When I first heard about the Pyramid in Visoko, Sarajevo, back in 2016, I couldn’t have been more surprised. I had just finished a book about the pyramids in Central America and their connection to the activity of the Sun, and how those pyramids went unnoticed for ages because they were covered in earth and vegetation. The best material and info on the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun is on Youtube and on the website of the Foundation, which has been studying the territory around Visocika hill for almost 2 decades, with the cooperation of archaeologists from different renowned institutions and universities. I admit, after looking at photos of the Pyramids of the Sun in Visoko, I thought: this must be a scam! But I promised myself I would go there and see for myself, and the Balkans are just around the corner, a bus ride from Croatia, only a few hours flight from Rome! A year went by and I hadn’t made any clear plans to visit Bosnia, but I kept watching videos about the research from the Foundation, then I met somebody who had traveled there and recommended a visit. So I finally did go there myself, and here I’ve put together my impressions about the place and tips on how to organize your visit to Visoko and to the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun.
HOW TO GET TO THE PYRAMID OF THE SUN
I spent an entire week in Visoko, because I really enjoyed the hilly landscape during the hot south-European summer, as well as the food. However, you can easily plan your visit to the Bosnian Pyramid even if you don’t have much time, making it a day-trip from Sarajevo.There’s a bus from the Sarajevo Bus Station to downtown Visoko and back at least twice a day, and it’s only an hour´s ride or so. From Visoko to Sarajevo, there are also nocturnal buses. On the Getbybus website, you can book the daytime rides, while the night rides are available only at the bus stations. Once you are in Visoko, to get to the main archaeological sites only costs 1-2 euros by taxi.
ACCOMMODATIONS IN VISOKO
As I was a solo traveler to Visoko, I had started talking a couple of months before my trip with an accredited guide to the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, who gave me useful info about the sites and helped me find a small apartment to rent for €25/night. I’ve seen similar prices for rooms and apartment in Visoko on Airbnb, and I’m positive it’ll be ok for you to find accomodations in hotels in Visoko even on short notice: the Pyramid of the Sun is still quite off the beaten path as a tourist destination!
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN VISOKO
Maybe you too, like me, have only heard of the town of Visoko after the discovery of the Pyramid of the Sun. But the town and the surrounding areas have been continuously studied for archeological remains, which show that during the Middle Ages Visoko was the center of the Banate of Bosnia and the Kingdom of Bosnia. Ruins of the old fortress where the King and Queen of Bosnia resided are exactly at the top of Visocika Hill, that means, at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. That’s one of the reasons why the contemporary government stopped the Pyramid of the Sun Foundation from studying the top of the Pyramid. Old records show that not far from Visoko centre, in Moštre, one of the first universities in Europe was founded. The Franciscan church in Mile, under Visoko jurisdiction, witnessed the crownings and burials of kings and bans of medieval Bosnia.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES CURATED BY THE BOSNIAN PYRAMID OF THE SUN FOUNDATION
The main archeological sites related to the Pyramid of the Sun are: the excavation site on one side of the Pyramid of the Sun; the Ravne Tunnels; the excavations at the Pyramid of the Moon; and the Tumulus of Vratnica. This whole area was covered with explosive landmines not long ago, so I would refrain from walking off the trails.
EXCAVATION ON THE PYRAMID OF THE SUN
The site is accessible from the Tourist Info point at the Pyramid of the Sun, the ticket costs €10 and includes a guided tour of about 45 minutes. You will see and learn about the different layers of the Pyramid, about the universities involved in the research and electromagnetism at the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun.
The ticket for the tunnels also costs €10 and includes a guided tour of 45 minutes. The tour is very informative and interesting, I highly recommend it, especially if you don’t like to walk in underground tunnels by yourself! It’s very unlikely that you would get lost or feel uneasiness inside the Ravne tunnels, but take it easy if it’s your first time there. After your first visit, you’ll be able to visit the tunnels again, if you’d like, without a guide, to meditate and take advantage of the therapeutic power of the healing chamber, for €5. I met quite a few people doing that during all my visits to the tunnels. I did that to. What’s special about the Ravne tunnels? Researchers have discovered a dense network of underground tunnels that connect the major archeological sites in the area. About 1.5 km of these tunnels are walkable. As you wear the protective helmet and start walking in, you will feel an increasing sense of peace and start breathing better. I was shocked by the fact that as time went by, my body felt lighter and my mind grew more calm. I am actually claustrophobic. I avoid taking the elevator and going down in caves. The Ravne tunnels, however, are different. The water of the underground streams in the tunnels has been studied for its healing properties. More and more people visit the tunnels every day to cure different diseases. Locals check in regularly to keep their health fit. During the tour inside the tunnels, you’ll find out about the age of the tunnels, about the records of runes and other symbols on megalithic pottery strategically placed above the junctions of underground streams and emanating frequencies of 25,000 Bovis (a unit for measuring the spiritual vibration of etheric or vital energy). You will sit in the “healing chamber”, the largest chamber found along the tunnels, measuring a Schumann Resonance (global electromagnetic vibrations) of 7.83 Hz. I visited the tunnels for several days in a row. The Ravne tunnels, together with the friendliness of the locals, are the reason why I’ll visit Visoko again.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN VISOKO
As an independent traveler, you’ll prefer to use taxis. Rides from Visoko center to the main sites are €1. Ask your airbnb host or the staff at your hotel to help you find a cab. If you prefer walking, the Tourist Info Point on the side of the Pyramid and the entrance to the Ravne Tunnels are both around 40 minutes from the center of town. The excavations on the Pyramid of the Moon are also close by, while you better hire a cab to get to the Tumulus in Vratnica and to the remains of the Franciscan church in Mile. If you love walking in nature, be mindful of the fact that while streets and curated trails to and from the archeological sites are clear, the whole area still contains isolated landmines. Avoid venturing into bushes or in the woods. If you’d like to camp, look for campsites, or ensure your spot at the Caffe Old Town’s garden, on the top of the hill, my favorite panoramic spot in Visoko.
HIKING IN VISOKO
It’s possible to hike all the way from Visoko Bus Station to the top of the Pyramid and the Ravne Tunnels in three stages, with slope and on cemented walkways. The landscape is wonderful and you get to walk in the alleys downtown and come across typical shops and bakeries, and locals on their daily errands.
- From the Bus Station, walk up to Vidikovac Restoran, a 20-minute hike, 1.3 km. If you’re hungry, try the local dishes in Vidikovac.
- From Restoran Vidikovac, visit the Tourist Info Point at the Pyramid of the Sun (1 minute away) and the excavation site, and then head to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, where you’ll find the ruins of the Medieval Castle or Stari Grad (Old Town) and probably some meditators. And of course, a fabulous view! This second stage takes 45 minutes, 2.2 km.
- From Stari Grad, head for the Ravne Tunnels, but first, have a rest at Caffe Old Town with an aromatic herbal tea or Turkish-style coffee. Here you’ll be able to find a bed too, or a spot to pitch your tent. This takes 50 minutes, 3.8 Km. The last stage is the walk I enjoyed the most. The road is paved, but on the sides you have gorgeous views of the valley and of the Pyramid of the Sun. Always remember to stay on the main street and avoid exploring the woods. There’s a risk of mines.
Next to the entrance of the Ravne Tunnels lies the beautiful Ravne Park. Ideal for a picnic, yoga, or simply a stroll, it’s where the Foundation celebrates solstices and other important occasions. This park has received contributions from a variety of researchers. There is a section dedicated to labyrinths, another to menhirs, and every area is immersed in the relaxing sound of water.
EATING IN VISOKO
Everything I ate in Visoko was delicious. The owner of Vidikovac Restoran was very proud to tell me that all the food cooked in restaurants in Visoko is fresh and produced locally. I confirmed that, but I stuck to a few special places.
Only a few steps from my room in Visoko, I used to have dinner there every day! I’m vegetarian, and I tried all of their veggie dishes. I’m a big fan of their roasted veggies and fried cheese. The owner is a cornerstone for the whole neighborhood, as he speaks perfect English. They also sell beers and a special kind of coffee. Each dish comes with a side of home-made bread which is the same as our Italian “Pizza Bianca” or “Focaccia”, lovely!
Restoran No. 1
On the main road, it has a cozy internal room with a bar and coffee tables, and two porches with many more tables. I loved the care with which they decorate the tables, and three of their vegetarian dishes:
- the Shopska Salad;
- the mushrooms stuffed with goat cheese;
- a traditional dessert known locally as Viagra, because of the intensely sweet flavour. It consists of an entire apple filled with a paste of walnuts and honey, baked and then topped with whipped cream and chocolate. Delicious, and definitely too sweet!
Cafeteria inside Susa commercial centre
This is a big cafeteria on the first floor of the “Susa” Commercial Center. It looked like one of the locals’ favourites. There is a big choice of dishes and cakes! In the photo below, see what I tried. Again, it looks and tastes like an Italian dish: Calzone. The same dough as pizza, but worked so as to contain filling of any kind. I had the one with spinach and fresh goat cheese.
Café Old Town
This coffee shop seemed like a very special place, and I decided to talk about it in more detail in a different post.
…SEE YOU SOON VISOKO…
This is the main info for your trip to Visoko. I sincerely recommend a visit to the Ravne Tunnels, especially if you are fond of spiritual-experiential travels or even because you are very curious about Pyramids. If you usually do mindful meditation, meditate inside the healing chamber of the Ravne Tunnels, and close to the megaliths. I’d love to hear about your experience.