Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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St. Nicholas Church in Trijebanj, the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

            Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held on 25 February 2003 the Commission adopted a






            The architectural ensemble of St. Nicholas Church in Trijebanj is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The building stands on a site covering cadastral plots 631/1, 637/2 and 673/3 in land registry insert 645, cadastral municipality Trijebanj, Stolac municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Federation of  BiH nos. 2/02 and 27/02) shall apply to the National Monument specified in the preceding paragraph.




            The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, display and rehabilitate the National Monument specified in Clause I of this Decision.

            The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be responsible for providing the resources for drawing up a plan for the rehabilitation of the architectural ensemble of St. Nicholas Church in Trijebanj.

            The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




            For the purpose of the ongoing protection of the property the following protection zones have been designated:

            Protection Zone I, which includes cadastral plots 437/1, 437/2, 437/3. The following measures shall apply within this zone:

Ÿ          the construction of residential, commercial or agricultural buildings or facilities is prohibited, other than the reconstruction of existing damaged or destroyed buildings,

Ÿ          no works of any kind shall be carried out on the buildings forming the architectural ensemble other than works of conservation or restoration to a design project approved by the relevant Federal ministry and under the professional supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Ÿ          the dumping of waste of any kind is prohibited

Ÿ          no infrastructural works shall be carried out other than in exceptional cases with the approval of the relevant Federal ministry and under the professional supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Ÿ          the construction of roads infrastructure or power facilities, stone quarrying or treatment facilities or other polluters the construction or operation of which could be detrimental to the National Monument specified in Clause 1 of this Decision is prohibited.


            Protection Zone II, which includes cadastral plots 434, 435, 438/1, 438/2, 438/3, 447/1, 447/2, 447/3, 468/1, 468/2, 468/3 and 469. Within this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

Ÿ          the construction is permitted only of housing units with a maximum height of 6.5 metres to the base of the roof structure, of a maximum of two storeys (ground floor and one upper floor) and maximum dimensions of 10 x 12 metres,

Ÿ          the exploitation of stone and other natural resources is prohibited,

Ÿ          waste disposal of all kinds is prohibited,

Ÿ          all construction other than the erection of temporary agricultural buildings is prohibited,

Ÿ          traffic of heavy lorries and construction machinery is prohibited.


            The Government of the Federation of BiH is responsible in particular for implementing the following measures:

Ÿ          drawing up a programme for the clearance of St Nicholas church, to include the following procedures and measures:

Ÿ         conducting a survey of the site, to include identifying fragments from the church and classifying them

Ÿ         the temporary removal of undamaged painted layers from the walls and fallen sections and transferring them to safe keeping until they can be reintegrated into the building

Ÿ         the protection of intact sections of the walls, foundations and floor

Ÿ         comprehensive research works including testing the stability and structure of the existing walls and foundations of the building, examining the load-bearing capacity of the ground, the petrographic and chemical features of the stone and other building materials (mortar), and collecting data and information in order to draw up a rehabilitation design project.


           Preliminary works must be performed according to the following conditions:

-         all preliminary works for the rehabilitation shall be under the control of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

-         all works must be carried out according to the terms of the clearance programme and under the constant supervision of experts from the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

-         the existing intact foundations, walls, floors and parts thereof are to be preserved and protected against damage, photographed, examined and conserved so that they may be reinstalled in the building as part of the rehabilitation project,

-         no remains of the church of St Nicholas may be damaged or removed from the church,

-         if it is determined that certain particularly valuable fragments require conservation or restoration works outside the church, they shall be documented photographically and numbered, and the owner of the property shall be notified of their temporary removal,

-         the entire site shall be cleared of self-sown weeds.


           Rehabilitation project must include the following provisions:          

-          the church and its surroundings shall be reconstructed in its original form, with identical horizontal and vertical dimensions,

-          all original fragments of the building that are found whether on the site or in some other place to which they were transported after the demolition of the building, must be reintegrated into the building by the method of anastylosis, with the use of traditional building materials and binders (mortar) and construction techniques.  Until such time as they are so reintegrated they shall be appropriately safeguarded,

-          any fragments that are too badly damaged to be reintegrated shall be appropriately conserved and displayed within the ensemble following laboratory examination,

-          all usable material is to be built into the rebuilt church,

-          missing elements for which documentation on their original condition exists shall be made on the basis of the said documentation from the materials that are the same or similar to the original materials and using the method of repristination,

-          the entire ensemble of the church of St Nicholas, including the entrance area and the surrounding wall, shall be reconstructed on the basis of data on its original appearance

-          all tombstones shall be conserved.




            All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are to be revoked.




            Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument specified in Clause I of this Decision or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The owner of the National Monument specified in Clause 1 of this Decision, the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federal Ministry of Urban Planning and the Environment, the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II, III and IV of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




            The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (http://www.anek8komisija.com.ba) 




            Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




            This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH and the Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH.


            This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović,  Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


No: 08.2-6-38/03-4                    

Sarajevo, 21 January 2003.


Chairman of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n




            Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter referred to as Annex 8) and as property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of  BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

            At a session held on 1 July 1999 the Commission issued a Decision to add the architectural ensemble of St Nicholas Church in Trijebanj to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 259.

            Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.



            In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

Ÿ          Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage if any, data on restoration or other works on the property if any, etc.

Ÿ          Copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry

Ÿ          Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.


            The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the property are as follows:


1. Information on the site


            St. Nicholas Church is located in the village of Trijebanj, 15 km from the town of Stolac, cadastral plots 637/1, 637/2, and 637/3 in Land register insert 645 of cadastral municipality Trijebanj, owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church, Stolac Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical Data

            The church was erected in 1534 as an endowment of Duke Radoje Hrabren, a member of the Miloradović – Hrabren family, known in the region from the fifteenth century. Data on the year of construction and the founder of the church are known from two sources. An inscription carved on a rectangular stone plaque built into the north-west part of the church indicates that the church of St Nicholas was erected and rebuilt in 1534 at the instigation of Duke Radoje.  The fact that the inscription read “was erected and rebuilt” gives rise to uncertainty concerning the date of the church. According to Z. Kajmaković, the Duke Radoje Hrabren who is referred to in documents in 1521 as the Duke of Lower Vlachs was the one who rebuilt the church.

Referring to the vagueness of the inscription, V.J. Đurić hypothesizes that there had been an older church on the site of Duke Hrabren’s foundation, that had been destroyed in the meantime.

Archaeological excavations conducted close to this church revealed the remains of a building (a church) dating from the thirteenth or fourteenth century, similar to those in Tasovčići  and Dalmatia.

            The other source is the fresco on the south wall, a portrait of the founder with a replica of his foundation and only a part of the founder’s inscription, in line five of which the title and the full name of the founder are to be read.

            It is known that the church “ceased chanting” in 1815. The Mostar merchant Samit Gavrilović rebuilt it in the mid nineteenth century.


Legal Status to Date

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. 756/52, dated 9 October 1952, the building was placed under the protection of the state.

The Regional Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 registered the church of St Nicholas in Trijebanj as a category 1 building.


2. Description of the Monument

            St. Nicholas Church was a single-nave barrel-vaulted building with an elogated rectangular ground plan. The apse was at the east end and was of semicircular plan both internally and externally. The rectangular niches of the diaconicon and proscomidia were built into the lateral walls of the altar area. Rectangular choirs were built on the side walls, nearer to the east than the west end, over which there were laterally-placed barrel vaults. The line connecting the east ends of the two symmetrical choirs marked the limit of the altar space, the floor of which was raised by one step by comparison with the floor of the nave. The doors and windows were logically placed, with the entrance in the middle of the west wall and the rectangular, very narrow windows in the axes of the apse and choirs.  The west wall also had a rosette window of very simple shape and coarse construction.

            The church was built of large square stone blocks laid in horizontal rows. Stećci (the massive mediaeval Bosnian tombstones) were built into the foundations here and there. The gabled roof was covered with stone slabs.

            The interior of the church was frescoed to the order of Duke Radoja Hrabren by an unknown artist. There are two different views of the origins of the wall paintings in the church of St Nicholas in Trijebanj.  Z. Kajmaković is of the view that the frescoes were painted after the church was built, in the 1530s (Z. Kajmaković, 1971, p 158), while S. Petković attributes them to the 1560s or 1570s (S. Petković, 1964, pp. 549 to 550)(1)

            The artist who painted the Trijebnje frescoes was a good artist. The quality of his work is all the more significant if we accept the earlier dating of the 1530s, at a time of the more favourable climate that began with the restoration of the Patriarchal residence in the town of Peć in 1557, when such skilled painters were very rare. The Trijebanj artist, like the wider circle of painters to which he belonged, was to have an indirect influence on two trends in Serbian art, the more prominent which was to culminate with the Peć painters in the 1560s and Longin, and the other, more rustic, whose main representative was to be the priest Strahinja from Budimlje (Z. Kajmaković, 1978, p 40).

            Most of figures painted by the artist in the Trijebanj church are in the high art style that was still fostered by the few artists of the late sixteenth century. The basic stylistic features of this artist were the under-painting of flesh tones with dark olive-green or maroon tones, over which the artist laid a light maroon tone, adding crimson on some parts of the face – the top of the nose, cheeks and double chin with red. He always painted the upper lip darker than the lower, the chin is emphasized by a semicircular line, and under the eyes, as a rule, he placed three to four small diagonal white lines, with another five to six lines on the outer lines of the cheekbones, and a few under the nostrils and on the lower part of the lip. He painted hair with a degree of naturalism, using white pigment to paint the curls, and extending the moustaches out towards the cheeks.  The throats and legs were relatively thick, the hands short, and the big toe always shorter than the others.  He represented the little finger pointing down.  The eyes of his figures are without shadow, underlined by a thick maroon line, and with black pupils and unnaturally white whites of the eye.  He did not engrave his drawings, but used a very light sepia pigment.  He was a good draughtsman and a good colourist.  His figures had elegant poses and natural proportions, but he was not good at suggesting movement.  He paid particular attention to the treatment of clothes, and could be described as a painter of vestments that are very harmoniously draped and of carefully chosen colours.  He did not exaggerate in his use of colour, usually confining himself to two when painting clothes – red (the flesh colour for which he is recognizable) and blue, but harmoniously combined so that there is no sense of monochrome.  He paints architecture in blue on a dark, almost black background, so that it is hard to discern.

            Studying his frescoes, one gains an impression of harmony and seriousness (Z. Kajmaković, 1978, pp 41-42).

            The entire church was frescoed, but the frescoes in the choirs have not survived (except the plinth of the southern choir). The frescoes were damaged by the plaster crumbling and by saltpeter, and were retouched on a number of occasions.  The retouches of 1701 and 1857 were carried out in a very primitive way. In the 1930s the painter Branko Šotra tried to repair the frescoes using tempera, but without success.

            The following frescoes existed until the demolition of St. Nicholas Church in Trijebnje:

Frescoes on the south wall (east-west):

1.       Portrait of Duke Radoje Hrabren, lifesize, holding a model of the Trijebanj church (1)(2)

2.       St. Nicholas. Feast-day portrait, larger than lifesize. (2)

3.       Jesus Christ (3)

4.       An unknown, rustic, unskilled pose painter painted an angel on the east wall arch of the choir very unskillfully. (4)

5.       Lower parts of the diaconicon. (5)

6.       St. Nicholas rescues three men from the sword. (25a)

7.       St. Nicholas becomes a metropolitan. (26)

8.       St. Nicholas becomes a deacon. (27)

9.       St. Nicholas becomes a priest. (28)

10.   St. Nicholas starts school. (29)

11.   St. Nicholas’ birth. (30)

12.   Prophet Daniel. (39)

13.   Unknown prophet. (40)

14.   Prophet Elias. (41)

15.   Prophet Samuel. (42)

16.   Prophet Aaron (43)

17.   Unknown prophet. (44)

18.   Prophet Jacob. (45)

19.   Prophet Gideon. (46)

20.   Prophet Solomon. (47)

21.   Prophet David. (48)

22.   Birth of Christ (49)

23.   Meeting with Christ. (50)

24.   Baptism of Christ. (51)

25.   Resurrection of Lazarus. (52)

26.   Palm Sunday (53)

Frescoes on the east wall (north-south):

1.       Bust of an unknown saint. (6)

2.       St. Spyridon (7)

3.       St. Vasil (8)

4.       St. John (9)

5.       St. George (10)

6.       Protozeis area. There were several fragments of busts. (10a)

7.       Mother of God from Annunciation (22)

8.       Angel from Annunciation. (23)

9.       Resurrection of Christ. (31)

10.   Mother of God larger than the heavens. (32)

Frescoes on the north wall (west-east):

1.       Area of the north choir. Similarly as in the south choir, unskillfully painted St. Sava of Serbia. (11)

2.       Large Composition of Judgment Day – Second Coming of Christ. (12)

3.       St. Evstatija. In a medallion. (13)

4.       St. Mardarije. In a medallion. (14)

5.       St. Evgenije. In a medallion. (15)

6.       St. Aksentije. In a medallion. (16)

7.       St. George. In a medallion. (17)

8.       Christ’s linen cloth. (18)

9.       Hospitability of Abram. (19)

10.   Completely ruined composition. (24)

11.   St. Keramida. (24a)

12.   Three compositions ruined. (32a)

13.   Prophet Joel. (33)

14.   Prophet Sophonia. (34)

15.   Prophet Jeremiah. (35)

16.   Prophet Isaiah. (36)

17.   Prophet Moses. (37)

18.   Crucifixion of Christ. (54)

19.   Bearers of myrrh on Christ’s grave. (55)

20.   Descent of Christ into hell. (56)

Frescoes on the west wall (south-north):

1.       Archangel Michael. (20)

2.       Doorposts decorated with symbols IC-XC, HI-KA. (21)

3.       Assumption of Mother of God. (25)

4.       Transfiguration of Christ. (57), (Z. Kajmakovic, 1971, p. 319-326)

            A bell tower with an open porch at ground level stands in front of the church. The bell tower was constructed in 1857 during the restoration of the church. This church, although of simple architectural concept, perpetuates the concepts of mediaeval architecture, which renewed the Rasha (Old Serbia) tradition. The St. Nicholas church in Trijebanj is similar to those in Goražde, Smokovac and Šćepan Polje.

Movable cultural property

            The church contained several nineteenth century icons, some of the very valuable; Mother of God with Christ, a valuable piece of work of a Cretan icon painter from the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century and icon of the Deisis with saints, bought in Venice in 1750 by the monk Hristiphor of Žitomislići for 4 gold coins. (Z. Kajmakovic, 1971, p. 318).

            A manuscript liturgy now in Savina monastery contains an inscription stating it was donated by Mileta Rakić to St. Nicholas church in Trijebanj in 1618:

            “si_sveta i bo’astavna kniga, glagolima lituriga, prinese s(e) va svetu ob(i)tel. Iyde’e se hram svetogo i slavnago veliko udot(vo)rca miriliensko Hristova Nikoli, ehe es na Triebnu, i tako bo i mnogo gresni rabi, bogati va gresex, nisi va do8bro)deteleh, Mileta Raki(c), preneco ya sveto obitel na sluhbu cvetomu Nikoli, i da nam ne pomoc, nami i roditeleme na ime va veki, amin. L. Y.R.K.S.” (Lj. Stojanović, Old Serbian texts and inscriptions, volume 1, Belgrade 1982, p. 292).


3. Conservation and restoration works:

            Conservation works in St. Nicholas church in Trijebanj were completed in 1967. On that occasion, the conservationists removed three layers of retouches from original frescoes (Z. Kajmaković, 1971, p. 162)(3)


4. Present condition of locality

            St. Nicholas church has been completely destroyed since 1993. The building was dynamited at the end of 1996 or the beginning of 1997. Most of the fragments are still lying on the site.  All the ancillary elements of the ensemble have been demolished.

            Of the church itself, the bell tower with porches and part of the west wall to roof level, and a small part of the north choir have survived in part. Given the large quantity of material in the centre of the church it is impossible to determine the degree of damage to other parts of the building: the south choir is almost completely buried under fragments of the walls and roof structure. Fragments of the frescoe-painted mortar on the north choir wall, and to a lesser extent on the south and west choir walls, have survived in the interior. It is very likely that smaller fragments of the painted plaster can be found on stones that have fallen on the nave and choir in the church.

            The condition of the remaining fresco-painted plaster will be determined after a detailed reconstruction of all the fallen parts of the building.

            Conservation and restoration works must be carried out as soon as possible to save at least some parts of this important sixteenth century wall painting. Without this, it is to be expected that even the small sections of the frescoes on the surviving will deteriorate beyond repair, especially those parts that may survive on stones that were brought down when the church was dynamited.



            The church of St Nicholas perpetuates late mediaeval architectural concepts in which the Raška tradition was revived in reduced form.  It was a single nave building with an elongated rectangular ground plan, semicircular apse and choirs to the north and south.

            The frescoes in St. Nicholas church in Trijebanj were painted to the order of Duke Radoje Hrabren and were amongst the oldest in Herzegovina, dating from between the 1530s and 1570s, the work of one of the best craftsmen of the time, together with assistants from his group of artists. The work of the Trijebanj painter and his associates was to have a major influence on the art of painting of representative character which in its style and iconography relied heavily on the Byzantium tradition of the fourteenth century – the works of significant Serbian painters Longin and Georgije Mitrofanovic. However, the Trijebanj frescoes were also to influence the specific and consistent trend in the Serbian painting, which was more rustic in style and in terms of theological interpretation and iconography, whose main representative was priest Strahinja from Budimlje.

It is still possible to see small painted fragments on the north and south walls of the choir, and on the west wall of the ruins of the church.

            Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument, adopted at the fourth session of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (3 to 9 September 2002), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.

            The Decision is based on the following criteria:

A. Time frame

B. Historical value

C. Artistic and aesthetic value

C.i. quality of workmanship

C.ii quality of material

C.iv composition

C.v value of a detail

D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

D.i. Material evidence about less known historic era

D.ii. Evidence of historic changes

D.iv. Evidence of a certain type, style or regional manner

D.v. Evidence of a typical lifestyle in a given period

E. Symbolic Value

E.i. Ontological value

E.ii. Sacral value

E.iii. Traditional value

E.iv. Relation to rituals or traditions

E.v. Significance for the identity of a group of people

F. Townscape/Landscape Value

F.i. Relation of the form to other parts of the ensemble

F.ii. Meaning in the townscape

F.iii.  The building or group of buildings is part of an ensemble or site

G. Authenticity

G.i. Form and design

G.ii. Materials and content

G.iv. Traditions and techniques

G.v. Location and setting

G.vi. Spirit and feeling


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-         Copy of cadastral plan

-         Copy of land register entry and ownership certificate;

-         Photodocumentation;

-         Site plan



            During the procedure of designating the church of St. Nicholas in Trijebanj as a National Monument of BiH the following works were consulted:


Š. Bešlagić, Stećci-kataloško-topografski pregled (Old Bosnian Tombstones (stećak) – Catalog and Topographic Overview). Sarajevo, 1971


V. Ćorović, Hercegovački manastiri (Monasteries of Herzegovina), series II, p. 8, 21 and 30


Z. Kajmaković, Trijebanjske freske (The Trijebanj Frescoes), Slovo gorčina, Stolac, 1978, 39-42,


Z. Kajmaković, Zidno slikarstvo u Bosni i Hercegovini (Wall Painting in BiH), Sarajevo, 1971


Lj. Kojić, Manastir Žitomislići (Žitomislići Monastery), Sarajevo, 1983.


S. Petković, Tragom jedne slikarske grupe iz druge polovine 16. stoleća (In quest of a group of artists from the second half of the 16th Century), Collection of Faculty of Philosophy, vol. VIII, Commemorative Volume of Mihajlo Dimić 2, Belgrade, 1964, 541-571.


Lj. Stojanović, Stari srpski zapisi i natpisi (Old Serbian Texts and Inscriptions), SANU Matica Srpska, Belgrade, 1982.


M. Šuput: Srpska arhitektura u doba turske vlasti (Serbian Architecture in the Turkish Era), Belgrade, 1984.


M. Vego: Novi i revidirani natpisi iz Hercegovine (New and Revised Inscriptions in Herzegovina). GZM (A), vol. XVII, 1962, 191-243.


M. Vego, Zbornik srednjovjekovnih natpisa Bosne i Hercegovine (Collection of Mediaeval Inscriptions in Bosnia and Herzegovina), II, Sarajevo, 1964.


M. Vego, Kultni karakter nekropole Radimlje kod Stoca (The Cult Nature of Radimlje Necropolis near Stolac). In: Papaers from the Symposium “Mediaeval Bosnia and European Culture”, (Works III), Zenica, 1973, 307-335.

(1) Z. Kajmaković concludes from the portrait of Duke Radoje Hrabren where he addresses Christ through St. Nicholas, offering him the church with the title of Duke, and not spahija (landowner in Turkish), which suggests that Ottoman terminology was not yet well entrenched, from the fact that he is shown without a cap, and the fact that the church had a character of mausoleum, that the frescoes were painted immediately after the construction of the church in the 1530s or 40s. An analysis of the plaster revealed that there is no patina, which leads to the conclusion that little time elapsed between the building of the church and the painting of the frescoes. On the basis of the stylistic similarities between the Trijebanj and Nikolje (Bijelo Polje) frescoes, it can be concluded that the Trijebanj frescoes were painted in the 1560s or 70s.

(2) The numbers link the frescoes with the schematic presentation in Z. Kajmakovic’s book.

(3) The first layer of retouches originates from 1701 when the church was restored. Simat Gavrilović’s craftsmen damaged many frescoes in the lower part during the church restoration in 1857 while they were trying to ‘restore’ paintings with oil paints over soot and dirt. The third retouch was done by Branko Šotra with tempera on some parts of the Assumption composition.

St. Nicholas Church in Trijebanj, interior St. Nicholas Church in Trijebanj, photo from 2002 Bell tower and choirWest facade
West facade, past conditionRemains of the frescoesPlan, cross section A-A and north facadeCross section B-B, east and west facade
Interior, east and south wallInterior, west and north wallAssumption, detailPortrait of Duke Radoje Hrabren
Details:<br>Angel from Assumption<br>Apostles   

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