has its own story!


Josef Da Riva, an Austrian citizen and a native of Italy, moved to Sarajevo and lived near the confluence of the Mošćanica and Miljacka Rivers, which was also close to a Mevlevi tekke and bridge that had been built in 1884. Josef began his career in Sarajevo by opening a warehouse and supplying building sites with construction materials. He made his fortune as a merchant, and in 1889 he built a house and restaurant on his property which was the first of its kind to serve wine in Sarajevo. Da Riva dug into the hillside not far from his home in order to make a wine cellar which would later be connected to the restaurant. As the first winemaker in Sarajevo, he had an original winery which was in operation until 1918. On the same spot Da Riva also made a picnic ground for the people of Sarajevo, complete with a dam on the water and other elements that created a pleasant atmosphere. Today it remains one of Sarajevo’s most famous locations, where one can enjoy nature not far from town. Dariva is the right place for those who love fishing, and members of the Sport Fishing Association "Miljacka” organize annual events that are designed to keep it clean, so that anglers might enjoy an even more relaxing time here.


As you can gather from this text, a walk from Bentbaša to Dariva and on to Kozija Ćuprija is definitely something that will serve as a special Sarajevo memory. It’s a typical Sarajevan mix of natural beauty, history, recreation and sport... and it all got started in what was once a rugged canyon, the heart of which was named after Josef Da Riva.