Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Log-built church dedicated to St Nicholas in Romanovci, 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 2 to 8 March 2004 the Commission adopted a






The architectural ensemble of the log-built church dedicated to St Nicholas in Romanovci is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the church building, old graveyard with five crosses, and movable heritage:

-     royal doors, along with

-     chandelier,

-     missal and

-     psalter currently in the Eparchy building in Banja Luka


The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no. 1738, cadastral municipality Romanovci, title deed no. 320, Municipality Gradiška (Bosanska Gradiška), Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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 Republika Srpska no. 9/02) shall apply to the National Monument.




The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect and display 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 measures are hereby stipulated, applicable to the site defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision:

  • all works on the buildings comprising the architectural ensemble are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, including those designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
  • the formation of new graves within 15 m of the church building is prohibited,
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited.

A protective zone 50 m wide from the boundaries of the protected area defined in clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision is hereby stipulated.  In this protective zone all new building, major infrastructural facilities and dumping of waste are prohibited.




            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 Republika Srpska and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




The removal of the movable heritage listed in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision (hereinafter: the movable heritage) from Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited.

By way of exception to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Clause, the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable heritage for the purposes of display or conservation shall be permitted if it is established that conservation works cannot be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Permission under the conditions stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall be issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, if it is determined beyond doubt that it will not jeopardize the movable heritage in any way. 

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritage from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under which the removal may take place, the date by which the items shall be returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the responsibility of individual authorities and institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the Government of Republika Srpska, the relevant security service, the customs authority of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.




            The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska, 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 VI 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) 




On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 99.




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. 07/2-02-29/04-2

2 March 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 in 2000 the Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the log-built church dedicated to St Nicholas in Romanovci to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 99.

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




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

  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
  • 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 village of Romanovci is located on the eastern slopes of Mount Kozara, where the hilly terrain merges into the level ground of Lijevče plain, half way along the road from Gradiška (Bosanska Gradiška) to Banja Luka, very close to the town of Aleksandrovac (Bosanski Aleksandrovac). It comprises c.p. no. 1738, c.m. Romanovci, title deed no. 320, Municipality Gradiška (Bosanska Gradiška), Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

            According to a survey conducted for the Banja Luka eparchy in 1911, there was a total of 83 timber-built religious buildings in the Bosnian krajina (border region)(1).Of these, seven dated from the 18th century, sixteen from the 19th century (prior to 1878), by 1911 there sixty 1911, and by 1952 there were roughly thirty.  A large number of timber-built churches were demolished during World War II, and in the years following the end of the war many more disappeared, one of the reasons for which was lack of maintenance.

            There is little information on the date of origin of the church in Romanovci, and most of it is largely associated with folk tales and traditions(2).In its form, modest dimensions, particularly its narrowness, and the fact that it has no altar apse, suggest that it dates from the 18th century(3).In support of this claim there is the fact that there was once an antemensa(4) in the church  consecrated in Metropolitan Pavle Nenadović's day (1749 – 1766), which was one of the factors suggesting that the church dates from the 18th century.  The only dates visible in the church are 1812, carved on the entrance door to the church, and 1815, carved on the royal doors.  To all appearances these dates relate to one of the repairs to the church.

            The church belongs to the Banja Luka eparchy, founded in 1900 as a metropolitanate.  The eparchy is in north-west Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Prior to this, the region belonged to the Dabrobosnian metropolitanate.  The first bishop of this eparchy was Metropolitan Evgenije Letica (1901–1907), followed by Serbian archpriests Vasilije Popović (1908–1938), Platon Jovanović (1940–1941), Dr Vasilije Kostić (1947–1961), Dr Andrej Frusić (1961–1980) and the present bishop, Jefrem Milutinović.


2. Description of the property

Timber buildings constitute a large group in the architectural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Retaining distant Slav traces as well as mediaeval and later influences from the period of independence, the churches of Bosnia are full of inventiveness and adapted to natural conditions and existential needs (Pavlović, 1962. p. 91). In regions rich in building-quality timber, many buildings of various types, form and purpose can be seen.

            Timber church architecture was evolving into an extensive architecture with its own typical decoration when its evolution was abruptly cut short(5).

            According to Petar Momirović(6),log-built churches can be divided into four groups:

  1. simple rectangular churches of small size and mainly without apse,
  2. larger rectangular churches with decorative roofs and polygonal apse,
  3. a transitional form with additional three-sided apse and new structural and decorative elements, and
  4. a new type of log-built church with more elaborate ground plan, finer workmanship and austere lines(7).        

The church in Romanovci is dedicated to St Nicholas, and belongs to the first group of log-built religious buildings of simple ground plan, modest size and simple construction.

In ground plan the church is a rectangle measuring 7,42 m in length by 4,16 m in width.   The walls of the building are 1.95 m high and the overall height of the church from ground level to roof ridge is 5.75 m. The church has no altar apse.

The walls of the church are of thick oak boards, projecting longitudinally at the west end by more than 1 m because of the long, projecting eaves forming a kind of open porch to the church. The frame and walls of the church are constructed in the same way as those of the church in Javorani(8).The walls are reinforced by struts mounted only on the interior.

The roof is extremely steeply pitched, with wide eaves, and projects well forward at the ends, by 1 metre at the east end and 1.60 m at the west end.  The rounding of the roof is achieved by close-set rafters and battens.  The roof timbers are exposed on the interior.  The rafters measure 9/10 cm and are set 1.04 m apart in the level parts of the building and almost every 50 cm at the corners of the building.  Stays measuring 8/4 cm are set roughly in the centre of the length of the rafters.The shingles with which the church roof was clad were of fir wood, small in size and edged.

The interior of the church is divided by the iconostasis into the altar and nave areas.  The 2.13 m long choir with staircase is set 2 m above floor level at the entrance to the church.  The front of the choir has a 1.20 m high wooden railing.  The load-bearing structure consists of horizontal beams with a cross-section of 15/15, 17/16 and 13/12 cm.  The steps leading to the choir are 19 cm wide, with the height of each step varying, roughly 25 cm.

The altar is separated by a high wooden partition with thick old doorjambs and royal doors.  The royal doors in the church of St Nicholas in Romanovci are made of pine wood, and probably date from the early 19th century.  They are the work of an unidentified local craftsman. The doors measure 141 x 42 x 4 cm. The upper part of the doors terminates in an arch.  The surface of the doors is framed in red. 

As is the custom, the doors feature the scene of the Annunciation, with the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel at the base, and above them the half-length figures of the Apostles Peter and Paul and another two archangels, Michael and Gabriel.

Below the arch on the left-hand door is a painting of the Archangel Michael holding a pair of scales in his left hand, with a mound of tiny human figures in the scale pans, and a seal in his right hand with an inscription.  Below the Archangel Michael is the figure of the apostle Peter, giving a blessing with his right hand and holding keys in his left.  In the third panel on this door is the figure of the Archangel Gabriel holding a lily.

            On the right-hand door, the upper panel has the figure of the Archangel Raphael in military uniform, holding an icon mounted on a wooden staff in one hand and a ring with an inscription stz stz [sic] in the other.  Below the Archangel Raphael is the figure of the apostle Paul with a pen in his right hand and a sword in his left.  In the lower panel is the image of the Madonna with arms outstretched as in the scene of the «Mother of God of the Blessed Heaven».  Above her in the left hand corner is the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.

            The figure of the Archangel Gabriel on the left-hand door and the Virgin on the right together constitute the scene of the Annunciation.

            The faces of the saints are elongated, well proportioned and modelled, with ochre complexions highlighted in pinkish tones, the lines are confident, and the figures well proportioned.

The royal doors were not the endowment of a single benefactor but of several, whose names are written beside each figure, indicating the poor economic circumstances of the parishioners.

The inscription beside the Archangel Michael reads:

that beside the apostle Peter:

beside the apostle Paul:

and by the Virgin the inscription reads: 

On the back of the doors is the barely legible inscription:

As well as royal doors, the church also has a small wooden chandelier of the type known as polijelej(9),similar to the one in the church of the Birth of the Most Holy Virgin in Malo Blaško.  It consists of eight elongated rectangular fields with rustic painted cherubim, lilies and five-petalled roses.

The church has two doors – the main entrance at the west end, and another on the south side.  The entrance at the west end is rectangular, with architraval sills, and measures 1.46 x 1.00 metres.  It has solid double oak doors 5 cm thick.  The other door measures 66 x 50 cm and is by the south-eastern angle of the building.  Light enters the building through narrow cracks in the logs set at varying heights.  The slits on the north side of the church, one in the nave and two in the altar area, are at a height of 75 cm and 106 cm respectively, while those at the east end and south side are rather lower, at 63 cm (east) and 70 cm (south). The floor of the church was originally earthen, without floor boards.

The church once had two old printed books, a missal and a psalter, printed in Buda in 1700 and 1838 respectively.  The missal was owned by priest Pavle Branković, as recorded in a note dated 1855.  The psalter was owned by priest Mihajl Novković, and was bought by one Đukan Suručić in 1848 for eight kreutzers, as a note records.


More recently, an open belltower on pillars was erected by the entrance at the west end of the building (Momirović, Petar, p. 158). In construction and position this belltower belongs to the type of the oldest and most simple forms of folk art.  This type of belltower, with four massive pillars linked by a network of horizontal beams and struts and with a steeply pitched hipped roof with wooden shingles can be seen in other parts of  Europe too; surviving examples can be seen in some northern countries such as Lithuania.  The present day belltower differs considerably from the one visible on old photographs of the church in Romanovci, with later alterations made to the timber structure (the lower part of the belltower walled up in stone, an arched doorway added, new roof added).

Burial ground

            To the east and south of the church are five cruciform tombstones made of sandstone and tufa.  There are no details of who was buried beneath them or when(10).  

A prefabricated wooden lean-to was erected by the church, for the congregation to assemble in.  Church and other festivities are often held in the churchyard.


3. Legal status to date

            The log-built church dedicated to St Nicholas in Romanovci is registered as a cultural property in the records of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historial and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska.

            The property is on the Provisional List of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, under serial no. 99.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

In the 1950s Petar Momirović conducted a survey of the condition of timber-built buildings of traditional architecture and provided valuable information. The report published in Naše starine No. III gives the following description of the condition of the church at that time:

«The condition of the church is not reassuring.  The base log to the south is sagging in the centre and the wall structure has partly given way.  The shingles are rotten and the last layer has fallen away in many places.  Rain enters the church in several places. The north-west corner above the choir in particular is almost bare.  The floor of the choir is rotten and not safe to stand on.  The ridge is almost broken in half.»

In 2000 conservation and restoration works were carried out on the church, as follows:

  • the roof structure – rafters, stays and purlin – was repaired
  • the church was clad with new shingles
  • preparations were made to pave the church floor with stone slabs on a base of sand, gravel and rammed earth
  • preparations were made to install guttering to remove rainwater from the roof of the church.

Conservation and restoration works on the royal doors are in hand at the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka.


5. Current condition of the property

The church is in good condition following the repairs carried out in 2000, other than some shingles on the roof which have been damaged by the sun.  Damp is visible in the lower reaches of the south wall, caused by water dripping from the roof and hitting the timber walls of the building.

In 2003 the royal doors were taken down from the iconostasis and taken to the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska in Banja Luka for conservation and restoration works.

The chandelier (Virgin's wheel), missal and psalter are now in the Banja Luka Eparchy in Banja Luka.

The building is endangered by the burial ground which is in active use and is coming closer to the church building, although there is space for it to expand in the other direction.  The most recent tombstones are 15 metres from the building.




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

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A.  Time frame

B.  Historical value

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

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

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.i.  Relation to other elements of the site


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan

-     Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-     Photodocumentation;

-     Site plan



            During the procedure to designate the log-built church in Romanovci as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1912.    II šematizam Pravoslavne srpske mitropolije banjalučko – bihaćke za godinu 1911 (2nd organization chart of the Serbian Orthodox Banja Luka Bihać metropolitanate), Banjaluka, 1912


1953.    Momirović, Petar, Naše starine I, 1953


1956.    Momirović, Petar, Drvene crkve zapadne Bosne (Timber churches of western Bosnia), Naše starine III, 1956


1962.    Pavlović, St. Dobroslav, Crkve brvnare u Srbiji (Log-built churches in Serbia) doctoral dissertation defended at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, 1962.


2002.    Nenadović, M., Slobodan, Ilustrovani rečnik izraza u narodnoj arhitekturi (Illustrated dictionary of terms in folk architecture), Prosveta, 2002.


2002.    Ševo, Ljiljana, Crkva u Romanovcima. Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine (The church in Romanovci: Orthodox churches and monasteries in BiH to 1878), Banja Luka, 2002.



(1)II organization chart of the Orthodox Banja Luka Bihać Metropolitanate for 1911.

(2)The first tradition says that the Ottoman authorities gave the inhabitants permission to built a church on the site of a pond, which the villages filled in, thus moving it to the neighbouring village of Miljevići.  According to the locals, the church roof was replaced three times.  The roof found in 1955 by the scholar Petar Momirović, who was studying the traditional architecture of log-built churches, was in very poor condition.  He recorded accounts by the locals that an old lady who had died in 1934, allegedly at the age of 115, could not recall when the roof had been laid.  Oral tradition leads to the assumption that the roof dates from before 1819. Since it has been established that a shingle roof lasts about 100 to 120 years in this part of the world, the church could be dated to the early 18th century or even earlier (Ševo, pp. 84-85). 

(3)The information on the basis of which a church can be dated can vary and be more or less exact.  The most reliable are authentic documentary references in the building itself and, for example, recording: «built in 1821» or an inscription on a built-in altar icon reading «this church was built by lord Vuica in memory 1818».  Such information can be treated as reliable evidence of the date of construction.  In some such buildings, inscriptions have been found recording the date of construction or the date when the foundations were laid.  Some information can be used as the basis for calculating how long certain works lasted.  The year engraved on an iconostasis, however, cannot always be taken as the date of construction of the church.  As a rule, icons and royal doors are painted immediately after the church is built, usually a year or two later.  However, sometimes icons were painted over a longer period.  Caution is needed in the case of icons where the inscription does not denote the church for which they were intended, since it is common for icons to be moved from church to church or for icons not associated with a specific church to be presented as a gift from elsewhere.  Inscriptions are usually to be found on the royal doors, which are often older than the building itself, having belonged to an older church on the foundations of which the newer one was erected.  Doors can even belong to a completely different church in another place altogether.  Other information that can be used to date a church can be found in the records in various books, chronicles or plaques mounted to commemorate the renovation of the church.  Again, caution is needed with such data, which are often quite arbitrary – a priest, for example, may note some facts that are unproven.

Burial grounds, various details on a village or town and events there, and folk tradition can be of considerable assistance in dating churches.  Folk tradition is full of arbitrary «facts» which are in fact the product of the imagination. As a rule, the building speaks for itself.  By analysing the individual architectural, structural and technical features of buildings for which the date of construction is known and comparing them with those that are undated, experience enables one to guess the decade or quarter century when the latter could have been built.

(4)Antemensa (from the Greek ante, instead of, and Latin mensa, table – in place of a table)

1. usually a square silk (linen) cloth in which a martyred saint’s relics are wrapped and sewn.   After a bishop has consecrated the antemensa, he places it on the altar in order to perform the liturgy on it as an iconographic depiction of the Saviour’s tomb and the tombs of Christian martyrs, as a symbol of the passion, death and ascension of Christ.  The service cannot take place without the antemensa, and once it has been consecrated it takes the place of Christ’s tomb and the tombs of the Christian martyrs.

2. According to Isidore Pelusiot, the antemensa is also the shroud in which the dead body of Christ was wrapped.  It lies rolled up on the altar, and is unrolled only at the start of the liturgy; when the priest takes the communion bread and wine from the altar, it is rolled up again.  Exceptionally (in the case of the demolition of the temple, for example) it can replace the altar (as its very name indicates) and in this case the divine service is performed on it.  Antemensas are often artistically worked.  Christ being laid in the tomb is shown in the centre, with the figures of the four evangelists at the four corners. Each antemensa is, as a rule, intended for a particular church (see), as a result of which it always includes, in addition to the habitual figures, the name of the bishop and the date of consecration of the church and to whom it was consecrated.

(5)It is not known whether the number of such buildings fell because of over-exploitation of forest timber to meet modern needs for timber or because of new techniques and the use of modern building materials, but it is a fact that, for example, the erection of a new church right beside St Nicholas' church in Javorani led to the deterioration of the older 18th century church.

(6)Momirović, Petar, custodian and researcher into folk architecture,

(7)The first group consists of churches with a very simple ground plan and of modest size. AS a rule, they have no apse, other than the church in Šljivan where there is a three-sided apse, the prodeuct of some later restoration.  The churches in this group are small and simple, no more than 9 metres long and 4 metres wide, thus covering an area of no more than 30 sq.m.  The load-bearing structure is here set on the bare ground without any foundations or dry stone underpinnings to transfer the load to load-bearing ground.  As a rule the skeleton system was used, with walls of tongue-and-groove boards.  Some churches were made of rectangular-section logs, joined at the corners by overlapping.  The upper log of this type of structure often formed the eave purlin; in some cases, this was doubled to form a dual eave perline. Struts were mounted between the uprights to reinforce the structure and add stability to the walls.  The roof frame consists of several pairs of facing rafters of shallow rounded cross-section joined at the ridge, resting on the edge of the eave purline and extending beyond the walls.  The walls are low, rarely even reaching the height of a man.  The roofs are very steeply pitched to ensure rapid run-off of precipitation.  The roof is usually rounded on the front facades.  The rounding at the corners is often executed with double rafters with several opposite battens (7) This avoids sharp angles on the roof, which are not conducive to cladding the roof, and which also created semielliptical eaves, providing the front walls of the building with better protection from the elements. This enhances the aesthetic impact of the building.  Since these buildings had no ridge, it was always replaced by a so-called trough. This provided stability, and the angular form of the trough, contrasting with the graded surface of the roof, contributed still further to the decorative nature of the building.  The roof cladding was small split oak klis (shingles) of long narrow tongue-shape with grooves at the ends, laid in several rows and usually attached by long wrought iron nails of irregular rectangular cross-section with an irregular flattened head.  These buildings had no ceiling – the roof rafters were fully exposed on the interior.  The churches in this group had very few openings, only an entrance at the west end, usually with a solid arched lintel and jambs.  The oak doors are rectangular, with horizontal crossbars at the back and an iron lock with a large key. Light entered the church, usually around the altar, at an angle through the horizontal gaps between the logs.  The interior of the church was almost completely in darkness.

                The interior of the church is divided into an altar section, nave and parvis, usually               with a choir.  The altar area contained the altar table, almost invariably mounted on a single decorated pillar.  The altar tables are also very simple, and made of wood – only very rarely of stone.  The altar partitions are of somewhat later date than the buildings, usually from the 19th century.  Not a single original partition has survived.  They were made of thin pillars with boards, often with šašavak wedges of softwood.  There were usually two, occasionally three openings – the royal doors, and side doors.  The royal doors are somewhat more decorative and are painted.  There are no doors on the side entrances.  The nave is also separated from the parvis by a similar wooden partition.  A wooden chandelier known as the wheel of the Mother of God hung in the centre of the nave.  All the surviving chandeliers of this type are of the same shape and very similar in workmanship and decoration, usually including details of the erection and consecration of the church.  The floor of the church is usually earthen.  The older churches have no belltower or bell. There would be a wooden or metal clapper.  All the belltowers date from after 1878 and do not match the main building stylistically.  The churches in Malo Blaško, Šljivan, Javorine, Romanovci and Koli belong to this group.

The second group consists of somewhat larger churches constructed of massive loges with more decorative roofs and thicker layers of shingles.  The angle joints of the logs consist of a double overlap.  If the church was larger but it proved impossible to find logs long enough, the problem was resolved by setting a single full-length upright in the centre of the wall into which the logs would be set into grooves so as to achieve the desired length and equality of material and wall thickness.  On the side where the door was located this role would be taken over by the door jambs.  The churches in this group always had a polygonal apse, where the logs were joined at the angles by a complex system of dual angled overlap with the ends rounded at an angle.  The windows are larger and the arches, door and door jambs are decorated.  The pent roof is wider and more curved.

                The interior of the church is divided up in the same way as those of the first group, except that these churches may also lack the parvis.  If the church is larger in size, the roof structure is borne by wooden pillars of more finished workmanship with decorative upper sections.  The ceiling is partly flat and partly barrel vaulted, consisting of šašavac wedged slats.  The choir, or rather pseudochoir, is raised.  The floor is boarded and the church has a more decorative interior.  The Jelićka church and the churches in Palačkovci and the village of Rakelići belong to this group.

The third group is transitional in form between the two preceding groups, with the addition of a three-sided apse and certain details.  The best known church in this group is the wooden church in Krupa on the Vrbas.

The fourth group consists of more recent churches with more elaborate ground plan, new features and new structural treatment.  The treatment of the material is more modern and the building techniques more complex. The walls are high, the roofs high and wide, and the interior spacious.  Some buildings in this group have an exterior portico.  The structure of the church is held up in the interior by pillars.  The apses are five-sided and considerably larger than those of the second group.  The windows and doors are of normal size, the ceilings vaulted, and floors wood or stone.  These churches are more richly decorated than the other groups.  The exterior lines are austere and the interior, unlike the churches in the other groups, is cold and austere.  The churches in Drugovići, Busnovi and Marićka belong to this group.

(8)St Nicholas' church in the village of Javorani is also a log-built church with no apse and of modest size, where the massive oak logs are joined by overlapping at the corners, and the long sides of the walls reinforced with five uprights on each side.  This church too has no ceiling so that the roof rafters are exposed on the inside. 

(9)Virgin's wheel

(10)According to the congregation, the builders of the church in Romanovci are buried below the crosses.

Log-built church dedicated to St Nicholas in RomanovciLog-built church in RomanovciSouth facadeEast facade
TombstonesLog-built church in Romanovci, an old photoIconostasisEntrance door
Royal door   

BiH jezici 
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