Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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60th session - Decisions

Old town of Vinac, the historic site

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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 4 to 10 May 2004 the Commission adopted a






The historic site of the Old Vinac Fort is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the old Vinac fort, the remains of the Sulejmanija mosque, and the archaeological artifacts underground.

            The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no 1244 (new survey),  or c.p. no. 10/139/1 (census cadastre), corresponding to c.p. no. 1009 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 234, title sheet no. 145, cadastral municipality Vinac, Municipality Jajce, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The provisions relating to the 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, 27/02 and 6/04) 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, and display 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 conservation and presentation 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.




The following measures are hereby stipulated in order to ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument:

Protection Zone I consists of the site defined in Clause I para 3 of this decision.

In this zone, the following protection measures shall apply:

  • all works on the National Monument site are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, including works designed to display the National Monument, with the approval of the ministry responsible for regional planning in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (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 remains of the Sulejmanija mosque shall be conserved and preserved in an appropriate manner,
  • the removal of the minaret or other buildings on the site of the site of the protected monument without the approval of the Federation ministry responsible for regional planning.  The minaret that has been erected as a memorial at the centre of the mosque, not in the place where it originally stood, is a flawed interpretation of the National Monument,
  • the removal of stones and the further devastation of the site are prohibited,
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited,
  • the walls shall be cleared of vegetation posing a risk to the structure of the monument,
  • the walls shall be repaired.

Protection Zone II consists of the bailey extending over the ridge to the west and south of the fort.

In this zone, the following protection measures shall apply:

  • the stripping of the remaining parts of the ramparts surrounding the bailey and the removal of the stone from these ramparts are prohibited,
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited.



            The National Monument is an unexplored archeological site, for which reason the removal of possible archaeological finds as referred to in Clause 1 para. 3 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 for temporary removal 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 items in any way. 

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the items 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 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the relevant security service, the customs authority of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.




            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, cantonal, urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardise the protection thereof.




The Government of the Federation, the relevant ministry of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the heritage protection authority, and the municipal authority 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 – VI of this Decision, and the authorised Municipal Court shall be notified for the purpose 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 Ahunay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


No: 05.2-2-519/04-1

4 May 2004


Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n




Pursuant to Article 2, para 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 property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

            On 21 February 2003 Josip Nikić, an authorized official from Jajce Municipality, submitted a proposal/petition to designate the historic site of the Old Vinac Fort as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.     

            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, para 4 of the Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




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

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry),
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including 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.

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


1. Details of the property


            The historic ensemble of the Old Vinac Fort is located in the town of Vinac, some 13 km south of Jajce. The town is situated on a rocky eminence, 500 m above sea level, the cliffs of which drop down steeply to a valley, on the right bank of the river Vrbas. These cliffs are the reason why the Vrbas meanders around the city, encircling it on three sides. It is not difficult to reach the fort. It is approached by a narrow path that leads from the remains of the mosque and runs along the entire length of the fort to the north. The path is overgrown with weeds in several places.

Historical information

            There is little historical information about the Old Vinac Fort. The first mention in historical records dates back to 1453. It was then recorded that ambassadors from Dubrovnik stopped “sotto Vinazac” on the way to King Tomaš in Jajce. It is not known how much building there was in the outskirts below the fortress (Kovačević-Kojić, 1978, 129). At the time of the Jajce Banate, from 1464 to 1526/7, the Hungarians held Vinac to 1498, when the Ottomans occupied it; the fort is recorded in Hungarian documents under the name of Koszorúvár (Thallóczy,1916, 233). Judging from the form of the towers and semi-bastions, the fort was built at a time when the firearms were already known in the region. 

            During the Ottoman pedriod, Vinac was referred to on several occasions. In Turkish-Hungarian treaties dating from 1503 and 1519, Vinac belonged to the Ottomans. Although taken at the end of the 15th century, "nahija Vinčac" appears in Ottoman documents only from 1562 on, with Vinac as a fortified town and centre of an administrative unit (Šabanović, 1982, 178). At the beginning of the 17th century, the garrison of the Vinac fort had 50 men. Evliya Çelebi passed by the fortifications in 1660, but obviously did not climb up to the fort. He wrote that there were several military houses in Vinac and the Sulejmanhan mosque. The fortress had a commander ("dizdar") (Çelebi, 1979, 207). The mosque was situated some 200 m to the southeast, on the plateau below the fort. Some entries dating from1693 have survived in the Jajce sidžils (court records). At the time, a special representative ("ćehaja") of the Jajce captain was the commander in town, and the garrison consisted of local people who protected unsafe routes, bridges, gorges and so on, and enjoyed exemption from paying taxes during their service ("derebendzije"). During that year, the Jajce commander asked master builders Kaplan and Mirković, who worked on the Vinac mosque, to return to Jajce for some other building work; they were replaced by the master builder Redžep from Jezero (Žel-hisar). These were probably repairs to the mosque, not new building, because Çelebi mentioned it as the mosque dedicated to Sulejman II (Çelebi, 1979, 207, notes 25 and 26; Truhelka, 1918, 161). Mazalić refers to a mosque "in the village under the fort" in the mid 20th century, describing it as a simple mosque with a wooden minaret.  It may be deduced from the text that this refers to the Sulejmanija mosque (Mazalić, 1958, 236). Today, only the foundations of the mosque exist, in whose midst the locals built a minaret a few years ago.

            According to the 1833 census of Bosnian forts, Vinac was empty, i.e. there were no arms or ammunition in it, nor food supplies, which means that it was abandoned that year (Kreševljaković, 1951, 154). 


2. Description of the property

The fort lies along a basic west-to-east axis. It consists of two basic parts: a large bailey, with an area of around 6500 m2, which begins at the forecourt to the west and includes the southern slopes below the fortress. The fortress consists of the entrance and the forecourt to the west, the central area with a pentagonal tower (tower I), and a semi-bastion on the western part of the south wall, and the great main tower at the eastern end (tower II). The fortress is around 80 m long and between 10 and 15 m wide. The road to the fort led from the plateau where the Sulejmanija mosque was situated, southeast of the main tower, almost at its foot; from there, one gained the entrance through the north wall (3rd entrance) by passing between two cliffs and below the northeast corner of tower II, along the north wall. This entrance gave access to the bailey and the fortress.

The fortress was reached through the entrance in the west wall of the forecourt (entrance 2) and, in the same direction, from the forecourt to the main part of the fortress (entrance 1). The area from entrance 1 to the entrance in the main tower (tower II) is around 40 m long, and only 5 to 7 m wide. Truhelka wrote that the walls from the forecourt to tower II were "adorned by a number of loop-holes" (Truhelka, 1904, 69). Today there are no visible traces of loop-holes. In the centre of the area lies a well. The south wall was the most exposed, which is why it is surrounded by a bailey. The semi-bastion and the pentagonal tower (tower I) are on the south wall, whence the entire south wall was defended. On the ground floor of the semi-bastion, on the west wall, almost at the southwestern corner, Mazalić dug out a secret passage well concealed from the outside by a rocky ridge (Mazalić, 1958, 233). To the east of the fort lies the largest and most important tower, of irregular square ground plan, with significantly thicker north and east walls and northeastern corner (tower II), measuring 13 x 12 m. The walls of the tower were originally 1.5 to 3 m thick. Later, probably during Ottoman times, some parts of the ramparts and towers were reinforced. In addition to the entrance to the main fortress, the north wall and three walls of tower I were also reinforced. Its interior space was thus reduced to 7 x 4 m. The north wall is well preserved to a height of around 10 m on the outside.


3. Legal status to date

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, and by Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR BiH, the Old Vinac fort in Vinac was placed under state protection. There is no documentation on this in the file of protected monument no. 138, under the heading “Vinac Fortress.”

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2000 lists the Old Vinac Fort as a III category monument.


4. Research and restoration and conservation works 

            Not conducted.


5. Current condition of the property

During a visit to the site on 24 March 2004, the following was established: The ramparts and the tower have fallen into dereliction in some places over a long period, amounting to some 130 years of neglect. The massive walls of the main part of the fort between tower II and the bastion are largely preserved to a height of several metres. Parts of the walls of the forecourt and the entrance, and the area west of the forecourt, are quite ruinous and stripped. The whole area of the fort and theits immediate surroundings are overgrown with weeds and covered with scattered stones broken off the main structure




           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.iv. composition

D. Clarity

D.i. material evidence of a lesser known historical era

D.ii. evidence of historical change

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.ii. meaning in the townscape

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

G. Authenticity

G.i. form and design

G.v. location and setting


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan

-     Photodocumentation;

-     Drawings



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


1904. Truhelka, Ćiro, Naši gradovi, opis najljepših sredovječnih gradova Bosne i Hercegovine (Our forts, description of the finest mediaeval forts of BiH) Sarajevo, 1904, 64-69.


1918. Truhelka, Ćiro, Pabirci iz jednog jajačkog sidžila (Gleanings from a Jajce court record) Jnl. of the National Museum in Sarajevo XXX, Sarajevo, 1918, 157-175.


1952. Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Prilozi povijesti bosanskih gradova pod turskom upravom (Supplements to the History of the Bosnian Towns under the Turkish Management), Supplements to Oriental Philology and the History of the Yugoslav Peoples under Turkish Rule, II/1951, Oriental Institute in Sarajevo, Sarajevo, 1952, 119-184


1953. Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Stari bosanski gradovi (Old Bosnian Towns), Our Heritage I, Sarajevo, 1953, 7-45


1957. Vego, Marko, Naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države (Settlements of the Medieval Bosnian State), Sarajevo, 1957


1958. Mazalić, Đoko, Vinac i Doboj (Vinac and Doboj) Jnl. of the National Museum in Sarajevo, (Archaeology) new series no. XIII,  Sarajevo, 1958, 233-240.


1978. Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka, Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne Bosanske države (Urban settlements of the mediaeval Bosnian state), Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1978. 


1979. Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis (Travelogue) Cultural Hereitage Series, Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1979.


1982. Šabanović, Hazim, Bosanski pašaluk, postanak i upravna podjela (Bosnian Pashaluk, origins and administrative division), Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1982




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