Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Provisional List

About the Provisional List

List of Petitions for Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Heritage at Risk

60th session - Decisions

Emperor's mosque(Sultan Bajezid Valija II Mosque), the site and remains of the architectural ensemble

gallery back

Status of monument -> National monument

Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 6 to 10 July 2004 the Commission adopted a






            The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Careva (Imperial) mosque (Sultan Bajezid Valija II mosque) in Foča is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The National Monument consists of the site and remains of the mosque and harem with nišan tombstones.  

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1787, title sheet no. 1426, cadastral municipality Foča, Foča Municipality, Republika Srpska, 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 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 rehabilitate the National Monument.

The Government of Republika Srpska 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.




The following protection zones are hereby defined:

Protection Zone I consists of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision.  In this zone the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

  • the Careva mosque in Foča shall be rehabilitated on its original site, in its original form and dimensions, using the original or the same type of material and the original building methods wherever possible, on the basis of documentation on its former appearance forming an integral part of this Decision, and 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;
  • all original fragments of the demolished building found on the site or on other sites to which they were removed after the demolition of the building must be collected up, registered, recorded and reintegrated into the reconstructed building.  Until such time as they are so reintegrated they shall be properly preserved,
  • fragments that are too badly damaged to be reintegrated shall, following laboratory analysis, be conserved and displayed appropriately within the building,
  • the harem shall be made good and the damaged nišan tombstones shall be repaired.

In order to ensure the conditions for the rehabilitation, the following measures are hereby stipulated:

  • the ground shall be carefully cleared by hand and stone material dug out under the supervision of the heritage protection authority.  Fragments thus found shall be surveyed, registered and deposited for safe keeping in an appropriate place;
  • after the ground has been cleared, research works and a structural analysisof the foundations of the mosque remaining following the destruction of the building shall be carried out, with the aim of determining their stability and load-bearing capacity during the rehabilitation of the building.  The decision on the method by which the rehabilitation shall be carried out shall be taken on the basis of the findings of these analyses;
  • during clearance of the site an archaeologist shall be present, in the light of the supposition that there was an older building on this site.  If during clearance fragments are found that would indicate the presence of an older building, the site shall be subject to archaeological investigations.  These shall not call into question the rehabilitation of the mosque,
  • the plot shall be fenced off with a temporary protective fence.  The fence shall be installed so as to follow the boundary line of c.p. no. 1787.  The fence shall be 2 m in height and installed in such a way as to render the building site physically secure and prevent the entry of unauthorized persons to the protected area.

Protection Zone II consists of the plots bordering Protection Zone I, namely c.p. nos. 1788, 1789, 4109, 3153, 3152, 3158, 3160, 3151, 3145/2, 3145/1, 3146, 1807 and 1808.  In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

  • the only construction permitted is of residential buildings with a maximum height of 6.50 m
  • to the base of the roof frame, i.e. ground floor and one upper floor, and a maximum size of 12 x 12 m;
  • buildings erected since 1992, and which are detrimental to the value of the townscape around the site of the Careva mosque, shall be removed or adapted, in size and number of storeys, to the townscape.  This pertains to newly-erected buildings on c.p. no. 3146, consisting of ground floor, two upper storeys and attic storey.



            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 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 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 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) 




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. 213.




Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH.


This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović,  Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


No:  06.2-02-1064/03-1                      

7 July 2004                                                       


Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


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.

            The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the Careva mosque in Foča to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 213.

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.
  • Copy of cadastral plan
  • 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 site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Careva mosque in Foča/Srbinje is on c.p. no. 1787, title sheet no. 1426, owned by the Board of the Islamic Community of Foča/Srbinje, c.m. Foča, Foča/Srbinje Municipality, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The entrance to the mosque is to the north-west, from Hercegovačka street.

            The Drina and Ćehotina rivers meet at this point, dividing the quarter into two, and the hilly terrain descends towards the river valleys.  Building in the quarter began at the outset in part between the Drina and Ćehotina, and then on both sides of the Ćehotina and along the right bank of the Drina – the left bank of the Drina is extremely steep, and unsuitable for building.

            The Careva mosque is in the Careva mahala in the very centre of the town of Foča, between the rivers Drina and Ćehotina, above the former mediaeval open marketplace known as Pazarište.

            The Careva mosque stood on a prominent elevation known as Kavala, a site dominating the entire town.

Historical information

            The origins and development of the mediaeval settlement of Bosnia and Herzegovina known as Hoča (Hotča) was based primarily on its geographical location on the two rivers, Drina and Ćehotina, and its position on the Dubrovnik road, linking Dubrovnik with the Moravian-Vardar valley and the central regions of the Balkan peninsula.

Hoča originated in the mediaeval period on the site of Pazarište (market place).  The market place was the part of the mediaeval settlement in which merchants' and artisans' shops were located, and a large, open space for the weekly market fair.

Mediaeval Hoča (Hotča) saw various stages of development, from an open caravan post (platea) and market-place to an urban settlement.  As the end of the road via Čemerno and Sutjeska, Foča was well located to become a major market and caravan station.  People from Foča began to trade, initially with people from Dubrovnik(1). Local traders were most active in Foča, where they were most numerous (82) (2), while in terms of indebtedness(3) they were third only to the merchants of Prača and Drijevo. Referring business one to another, the merchants of Foča joined forces and entered into joint debts(4) to Dubrovnik merchants(5); established merchants would often act as guarantors for new ones.  They supplied animal products and wax to Dubrovnik, and imported cloth to eastern Bosnia(6). The large quantities of cloth that were imported testify to the advanced level of economic development of mediaeval Foča as well as to the requirements and purchasing power of its inhabitants.  The presence of merchants from Dubrovnik in Foča increased the importance of the town itself(7), which by the 15th century had become the largest trading centre in eastern Bosnia, with Dubrovnik goldsmiths also working in Foča(8). Some merchants had working capital in excess of 1,000 ducats(9). Merchants travelled frequently, staying in different places, doing business simultaneously in two places(10), formed joint trading links with merchants from other places(11), and in so doing enhanced trading exchanges between various places, taking them out of their traditional isolation.  In Foča, grain surpluses produced in the region were accumulated, wax, leather and other animal products were traded, and the tailor’s craft was referred to as “widespread among the local people. (12)  

The town flourished during the Ottoman period, particularly from the second half of the 15th to the end of the 16th century.  Hoča came under Ottoman rule in 1465, and it was during this period that it was transformed from an oriental kasaba (small town) to a šeher or major town, and an important administrative centre of Herzegovina.

The details given in the defter for 1468/69 reveal that the Ottoman authorities adopted the mediaeval division of the country into župas (counties), calling them nahijas.  This document refers to the Foča kadija (judge) by the title Kadija of the Drina, but with effect from the 16th century the kadiluk (area of jurisdiction of the judge) was known as the Foča kadiluk. With effect from 1470, the Herzegovina sandžak became separate from the Bosnian sandžak, with its headquarters in Foča.  Hamza-beg became first sandžak-beg or governor of Herzegovina, holding the post until 1474.  It was he who erected the first buildings in the new style.  Later sources refer to Hamza-beg’s masjid and hamam, which could date from this period.  At a somewhat later date, the mahala known as Ortakolo-mahala took shape around the masjid.

Foča remained the headquarters of the Herzegovina sandžak until 1574, with interruptions in 1522-1530 and again in 1533, when it was transferred to Pljevlja (Taslidža).

            Since Foča was the seat of the kadiluk, it was also the seat of many Turkish military and civilian officials, remaining so until the mid 19th century, and in addition was the seat of the mufti (senior court official) throughout the entire Ottoman period.  The second sandžak-beg of Herzegovina, Mustafa-beg, must take the greatest credit for the transformation of mediaeval Hoča.  It was he who determined the considerable expansion of Foča, in about 1484, by building a mosque on the right bank of the Ćehotina, around which a new mahala grew up, with the effect that this other side of the river also became populated.   The construction of the masjid and mahala of Princess Fatima, wife of the third sandžak-beg of Herzegovina Ahmed-beg, at the very confluence of the Ćehotina and Drina, determined the boundary of the new quarter to the north.  The 16th century was the golden age of building in Foča.  The earliest use of the name Foča in place of the mediaeval name Hoča appears in the defter for 1519 (Redžić, 1983, pp. 322-324).

            During the Ottoman period, the town consisted of two distinct areas, the commercial quarter (čaršija) and the residential quarters (the mahalas).  The main area of the čaršija consisted of the spacious square known as Pazarište, below the Careva mosque.

            Evliya Çelebi was in Foča in 1664, and provides valuable information on the town in his travelogue:

“The šeher of Foča was conquered by Abu-l Fath Sultan Mehmed Khan in 1465 (869 AH).  Foča extends along the banks of the great river Drina from east to west.  The large šeher is in the valley, on a level, spacious site.  It has eighteen mahalas and 2166 two-storey, solidly-built houses.  Ten of them [the mahalas] are Muslim, and the other eight Bulgarian, Serb and Latin [Roman Catholic].  There are seventeen Islamic places of worship, among all of which the mosque of  Sultan Bajezid Velija in the old čaršija stands out.  It is an old-style place of worship, built of solid materials in the classical style. It has a wooden dome clad with lead, and one minaret.”

            During the Ottoman period, seventeen mosques were built in Foča, making it fourth in the number of mosques of the towns of Bosnia and Herzegovina; only Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar had more.  Among them were some that were true works of art of Ottoman architecture, the best-known being the Aladža mosque, dating from 1551.  Five of these mosques were destroyed during World War II, and the others were destroyed during the 1992-1995 war. Not a single mosque now remains in Foča.  All that remains are the walls of the Mehmed pasha Kukavica mosque.

            As regards the materials from which the mosques were built, eleven had stone minarets, with in most cases stone walls as well; the remaining six were built of wood and adobe brick and had wooden minarets.  Stone mosques were largely built by master builders from the east or from Dubrovnik, while the wooden ones were built by the local all-round craftsmen known as dunđeri.

            In 1885 A. Karszniewicz described Foča, noting that the Careva mosque had once been a church, though he took local tradition at face value on this, without any concrete information to support the claim.

Alija Bejtić also claimed that the Careva mosque had originally been a church, and that it was later altered to become a mosque:

“The [local] tradition had already roused my attention and interest in such a building, that could well have existed even before the arrival of the Turks, and when conducting a survey of the Careva mosque in 1953 I immediately noted certain indications that the present-day building had indeed once been a church.  The ground plan itself of the building, the interior dimensions of which are now 19.00 x 10.65 m with the ratio of the sides almost 1:2, differs on the one hand from the usual layout of mosques, and on the other hand is typical of the ground plan of a basilica-type church with nave and two aisles.  The massive exterior walls, with a thickness of 110 cm, also indicate that their original function was to take the load of a stone structure, not the relatively light-weight wooden hipped roof of the present-day mosque.  Another very striking feature suggesting the adaptation of an earlier building is the minaret, or rather its base, which demonstrably does not reveal a design linked with the building, as is the case with other mosques, but was simply later patched onto the pre-existing building.  Particularly valuable elements that belonged to that building are the recently discovered architectural stone fragments, that also suggest the mediaeval period.  One is a superb and unusual carved stone rosette with a diameter of 32 cm, clearly a stylized version of the lotus flower of antiquity, and the other is part of a frieze with an interesting moulding, that does not suggest antiquity at all, and three bands of ornaments forming horizontal rows in a fascinating combination.

The Careva mosque was on a hillock above Pazarište, and is also known as the mosque of Sultan Bayezid Valiya.  It was adapted from a mediaeval church in 1500-1501 (906 AH), as can be seen on the inscription above the door to the mosque, published in facsimile and translation by M. Mujezinović, and acquired the name of the aforesaid Sultan because it was made over during his reign at the expense of the state.  It is a massive, spacious building with a stone minaret, which has its entrance, unlike almost every other mosque, from the portico itself.”  (Bejtić, 1956, pp. 53-54)

M. Mujezinović notes that A. Bejtić’s theory that the mosque derived from a church, “as revealed by the inscription above the door”, is completely unfounded.

Husref Redžić writes: 

“The main mosque and mahala in Foča, the Careva (Sultan Bajezid II) mosque, was built in 1500-1501 from state revenues above the former mediaeval open market-place Pazarišta.  The elevation known as Kavala on which the Careva mosque was built dominates the entire town.  The discovery of architectural finely cut stone fragments near the mosque, together with the custom during the mediaeval period to erect Catholic churches on prominent positions, suggests that the Church of Our Lady, referred to in the defter for 1585 without noting whether it was still in use, was nearby.  The church was probably not in use, and had very likely been demolished previously, or fallen into a state of dilapidation, since it was not unusual for the first town mosque to be located in a church, and if it was in a suitable place it was quite common for part of the church to be used as a mosque and part as a church.  Alija Bejtić was wrong to say that it was clear from the inscription above the door that the Careva mosque was a rebuilt church, which Muhamed Mujezinović erefuted by his reading of the inscription over the entrance to the mosque..” (Redžić, 1983, p.).


“The last time the mosque underwent major repairs was in 1926.  The coloured wall decorations inside the mosque date from that year.”  (Bejtić, 1956, p. 54).


2. Description of the property

            In ground plan, the Careva mosque belongs to the type of single space mosques with hipped roof and stone minaret.

“In Bosnia and Herzegovina there are many more of these mosques than of domed mosques.  According to the statistics for 1933, there were 36 domed mosques and 233 mosques with hipped roof and stone minaret in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In this part of the world, mosques with stone minarets were built without break from the mid 15th century on.  In architectural and general significance, they come immediately after domed mosques.  Among the nine mosques in Foča with hipped roofs and stone minarets, there were some architecturally valuable buildings with interior decoration executed and stone and richly adorned, evidence that they were built by expert craftsmen. “ (Bećirbegović, 1999, p. 43).

            In ground plan, the Careva mosque had an open sofa area and enclosed central prayer space.  The mosque was stone-built, with a relatively low eaved roof clad with tiles, originally hollow tiles.  “Such roofs are typical of Sarajevo and Foča, and are to be found both on mosques and on public buildings and residential architecture.  These roofs give a specific architectural expression to the entire town, distinguishing Sarajevo and Foča from other towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “ (Bećirbegović, 1999, p. 43).

            The interior central area of the mosque was rectangular in ground plan, measuring approx. 10.65 x 19.00 metres.  The mosque had massive walls, approx. 110 cm thick, built of cut stone, with lime mortar as binder.

            The portico with exterior sofas measured approx. 12.65 x 6.50 m.  To the left and right of the entrance door were two open sofas (raised above ground level by approx. 45 cm). These measurd approx. 6.50 x 6.0 m, with a passageway approx. 2.50 m wide.  The roof of the mosque extended to cover the portico, where it was supported by nine pine octagonal pine pillars set on stone bases – five on the left and four on the right sofa.  The pillars measured approx. 50 x 40, and each had a single strut supporting the somewhat projecting eaves of the portico.

            Inside the building(13), a 4.00 metre deep frontal mahfil extended along the entire length of the north-west wall above the entrance portal.  The mahfil was reached via a single-flight staircase set against the south-west wall, to the right of the entrance door.  The wooden structure of the mahfil was supported by six wooden pillars with stone bases.  The pillars had richly decorated wooden capitals carved into stalactites and painted in three different colours.  In their marked elegance and precision of workmanship, they were of considerable artistic value, particularly because there are almost no oriental capitals made of wood in this part of the world.  No other mosque in Foča had wooden capitals.

            The mihrab and mimber were of stone, of uniform design with no particular decoration.  From an existing drawing, the mihrab niche was semicircular in cross-section (the radius of the walled niche was approx. 50cm)  and was approx. 2.50 cm wide.  To the right of the mihrab was the mimber (approx. 1.00 m wide and 3.80 m long).

            All the interior walls were plastered and whitewashed.

            The floor of the Careva mosque was paved with large stone slabs, over which a wooden floor was later laid.

            The portal was of stone and decorated with polychrome ornaments, and had a plaque with an inscription over the door.

            “The inscription, in Arabic verse, was incised on a stone plaque measuring 60 x 90 cm, set into the wall above the entrance to the mosque. The inscription was set in eight squarish fields.  Script: fine jali naskh.  The text was partly vocalized.  The background to the inscription was painted blue, and the letters were the usual black.

            God’s temples are built by those who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgment and who observe the prescribed prayers.

            This masjid was erected on a high place during the time of the Saintly Bajezid, promoter of Islam.

            May Allah make paradise a sanctuary for the benefactor and for those who pray within it behind the imam.

            The chronogram of this noble mosque and sacred place reads:

            Oh servant of Allah, may peace be with you and comfort.

            906.“  (1500/1501) (Mujezinović, 1998, pp. 26-27).

            There is no information on the vertical measurements of the mosque, but they can be ascertained from the aerophotogrammetric survey of Foča(14).

            The windows of the facades of the building were set in two horizontal rows.  The first row consisted of two rectangular windows ( approx. 1.40 x 1.60 m) on each facade, with stone frames on the outside and wrought iron grids.  Inside, above the first row of windows, were relieving pointed arches (the surface above the pointed arches was set back a few centimetres from the wall surface, as was the rectangular wall surface between the first and second rows of windows).  The second row of windows (approx. 1.00 x 2.00 m) terminated in pointed arches and were set on the same vertical axis as those of the first row.  There were no upper windows on the north-western entrance facade.

            The polygonal stone minaret was approx. 32 m in height, and was built of cut stone on a square base measuring approx. 2.00 x 2.55 m.  The minaret was entered from the portico.

Harem by the Careva mosque

«On both sides of the Careva mosque is a harem with numerous nišan tombstones, most of them of recent date, of simple workmanship, and many of them with no epitaph.

Among the nišans with epitaphs, of interest is the tombstone of Fatima Sultana (princess), with an inscription on the renovation of her tombstone.

1241 and 1345.

Inscription on the nišan of Fatima sultana

            There is a sarcophagus above the grave of the deceased, made of large stone slabs, with a headstone nišan (height 90 cm, section 15 x 15 cm) with a woman's cap, somewhat wider at the top, and terminating in a protuberance.  The word «Al Fatiha» is incised on the cap itself, and the following texts on two sides of the nišans:

«In the name of Allah (recite) Fatiha.  He is  God, the Eternally living. This is the tomb (sanduq) of Fatima Sultana, pardoned by God, may Allah make her a home in the heavenly mansion.  Recite Fatiha for her soul.  First repair 9 Shawwal 1241 (17 May 1826), second repair 1345 (1926/27).»

The same text is incised on the other side of the nišan, the only difference being that it is not known whether this side had a date, since the nišan has fallen into the sarcophagus and the end of the inscription is not visible.

From the two dates referred to on the inscription it is clear that they relate to the renovation of the tombstone of Sultana Fatima. The original one was certainly damaged, and was repaired for the first time, as the inscription reveals, in 1826.

            The assumption is that Princess Fatima was the daughter of Sultan Bajezid II.  Folk tradition has it that Fatima Sultana was married to one of the Čengić's of Foča.» (Mujezinović, 1998, pp. 28-30).

            When the mosque complex was destroyed in 1992, the nišan tombstones were knocked over and taken to the dump, along with the mosque materials, as a result of which only a few nišans now remain in the mosque harem.


3. Legal status to date

            During the procedure prior to the adoption of a final decision to designate the property, documents on the protection of the property were inspected. The findings are as follows:

            By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and National Rarities, Peoples' Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, no. 1317/50 dated 9 October 1950, the building of the Careva mosque in Foči was placed under state protection.

            By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and National Rarities, Peoples' Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, no.1480/50, dated 28 October 1950, Sultana Fatima's tomb in Foča was placed under state protection.

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and National Rarities, Peoples' Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, no. 02-854-3 dated 18 April 1962, the Careva mosque in Foča with burial ground was entered on the register of immovable cultural monuments.

            The Regional Plan for  Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the Careva mosque in Foča as a Category II monument.

            The Careva mosque in Foča is on the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH under serial no. 213.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

            It is not known whether any works were carried out on the building. The Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry for Culture has no documentation relating to conservation and restoration works.


5. Current condition of the property    

The Careva mosque in Foča/Srbinje was burned down and the minaret dynamited in April 1992.

There are no visible remains of the buildings of the mosque, gasulhana (premises for laying out the dead), abdesthana (for ritual ablutions), storage area or office of the Islamic Community.

A certain number of nišan tombstones are to be seen in the mosque harem.

The site of the complex of the Careva mosque in Foča/Srbinje is not fenced off, nor are the remains of the mosque and nišans protected from further deterioration.



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

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A. Time frame

B. Historical value

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

E.iii. traditional value

E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

o        Copy of cadastral plan

o        Copy of proof of title;

o        Photodocumentation;

o        Drawings



            During the procedure to designate the site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Careva mosque in Foča as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1956.  Bejtić, Alija, Povijest i umjetnost Foče na Drini (History and art of Foča on the Drina), (pp. 23-75), Naše starine, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of N.R. Bosne  i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 1956.


1980.  Institute for architecture, urbanism and regional planning of the Faculty of Architecture of Sarajevo, Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stage B: valorization of natural and cultural and historical sites, Sarajevo, 1980


1983    Redžić, Husref: Studije o islamskoj arhitektonskoj baštini (Studies on the Islamic Architectural Heritage), Cultural heritage series, Sarajevo, 1980


1996    Čelebija, Evlija, Putopis (Travelogue), Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1996


1997    Muftić, Faruk: Foča: 1470-1996, Sarajevo, 1997


1998   Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic epigraphics of BiH), Bk II, 3rd ed., Cultural heritage series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998


1999   Bećirbegović, Madžida, Džamije sa drvenom munarom u Bosni i Hercegovini (Mosques with wooden minarets in BiH), Sarajevo Publishing, 1999


2000   Ayverdi Dr. Ekrem Hakki, Avrupa'da Osmanli Mimari Eserlera Yugoslavya II, 3. kitab (bk. 3), Istanbul, 2000.


Documentation of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina


(1) Members of the Nartičić were particularly successful as merchants. Documents dating from 1366 in the Historical Archives of Dubrovnik refer to the brothers Nartičić, Mirko Nartičić, and the brothers Sorčić.  Other traders referred to (with details concerning their name, indebtedness and term of debt) are: Radič Miomanović with debts from 1440-1448 of 801 ducats 57 perpera; Radoje Dubijević, 1420-1435, 686 ducats and 1.225 perpera; Milj Božićković, 1433-1440, 620 ducats and 408 perpera; Radivoj Crijepović, 1430-1422, 499 ducats and 217 perpera; Tvrdiša Mirušković, 1426-1438, 482 ducats and 216 perpera; Milut Tvrdisavić, 1441-1448, 342 ducats; Radoslav Pribičević, 1431-1440, 273 ducats; Vukoslav Novaković, known as Pupelja, 1426-1435, 229 ducats and 160 perpera; Radoje Dubijević, 1420-1435, 686 ducats and 1.225 perpera; Radeta Crijepović, 1420-1445, 226 ducats and 514 perpera; Brajan Brateljević, 1432-1435, 195 ducats; Cvjetko Stanisalić, 1445, 181 ducats; Radonja Ljubinović, 1426-1435, 176 ducats 240 perpera; Vuketa Bogdanović, 1442-1449, 165 ducats; Božidar Radmilović, 1441-1446, 148 ducats and 26 perpera; Miroslav Prodašić, 1401-1402, 131 ducats and 54 perpera; Stojislav Prodašić, 1401-1402, 131 ducats and 54 perpera; Radonja Grasac, 1430-1442, 122 ducats and 72 perpera; Tvrdiša Stojanović, 1427-1430, 121 ducats and 2 perpera; Radivoj Brajaković, 1432-1441, 112 ducats and 2 perpera (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države, Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo, 1978, pp. 43-44, 174-175) .

(2) by way of comparison, in the same period there were 44 merchants in Goražde, 35 in Cernica, 11 in Višegrad, 13 in Tjentišto, 7 in Borač and 3 in Ustokolina (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.108)

(3) Details of total indebtedness of merchants from eastern Bosnia to Dubrovnik merchants from 1400 to 1463:   Goražde 4.735 ducats and 2.052 perpera, Cernica 903 ducats and 4.183 perpera, Višegrad 1.019 ducats and 45 perpera, Tjentište 918 ducats and 489 perpera, Borač 86 ducats and 307 perpera and Ustikolina 97 ducats and 176 perpera (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, pp.108, 168-173).

(4) In 1366, Obrad Nartičić and his sons Radoslav and Obrad entered into debt to Dubrovnik merchants (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.177).

(5) In the mediaeval period, trade in the Balkans was based on credit, and Dubrovnik was a major centre of credit-based trade in the Balkans (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.167).

(6) Large quantities of cloth were imported in particular to Visoko, Foča and Goražde. Merchants from Foča purchased fabric from Mantua (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, pp.193-194).

(7) Between 1422 and 1448, 95 merchants from Dubrovnik spent time in Foča, 22 of them more than once.  It should also be noted that there was a colony of Dubrovnik merchants only in Foča, but that individuals could be found in Borač, and rarely in Goražde and Višegrad.

(8) Goldsmiths from Dubrovnik worked in all the better-known towns of mediaeval Bosnia (Prača, Foča, Kreševo and Goražde) (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.202).

(9) Obrad Nartičić’s capital between 1396 and 1404 reached a level of 1.117 ducats and 88 groschen (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.177)

(10) in 1394 Radoslav Sorčić was said to be from Ustikolina, and in 1396 he was recorded as a merchant from Foča (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.188).

(11) Vukosav Novaković of Goražde had a guarantor from Foča, and Radoslav Veseoković of Foča had one from Cernica. Vučeta Bogavčić of Foča joined forces with a merchant from Tjentište, and Vuk Baličević of Foča did business jointly with Radič Milobratović of Cernica (Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.189).

(12) Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka: 1978, p.216

(13) In the available sources only very meagre descriptions of the interior and exterior of the building are given.

(14) Between 1970 and 1990, the Geodetic Institute of BiH carried out aerophotogrammetric surveys of almost all the municipalities in BiH.                        

BiH jezici 
Commision to preserve national monuments © 2003. Design & Dev.: