Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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St. Peter and Paul’s Church, with the cemetery, judicial chairs, courtyard and walls in Ošanići, the historic 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 from 21 to 27 January 2003 the Commission adopted a






The architectural ensemble of the church of St Peter and Paul, with burial ground, judge’s seats, churchyard and walls in Ošanići, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no. 283/I, land registry entry no. 259, cadastral municipality Ošanići, Municipality Stolac, 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.




The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) 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.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the rehabilitation of the church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošaniči.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) 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.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection zone is hereby established.

Protection Zone I consists of c.p. no. 283/I and c.p. no. 276/3, which comprises the church, churchyard, church burial ground, and the plot on which two mediaeval stone judge’s seats are located.  The following protection measures shall apply in this zone:


            Zone I of protection including Cadastre Item 283/I and 276/3, inclusive: church, church courtyard, church cemetery and the land on which the to stone medieval judical chairs are located. The following protection measures are applied in this zone:

  • all works are prohibited on the monuments constituting the architectural ensemble, other than conservation and restoration works, to a project approved by the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning (hereinafter: the Ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority);
  • all interventions on the component parts of the ensemble – dry walls, road/path, entrance gate and surrounding wall – are prohibited unless conducted to an approved project and under the constant supervision of the heritage protection authority;
  • the construction of residential, commercial and agricultural buildings and facilities is prohibited;
  • the dumping of all kinds of waste is prohibited;
  • motor vehicle traffic is prohibited;
  • works of any kind to the infrastructure are prohibited except in exceptional cases with the approval and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of BiH.

          Protection Zone II consists of a protective strip 15 metres in width from the boundary of Zone I, including c.p. no. 282/2. This zone includes the village road over a distance of 150 metres from the crossroads in the village of Ošanići to the entrance to the complex. The following protection measures shall be implemented in this zone:

  • the construction of commercial buildings and facilities is prohibited;
  • the dumping of all kinds of waste is prohibited;
  • motor vehicle traffic is prohibited;
  • all activities and operations that could have an adverse effect (through air pollution, noise, vibration) on the protected ensemble are prohibited;
  • the construction of residential buildings of ground and one upper floor only and maximum dimensions of 8 x 8 metres is permitted.

During reconstruction the following conditions shall be fulfilled:

  • the damaged areas of the church in Ošanići shall be reconstructed in their original form, to the identical horizontal and vertical dimensions;
  • all original fragments of the demolished building on the site must be collected up, registered, recorded and reintegrated into the reconstructed building by the method of anastylosis, with the use of traditional building materials and binders (mortar) and building techniques.  Until such time as they are so reintegrated they shall be properly preserved;
  • the roof cladding of the portico shall be replaced in its entirety.  The roof over the central part of the church shall be reclad and all undamaged stone slabs replaced.  Prior to this any damage found on the layer of hydraulic lime mortar beneath the roof structure shall be made good. The pointing of the joints shall not be visible from the front. The size of the new stone slabs must match that of the original slabs;
  • missing parts shall be remade on the basis of existing technical documentation;
  • all timber components that are too badly damaged to be reused shall be replaced by new ones made of the same type of wood using the same treatment and building methods;
  • damaged sections of the wall surrounding the complex shall be rebuilt on the basis of information on its previous appearance;
  • damaged tombstones shall be restored, conserved and returned to the original positions based on available documentation.  Those for which the original position cannot be identified with precision shall be conserved and suitably presented in the churchyard;
  • the entire site of the church, judges’ seats and burial ground shall be cleared of self-sown vegetation;
  • the only construction permitted on adjacent plots is of residential units of a maximum of two storeys (ground and one upper floor) and dimensions of 8 x 8 metres.



            All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby 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 or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning, the Federation heritage protection authority, 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 to V 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 (http://www.aneks8komisija.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.




On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 604.




This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette 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: 08.2-6-12/03-1

21 January 2003



Chair 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 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  and 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.

            In its previous complement, the Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošanići to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 604.

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:

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of land registry entry, Stolac Municipality, with copy of cadastral plan)
  • Details of legal protection of the property to date
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision
  • Inspection of the documentation of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport on the movable property of the church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošanići

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


1. Information on the property:


            The church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul is in the village of Ošanići, 3 km from Stolac, cadastral plot 283/I, Land Registry entry no. 269, cadastral municipality Ošanići, owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church, entity of the Federation of BiH, Bosnia and Herzgovina.

Historical information

            The church is dedicated to the Holy les Peter and Paul, and was built prior to 1505. Its founder was Duke Radoslav of the family of Hrabren Miloradović, who is buried in the parvis of the church.

            The extended Miloradović-Hrabren family was based in the Stolac region of Dubrave, which at that time was their landed estate (V. Bogićević, Slovo Gorčina ’79, page 50). They had manors in Crnići, in Dubrave, where Opijači are now; some branches of this large family also resided in Trijebanj, as well as in Žitomišnjić. They had property in Žitomišnjić, in Dračevo and in Svitava in Gabela, by the river Neretva, including Mt. Obrljin above Zijemlje, in the vicinity of Mostar. One of the Hrabrens, the spahi Milislav, rebuilt the monastery in Žitomišnjić in 1563, and another, Duke Radoje, built a church in Trijebnje in 1534 (B. Hrbak, page 34). An ancestor of spahi Milisav from Žitomišnjić, Stjepan Miloradović, is referred to in 1416 in a document concerning a certain conflict with Dubrovnik. Names of the members of this famous old family from Herzegovina are recorded in Turkish censuses in 1468-1469 and 1477, where the sons of Duke Stjepan, Petar, Radoje and Vukić, are referred to as Turkish timarniks (holders of a timar estate). At that time Duke Petar was headman of the Vlachs in Hum and was under obligation to fight for the Turks as a cavalryman-cuirassier. The village of Žitomislić is referred to as forming part of his timar holding.  Duke Petar probably enjoyed privileged status, because he had a certified right from the Turks to lease vessels from Počitelj to the sea. That same year, the Dubrovnik chancellary refers to Duke Petar as the elder of the Vlach katuna (land) of Hrabren and as Duke of the Lower Vlachs, and between 1470 and 1477 he and his brothers were granted Dubrovnik citizenship.

            The importance of the Hrabren family is confirmed, and additional information on them is provided, by an epitaph on an old stećak tombstone in Radimlja and the inscription on a judge’s seat in Ošanići. The stećak with the “ase leži dobri Radoje sin vojevode Stjepana na svojoj baštini na Batnogah. Si bilig postavi na me brat moj vojevoda Petar” (here lies the good Radoje son of  Duke Stjepan on his hereditament in Batnogah.  This was erected for ome by my brother Duke Petar) no doubt stands over the grave of Radoje Hrabren, whose brother Petar succeeded his father Stjepan in as Duke. This can be seen from the inscription on the stone seat by the church in Ošanići: “Ase sto vojevode Stipana Miloradovića a ponovi ga vojevoda Petar sin mu” (This was erected by  Duke Stipan Miloradović and restored by Duke Petar his son). As the epitaph records, Radosav Hrabren, son of Duke Petar, was buried April 1505 beneath a stone slab outside the church in Ošanići. Radoje Hrabren, referred to in documents in 1521 as the Duke of the Lower Vlachs, was the heir to Radosav and rebuilt St. Nicholas church in Trijebanj, a few kilometers north of Žitomislić.

            There was a settlement with dukes of the Miloradović-Hrabren family in Ošanići. Two stone judges’ seats are evidence of the social status of the feudal lords – witnesses to their feudal status.

            The church itself was repaired in the 1830’s. In 1923 a small bell-tower was erected “na preslicu;” previously the church had had no bell-tower.


2. Description of the monument

            The church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošanići is triconchal in ground plan. This was not a very common architectural layout at the time the church in Ošanići was built; churches of this type trace their origins to earlier times. They belong to the central type of buildings, though often extended to the west by a smaller or larger rectangular space.

            Triconchal churches fall into two groups. The first consists of buildings with side conchs adjoining the nave. There are examples of these in the eastern Balkans, in northern Illyrian towards Dalmatia. The oldest are in Tephulj, near Bar, followed by 6th century examples – the Empress’s City, Kuršumlija. The second group is represented by buildings where the nave adjoins a triconch. These are grouped in western Dalmatia. A somewhat more recent building is located in Cim, near Mostar.

            The church of St. Peter in Ćićevo dates from the first half of the 12th  century. Here the builder added two conchs, one on the north and one on the south wall, to the rectangular building with apse; these conchs are three-sided on the exterior. There is a parvis on the west side, with the main entrance on the south side.

            The church of St Paul in Dživar, near Trebinje, dating from the 12th century, also belongs to the triconchal group, where the conchs are semicircular on the inside and trapezoid on the outside.  In this case the conchs are arched, and the remaining area had a gabled timber roof (V. Jovanović, pages 74, 75). The church of the Lapušnja monastery is of developed triconchal plan, with a pronounced altar space and separate diaconicon and proscomidion, a large dome and a parvis wider than the cella (S. Petković, pages 17-19).

            All these churches, with their outward appearance of a free cross, and where the interior consists of different spatial versions of the triconchal plan, are a mediaeval derivative of the much more complex early-Byzantine apostolic churches, such as the church of St. John in Ephesus and the church of the Holy Apostles in Istanbul. In the Byzantine tradition, ever since the church of the Holy Apostles in Istanbul, triconchal churches are usually apostolic (churches dedicated to the apostles), as is the case of the church in Ošanići. Churches of this type continued to be built even later, as is the case with the Paprača monastery on the source of the river Spreča, mid-way between Zvornik and Šekovac, with the church of the Annunciation dating from 1540. The present building has a developed triconchal plan with a dome, parvis and spacious exterior parvis. The altar area is tripartite, with prominent proscomidion and diaconicon.

            The exterior dimensions of the church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošanići, including the parvis. are 13.60 m in length and 5.35 m in width. The open parvis, which is contemporary with the church, measures 5.35 x 2.90 m. The north side of the portico is enclosed by a stone wall, while the south side is open. The roof structure is supported by a substantial horizontal beam on the south side, which in turn is supported by two timber columns of circular cross-section with corbels, standing on simple four-sided stone bases.

            In the interior, the building is 3.75 metres wide and 9.25 metres long. The entire building is covered by a barrel vault, approx.4.85 metres in height measured in the central part of the church. The walls of the building are made of rough-cut stone and vary in thickness. The west wall is 68-70 cm thick; the north and south walls are rather more massive with a thicknessof 80 cm. These walls have two symmetrically-placed windows facing one another, the one in the north wall 60 cm in width and the one in the south wall 70 cm in width.

            The side apses have an exterior diameter of 3.00 metres. At a height of 130 cm as measured on the inside, the apses have apertures that are 37 cm wide on the inside and 5 cm wide on the outside. At this point the wall is 60 cm thick, and the inner radius is 130 cm.

            The central apse is larger, with an exterior radius of 425 cm. The walls of the entire building are plastered with lime mortar and whitewashed. The church is paved with stone slabs with an ambos in the central part of the building.

            The entrance stone portal features the outline of broken (Saracen) arch. Above the entrance is an inscription with the name of the church – Temple of the Holy Apostle Peter and the Holy Apostle Paul, with the date 1832, when major works were carried out on the building. Later on, certain interventions were carried out on the building on a number of occasions, in the shape of the use of new materials on the façade (cement pointing), which fortunately did not alter the authentic appearance of the building as regards its horizontal and vertical dimensions, upper structure, form, proportions and decorations.

            The church roof was clad with stone slabs.

            There are two tombstones in the parvis of the church. Outside the entrance to the church there is a slab with no epigraph, measuring 80 x 130 cm, lying N – S with an incised image of an archer. The other slab measures 86 x x156 cm, lying W – E, and is located by the southern wall of the porch. There is an inscription “+Ase leži vojevoda (Here lies duke) Radosav? Hrabren? Z.G+=7013 (= 1505) 1? To aprila 24.2” (M. Vego Zbornik II, 1964, 55). Historians have not identified which Radosav is buried here, so they have settled for merely agreeing that he “belonged to the Hrabren-Miloradović family”, members of which are buried in Radimlja. (B. Hrabak, 1956, 36; M. Vego 1962, 202; ibid 1964, 55, Š. Bešlagić, 1985, 88). Whoever he may be, he was responsible for the church being built, or rebuilt(1).

            Behind the apse is a tombstone (measuring 1.68 x 1.08 x 0.23 m) where a nun Marta was buried in 1572. Ase leži monahi(nja) Marta 7080 (=1572)( M. Vego 1962, 203; Volume II, 1964, 57) (2).

            The church and burial ground are surrounded by a stone wall. There are two stone judges’ seats near the church, belonging to dukes of the same family.


            About 80 m west of the church are two stone seats hewn from solid limestone rock, one beside the other. The workmanship is of average quality. The smaller seat is to the west of the larger, and is of cruder workmanship. Both consist of a footrest, seat and back. They have suffered somewhat from the ravages of time; this damage was already noted in 1981 (Š. Bešlagić, 1985, 50-51). The larger seat, to the east, has a footrest measuring 70 cm long x 60 cm wide x 70 cm high, a seat measuring 80 cm long x 46 cm wide x 46 cm high of irregular rectangular shape, a semicircular at the back. The inclined back of the seat is concave and extends down both sides of the seat, forming an armrest of a kind. The back is 36 cm high and 44 cm thick. The overall height of the seat is 152 cm (Radimsky 1892, 47 says 250 cm). There is an inscription incised on the seat. The first part of the inscription is on the upper horizontal surface above and behind the back, and the second on the outer right-hand side. The first part of the inscription reads “+Ase sto vojevode Stipana Miloradovića” (This is duke Stipan Miloradović's) and the other “a ponovi da vojevoda Petar?, sin? mu” (rebuilt by Duke Petar? his son?) Since Stipan Miloradović died around 1470, and his son, Duke Petar is referred to from 1473 to 1488 as elder of the vlach estate of the Hrabrens, the whole inscription dates to 1470–1488. (M.Vego 1962, 202-203; 1964, 56). M. Vego believes that the seat was made when Stipan was at the height of his power, which he believes to be around 1416. This is the period when Duke Stipan Hrabren-Miloradović, serving as military leader prior to 1426, is referred to along with Duke Petar Radinović or Pavlović, and plundered the citizens of Dubrovnik in the lower Neretva near Slivno (Vego 1973, 329).

            According to the palaeographic analysis performed by Š. Bešlagić, the inscription dates from the second half of the 15th Century (Š. Bešlagić, 1985, 87). Some are of the opinion that the seat was made during the lifetime of Duke Stipan, and the inscription was carved after he died (Vego, 1962, 202). Another author believes that the first inscription was composed when the seat was made, and the second part later, but written by the same hand; perhaps, given the similarity of the lettering, by a certain master from Boljun, i.e. Radimlja (Š. Bešlagić, 1985, 88).

            The smaller, western seat has a footrest of irregular shape, much smaller than the seat, 50 cm high. The seat is an irregular rectangle: 60 cm long, 40 cm wide, 40 cm high. The back is inclined and of irregular shape, 40 cm high. The overall height of the chair is approximately 120 cm (Š. Bešlagić, 1985, 86-87).

Movable heritage:


1. Death of Joseph

The icon is in tempera on fir board. It measures 105 x 60 x 2.5 cm. The board was coated with gypsum before being painted. The reverse of the board was joined by two crossbars, replaced by new ones in the early 19th century, in such a way that the holes from the previous crossbars can still be seen. When the crossbars were replaced, the left-hand side of the picture was shortened by 3 – 4 cm. The icon dates from the late 16th or early 17th century. It was composed to the model of the same subject in Latin iconography, by an unknown artist.

The central part of the composition is the scene of the dying Joseph surrounded by Christ, the Madonna and five angels. Above them two angels are hovering, separated by a small cloud and four angel heads with wings. The right-hand section of the painting features Joseph’s workshop and two angels cleaning the house, and the left-hand section shows a table with two vases. (Đ. Mazalić, 1965, 189 – 194).

Until 1957 it was the most important icon on the iconostasis of the church in Ošanići, but was transferred to Stolac for better protection, and was brought to Ošanići during religious service. It remained in Stolac until 1992.

2. Emperor Solomon

The painting is in tempera on board, to which thick locally-made canvas coated with gypsum 2 – 3 mm thick is glued. The canvas measures 48 (49) x 78 cm. The painting was cut into the coating with a sharp object, then entirely covered with gold leaf, after which the paint was added. It was probably made in the late 15th or early 16th century in the Renaissance style.

The painting shows Emperor Solomon standing with a gold crown on his head and a mace in his right hand.

Until the late 1950’s the painting was kept in the church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in Ošanići, in a damp room. It was removed, in badly damaged condition, and handed over to a painter, Kujačić, in Mostar, following which it was brought to the Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of BiH in Sarajevo for conservation (Đ. Mazalić, 1958, 40 – 42).

3. Righteous Lazarus

St. Lazarus the Righteous, tempera on board, dimensions 20 x 16.5 cm, composed in 1658 – 1659, the work of Andrija Raičević, a skilled illuminator and miniaturist.

The icon is a half-length portrait of St. Lazarus the Righteous, represented as a bishop with the Gospels in his left hand, and giving a blessing with the other. The saint’s gold halo and the covers of a gold-hatched codex stand out against the red background.

The name of the saint is given in italic Serbian script, together with the year when the icon was painted. (S. Rakić, 1998, page 97).

4. Deisis with saints of the monk Christopher from Žitomislići

An inscription on the back of the icon notes that the icon was the property of a monk, Christopher, and was bought in Venice in 1750. The painted surface consists of three horizontal panels, with the centre of the icon representing the act of Deisis with Christ on the throne and the Madonna and John to either side. The central scene is bordered by the figures of John Chrysostom and John the Merciful. In the upper panel are four archpriests  - St. Basil, St. Basil, an unidentified saint and St. Nicholas. The icon was made by a conservative Greek painter who remained faithful to the old Byzantium traditions, ignoring the modern trends of the baroque. (S. Rakić, 1998, p. 285).

Z. Kajmaković claims that this icon was painted by Rafail Dimitrijević in 1745. (Z. Kajmaković 1971, p. 296) (3).


The royal doors are a masterpiece of 17th century wood carving. They are characterized by the latticed interlacing into the central part of which a scene of the Annunciation has been inserted. A rustic floral design was added to the interlacing in the panels above and below the Annunciation, with a large flower in the centre with a hemisphere at the centre. At the top of the space under the arch are the figures of prophets in medallions. The icon painting on the silver background of the doors was relatively well preserved until the church was vandalized. The complexions are pale-pink with very sharp, dark shading, in olive green tones on the face and grey on the hands. The drapery is somewhat coarsely executed in broad, visible brushstrokes. The drawing of the face and hands is outlined with a thin, dark brown line (S. Rakić. 1998, p. 52-53).

Particular marks on the items

1. Icon “Death of Joseph”

The holes made by the nails used to attach the original crossbars are visible on the back of the icon.


3. Legal status to date

By Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under No. 755/52, dated 9th October 1952 the church in Ošanići was placed under the protection of the State.

By Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. 02-683-3, dated 18th April 1954, the Cultural Monument, the church in Ošanići was entered in the Registry of Immovable Cultural Monuments.

By Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina dated 31st July 1954 the Icon “Death of St. Joseph” from the orthodox church in Ošanići, now in the Parish House in Stolac, was placed under the protection of the State.

By Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of the People’s Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Icon “Death of St. Joseph” was entered in the Registry of Portable Cultural Monuments, under reg. no. 133.


4. Conservation and restoration works

            Certain repairs to the church have been carried out on a number of occasions, but not to a project design, and without the supervision of the heritage protection authority.


5. Current condition of the property

            The historical complex of the Church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošanići was damaged during the war; the damage was to the bell-tower and the roof of the porch, where the central section has collapsed. The upper part of the bell-tower was destroyed and blocks of stone lie scattered around the building. By good fortune, only some of the stone was damaged when it fell. There are cracks in the vault of the nave, the cause of which needs to be ascertained. On the west inside wall, a vertical crack has appearing, running from the portal to the rosette and on to the top of the vault. Damp has damaged the the inner layer of plaster, which has become detached from the surface and fallen away in several places.

            Both church bells have been removed (1993 – 1995). In the interior, the Holy Throne was pulled down and the altar and soleja were dug around. The wooden polyleion candlestick was broken to pieces. The iconostasis was pulled down and left without its icons. The priceless Royal Doors were removed. (Mileusnić – Spiritual Genocide). The tombstones by the church and the stone seats were not vandalized.

            The old cemetery near the church was partly vandalized. Some ten stone crosses were torn out of the ground. A number of tombstones have been piled up in the western part of the cemetery. The whole cemetery is overgrown with self-sown vegetation.



Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A. Time frame

B. Historical value

C. Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i. quality of workmanship

C.iv. composition

C. v. value of details

C.vi. value of construction

D. Clarity

D. v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

E.iii. traditional value

E.iv. relation to rituals or ceremonies

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

G. Authenticity

G.iii. use and function


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

o        Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

o        Photodocumentation;

o        Drawings

o        Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina of 31.07.1954 placing the icon of the Death of St Joseph under state protection

o        Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina of 17.05 1062 pursuant to which the icon of the Death of St Joseph was entered on the Register of movable monuments



During the procedure to designate the historic monument of the church of SS Peter and Paul in Ošanići as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1985.   Bešlagić, Š., Kamene stolice srednjovjekovne Bosne i Hercegovine (Stone seats of medieval Bosnia and Herzegovina). Sarajevo, 1985, pp. 49-52, 86-88.


1979.  Bogičević, V., Mihajlo and Jeronim Miloradović, article in the magazine Slovo Gorčina ‘79


Ćorović, V., Hercegovački manastiri (Monasteries of Herzegovina), Starinar, 3rd Series XI, page 5


1984.  Đurić, Vojislav, Počeci umjetnosti kod Srba, Umjetnost na tlu Jugoslavije, Rani srednji vijek (Beginnings of art among Serbs, Art on the territory of Yugoslavia, Early Middle Ages, Delo Ljubljana, 1984


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(1) M. Vego 1973, 328-329. If one maintains that the seats were made in the second decade of the 15th century when Duke Stipan was very powerful, it can be assumed that they stood in front of the church, where they belong, but the question then arises of the date when the church was built, or renovated, in 1505. In line with this view, the church would be of earlier date, prior to 1416, and the seats would have been made later. The renovation of the church took place during Radoslav’s life, at the latest by 1505. (M. Vego, 1973, 327-329). In the same passage, M. Vego refers to Radoslav as the founder of the church, based on the position of his tombstone outside the entrance to the church. This would mean that the church was built during his lifetime, between the 15th and 16th century, and that the seats were made before the church existed.

(2) A hypothesis based on this inscription is that there was a monastery with a sisterhood in Ošanići (M. Vego, 1973, 328).

(3) S. Rakić, 1998, 285, 288 says of the icons Death of St. Joseph and Deisis with saints of the monk Christopher from Žitomislići to that they were transferred from Ošanići to Žitomislić, but gives no dates for this.

St. Peter and Paul’s ChurchNorth facadeEntrance, west facadePortico
Rosette Entrance to the courtyardJudicial chairsCemetery
IconostasisAmbos Tombstone with an inscription and tombstone with an incised image of an archer 

BiH jezici 
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