Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Mosque in Lizoperci with maktab and harem, 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 from 7 to 11 October 2003 the Commission adopted a



            The architectural ensemble of the Mosque in Lizoperci with maktab and harem is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no.2/50, cadastral municipality Lizoperci, Municipality Prozor Rama, 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 Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (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 lasting protection of the property the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, relating to c.p. 2/50, c.m.Lizoperci, Municipality Prozor-Rama, being the site on which the National Monument stands:           

·         all works of any kind on the buildings constituting the architectural ensemble are prohibited other than works of conservation and restoration, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Ministry of regional planning) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),

·         on adjoining plots all construction is prohibited other than residential units with a maximum height of 6.50 m to the base of the roof frame, i.e. ground and one upper floor, and maximum dimensions of 12 x 10 metres.

 A protection zone extending 50 m from the boundary of protection zone I is hereby stipulated.  In this protection zone major infrastructural works are prohibited, as is the dumping of waste.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible in particular for implementing the following measures:

·         drawing up a rehabilitation project covering all works on the National Monument

·         when rehabilitating the ensemble, the following conditions shall be observed:  

·         the mosque in Lizoperci shall be reconstructed in its original form, to the idential horizontal and vertical dimensions,

·         damage to the walls shall be made good and the foundations consolidated using the same building materials as those used to build the mosque and using traditional binders,

·         during reconstruction, all the original fragments of the building found on the site must be rebuilt into the building using the method of anastylosis using traditional building materials (mortar) and building techniques, and until such time as they are so rebuilt they shall be protected;

·         fragments that are too badly damaged to be reintegrated shall be conserved and preserved appropriately within the building;

·         all missing elements shall be remade on the basis of existing documentation

·         the harem of the mosque and the entrance area, including the surrounding wall, shall be reconstructed on the basis of details of their original condition;


            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.


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 08.2-6-540/03-5                                                                 Chair of the Commission

9 October 2003

Sarajevo,                                                                                    Amra Hadžimuhamedović



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.

On 28 February 2003 2003 the Commission received a petition from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments Mostar.

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:

·         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 if any, etc.

·         Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (Prozor-  Rama Municipality: copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry)

·         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 site are as follows:

1. Information on the property


The mosque in Lizoperci stands in the village of Lizoperci in the paris of Lower Rama, 20 km from the town of Jablanica on the Jablanica-Prozor road.  The village stands on the right bank of the Jablanica lake about 4 km from the dam.  The architectural ensemble of the mosque stands on an elevation above the  Rama lake. The mosque and its accompanying buildings stands on c.p. 2/50, c.m. Lizoperci, Prozor-Rama Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

            There is no reliable information concerning the person who erected this mosque.  Inhabitants of the village claim that it was built in 1530 by Pozder effendi or Pozder bey, who also founded the village of Lizoperci.  They also say that the hijra year when it was built was engraved on the top of the alem on the minaret.  When renovation works were carried out on the mosque in 1961 a plaque was set over the entrance door recording the year of renovation, 1961, and the year the mosque was built, 1530 (after someone had calculated the dates).  This plaque was put in place by a craftsman called Ćejvan, who had carried out the renovation works.  This information should be taken with reservations, since it is not known whether the person who recalculated the hijra year when the mosque was first built was an expert in the matter.  If it is accurate, whoever it was who did so placed the mosque in Lizoperci among the oldest in BiH (Hasandedić, 1988, p. 201).

            The oldest inhabitant of the village, Čolić Ibre (b. 1919), recalls that until 1925the mosque had a wooden octagonal minaret, somewhat less tall than the present one, set to the right of the building, abutting against the south-west side wall of the mosque and a single wooden pillar.  The apertures on the mahfil terminated in moulded arches, and in its original form the mosque had a stone slab roof.

In 1925, the mosque was in dilapidated condition and was renovated, when the wooden minaret was replaced by a new stone minaret made of tuff.  The site where the tuff came from was very close to the village of Lizoperci, but is now beneath the waters of the Jablanica reservoir.

In the Journal of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Religious of  Community of SFRY for 1933-1982, an article by Zufer Bešlić notes that the mosque dates from the seventeenth century, but there is no reference to the source for this.  The same article also notes that the maktab that stood right by the mosque was built in 1935.  In 1952 the local primary school was housed in the maktab, but remained operational only for a very short time.  After this religious instruction continued to be provided in the building, which was also used for other purposes by the Islamic community.

During World War II the mosque was damaged, and was again renovated in 1961.  During these renovatio works the minaret was further reinforced by steel wires and plastered with cement mortar.  The minaret was then painted white.  The original stone steps were also partly replaced at this time by concrete steps, and the stone roof cladding was replaced by tiles.

In 1993 the building was shelled, knocking the top of the minaret off at a point below the šerefe.  This top section of the minaret fell onto the roof of the mosque and caused still greater damage to the building.

2.         Description of the property


            The mosque in Lizoperci has a rectangular ground plan, semi-open sofas surrounded by low walls, and a single hipped roof.  A minaret of circular cross section stands alongside the south-west wall; this was a somewhat later addition, as may be seen from the fact that the windows in the south-west wall of the mosque have been walled up.

The exterior dimensions of the building are 12,25 x 8,75 x 13,00 x 8,79 metres, including the portico.  The portico is 8.79 m. long and 3.05 m. wide at the south-west end, 2.64 m. wide at the north-east end.  The foundations of the walls of the portico are of massive stone blocks measuring roughly 1.20 x 1.00 metres.  The portico was enclosed by a stone wall 1.20 m. high topped by a wooden railing.  In the centre of the front wall of the portico, in the axis of the building, was a wooden door with flat flaps and a carved central area fitted with door knockers.  The roof of the portico was held up by eight square-section wooden pillars.

The building was entirely built of quarry stone with lime mortar as binder.  The walls were then plastered both inside and outside with lime mortar in layers of varying thickness.  The thickness of the walls varies from place to place, from 57.5 cm on the north-west to 63 cm on the north-east, with the south-west and south-east walls up to 60 cm thick.   It is interesting that despite the very low temperatures typical of this region the walls had very shallow foundations, not even reaching below the frost line.  The depth of the foundations on the north-east of the building is 40 cm.  For almost their entire length, the walls rest on bedrock.  The southern corner of the mosque is on a somewhat higher elevation so that the floor of the building is tilted towards the north. The walls of the building are about 4.40 m. high.

The interior prayer space, measuring 8,32x 7,55 x 8,74 x 7,62 metres, is entered through a simple wooden door 1.33 m. wide and 1.90 m. high.  Over the entrance is a plaque giving the year the mosque was built and the year it was renovated.

The mosque had a wooden mahfil set along the north-west, entrance wall, thereby increasing the prayer space. The mahfil measured 3.70 x 7.62 m, and had a place for the muezzin set off to the south-west of the axis of the building.  The load-bearing structure of the mahfil consisted of a system of wooden pillars and beams, on which part of the load-bearing structure of the roof rested in the upper part of the mahfil.  The horizontal beams of the mahfil were recessed about 20 cm into the stone wall.  The stoutest pillar measured 20 x 22 cm.  The pillars of the upper part of the mahfil were noticeably slimmer than those of the lower part. The wooden parts of the load-bearing structure of the mahfil were simply decorated. Access to the mahfil was via a wooden staircase 80 cm wide right by the entrance door to the mosque.  The mahfil had a low, simple wooden balustrade.

In the interior, opposite the entrance door, was the mihrab, made of tuff and measuring 1.45 m wide by about 3.00 m high.  The mihrab was plastered and painted with oil paint.  The mosque had a simple wooden mimber with very basic decoration.

The mosque had a wooden floor and ceiling, with the load bearing structure of the ceiling consisting of exposed beams every 80 cm or so.

The walls of the mosque were plastered with lime cement mortar in 1961, when the local craftsman Ćejvan also painted the interior of the building, including the mihrab, mimber, mahfil and entrance door, in various colours.  Almost every colour was used, from blue via ochre to green.

 The mosque had a total of eleven windows set in two rows.  Originally, the building had 14 windows, but later interventions carried out for various reasons made it necessary to wall up three of them.  In the south-west wall, when the new stone minaret was built, two windows were walled up, one upper and one lower, while in the north-west wall only the upper window, which had lit the mahfil area, was walled up.  The windows are rectangular on the outside and terminate in an arch – sometimes a broken arch, sometimes a regular round arch – on the inside.  Some of the windows have their frames and arches made of moulded pieces of tuff, whereas in others limestone was used.  The size of the windows varies from 63 to 69 cm.  The lower windows of the mosque are fitted with iron bars.

The minaret was built of tuff.  The base of the minaret is of quarry stone and measures 2.50 x 2.45 m.  The outside is plastered with thick layers of cement plaster, giving the impression that the whole thing is made of concrete.  The height of the level section of the base is 2.14 m. and of the slanted section 1.50 m.

The height of the minaret is not known, given that the section above the šerefe was knocked down during the 1992-1995 war, but to judge from old photographs and the surviving part of the minaret, the height of which is 7.28 m, the total height could not have been more than 14 metres.  In issue 2 of the Journal of the Islamic Religious Council, Hivzija Hasandedić claims that the minaret was about 15 m. in height.  The stone blocks within the minaret are 22 cm high, and in places there is a thick layer of mortar, from 5 to 10 cm, into which small pieces of stone were jammed.  The full circle has a total of fourteen concrete steps, each of which is not more than 21 cm high.  The radiius of the highest surviving ring of the minaret is 1.63 metres.  The šerefe of the minaret was plain, without decoration.


The maktab building was erected in 1935. It has a regular rectangular ground plan measuring 10.30 x 6.00 metres.  The walls are of quarry stone and measure 50 cm in thickness. The building has a basement used as a storeroom and a ground floor area with a classroom. The walls are 2.70 m. high.


The harem of the mosque in Lizoperci contains a burial ground that is still in use and in which there are some 120 tombstones.  The older tombstones are made of tuff and have no epitaphs.  The more recent ones are made of limestone and some have epitaphs in Arabic.  A number of twentieth-century nišan tombstones are made of Jablanica gabbro.

3.  Legal status to date

            The mosque in the village of Lizoperci has not been placed under protection nor listed as a cultural monument.

4. Research and conservation and restoration works

No conservation or restoration works have been carried out on the building, apart from maintenance works carried out at the initiative of local residents.  These works have b een carried out without a design project or the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority. In July 2003 the site was visited by an archaeological team whose report is annexed to the Decision.

5. Current condition of the property

The mosque and mekteb in Lizoperci were badly damaged in 1993 during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Part of the mosque was knocked down, to below the level of the šerefe, the roof of the mosque was badly damaged, the stone wall and wooden railing of the portico was destroyed, and the mahfil and mimber in the interior were damaged.  Failure to take steps to make good the damage has resulted in further deterioration, in the shape of:

·         damage to the load bearing structure of the building and the appearance of vertical and diagonal cracks in the walls of the mosque, and

·         damage to the masonry wall crown, caused by precipitation.

The inhabitants of Lizoperci carried out some repair works on the building.  A repair plan was drawn up with blueprints, which was unacceptable from the point of view of the protection of the cultural and historical heritage.

            In 2003 repair works on the building began, with the roof structure and floor of the building dismantled.  While the interior of the building was being cleared, the remains of a human skeleton were found.  Archaeologists were summoned and the site was surveyed.  The following was ascertained:

·         the skeleton lay at a depth of 80 cm

·         the skeleton was laid south-west/north-east

·         the skeleton was laid in a kind of cleft between the rocks

·         there were no gravegoods.  Beneath and around the grave, the rotten remains of wood were found, indicating that the grave had been surrounded by wooden boards and then by a stone surround,

·         the grave had not been disturbed when the mosque was built,

·         the skeleton was laid there prior to the construction of the mosque.

Following the excavations by the archaeologists, the inhabitants of the village laid a concrete slab in the mosque and erected pillars to hold up the mahfil.

After receipt by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of a petition submitted by the Institute for the Protection of Monuments Mostar, works on the building were suspended and it was decided to draw up a new design project to be approved by the relevant ministry.  All the elements that had already been built that were contrary to conservation principles have been removed.  The original fragments have been placed for safe keeping in a place designed for the purpose so that they can be rebuilt into the building.


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

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

            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan

-          Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-          Photodocumentation;

-          Site plan

-          Design project for the reconstruction of the mosque


            During the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


Beslić, Zufer, Otvorenje obnovljene džamije u Lizopercima, (Opening of the renovated mosque in Lizoperci) Journal of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Religious Community of SFRY, XII/XXIV, 1961

Hasandedić, Hivzija, Islamski spomenici u Lizopercima i okolini, (Islamic monuments in Lizoperci and environs) Jnl of the Supreme Council 2, 1988, pp.201 – 203

Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and Historical Heritage Mostar, part of documentation and photographs from study of the Mosque in Lizoperci, Feb. 2002

Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika u BiH, (Islamic Epigraphics in BiH) Vol. II, Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1998. 

Archaeologist's report on visit to site of mosque in Lizoperci village, 2003




Lizoperci, Photo before the war 1992.-'95.Mosque in Lizoperci, photo from 2002North-west facade, photo from 2003North-west facade, photo from 2002
Mosque in LizoperciMinaretGraveyardInterior of the mosque, photo from 2002
Interior of the mosque, mahfilMimberMihrabWall paintings

BiH jezici 
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