Edmond Offermann

The biggest donor to the Trebević Cable Car project!

Dr. Edmond (Eddy) Offermann, a Dutch nuclear physicist and businessman who lives in the USA, fell in love with our city in the 1980s, during his first visit with then-girlfriend and now wife, Amra Maja Serdarević, from Sarajevo, whom he met while working on his PhD at the University of Illinois.


His second visit, some years later, was made memorable by a ride in the cable car.

- Sarajevo was covered in thick fog that day, so the ride in the cable car up to sunny Trebević made a big impression on me.

Twenty years later, Maja and Eddy were wondering how they could help Sarajevo, which survived the brutal attacks and destruction of the 1990s, and they decided to start an initiative to renovate the cable car, which was destroyed during the war.

Through contacts made while working at CERN in Geneva, and given his time as the main shareholder in a vertical transport system at Saas Fee resort, Eddy acquired some used cable cars from Grächen. He also donated about 7 million KM, which went toward extra parts and installation equipment.

Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo

While only new equipment was used to reinstate the Trebević cable car, thanks to the resolve of city authorities an entirely new cable car system has been installed. Eddy is still considered the project’s biggest donor and he is “responsible” for the fact that, after 25-plus years, Sarajevo and Trebević are re-connected via a cable car.

Dr. Offermann was given the 2017 Honorary Citizen of Sarajevo Award for his generosity.

- However, for me, the friends that I’ve made here and the memories I make with my family in Sarajevo are the greatest award, he shares.

Eddy adds that, by visiting the city more often, he has his own little Sarajevo rituals.

- After I get up, I buy some rolls at Maison Coco, then we have coffee with breakfast. We really enjoy summer on the balcony, when I try, in vain, to figure out what they’re talking about in Oslobođenje columns.

After breakfast, he and his wife like to walk through the mahalas and have a look at works by Baščaršija’s artisans.

The city’s character

Eddy says Sarajevo should preserve its own character and not lean toward megalomaniac architecture. He adds that the number of cars on the streets of BiH’s capital should be reduced.

He finds the view from Alifakovac and Žuta Tabija relaxing, and he enjoys fresh somun during Ramadan.

- I never miss a chance to visit Inat Kuća and Kibe Mahala, and my favorite foods are burek, cheese pie and spinach pie, sogan dolma, stuffed peppers and mućkalica (stew).

Eddy says that Sarajevo – “a European Beirut” – is an interesting and diverse city, and its culture is best shown by SFF, Indexi and items displayed at the National Museum of BiH.

- BiH’s largest museum has an excellent insect collection in the natural history section, as well as various folk clothing in the ethnology section.