Hrčavka Canyon – Tođevac


Hrčavka Canyon – Tođevac

Attractive canyoning as well as cultural heritage

Hrčavka is the left tributary of the Sutjeska and originates from Zelengora, between Ljubin Grob and Planika, at 1570 mamsl. The length of this river is 13.5 kilometers, and its unusually cold water flows through a picturesque canyon, full of cascades and stone pools. The Hrčavka Canyon is a popular destination for canyoning.

The medieval fortification of Tođevac is located near Tjentište, upstream from the Hrčavka Canyon. It is mentioned for the first time at the end of the fourteenth century as the town of the family Kosača. The purpose of the town was to protect Tjentište, the place where the caravan inn was located and to control the caravan road, which was the lifeline between Dubrovnik and Foča, and further towards Bosnia and Serbia. It is written that in 1452 the town was under the rule of Vladislav Hercegović. With the arrival of the Ottoman Empire in Bosnia and Podrinje, the town of Tođevac gradually loses its purpose and is abandoned. According to the oldest Ottoman records (defters), the town of Tođevac had its own Dizdar – a term similar to the commander of the fortress – castellan.

Tođevac is located on a steep rock above the Hrčavka Canyon, from which you can easily control the surrounding territory and which enemies found difficult to occupy. The remains of weapons and cannonballs were found in the area, which is a clear indication of the turbulent history of this place. You can get to the town walls from the village of the same name – Tođevac, which is nearby. The town is strategically located on the place which has a great view of the surroundings (the peak Gradina, 870 m), and the high walls used to make it impregnable. Based on the archeological remains, we know the dimensions of the main fortress, which was 60 m long and 15 m wide. Therefore, it is easy to conclude it was a big fortress, from which the whole territory of Tjentište and the watercourse of the Sutjeska were controlled. Unfortunately, archeological research was not completed, so there is no detailed information about the rest of the town. If you want to get a complete picture, you need to use your imagination.

The characteristics of this place are the remains of the three stone chairs, carved in rocks by the hand of a skilled workman. According to the beliefs, they were used for trials outside, hence the name ‘judges’ chairs.’ Although official historiography has never confirmed this, there is still a belief that medieval rulers organized public trials and arbitration sitting in such chairs. There is a similar finding in “Soko grad” above the confluence of the Tara and the Piva, in the town of Herceg Stjepan Kosača in Šćepan Polje.