Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Tekke in Blagaj on the Buna, the natural and 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 6 to 11 December 2003 the Commission adopted a






            The natural and architectural ensemble of the Tekke in Blagaj near Mostar is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The National Monument is located on cadastral plots no. 1467, 1468 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 3/53, 3/55, 3/56 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 81;

c.p. no. 1469 and 1548 (new survey), coresponding to c.p. 3/73 and part of c.p. 9/1 (old survey), Land Registry East 1;

c.p.1470 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 3/57 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 409; c.p.1471 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 3/58 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 407;

c.p. 1472 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 3/96 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 408;

c.p. 4/22, Land Registry entry no. 405;

c.p. 1473 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 977/1 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 452;

c.p. 1473 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/23 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 124

c.p. 1475 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/2 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 188;

c.p. 1476 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/3 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 1902;

c.p. 1477 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/108 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 2067;

c.p. 1478 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/4 (old survey);

c.p. 1479 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/5 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 1256

c.p. 1480 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/118 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 2042; and

c.p. 1481 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 4/28 (old survey), Land Registry entry no. 83

c.m.. Blagaj, city of Mostar, urban area Southeast,  Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The National Monument consists of the turbe and musafirhana with the remains of the tekke and mills on the river Buna and the natural surroundings of the source of the Buna and cliffs.

            The provisions relating to protection 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 on-going protection of the National Monument, the following is hereby stipulated:

            Protection Zone I consists of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision. In this zone the following measures shall be implemented:

Ÿ          The only works permitted are those of research works that will not jeopardize the integrity of the ensemble, current maintenance, conservation and restoration, including works designed to display the monument and works on the reconstruction of the ruined mills, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority).

Ÿ          No works that could have the effect of altering the site or the landscape, flora and fauna, or the erection of temporary facilities or permanent structures not designed solely for the protection and display of the National Monument shall be permitted

Ÿ          Hunting and fishing of any kind are prohibited

Ÿ          Motor vehicle traffic is prohibited, other than municipal services vehicles and delivery vehicles or in cases of emergency caused by the elements or accident.

Ÿ          The use of the building for its original purpose is permitted, as is its presentation for religious, educational and similar purposes in such a way as shall not be detrimental to the National Monument and the natural surroundings and not contrary to the sacral nature of its original use.




            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 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.

Chair of the Commission

Ljiljana Ševo

No: 06-6-1029/03-8

6 December 2003                                                                          




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  (hereinafter: Annex 8) 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.

             At a session held on 23 September 1999 the Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the Musafirhana in Blagaj near Mostar to the Provisional List of National Monuments, bumbered as 418, and at a session held on 23 April 2002 it issued a decision to add the Tekke in Blagaj near Mostar to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 415.

            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          Documentation on the location and ownership of the property (copy of cadastral plan and land registry)

Ÿ          Details of the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, and details of damage incurred during the war

Ÿ          The current condition of the property

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 site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


            The natural and architectural ensemble of the Tekke stands at the source of the river Buna not far from the centre of Blagaj near Mostar.       

Historical information

            The remains of settlements dating from the prehistoric and Roman periods are to be found on the slopes of Blagaj hill.  There are also, on the north-eastern summit, the remains of Roman or late antique fortifications, an observation post known as Mala gradina (small hillfort), while on the south-eastern summit the outlines of a prehistoric hillfort can be made out and on the south-west summit there are the remains of the mediaeval fort known as Stjepan-grad.

            After the tenth century, Blagaj played a large part in the development of Hum or Zahumlje.  Its evolution was greatly influenced by the proximity of a major road linking the Adriatic coast with the Bosnian hinterland via the Neretva valley.  The prince of Hum, Miroslav, held court in Blagaj.  By the time of King Tvrtko, Bosnian rulers were issuing charters in Blagaj, and in May 1404 Blagaj became one of the residences of duke (vojvoda) Sandalj Hranić, and then of count (herzeg) Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, after whom the fort was named Stjepan grad by the people.

           The development of the Blagaj fort near Mostar remained unbroken in the Ottoman period, when it again acquired administrative and political importance.  After occupying Blagaj in 1466, the Ottoman authorities established a permanent garrison in the fortress under the command of a dizdar. With the arrival of a shari'a judge in Podgrađe, the Blagaj kadiluk began to take shape, remaining in existence until 1851 when it was abolished by Omer pasha Latas.  In its first few centuries the Blagaj kadiluk covered an extensive area extending from west to east, between the Neretva on the one hand and the Drina and Tara on the other.  In about 1470 Blagaj became the seat of the Blagaj vilayet, with the same borders as the kadiluk.

            Over the four centuries of its existence it was important as the centre of a nahija, kadiluk and vilayet.  The folk saying «šeher Blagaj, a kasaba Mostar» (Blagaj is a large town and Mostar a small one) has survived as testimony of the former pre-eminance of the town on the source of the Buna (Mujezinović, 62).  The decline in its importance is related both to the development of Mostar and to the formation of the Počitelj kadiluk in 1728, when several villages were taken from the Blagaj, Mostar and Stolac kadiluks and merged into a new administrative unit.

            During the Ottoman period, building activities began to flourish in the area around the mediaeval fortress.  Houses and public edifices were built, with at the centre, as was the rule for settlements and towns in the Ottoman period, the čaršija or trade and crafts centre of the settlement, the complex of a mosque with harem and mekteb, and a han.  Residential areas took shape typologically as urban mahalas, with buildings facing onto courtyards, and rural mahals, where buildings faced outward to their surroundings (Mujezinović, N., 2000, pp. 55-66).

            An important part in instigating the urbanization of Blagaj was played by its mills, built originally to grind grain for the army, and the tekke with its musafirhana, the role of which should be considered in the light of the activities of dervishes among the population.

            Sufism has its roots in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, who had the habit of going into retreat to pray to God. In the 12th century, when Sufism took on institutional forms of expression and the first tariqas (Sufi brotherhoods) evolved, this phenomenon found its expression in a new architectural form. Sufism takes two forms: eremetic and cenobitic. The latter gave rise to architectural forms in which the brotherhood practised its rituals, and often lived. James Dickie (Yaqub Zaki) describes these buildings as a particular type of mosque, since their basic function is prayer, and in his  Allah and Eternity: Mosques, Medresas and Tombs he cites the various names given to such buildings, with an explanation of each (haniqah, tekke, zawiya, dargha, ribat, etc.)  Sufism was present throughout the Ottoman Empire, and left its mark on literature, philosophy and the very lives of the Muslim population. Adherents of Sufism are known as dervishes and may belong to one of several orders

            In Bosnia and Herzegovina the word tekija is usually used, although the words zavija and hanikah are also encountered, with different shades of meaning. There were several sufi orders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which spread throughout the country, so that at that time there was no town of reasonable size that did not have at least one tekke.  One of the earliest known tekkes in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a tekke of the Mevlevi order founded in 1462 by Gazi Isabeg in Sarajevo in present-day  Bentbaša, in a building erected earlier, and which was demolished in 1957.

            ''The site where a tekke was to be built was chosen with particular care. Tekkes were always sunk deep in the natural environment, to which they were completely open.  A river, cliff, canyon or hill usually marked the spot where tekkes were built and, depending on these, sometimes acquired the significance of the gates to a town. Sufis themselves say that this is not a human choice. It is God who selects holy places, and points them out to people as such. The landscape is part of the ritual procedure, and thus part of the tekke.''

            ''The site of Bosnian tekkes was originally determined by seven factors: a house, steps, water (calm waters and waterfalls), rocks or cliffs, a spring, a grave, a cave. These seven factors are linked by a path in the image of the cosmological order." (Hadžimuhamedović, 2002)

            The ensemble of the Blagaj Tekke was presumably built very soon after the establishment of Ottoman rule in Herzegovina, and at the latest c. 1520.  It was originally run by the Bektashi order, but later, after renovation by the Mostar mufti Zijaudin Ahmed-ibn-Mustafe, it became a Halvati centre (Mujezinović, N.2000, pp. 55-66).

            The earliest reference to the tekke at the source of the Buna in Blagaj near Mostar is in the travel chronicles of Evliya Çelebi, who travelled through the place in 1664(1). Çelebi says that the Mufti of Mostar had built a tekke of the Khalawatiyya order by the cliffs of the source of the Buna, in which dervishes held amicable and scholarly discussions. This must relate to the Mufti of Mostar Zijudin Ahmed-ibn-Mustafa, who was born in Mostar, where he was later a teacher and mufti for about forty years. He was prominent as a considerable scholar of Islamic law, and wrote several major works Mujezinović. N., 2000, pp. 55-66).

            There is a turbe by the tekke with two graves, probably of later date than Evliya Çelebi's journey through Blagaj.  All that now survives is the building of the tekke musafirhana and turbe in which the two graves are marked by wooden tombs. There is no record in writing of who was buried there, but the legend is that it is the last resting place of Ačik pasha (Muhamed Hindija), sheikh of the tekke for many years from 1848 on.  He represented himself as Indian, but in fact had been sent from Istanbul to spy on Ali pasha Rizvanbegović and other feudal lords in Herzegovina (Mujezinović, M, pp. 335-343).

            The legend is that the second grave is that of Sari-Saltuk, who mysteriously disappeared by the source, leaving behind his mace and sword. The tekke was build on the spot where the saintly man vanished, and a tomb was made for him in the turbe. This is one of eight accounts with similar references to Sari-Saltuk and connected with the tradition of the Halvati order (Mujezinović, N, p. 55-66). Sari-Saltuk's tomb in Blagaj is one of eight claimed to be his in the Ottoman Empire as a whole. 

            The Blagaj tekke has frequently been damaged and renovated by rock falls and košćela trees (the Mediterranean hackberry, Celtis australis) falling from the cliffs above the source and the tekke itself. In 1851, at the request of Ačik pasha, Omer pasha Latas ordered the first restoration of the Tekke, turbe and musafirhana. Thirty years later the Tekke collapsed when a rock fell on it. The legend of the Blagaj tekke recorded by Carl Peez in 1891(2)  refers to the source of the Buna and the renovation of the tekke.


2.  Description of the property

            The natural and architectural ensemble of the Tekke and musafirhana with turbe at the source of the Buna in Blagaj near Mostar is a valuable religious and residential building of Islamic architecture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with very pronounced features deriving from the influence of the baroque on Ottoman architecture.

            There were several Sufi orders in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at that time there was no town of reasonable size that did not have at least one tekke.  Often they were the home of the sheikh, the head of the dervishes, but they were also built as separate edifices.  The main room of the tekke was known as the semahana, a large room with kilims on the floor where the dervishes performed their rituals of worship.  There was also a mihrab in this room.  There would usually be an apartment for the sheikh or the guardian of the tekke in the building.  Larger tekkes also had a musafirhana, where visiting sheikhs, dervishes and other travellers could obtain free overnight accommodation.  Some tekkes were single-storey, others also had an upper floor.  They were built of various materials, depending on the tradition of the place where they were built.

            In 1851 Omer pasha Latas ordered the first renovation of the tekke, turbe and musafirhana in Blagaj.  Thirty years after its renovation the tekke was badly damaged when a  rock fell on it. The musafirhana and turbe still survive.

            «The restoration carried out in 1851 was in the 'baroque Istanbul' spirit.  The baroque and rococo had become the styles in which imperial and aristocrats' palaces and mosques were built. . . In the architecture of that time, there was also a certain romantic period.  Folk wood-carving motifs can be seen on the buildings.  Motifs from nature feature instead of stalactites and arabesques.» (Čelić, pp. 189-193).

            The musafirhana of the Blagaj tekke with the turbe is one of the few buildings(3)  in Bosnia and Herzegovina with very pronounced features deriving from the influence of the baroque on Ottoman architecture.

            The Ottoman baroque influence is to be seen in the form of the roof and the decorative features on the gable of the main facade (above the guest room known as the ćošak). The roof is slightly curved, which is unusual for a stone-clad roof.  In the ćošak, the ceiling is richly adorned with polychrome wood carvings.  In this room the traditional musanderas are replaced by niches, which now have a decorative role.

            The musafirhana has a basement, ground floor and upper floor.  The basement is below the hajat and rooms of the ground floor, and occupies 1/3 of the area of the ground floor. The basement consists of a hajat with a balcony and izba (basement room). Five stone steps lead down to the river, and a single flight of stone steps up to the ground floor. The balcony is entered from the hajat and overhangs the river; it is of timber construction with a wooden floor and balustrade.

            The ground floor of the musafirhana is of irregular shape and consists of four rooms: a room approx. 2.0 x 2.9 m, a large room approx. 4.5 x 3.7 m, a kitchen 2.3 x 3 m with a hearth measuring 1 x 1.2 m, a hamam or bath and ćenifa (toilet).  These rooms are entered from an indoor hajat.  The kitchen, or kuća as it is called, has a flat ceiling (not open to the floor of the roof, as was usual in buildings of that period), and the hearth is raised and set back in a niche from which the smoke escapes through a wide chimney.  The walls facing north-east and north-west are set into the cliff.

            The upper floor is also of irregular ground-plan and consists of an entrance area known as the tavan (2.6 x 6.3 m), a room at the corner known as the ćošak (3.6 x 3.3 m), a large room or chamber (3.6 x 4.7 m) and a kahvodžak or coffee-making area (3,1 x 3,5m), a ćulhan (where the water for the bath was heated), hamam amd ćenifa.  The hamam has a perforated domed roof built of stone.  A separate room by the kahvodžak was used for preparing hot and cold water.  The appliance for heating the bath is beneath the stone floor, with clay hot-water pipes running through the walls.  The perforations in the dome of the hamam were fitted with coloured glass.  The ćenifa and abdestluk (washbasin) are beside the hamam, keeping all the sanitary facilities together, and have a common antechamber.

            The turbe, measuring 6.2 x 2.5 m, is entered from the tavan, and also has a separate entrance direct from the courtyard..  It contains two wooden tombs.

All three storeys are about 2.9 . high.

            The walls of the ground floor and basement are of stone, and about 60cm thick. The walls of the upper floor are of post-and-pan construction and about 25 cm thick. The ceilings have wooden joists and šiše, except for the hamam which has a stone domed roof, and the čošak, with a richly decorated wooden ceiling.  The musafirhana and turbe have a gabled wooden roof clad with stone slabs. The upper floor has two projecting oriel windows, one from the large room, 90 cm wide and about 4 m long, and the other from the ćošak, 90 cm wide and 3.3 m long.

            The building has two facades, south-east and south-west, with the north-east and north-west walls an integral part of the cliff. The facades are plastered and painted white.  All the timber construction, woodwork on the doors and windows, staircase and stairrail, and the ceilings of the rooms, are painted with brown oil paint.  All the interior walls are plastered and painted white.  The floors are wooden throughout except in the sanitary blocks of the ground and first floors and the hajat on the ground floor, which are stone paved.

            Very close to the source of the Buna, channels lead off from the river to turn the millwheels in the two mills, one on each bank of the river.  Part of the mill on the right bank of the river had been converted into a souvenir shop; all that remains of the other part of this mill is the stone walls.  Only the remains of the stone walls of the other mill on the left bank of the river have survived.  The mills consist of a single space and are built of roughly cut stone with gabled roofs and roof timbers clad with stone slabs.  The mill on the right bank of the river measures approx. 14 x 7 m and that on the left bank 13.5 x 3 m.  The millwheels were inside.  Above the two horizontal millstones was a wooden construction from which the grain was fed through an opening in the upper millstone to be ground between the two millstones as they turned, powered by the current of water directly hitting a channel in the vertical axis and thus turning both wheels. There was a window on the entrance facade to admit light.

            The building of the musafirhana and turbe fits into the natural surroundings to form, with the cliffs, the source of the Buna and the mills, a single entity.

Source of the Buna and cliffs

            A part of every tekke is its natural environment. Since nature is part of ritual worship, the rocks and water by the Blagaj tekke are an inseparable part of the sacred site. The specific feature of this site is the diversity of its superficial and underground hydrography.  The source of the Buna is the finest example of an underground watercourse in this karst region (producing about 30 cubic metres of water per second). The water from the source of the Buna is used for the dervishes' ritual ablutions.  It could be reached by descending the steps from the tekke courtyard.  Tradition has it that the water was full of the most varied species of fish, but was illicitly fished out in the early years after World War II.

            The cliff above the tekke building is also part of the sacred site, as well as part of the building.  Tradition has it that the upper reaches of the cliffs were inhabited by eagles and the lower by pigeons and small birds.  The eagles disappeared after they were poisoned by human hand in the first half of the 20th century

            According to the nomination for the list of national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, entitled Landscape entity of the town of Blagaj, drawn up by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the source of the Buna and cliffs are treated as a geomorphological natural monument, and the source of the Buna as a hydrological natural monument.        


3.  Legal status to date

            In the procedure prior to the adoption of a final decision on designation, documents relating to the protection of the property were inspected and the following was ascertained:

            Pursuant to the law, and by Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Sites of NR BiH no. 68/52 of 31.01.1952 in Sarajevo, the Turbe, Tekke and musafirhana in Blagaj were placed under state protection.

            By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR BiH no. 02-658-3 of 18.04.1962 the cultural monument of the Turbe, Tekke and musafirhana in Blagaj were entered in the Register of real property.

            The source of the Buna is protected by Ruling of the regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Mostar, no. 744/54 of 17.06.1954; R-13

            The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the Tekke on the source of the Buna as a category I monument.

            The tekke and musafirhana in Blagaj near Mostar are included on the Provisional List of National Monuments under serial nos. 415 and 418.


4.  Research and conservation and restoration works

            In 1851 Omer pasha Latas ordered the first renovation of the architectural ensemble of the Tekke, turbe and musafirhana.  About thirty years after this restoration a rock fell and destroyed the Tekke. Until recently the ruins of the Tekke were still standing.

            After a comprehensive study in summer 1952, the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR BiH embarked on the restoration of the Turbe and musafirhana (Čelić, pp.189-193).

            «The restoration of the musafirhana and turbe carried out in 1952 was intended to restore the building as fully as possible to its original condition and preserve the impression of age.  Where the materials were not visible, some modern materials such as baked brick and sawn timber were used.  As far as possible, care was taken to ensure that the restoration was in line with the previous forms and materials. Thus, for example, a new wall to replace the collapsed wall of the tekke, and some of the partition walls, mainly of the sanitary block where they had rotted, were made of deal timbers with a brick infill. The roof made of sawn rafters, which were almost completely destroyed, was remade with sawn timber. The ceilings and ceiling joists above the turbe and in the tavan, as well as the ceiling of the chamber and kahvodžak, were made of planed boards.  The floors were replaced in almost all of the rooms, which was done using old boards.» (Čelić, 1953. pp.189-193).

            Up to 1992, minor repairs had been carried out on the building by the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Herzegovina.

            During the war, in 1993, the building suffered minor damage to the roof and the crown of the west facade, caused by a tank missile; this was repaired when the war ended.


5. Current condition of the property

            The architectural ensemble of the turbe with musafirhana of the Blagaj tekke in Blagaj near Mostar is in good structural condition. In addition to its religious use, the musafirhana is also used as a cafe and restaurant, with a souvenir shop.

            The mill on the right bank of the river is in good condition and is used as the souvenir shhop, while all that remains of the mill on the left bank of the river is the remains of the stone walls.



            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.ii. quality of materials

                                    C.iii. proportions

                                    C.iv. composition

                                    C. v. value of details

                                    C.vi. value of construction

                        D. Clarity

                                    D. iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

                        E. Symbolic value

                                    E.i. ontological 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

                        F. Townscape/ Landscape value

                                    F.ii. meaning in the townscape

                                    F.iii.  the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site

                        G. Authenticity

                                    G.i. form and design

                                    G.ii. material and content

                                    G.v. location and setting

                        H. Rarity and representativity

                                    H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style

                                    H.iii. work of a prominent artist, architect or craftsman


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-         Photodocumentation;

-         Drawings



            During the procedure to designate the site and remains of the historic building of the  tekke in Blagaj near Mostar as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


Ayverdi, dr. Ekrem Hakki, Avrupada Osmanli Mimari Eserleri, Yugoslavya, II  3. kitap, Istanbul 2000


Bejtić, Alija, Contributions to oriental philology and the history of the Yugoslav peoples under Turkish rule, III-IV, 1951, Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1952-54,


Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis (Travelogue), Sarajevo Publishing, 1996


Čelić, Džemal, Naše starine I, Sarajevo, 1953


Ćehajić, Džemal, Derviški redovi u Jugoslovenskim zemljama sa posebnim osvrtom na Bosnu i Hercegovinu (Sufi orders in Yugoslav countries with particular reference to BiH) Oriental Institute Sarajevo, Sarajevo 1986


Hadžimuhamedović, Amra, Prostorne osobenosti tekija u Bosni i Hercegovini (Distinguishing spatial features of tekkes in BiH) , University of Trieste, 2002


Hasandedić, Hivzija, Herald of the Supreme Islamic Council in SFRY, Sarajevo, p. 18, 1976


Kreševljaković, Hamdija, «Esnafi i obrti u Bosni i Hercegovini 1463-1871» (Guilds and trades in BiH 1463-1871), Selected Works II, Sarajevo, pp. 280-281, 1971.


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(1) «Below the fort is a cliff inclining towards the west.  When one looks at it, one thinks it is going to fall, and beneath it is a cavity, and from that void there emerges from a huge cave a booming river.  Where it emerges, in front of the cave, there is a huge whirlpool as big as two threshing floors.  It is so deep that no one has yet discovered the bottom.  Around this deep whirlpool, the Mostar mufti-efendi built a Halvati tekke by the cliff, with one large veranda facing the water» (Çelebi, p. 460).

(2) «…Overhead at a height of pp. 1200 feet looms the steep cliff of Vranjević hill, crowned by the imposing ruins of the fortress of Stjepan grad. The terrace that allows us this picturesque view belongs to a Tekke (in Slav form, tekija or tećija), a dervish monastery.  The history of the origins of this Muhammadan monastery is a mingling of folk tradition, Christian mediaeval period and the more recent Muhammadan period, and is curiously reminiscent of the old Hellenic myth of Perseus and Andromeda.  The people say that there once lived a dragon in the cavern from which the Buna wells up, who imposed a heavy tribute on the Earth – each year Earth had to expose a girl from the surrounding area to be devoured.  Once this fate was to befall Milica, the beautiful daughter of duke Stjepan who resided in Stjepangrad.  Heavy at heart, her father surrendered her to her fate.  She was above the source, half way up the rocky wall, lying exposed where there is to this day the remains of a wall which was said to be reached via an underground passage fro the fort.  The monster was already approaching his prey to swallow her up when the pious Dervish Sari (the fair) Saltik reached Blagaj from Syria.  Full of noble courage, he engaged in combat with the dragon, and conquered it with his mace. The dragon fought back, thrashing its tail with such force that it broke off large pieces from the cliff.  Duke Sjepan was so delighted by this heroic deed that he bestowed his daughter Milica on the brave Saltik as wife, and built a small monastery for him, of which he was sheikh.  The history of this event is still to be found in a manuscript on a monastery close to the tomb of the sheikh and his servant, with the mace with which he killed the dragon and the saint's sword hanging on the wall.  A jug of water is always placed there for him in the evening.  In the morning, it is said, the flor is wet and there is less water in the jug.  The monastery remained standing for a long time, but gradually declined.  A length there was only one dervish there, and the house was in a ruinous state. Finally, Generalissimus Omer Pasha (the well known Croat Mihajlo Latas) came to Herzegovina.  The charming position of Blagaj gave him the idea of renovating the dilapidated monastery.  This happened in about 1862. To reward his faithfully follower from India and comrade in arms Muhamed Efendi, he made him sheikh of this large and handsome monastery and married him to a girl from Nevesinje.  He also bestowed on him to mills that Ali pasha had built in Blagaj in imitation of German mills.  The new glory of the monastery did not last long; in 1871 part of the cliff fell and breached the roof of the monastery. Since then it is again standing in ruinous state.  In 1878 Muhamed Effendi Hindija (the Indian) died, as the last Sheikh of Blagaj; his two sons, still minors, live off the revenue from the mills.» Carl Peez, Mostar i njegova kultura , 1891, trans. Miroslav Loose, 1946 and 1951.

(3)The Azizija mosque in Brezovo Polje is a valuable example of the influence of the baroque on Ottoman architecture

Detail in the interior, Tekke in Blagaj on the BunaView at the domeInterior of the Tekke in Blagaj Interior of the turbe
Main room - semahanaInterior of the Large roomCeilings with wooden joists - Šiša, detail of the interior Tekke on the Buna spring in Blagaj near Mostar
Tekke with turbe in Blagaj on the BunaTekke on the Buna in Blagaj near MostarTurbe near Tekke in BlagajMills on Buna near Tekke
Mills near Tekke on the Buna   

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