Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Vozuća Monastery in Vozuća, 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 20 to 26 January 2004 the Commission adopted a






            The architectural ensemble of the Vozuća Monastery in Vozuća is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The National Monument consists of the monastery church of the Holy Trinity, the plots on which the cottages and school are located, the Kaluđerice spring and the cemetery.

            The National Monument is located on cadastral plot nos. 2340, 2342, 2343, 2348, 2349, 2350, 2351 and 2352, owned by the Serbian Orthodox parish of Zavidovići, cadastral municipality Vozućica, municipality Zavidovići, 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 National Monument.

            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 are hereby stipulated:

            Protection Zone I consists of c.p. no. 2348, c.m. Vozućica.   Within this zone the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          all works on the monument are prohibited other than research, conservation, structural repair and restoration works with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),

-         The following urgent measures are hereby stipulated to prevent further deterioration:

-          the conservation, repair and structural consolidation of the walls and ceilings

-          protection of the monument from damaging external influences.


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

-          research works to include ascertaining the stability of the existing wall structures of the building, the petrographic and chemical characteristics of the stone and other building materials, and the gathering of data and information to draw up a rehabilitation project,

-          a structural survey should be conducted and a project for the structural repair of the building drawn up. The Project must comply with the project to rehabilitate the National Monument.


            Protection Zone II consists of c.p. nos. 2340, 2342, 2343, 2349 and 2350, c.m. Vozućica.  Within this zone the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          the upper parts of the bridge must be rebuilt on the existing bridge supports in order to reconnect the monastery complex with the access road (the position of the bridge is indicated on the copy of the cadastral plan), in line with an appropriate project and with the approval of the relevant ministry

-          clear the site of wild vegetation and landscape it

-          the source of potable water on plot no. 2343 is to be regularly maintained

-          the zone is to be properly fenced in (with a simple low wooden barrier)


            Protection Zone III consists of the site of the cemetery still in use on c.p. nos. 2351 and 2352, c.m. Vozućica.  Within this zone the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          clear the site of the cemetery of wild vegetation and landscape it

-          as necessary, fence the zone in a suitable manner (with a simple low wooden barrier).




            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 relevant ministry, 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: 06.1-2-1043/03-8                                                                 

20 January 2004




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.

            At a session held on 14 June 2000 the Commission issued a Decision to add the Vozuća Monastery near Zavidovići to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 770.

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



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

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

Ÿ          Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property

Ÿ          copy of cadastral plan

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 architectural ensemble of the monastery church of the Holy Trinity, the plots on which the cottages and school stood, the Kaluđerice source and cemetery, c.p. nos. 2340, 2342, 2343, 2348, 2349, 2350, 2351 and 2352 land registry entry no. 409, c.m.. Vozućica, municipality Zavidovići, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are owned by the Serbian Orthodox parish of Zavidovići.

            At Vozuća, 25 km from Zavidovići, a 6 km long road branches off from the Žepče-Zavidovići-Banovići-Živinice regional road and passes the villages of Maričići, Kalajši, Jeličići, and Lipa to reach the site of the Vozuća monastery.

            Available works provide a more detailed description of the position of the Vozuća monastery(1) .


Historical details

            The Vozuća monastery (2)  probably dates from the 16th century(3). The earliest documentary reference to Vozuća(4)   dates from 1617 and recounts that a scribe, Petar, transcribed the book Lestvica in the church of St Nicholas known as Vozuća(5)  , the next reference to Vozuća monastery dates from 1622, when «rasoder» Ilija, under prior Serafion, wrote a Trebnik (Orthodox ritual book) (6).  In 1628, monk Zaharije Vozućanin transcribed a prayerbook(7)  .  In one record found in a manuscript of the Constitution written in 1535 in Hilander, there is a reference to roofing the church in 1637; the record may be associated with the monastery of Vozuća and that of Gostović (Udrim) (8)  .  During the 17th century the names of the Vozuća monks were entered in the commemorative volume known as «beočinski pomenik(9)  », and are also referred to in the same period in the Kruševo pomenik(10)  .   The notes of an anonymous Austrian spy writing just before the 1716-1718 war lists the names of Gostoviz, Voszutja and Osren mountains and records that there were Orthodox monasteries with the same names.  From then on until the renovation of the Vozuća  monastery in 1856 there is no documentary record of the Vozuća monastery.

            In 1690, after Austria's defeat in the Austro-Turkish war, many monks left  Vozuća monastery, and since the Orthodox parish of Sarajevo gave priest Milićof Vozuća liturgical items in 1691, the assumption is that there were already no more monks in Vozuća (11).

            Vozuća monastery remained empty for more than a century(12)  .  It was renovated between 1856 and 1859. (13)   When the renovations began, a stone plaque was built into the west wall above the door with an incised inscription recording the renovation of the monastery church(14)  , and when the works were completed, inscriptions relating to the works were added on the outside walls of the drum of the dome around the windows(15).   During the renovation (1856-1859) the monastery church was covered with «oak planking», and during the 1884 renovations it was roofed with «pine planking»(16)  .   This later renovation is recorded on a plaque set above the entranced to the nave: «This holy Orthodox church, the former Vozuća monastery, was re-roofed through the efforts of the Orthodox people of this parish and of steward Risto Stakić, priest, and other members of the parish council, in 1884.» (17)   Reference works note that the church was later re-roofed with sheet metal(18)  , and an inscription was found on 29 December 2003, during an on-site inspection of the condition of the building, incised on a quoin of the church wall, reading: «this monastery was roofed with sheet zinc in 1928.» (19)   It is also recorded that in 1894 a belltower was erected by the monastery church(20)  , built of wood(21).   The photographs that have been found in sources dating from 1930 to 1950(22)   show a wooden belltower, but available documentation dating from 1977  records that the belltower was stone-built and clad with shingles.  The stone belltower was demolished after 1977(23).  According to information received from the architect Aleksandar Ninković(24)  , agreement was reached between the then Institute for the Protection of  Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the church authorities to demolishy the stone belltower that had been built on and built a new one detached from the church itself, and to clad the roof of the monastery church with copper sheeting.

            «During the war [World War II], the enemy's airforce tried – luckily unsuccessfully and without causing major damage – to destroy Lovnica, Tavna, Ozren, Liplje, Vozuća, Gomionica and Moštanica by bombing. They managed to raze Rmanj to the foundations, Gostović has already been in ruins for 200 years, and until the 18th to 19th century Tavna, Liplje and Vozuća were in ruins.» (25)  .

            According to details provided by priest Vanja Jovanović(26)  , Vozuća monastery suffered most during the 20th century:

«At the end of February 1917 the Austro-Hungarian military authorities took down the bell from         the belltower; on 5 September 1941 the Vozuća NDH police looted the church, taking away vestments, banners, icons, books and other church trappings; on 14 February 1942 the Muslim militia set the primary school building on fire along with the wooden belltower by the church (the bell, weighing 236 kg, fell to the ground and broke) and 20 wooden chalets at Crkvena luka.

            Following World War II, the monastery was renovated, a belltower built on but then demolished for spoiling the authenticity of the building, and in 1970 the Vozuća monastery was designated as a Category I cultural monument and placed under the patronage of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In 1989 a new wooden belltower was built and a new bell installed, and in 1991 electricity was installed in the monastery.» At the end of 1995 the monastery was vandalized(27) and in 1996 or 1996 the copper sheeting was stripped from the roof and taken away.

            There is a good deal of information about the priests who served in the Vozuća monastery(28)  .

            The church was originally dedicated to St Nicholas, and the renovated church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was consecrated only in 1865 by Bishop Visarion, deputy to the then Sarajevo Metropolitan Ignjatija(29).   Some works also state that the monastery church in Vozuća was dedicated to the festival of the Shroud of the Mother of God(30)  .

            Following the renovation of the church in 1856-1859, cottages or chalets were built beside it: small wooden huts used by the families belonging to Vozuća parish(31)  . In in 1858 a primary school building was erected beside the monastery church where, at first, the priests acted as teachers(32).  The school closed in about 1894.


2. Description of the property

            The monastery church of the Holy Trinity in Vozuća lies with its long axis running from east (the apse) to west (the entrance), with a slight deviation to the south-east/north-west(33).   The church has a single nave with an entrance parvis, nave with two aisles (west and domed aisle), with rectangular choirs to the sides, a centrally-placed dome, an apse at the east end, and a tripartite altar-space in the centre (the entire eastern aisle forms part of the altar space).  The dome rests on a high drum set on a square base, itself resting via the stereotomic structure of spherical triangles known as pendentives on the barrel vault of the choirs, and on the round stone arches set in line with the wall pilasters.  The horizontal rigidity of the vaults and arches of the nave is achieved by laying horizontal oak tiebeams longitudinally and transversally at the height of the geometric chord of the arches and vaults in the nave.  The walls of the church are about 75-80 cm thick and of varying heights: the wall of the entrance parvis is rather lower than the walls of the nave, and those of the apse are the lowest of all.  When the church was built, three types of local stone were used (34), with the tops of all the walls and wall pilasters and the quoins, as well as all the arches within the church, made of cut blocks of mila, the structures of the vaults of tufa (or dripstone), and the visible faces of the exterior walls of cut serpentine.

            The churches in Vozuća, Liplje, and Udrim are all very similar in ground plan and spatial disposition, were all built at about the same time, and in the view of many scholars draw on the traditions of the Rascian school(35).

            Documentary evidence makes it clear that when renovations began in 1856 the monastery complex and the church itself were in a ruinous condition(36).

            The entrance portal to the church and that which leads into the nave are almost identical in size (approx. 1.70 x 3.00 m), and made in the same way, using stepped inset forms for the entrance reveals, semi-pilasters and volts and simple lunettes.  A marble memorial plaque (37)  is set into the wall to the left of the entrance door into the nave and high above the entrance portal, just below the barrel vault of the nave, is a decorative frieze with round-arched blind arcades.

            The floors of the parvis, main area and altar space were stone-paved.  In the central area of the nave was an ambo in the form of a sole or circle of the Mother of God, set level with the floor like a large mosaic.  The centre consists of an eight-pointed star of dark purplish stone.  Around it, in a ring, are eight elongated hexagons of red marble. The figures between the hexagons are of the same dark purplish stone as the star.  No frescoes have survived.

In the nave area, there is a large niche in the wall below the apse window, with to the left of it a small squarish niche.  Two small niches close to the ground serve as diaconicon.  There is no doubt that these belonged to the original church, but were much altered in appearance during renovations.  This is particularly the case for the niches for the deacon, of which the upper one is overhung by «saracenic» (horseshoe) arches, similar to those introduced by known builders in the case of Ozren and Papraća.  These features are most evident in the monastery church of Moštanica (Andrejević A., Manastir moštanica pod Kozarom, Starinar XIII-XIV for 1962-1963, Belgrade 1965, 163-175).

            The interior of the church is plastered and whitewashed; traces of overpainting in colour are visible at the base of the walls. There is no iconostasis, but as far as priest Zoran Živković knows, the iconostasis was rescued and is in the Zvornik-Tuzla eparchy (38).

Basic dimensions of the church:

            Ground plan(39): total length of the church 16,80 m'; exterior width of the parvis and western aisle of the nave approx. 6,40 m; exterior width of the central aisle of the nave and choirs approx. 9,70 m; exterior width of the eastern aisle of the nave approx. 8,18 m; interior dimensions of the parvis approx. 4,75 x 4,84 m; overall height of the nave (measured from the entrance to the nave up to the apse) approx. 9,51 m; radius of the apse approx. 1,80 m;

            Height(40)  : highest point (base of the cross on the dome) is approx. 17,40 m above floor level; height of the drum approx. 3,60 m; height of the square base of the drum approx. 2,60 m; crown of the vaults of the aisles (inside measurement) approx. 7,70/8,80 m above floor level (parvis/nave).

            The drum of the dome of the church is octagonal, and the apse is five-sided on the exterior (both the drum of the dome and the apse are circular/semi-circular on the inside).  The windows on the facades have simple mouldings and terminate in round arches.  The builder centred the exterior decoration on the dome and its base, and the east facade with the apse.  The windows of the dome are very tall and narrow (approx. 0,40 x 2,40 m), with decorative colonettes and arches between, creating decorative rows of blind arcades.  This motif is repeated beneath the eaves of the dome and on the square base of the drum (here the arches rest on moulded consoles) and in the upper part of the apse wall.

            In 1089 a new wooden belltower was built to the north-west of the church.  According to information from architect Aleksandar Ninković, the bell was very heavy, and calculating the dynamic impact of the ringing of the bell the conclusion was reached that the wooden belltower must have been set on a masonry base.

             During an on-site inspection of the condition of the building on 29 December 2003, it was noted that there was no belltower, merely a single-space masonry structure measuring approx. 3,45 x 3,48 m, with a height of approx. 2,80-2,90 m, and walls approx 50 cm thick, covered with a flat reinforced concrete slab serving as base for the wooden structure of the belltower, which was fixed to it by steel anchors.

            The churchyard contains many tables with benches.

A  description was given of the remains of the monastery building and monks' cells in 1940(41).  There is no available information indicating that any archaeological investigations have been conducted.

            The bridge over the river Vozućica has also been destroyed, making access to the church very difficult. The abutments of the bridge survive on the banks, but the upper sections of the bridge have probably been removed.

 Not far from the bridge on the far side of the Vozućica, and thus very close to the monastery church, is a source of potable water used during worship.



            According to the present priest of Vozuća, Zoran Živković, who has recently begun serving in the church, not one book has survived.  As far as he knows, the royal doors and one book (he does not know which) were taken to Ozren monastery in the past few years – he does not know exactly when.  These items are not in Ozren monastery now.

In the 1940s, referring to old books and records in  Vozuća monastery, Milenko Filipović notes that they were kept in village houses and the priests' houses during the final decades of the 17th century, when the monastery was abandoned.  Filipović says that a certain priest Simo, fleeing from Vozuća to Obudovac in the Posavina (Sava valley region) in 1819, took with him several books, including the following:

            A prayer book with Paschal calendar for 1736-1740.

            An Oktoih (Book of Psalms) with various prayers

            A book of Epistles


            Filipović says that a well preserved Anthology of Božidar's printed in Venice in 1538 was kept in Gavro Kalaiš's house.  There were no significant notes in it.  The first page had a list of 36 names with, on the other side, «this is the book of councillor Gavro Kalaiš», and beneath that his distorted version of the sator-formula palindrome(42).

            In addition, up to 1940 the following had also survived:

  1. Seven pages of a manuscript Constitution written on corrugated paper.  The pages measure 13 x 17.5 cm.  One of them has a note that the book was written in 1535 in Hilandar, and that in 1637 a church was roofed (Vozuća or Gostović monastery)
  2. Twenty-nine pages of a festival Menaion for March.  This measured 21 x 31,2 cm and was written in a fine hand in red and black ink, on thick, finely corrugatged paper.  However, the handwriting was not identical throughout, and the book was probably written by two people.  There are no notes on the Menaion, but there is a water mark on the centre page similar to the one on the Constitution, suggesting that it was written in about 1538.
  3. A missal, printed in Buda in 1799.  At the time Filipović wrote his article this was owned by attorney Branko Stakić. The book had an inscription recording that it belonged to priest Risto Petrović Stakić of Vozuća.
  4. A large ritual book or Trebnik, printed in Moscow in 1847. At the time Filipović wrote his article this was in the church in Vozuća.
  5. A Trebnik, printed in Moscow in 1847. At the time Filipović wrote his article this was in the church in Vozuća.
  6. An Oktoih, printed in Moscow in 1850. At the time Filipović wrote his article this was in the church in Čaradak.
  7. A missal (1853)
  8. A prayer book, which in 1846 was owned by Blagoje Ristić of Bijela in Posavina. At the time Filipović wrote his article this was in the church in Vozuća, (Filipović, 1940, 29-32, Ševo, 2002, 269-272)


            Following the renovation of the church in Vozuća in 1856-1859, one of the best local painters of the first half of the 19th century, Todor Stanić Gračanić, painted icons of Christ, the Mother of God, the Holy Trinity and the  Annunciation.  These icons were painted towards the end of his working life as a painter, and reveal an attempt to keep up with contemporary stylistic trends, but a lack of the relevant knowledge, so that they are of greater importance as a document than for their artistic qualities. (Mazalić, 1965, 152).  These books and the icons were probably destroyed when NDH (self-styled Independent State of Croatia) police broke in on 5 September 1941, when the church was looted(43).


3. Legal status to date

            By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the building was placed under state protection(44)  .  The 1980 Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina listed the building as a Category II cultural and historical property.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

            The only information about any conservation or restoration works undertaken relates to the demolition of the stone belltower and the cladding of the roof of the church with copper sheeting.  These were carried out between 1977 and 1989.

            In or around 2000, the church was temporarily roofed with insulating roofing felt laid on the roof planks, which were also temporarily repaired at the same time.   These works were carried out to prevent the church from further deterioration.


5. Current condition of the property

            The monastery church of the Holy Trinity in Vozuća is in poor condition. The vault and walls of the parvis are at risk of collapsing completely.  For 4 or 5 years the building was without any roof cladding, after the copper sheeting was removed, and exposed to the elements, damp, snow and ice.  According to priest Živković, trees and shrubs had begun to grow on the roof of the parvis.  As a result, the vault of the parvis was observed to have sagged, dramatically altering its shape, and disturbing the equilibrium of the transfer of internal thrust to the transverse section of the vault.  There was an increase in the horizontal thrust (the vault had in any case been built without tiebeams), which led to cracks developing in the actual vault structure and that of the walls.  These cracks are as much as 15 cm wide, and there is a serious risk of the parvis collapsing.

            The interior of the church is in very poor condition, with the walls showing surface damage from ammunition of various calibres and the plaster damaged. The building has no doors and windows and is unglazed, the stone Holy Throne has been broken (the remains have been collected up and are in the stone-built room at the base of the tower, and the walls have been covered with various graffiti.  There is no iconostasis.



            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.iii. proportions

C.iv. composition

C. v. value of details

D. Clarity

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

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.iv. traditions and techniques

G.v. location and setting

G.vi. spirit and feeling


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-         Copy of cadastral plan

-         Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-         Photodocumentation;

-         Drawings




            During the procedure to designate the architectural ensemble of the Vozuća monastery a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the following works were consulted:


1889     Stakić, Vasa: O manastiru Vozućoj, Dabro-bosanski istočnik (on the Vozuća monastery, Dabro-bosanski source (publication for the ecclesiastical and educational needs of the Serbian Orthodox priesthood in BiH) Sarajevo, Nov. 1889, nos. 21 and 22


1940     Filipović, Mil. S.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, (The Vozuća Monastery in Bosnia) Skoplje, 1940

1950.    Dr Vladimir R. Petković, Pregled crkvenih spomenika kroz povesnicu srpskog naroda, (Survey of church monuments over the history of the Serbian people) Serbian Academy of Sciences, special edition, vol. CLVII, social sciences dept,  new series, vol 4, pp. 146, 412, Belgrade 1950.


1965     Mazalić, Đoko, Slikarska umjetnost u Bosni i Hercegovini u tursko doba (1500-1878), (The painter's art in BiH in the Turkish period, 1500-1878) Sarajevo 1965


1972     Zdravko Kajmaković: Oko problema datacije pravoslavnih manastira u sjeveroistočnoj Bosni sa posebnim osvrtom na Papraću, (Problems of dating Orthodox monasteries in NE Bosnia with particular reference to Papraća) Naše starine, Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1972, XIII, pp. 149-171


1991 Šuput, M.: Spomenici srpskog crkvenog graditeljstva XVI-XVII vek, (Monuments of Serbian ecclesiastical architecture C16-17) Belegrade-Novi Sad-Priština 1991, pp.47-49


1998 Korać, Vojislav; Šuput, Marica: Arhitektura vizantijskog sveta (Architecture of the  Byzantine world), joint edition by Narodne knjige Belgrade, the Byzantological Institute of the Serbian Academy of Science and the Arts and the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, Belgrade, 1998


1999     Ševo Ljiljana: Manastir Lomnica (Lomnica Monastery), Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, Belgrade, 1999


2002 Ševo, Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1978. godine, (Orthodox churches and monasteries in BiH to 1878) Biblioteka Baština, Banja Luka, 2002.


(1) “Although it is not far from the Krivaja railway line, the former monastery church, now an ordinary parish church, in Vozuća is one of the more important Serbian cultural monuments in Bosnia, though little known.  As though what had been written about it earlier had been forgotten: in the National Encyclopaedia, Prof. V. Petković, misled by the incorrect location of an unnamed monastery in one record, says that Vozuća is on the river Ukrina.  However, Vozuća is in central Bosnia by the Vozućica brook, a tributary on the left bank of the Krivaja.  The Krivaja valley has no major road: in the past, there were only side roads in this region.  It has merely a stateowned forest railway carrying little passenger traffic, for the Krivaja valley now has only one sizeable settlement, Olovo.  To get to the Vozuća church one must leave the train at Vozuća station (26 km from Zavidovići) and there make for the road by a road 5-6 km long which is so rough it is hardly fit for horses,so it is best to go on foot.  The church is now completely isolated.  These are the reasons why the outside world visits it rarely and it is now so little known.  The church authorities and elders, above all the Eparchial Council, should try to help to have a bridge built over the Krivaja and some kind of road to make it easier to reach the church from Vozuća railway station so as to make this interesting church more accessible.

The Krivaja valley is rugged.  Below the Ribnica settlement and river there arises a broad Krivaja valley where th main settlements are Hrgena on the right bank and Vozuća on the left bank of the Krivaja.  It is significant that the name Vozuća is used for both the settlement and the hill to its west (749 m) but that not one place or village in the settlement bears that name.  The villages in Vozuća are Bučje, Bare, Gaj, Polje, Kalaiši, Jeličići or Popovo Selo, Cvijanovići, Jelav, Sjenokos and Kočarin. The name ,,Vozuća,, has also been given to the railway station, so that the new group of houses around the station on the right bank of the Krivaja in the district of the settlement of Vukovina is also called by that name.

A small river flows through Vozuća, which they call River in the settlement itself but which is known in the region by the name Vozućica. The Vozućica arises from two main brooks. One is the Ljeskovac, which comes from the Vrela forest (on Čauševac mountain) and flows east and south-east; the other is the Plavušnica or Klisac, which comes from below Carina to the south (passing Klis or Klisni Kosici).  Their confluence (Sastavci) is below Stolovaši spur; here the River or Vozućica begins, flowing north-east for some 5 km before joining the Krivaja.  Vozuća church is on the left bank of the Ljeskovac, below the Svinjčine-Kućerine spur a little before Sastavci.  From here it is largely a forested region on eruptive terrain.  The forest has already been felled once for industrial purposes, but new coniferous saplings have sprung up around the church.  Because it is surrounded by forest and one reaches it now only upstream, and because of the bend formed by the Ljeskovac-Vozućica, the church can be seen only once one enters the walled churchyard: so screened from view is it now.  Nor are there any houses nearby.

Near the church is a well from which potable water is taken and where water is consecrated for Epiphany.  Around the church and Vozućica are the nearby hills of Žedni Vrh (waterless), Djedovo Brdo, Krkavac, Kočarin, Kolim. About 2 km to the south is the Carina height, and Krvavac; to the west of this is Parađev Vis.  The road known as Drum (“the road”) leading from the heart of central  Bosnia to the  Spreča and Sava valleys was crucial for the origins and past of the Vozuća monastery. This road avoided the Bosna valley and led from Sarajevo and Vareš over the mountains the whole way. After emerging from the south on Carina, the road crosses the Papratnje spur right of the Vozućica, crosses Kravaja and continues north-eastwards to the Spreča valey, to Puračić (and on to Tuzla) and Ozren.  This once major road meant that the monastery was in a completely different situation from today: it was only a little distance from this road and thus much more easily accessible, and could have served as a minor spiritual centre.  It was probably built by the former guards of the road.  Although close to the road, the monastery was for all that in a very appropriate place for a monastery, a little withdrawn into the river valley, in the forest and close to water, like almost every other monastery in Bosnia.

The region was once more densely populated, and there was more life around the monastery, which maintained and protected the local population and they in turn the monastery.  When the monastery was abandoned, many people left the region.  The story goes in Vozuća that one Grujica once used to mow the grass from the church all the way to Duboki Potok (about 3 km); now all that is forest.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940)

(2) The monastery is called Vozuća because it was built in the village of Vozuća; and the village was so called because there were once draymen there who drove along the river Krivaja.  The river, too, which flows right below the monastery walls, is called Vozućica, probably because of the name of the village.  There was once a large monastery here; now there is a church, built on the foundations of an older church in the same style and of the same size.» (Dabro-bosanski istočnik (publication for the ecclesiastical and educational needs of the Serbian Orthodox priesthood in BiH), Sarajevo, Nov. 1889, nos. 21 and 22, pp.336)

(3) “…  As a result the most likely date for the monastery is later than the restoration of the Peć patriarchate in 1557”. (Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002,p. 269)

“According to folk tradition, Vozuća, like other Orthodox monasteries in Bosnia, was a Nemanjić foundation.  Thus a folk song tells that Vozuća monastery was built by Nemanja (Karadžić, St.,Vuk: Srpske narodne pjesme II (Serbian folk songs II), Belgrade, 1932.). The schematism of the Dabro-bosanski archdiocese notes that the former Vozuća monastery was also “the work of a Serbian ruler”.  The first person to write a rather more detailed account of Vozuća, Vasa Stakić, although self-taught, emphasizes that the folk tradition that the Nemanjić’s built the monastery is not credible.  As for the verses of a folk song referring to Vozuća, he is of the view that they were composed by Filip Višnjić, and that it was from the folk song that the people took up the idea (Stakić, Vasa: O manastiru Vozućoj, Dabro-bosanski istočnik, 1889, p. 337).  It is widely believed among the people that the Orthodox monasteries of north-eastern Bosnia are Nemanjić endowments, a view that also has its supporters among writers, and I too once thought this of the Gostović monastery.  However, there is nothing to prove this, but there are good reasons and indisputable facts to support the belief that these monasteries were built in the late 16th and early 17th century.  True, this does not mean that they could not have been erected on sites where there had previously been a church, or close by.  These two possibilities are very likely for the Papraća and Lomnica monasteries, as to which more detail will be given in the studies of those monasteries.

The only possible Nemanjić who could have founded these monasteries in Bosnia was King Dragutin, who ruled a part of northern Bosnia (1284-1316).  Unfortunately, we do not know exactly how far the limits of his rule extended southwards, and it appears that the region around the Krivaja was never under his control, for Olovo and Žepče, both close to Vozuća, were always part of the [mediaeval] Bosnian state.

The exact dates of the foundation of Ozren and Lomnica, and who founded them, is known: Ozren was founded by a monk, Joakim, and Lomnica by monks Genadije and Akakije.  Surviving records indicate that Ozren became a monastery between 1587 and 1589 and Lomnica is first referred to as a monastery in 1578.  As a result, both these monastery churches were built in the second half of the 16th century.  Papraća is referred to somewhat earlier than these, in 1551.  As a result, the other monasteries in this district can also be assumed to date from the same or approximately the same time.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940)

(4) “The earliest reference to the Vozuća monastery dates from 1617.  That year a monk (whose religious name was Petar) in the church of St Nicholas transcribed the book Lestvica for the monastery after finding it in Papraća monastery (where it was brought from Russia by the Prior of Papraća, Longin).  The instigator of the transcription of this book was Vice Prior Visarion.  The manuscript is now in Žitomislić monastery.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940)

(5) Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002, p. 269

(6) Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002, p. 269; Petković, R. Vladimir: Pregled crkvenih spomenika kroz povesnicu srpskog naroda, SANU, special edition, dept. of social sciences, Vol CLVII, Belgrade, 1950, p.59

(7) “In the library of the Karlovac Patriarchate there is a Prayerbook, a very poorly written booklet, written in the village of Detlad in 1628 during the patriachy of Patriach Pajsije and the Bosnian metropolitan Isaija”. (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

(8) Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002, p. 269

“There is yet another note, which may not relate to Vozuća, in a section of a manuscript Constitution (written in Hilander on Mt Athos in 1535), recording that the church – it does not say which church – was roofed in 1637.  In Vozuća there was a Liturgy printed in Venice in which there was an undated inscription recording that the book was presented to the Gostović monastery.  V. Stakić, who described the book, which no longer exists, reproduced the inscription, saying that the record of the roofing of the church was written in the same hand as the other note, which means that they are contemporary.  However, since the inscription in the Liturgy says that the book belongs to Gostović monastery, and that the Constitution was previously owned by the Gostovć monastery, and the note about roofing the church is in the same hand, it could more properly be taken to mean that the latter note, too, relates to Gostović and that the Constitution was previously owned by the monastery and came to Vozuća only after it ceased to exist.  In further support of the view that the note about roofing the church relates to Vozuća…” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

(9) In the Pomenik manastira Rača, transferred to Beočin in the late 17th century by monks from Rača monastery, there is reference to the names of monks from many Bosnian monasteries, including those of Vozuća. (Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002, p. 269) 

(10) ibid, p.270

“In the Kruševo (Dobrun) pomenik, now in the National Library in Belgrade, there is reference to 21 pages of monk Vasilije of Vozuća.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

(11) (Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002, p. 269)

“It is thus very likely that Vozuća was abandoned in the latter years of the 17th century as the result of the events of the war and Turkish reprisals, and that the church was demolished after 1716-1718, probably between 1730 and 1740.  A similar fate was suffered by the Catholic Franciscan monastery in Olovo, some 43 km from Vozuća by the Krivaja, which was abandoned at the end of the 17th century but demolished only in 1704.  It is highly likely that the monks abandoned Vozuća in 1690, for in that year people in Bosnia suffered greatly from famine and from the Turks, when the Austro-Turkish war of 1683 to 1699 was raging.  In 1691 the Orthodox parish of Sarajevo gave some trappings. This means that there was a church in Vozuća but no monastery or monks, and that the church was looked after by priest Milić, who tried to keep the church supplied with trappings, since the monks had taken or the Turks looted the church trappings.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

(12) “The priests who took over religious duties in the region after the monks left came to the ruins and held service there several times.  The story goes that hornbeams had grown up among the ruins, and priest Pavo the elder and his son priest Jefto, who was to distinguish himself when the church was renovated, gave the children holy communion under a hornbeam in the church.  The ruins reminded the Orthodox inhabitants of the surrounding villages that this was their place of worship. The people really heeded the reminder.  As in the case of some other monasteries in Bosnia, for example those of Papraća and Ozren, the people and their simple rustic priests strove to renovate Vozuća, and succeeded in doing so when tolerant times for Christians again came about in Turkey.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

(13) “As V. Stakić notes, the church was renovated by people from Vozuća, Vukovini, Hrge, Mičević and Svinjašnica (in which there was then a total of 120 houses).  The principals were the then priest, later archpriest Serafim Marković and priest Jefto Popović, with Marko Ristanić, Marko Stakić, Mitro Pašalić and Pavo Nastasić from the congregation.  The people provided the labour and 50,000 groschen in cash.  Women, too, brought stones to build the church on holidays.  The works lasted from 1856 to 1859.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

“…The people could hardly wait, and worked with such joy, that they say that there was not one whose womenfolk from these villages did not bring a cut stone on her shoulders.  They say that one old woman, Ilinka, who was then about 70 years old, brought more stones than anyone else, as well as urging the womenfolk on.  It was a walk of 2-3 hours carrying the stones from where they were cut and extracted from the shore, which was inaccessible even to horses let alone carts.  The delight of the people can be seen from the fact that they did whenever they could without master-craftsmen, and gave 100 purses (50,000 groschen) in cash for craftsmen’s wages and other costs for whatever they could not do themselves.  Taking into account the fact that this cash came from 120 peasant households, without any taxation, but simply whatever each one could afford, it is clear that the people did it wholeheartedly. (Dabro-bosanski istočnik, Sarajevo, Nov. 1889, nos. 21 and 22, p.337)

(14) A transcript of the inscription and a photograph of the condition of the plaque with the inscription taken on 29 December 2003 are attached

(15) When the renovation of the church was completed, various church trappings and ornaments were painted red outside on the dome above and between the windows and the names of the priests and prominent heads of household were inscribed so that the beginning of the inscription could not be seen.  Since priest Jefto is always mentioned first, I assume that here too it began with his family. . . The dome of Ozren monastery church, too, bore many names painted in the same colour and in the same way; here too people from Bukovica had worked.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

Transcript of the inscription from Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, attached.

(16) The walls and dome were of stone, and then covered with oak planking; this roof lasted 25 years, until 1884, when it was again roofed with pine planking (this roof was said to be good for 80-90 years). Dabro-bosanski istočnik, Sarajevo, Nov. 1889, nos. 21 and 22, p.337)

(17) see photograph attached

(18) “…The pineboard roof did not last long either, and recently the church was roofed with sheet metal”. Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.)

(19) see attached photograph

(20) “It was only in 1894 that the church acquired a belltower and a sacristan.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, p.20)

(21) “An ungainly belltower was erected to the west of the church, as in Ozren.  But whereas the Ozren belltower was stone-built, in Vozuća it was made of wood.  This belltower concealed the window above the door at the west end”. (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, p.23)

(22) see attached photograph

(23) Record of current state of the church tower of Vozuća monastery and photograph of the monastery church in Vozuća, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 1977.

(24) An expert working in the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina who was involved in these conservation works

(25) Zdravko Kajmaković: Oko problema datacije pravoslavnih manastira u sjeveroistočnoj Bosni sa posebnim osvrtom na Papraću, Naše starine, Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1972, XIII, pp. 149-150

(26) details from the Dabro-bosanski Metropolitan’s office, part of the new schematism of the Metropolitanate

(27) see clause 4 of the elucidation of this Decision (current condition of the property)

(28) “The oldest [sic] priest to appear in Vozuća after the monks, according to folk tradition, was one priest Cvjetko, who lived in Ljeskovici near Žepče, and served as priest in Vozuća.  After him, or during his time, there came priest Petar, who had fled from Vrbanja (Jajce county) because of the Turks, who had no children, but his brother Milje was the forebear of the Miljević’s (the entire village), with the cadet branch the Stakić’s, who moved to Hrge after the plaque.  He served as priest in Sižje and Krtova, eight hours’ walk from Vozuća!  After him came priest Blagoje Đurić, who left a note dated 1774, while he was still a “pupil” of priest Petar, in a Liturgy of priest Petar’s, which V. Stakić saw in Gostović. Blagoje was priest in the village of Paravci (Smrdinj municipality), and his son Sarafijan and grandson Petar were also priests, also known as Paravci, after the village. For two or thee years after priest Petar there was no permanent priest in Vozuća; instead, a priest would come from time to time from outside and hold a service.  Once a priest came from Mrtvica near  Brčko. In the 1790s one Danilo, a monk and fine icon painter, would come to serve as priest, staying ten days or so and then leaving for another place.  Stakić identified the time he stayed from his records.  Unfortunately, these seem to have disappeared, and nor have the royal doors and icons he made in the new village church in Gostović.

In about 1800 Simo Aničić of Vozuća became priest, but fled to Obudovac in Posavina (the Sava valley region) in about 1810, fearing reprisals from the Muslims, two of whom he had killed with the help of the villagers for having besmirched his family’s honour.  In Vozuća V. Stakić was told that priest Simo also served as priest in the villages of Blatnici and Mladikovine (in the Usora region).  A new line of priests began with Simo in Slatina, whence they had gone from Obudovac: his son Jovan was not a priest, but his grandson Nikola Jovanović (who died in Slatina in 1888) took holy orders. Nikola also bore the surname Đaković (as reported by his son Petar N. Jovanović, archpriest in Tuzla).   When priest Simo left, priest Pavle remained in Vozuća; he was of the same lineage as priest Simo, and his son was priest Jefto.  He particularly distinguished himself when the church in Vozuća was renovated.  He was borne in 1819, ordained by Ignjatije, Metropolitan of Sarajevo in 1849, and died in 1889.  His son too was a priest: Pavle, d. 1879).  As well as priest Pavle and Jefto, there was also another priest at the time the church in Vozuća was renovated: Sarafijan Marković.  At the time these priests served not only the villages around Vozuća, but also Gostović (four hours away), and even Žepče, where there were quite a few Orthodox families at that time.

These priests of Vozuća not only renovated the church, but helped others too.  The parish archives contain a letter written by priests and villagers from Obudovac and the surrounding villages to the archpriests, priests and people of Vozuća on 21 March 1876, asking them to fell and send some timber as a contribution to building the church in Obudovac, as they had already done once before.  Among the signatories to the letter was priest  Nikola Jovanović, grandson of priest Simo and a distant relative of Jefto, priest of Vozuća.

Since the priests were taking over the ruins of monasteries, and later of churchres, all around, some places were called after them.  Close to the church were places called Popovo Ječmište and Popova Luka.” [from pop, Orthodox priest] (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, pp 17-18)

According to the registers of the Dabro-bosnian Metropolitanate, and a work by Mujkić, Jusuf H: Zavidovići kroz historiju, Zavidovići, 1999,  the priests who served in Vozuća were: *Stevan Vasiljević-1905, *Nikola Gajić-1908, *Jovan Janković-1910, *Dimitrije Tekić-1912, *Inoćentije Brajić-1913, *Dimitrije Tekić-1914, *Jovan Zečević-1928, Ratko Gospić 1949-52, Vlado Lazarević 1953-72, Golub Mitrović 1973-75, Miloš Šarenac 1975-94

(29) Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940.

(30) Ševo, Ljiljana: 2002, p. 269)

Šuput, M.: Spomenici srpskog crkvenog graditeljstva XVI-XVII vek, Belgrade-Novi Sad-Priština 1991, 47;

(31) Every family from the parish the church belonged to erected a cottage or chalet of this kind for itself so that its members would have somewhere to shelter and robe and disrobe when they came to the church.  The cottages close to the church were built by members of the families that had particularly distinguished themselves during the renovation of the church and whose names were inscribed on the outside of the dome.  Closest of all was the cottage of the “principal”, the late Mitar Pašalić, then that of the late Todor Đokić, Blagojevića, priests Pavlović, and so on.  I have myself counted 55 of these cottages, all on a small level area outside the church (coming from Vozuća), on both sides of the road to the church.  Some houses are still being built.

A bag of food and other items would be left in the cottages when visiting the church.  They were used particularly during the night before Easter and the night before the  Assumption, when the entire night was spent roasting pigs on the spit outside the cottages.  There would be as many as 10 to 20 spits (in Ozren there would be up to 150 of them.

It is significant that the cottages were owned jointly by the family; after an extended family had split, all the new households would use their own joint cottage, as a rule.  For example, the extended family once headed by the late Mitar Pašalić now has 15 houses.  The only one to make himself a separate cottage was Đorđe Pašalić; all the rest used the old cottage.  There were many such cottages by Ozren monastery too, which were destroyed on the orders of archimandrite Danilo Bilbija, former principal of Ozren monastery: only three remained.  Such cottages are also built in this region by ordinary churches (Gostović) (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, pp.25-26)

(32) “According to notes by the late Đorđe Marković of Hrge (1938), preserved by Jovan Zečević, a priest, the first school in Vozuća was opened by priest Serafijan Stakić of Hrge (Vasovina) in 1851, in his own house.  He had about thirty pupils. Thanks to the efforts of priest Serafijan and priest Jefto Popović of Vozuća, a school building was erected beside the renovated monastery church.  The teacher was Blagoje Pašalić, of whom Đ. Marković says that he had studied with ,,one,, Haxi-pop Petko in Vranjak. This was in fact the famous priest Petko Jagodić,  who distinguished himself in the so-called Trebavac uprising of 1858 and fled Vranjak for Serbia. In 1873 a new teacher came to Vozuća, Stevan Vasiljević (Vasilijević), a native of [ikulje near Tuzla, who had graduated from a school in Belgrade. He taught 47 pupils, seven of them free of charge, with the rest paying him a ducat each.  Among the pupils who finished their schooling here were Pavle Popović, son of priest Jefto, Vasilije Katanić, later priest in Stupari near Ozren, Vasilije Stakić, son of priest Risto of Hrge (who distinguished himself as the writer of several articles, and Đorđija Marković, son of priest Serafijan or Serafim. In about 1875 another teacher came, Trifun Nenić, a graduate of Pelagić’s theological school in Banja Luka.  During the occupation of  Bosnia in 1878, the school closed.  In 1879 St. Vasilijević returned as teacher, remaining until 1881, when he took holy orders and became priest in Puračić.  He was followed by Blagoje Pašalić again, but for half a year only, followed by a brief interruption during 1882.  In 1882-1883 the teacher was Radivoje Vasić, a native of Serbia.   During his time the school moved to Vasovini (Hrge).  Since he was unable to acquire documents, the authorities were suspicious of him, and after five or six months he was forced to leave, going to Vareš.  Vasilije Stakić then began teaching, but the authorities barred him because he was not properly qualified, and the school closed.  The authorities then began trying to open a local school in Gare.  It was only in 1886 that a new Serb teacher came: Jefto Popović from Srebrnica, who had graduated from teacher training college in Belgrade.  In 1887 teacher Ljubomir Borojević from Glina came, remaining until 1893.  During Popović’s and Borojević’s time, the late Đorđe Petrović completed his schooling there (killed in 1914 as a hostage at Bišnja near Derventa) as did archpriest Pavle Katanić, now archpriestly deputy in  Bijeljina. After Borojević left,  the authorities stopped their support for the collection of surtax, and the Serb school was closed.  In 1894 a local school was opened in Gare, which moved in 1914-1915 to a new building by the railway line.  The old Serb school was in the cell building built immediately after the church was renovated.  The cell now has a bishop’s room in which the school was held in 1873 and which is now the parish council room.  There is also a priest’s room where priests can spend the night if needed.  A wooden shop was built outside the building in the 1870s.  As long the school was still being held in the cell, one shop kept working, but now they are all empty; all that happens is that on major feast days a few merchants selling small goods come and rent the shops. (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, pp.27-28)

(33) this is observable on the copy of the cadastral plan (attached) and has been checked by compass during the on site inspection of the condition of the building

(34) “As with the original building, so when the building was renovated three kinds of stone were used: 10-30 cm thick finely cut slabs of mila were used for the quoins, and all the masonry was of local stone, mostly dark green serpentine, merely somewhat dressed on the outer side.  During renovation and repairs the stone was almost completely plastered over, with only the middle of larger blocks left bare.  This is greatly to the detriment of the outward appearance of the building.  Tufa was also used for the upper parts.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, p.21)

(35) “Other churches dating from the same period, the 16th century, are Vozuća, Liplje and Gostović or Udrim. All these churches are very similar or identical in ground plan and architectural treatment to the church in Ozren, and there can be no doubt that they date from the same period, and are even the work of a single school, with some of them perhaps built by the same master builders.   All have a vaguely cruciform ground plan with the choir areas projecting from the main body of the walls by no more than 100 cm, five-sided apses, high, pointed gables – evidence that they were mainly clad with shingles – slender, tall domes on a relatively low but still elevated base and all representing the most highly decorated parts of the church (blind arcades and niches with colonettes abutting), all were built of local quarry stone, dark green, dark brown or grey in colour, with the parvis roofs somewhat lower than the roofs of the naves, and all of similar length, 18 – 14 m. The church in Ozren is the largest, and those of Gostović (Udrim) and Vozuća the smallest. Finally, all four churches are in the mountainous area of northern central Bosnia, and stylistically look to many of the churches of northern and western Serbia: Tronoša, the churches of the  Annunciation in Kablar and Dobrilovina (Montenegro), etc., but for all that these differ in detail, and above all in the overall architectural impression they create, mainly because of the elongation of the dome of the Bosnian churches.  In essence, these churches unite the basic forms and treatment of old Rascian and later Moravian architecture.” (Zdravko Kajmaković: Oko problema datacije pravoslavnih manastira u sjeveroistočnoj Bosni sa posebnim osvrtom na Papraću, Naše starine, Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of BiH, Sarajevo, 1972, XIII, p.154)

“They are very similar to the first, compressed, type of domed monastery churches of Dobrilovina, Majstorovina. the Kablar Annunciation, Tavna, Tronoša, Vozuća, which look directly to the structures of the Rascian church, probably seen in Mileševa, while the churches of the two northern Bosnian monasteries of that time – Ozren and Liplje – are closer to the second, more evolved type with free bearers for the dome.” (Ševo Ljiljana: Manastir Lomnica, Republic Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, Belgrade, 1999, pp. 48-49)

«The group consists of several churches built in the Podrinje (Drina valley) district.  They have not been reliably dated, but probably date from the second half of the 16th century, following the general spiritual revival after the reinstitution of the Patriarchate.  More than others, the churches of this group are similar in spatial, structural and formal features.  They are of characteristic design, built on the model of Rascian architecture, so that one may say that this was a true revival of one of the classic schools of mediaeval Serbian architecture. The result of the revival is a new group where architectural values were determined by the general circumstances.

The single-naved church is divided into three aisles, with centrally-placed dome, side transepts, an apse at the east end, and at the centre a tripartite altar space which is denoted architecturally.  At the west end is a narthex.  The marked similarity of dimensions, particularly as to the diameter of the dome, to several other buildings – Tronoša, Tavna, Vozuća, Holy  Trinity near Ovčar and the Annunciation near Kablar – suggests that the churches were built to a single design, itself drawn up to a certain model.” (Korać, Vojislav; Šuput, Marica: Arhitektura vizantijskog sveta, joint edition by Narodne knjige Belgrade, the Byzantological Institute of the Serbian Academy of Science and the Arts and the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, Belgrade, 1998, pp.395-397)

(36) “The walls and dome were of stone, and then covered with oak planking; this roof lasted 25 years, until 1884, when it was again roofed with pine planking (this roof was said to be good for 80-90 years).  All that remained of the previous building was the church pavement and lintels of the door of the central church.  The pavement was of marble, but when the church was demolished most of it was broken up. (It was broken up when the church collapsed and the stone that fell on it damaged it; there are no signs of the church having been burned down, as noted in the Schematism for 1884-5 and 6.  The lintels were also marble, like that of the pavement.  (In the Schematism it notes that the door jambs had earlier disappeared; this is not so, but they were made later).  On the lintel of the outer door lines can be discerned, and it is very likely that there was an inscription of some kind painted in colour, which was later destroyed by rain and the ravages of time.  No traces of other such inscriptions have been found.  The previous monastery had many cells, all of which were of masonry, and as such surrounded the church like a kind of fortress.  The largest cells were to the west, and had deep basements beneath.  There were also cells to the south and east; to the north, which was beneath the hillside, to judge from the walls there were no chambers but merely some storerooms.  There was one entrance gate at the south-east corner, leading to a fine level area, where people have now built cottages so as to have somewhere to spend the night when they visit the church.  The other gate was to the west, leading direct over a bridge over the river Vozućica to the forest.” (Stakić, Vasa: O manastiru Vozućoj, Dabro-bosanski istočnik, Sarajevo, Nov. 1889, nos. 21 and 22)

(37) inscription on the plaque: Jovan S. Zečević parish priest of Vozuća 1895 killed by the Ustasha in 1941 «It is easy to be good when times are good, heroes are recognized in times of trouble”. This plaque has been erected as a mark of recognition of their good priest by the grateful parishioners of Vozuća parish. (See attached photograph).

(38) Information provided to Commission members by priest  Z. Živković during their on-site visit on 29 December 2003

(39) Measured on the ground during visit to Vozuća monastery on 29 December 2003

(40) [1]  measured from a drawing of the church in Vozuća in a work by Šuput, M.: Spomenici srpskog crkvenog graditeljstva XVI-XVII vek, Belgrade-Novi Sad-Priština 1991, 47-49

(41) “There were many masonry buildings around old Vozuća.  According to folk tradition, these were monks’ cells.  The walls are mainly to the west, though there are plenty of ruins on all sides, and it seems to me that part of them are of a stone boundary wall, with which the monastery must have been surrounded, and that there were some lean-to buildings against that wall.  This is all the more likely since folk tradition refers to two gates: one at the south-east corner, leading to the level area where the cottages now are, and the other to the west leading over the Vozućica to the forest.  A large squarish section is discernible in the walls to the west: tradition has it that this was a wine cellar.  To the north is one lower and one higher wall. A niche is visible in one of the walls to the north.  Remains of plaster can be seen on these walls and on the wall that runs parallel with the south walls of the church, evidence that this was really the cells where the monks lived and that the monastery had many monks.” (Filipović, M.: Manastir Vozuća u Bosni, Skoplje, 1940, pp.24-25)

(42) the sator formula is a square divided into four smaller square (4 x 4), in each of which a single letter is inscribed.  According to Prof. Dr. Dimitrije Kalezić, the sator formula could be a double liturgical stamp.

(43) Unpublished schematism of the Dabro-Bosnian eparchy

(44) part of the documentation of the Republic Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina was destroyed during the 1992-1995 war (the Ruling to place the monastery church under protection was also destroyed)

According to information from the Dabro-bosanski Metropolitan’s office, part of the new Schematism of the Metropolitanate, the Vozućamonastery was designated as a Category I cultural monument in 1970 and placed under the patronage of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Vozuća Monastery in Vozuća Church in Vozuća in 1977Church in Vozuća, drawingsView from south side at Churc
Vault of church parvisInterior of the churchAmbos 

BiH jezici 
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