Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Town Hall , the historic building

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Status of monument -> National monument

            Pursuant to Article V para. 4 of Annex 8 to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission for Preservation of National Monuments, at a session held on 3 to 10 May 2004 the Commission adopted a






            The historic building of the Town Hall in Brčko is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina  (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The National Monument is situated on cadastral plot no. 272/2 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 9/36 and 9/37 (old survey), land registry certificate no.1843, cadastral municipality Brčko 1; Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina, (hereinafter Brčko District), 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 Brčko District of  Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 2/02) shall apply to the National Monument.




             The Government of Brčko District shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, display and rehabilitate the National Monument.

            The Government of Brčko District shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the conservation and restoration of the National Monument.

            The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




            To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, pertaining to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision, being the site on which the National Monument is located:

Ÿ         all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, including those designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Brčko District authority responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),

Ÿ         on the adjacent cadastral plots nos. 269/1, 269/2, 272/1 and 271all works of any kind that could have the effect of jeopardizing the National Monument in terms of their size, appearance or in any other way are prohibited

Ÿ         the Government of Brčko District shall be responsible for drawing up a project for conservation and restoration works to be carried out on the National Monument

Ÿ         prior to drawing up the project, the building shall be cleared – basement and attic space – and a study shall be conducted comprising an analysis of the stability of the building and the state of the structural components thereof, investigative works on the facades of the building comprising an analysis of building materials, and analysis and the composition of binders, an analysis of the condition of the base for the plaster, the quality of the coats of paint, the type and colour of paint used on the facades

Ÿ         the interior shall be restored and adapted to public administrative or cultural use

Ÿ         damage caused to the walls by rising damp and atmospheric damp shall be made good

Ÿ         the roof cladding shall be replaced in its entirety and any dilapidated or damaged parts of the roof structure shall be replaced, with the replacement of dilapidated or damaged roof guttering and downpipes

Ÿ         during conservation and restoration works on the building, its original appearance must be retained or restored, as regards the treatment of architectural details, the colour of the walls, the landscaping of the parterres at the front of the building, the treatment of doors and windows, the treatment of the facades, the structure and pitch of the roof and the type of roof cladding

Ÿ         during conservation and restoration works, original materials shall be used, as shall original methods of treatment and workmanship on the materials and binders, and they shall be integrated as far as possible

Ÿ         damage shall be made good, in which regard the authentic interior and interior fixtures and fittings shall be preserved as far as possible

Ÿ         missing parts shall be reconstructed using original materials as far as possible

Ÿ         particular attention shall be paid to the conservation and repair of surviving decorative features on the facades of the building – decorations worked in plaster and plaster-of-Paris

Ÿ         particular attention shall be paid to the conservation and repair of the painted decorations in the interior; missing parts shall be reconstructed where appropriate documentation exists, or new ones made by analogy using the surviving features in the building, with the proviso that the methods used and degree of intervention must be identifiable

Ÿ         the interior of the building shall be restored and adapted to educational, administrative and cultural use in a manner that shall not jeopardize the monumental value of the building

Ÿ         the precinct of the building shall be landscaped to an appropriate landscape design

Ÿ         the building shall be floodlit

Ÿ         the remaining parts of the park outside the Town Hall and Posavina Hotel shall be restored in line with photographic, cadastral and other data on its original state, with existing vegetation conserved.




            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 Brčko District, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The Government of Brčko District, the authority responsible for regional planning in Brčko District and the heritage protection authority of Brčko Districtshall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II – V of this Decision, and the Authorized 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 to Preserve National Monuments (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba)




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




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


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


Broj: 07.2-02-72/04-4

7. srpnja 2004. godine



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.

            At a session held on 14th July 2000 the Commission issued a Decision to add the Vijećnica in Brčko (Town Hall in Brčko) to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 129.

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



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

Ÿ         Documentation on the location and ownership documentation (copy of land–registry entry and copy of cadastral plan)

Ÿ         Data on the current condition of the property;

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

Ÿ         Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.


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


1. Details of the property


            Brčko    44.87°N 18.81°E   

            The city of Brčko is situated in the northeastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina where the river Brka flows into the river Sava. It stands at an altitude of 96 m above sea level and is the largest city in this part of the state.

            The Town Hall building is located in the central part of the town, within the architectural ensemble of the Town Hall and park. To the west, the Town Hall borders with the plot on which the Posavina Hotel was built. A branch office of the National Bank is located in the immediate vicinity.

            The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no. 272/2 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 9/36 and 9/37 (old survey), land registry certificate no. 1843, cadastral municipality Brčko 1; Brčko District, Bosnia and Herzegovina.       

Historical information

            Brčko has been inhabited without break since prehistoric times.  This is corroborated by the discovery of the remains of Roman tombstones and items made of glass paste site close to the Atik mosque. These finds indicate that human settlements existed as early as the 2nd century BCE. However, no scientific analysis has ever been carried out, as a result of which it is almost impossible to obtain any data on Brčko prior to the 16th century.

            The earliest reference to Brčko as a toponym dates, according to one source, to 1548 (Blago na putevima Jugoslavije, 1983, pp. 274), and according to another source, to 1620, in the description of one of the Bosnian pashaluks(1). The development of Brčko was particularly intensive in the period between 1620 and 1716. Two public baths, a tower, a mosque and several residential buildings date from that period. (Hadžimuhamedović,1989). 

            In 1716 the Austrian army reduced the city to rubble. All major buildings of that period were left in a ruinous state.  Until the Treaty of Belgrade, Brčko remained part of Austria. After the 1739 Belgrade Treaty, a small provincial town was built here together with otkop(2) (fort), which was abandoned before 1833. There are no surviving remains of the otkop (Blago na putevima Jugoslavije, 1983, pp. 274). From 1739 to 1830 Brčko was renovated and developed at a somewhat slower pace.

            Given it auspicious position on the river Sava, the city began to develop intensively with the establishment of the Danube steamship society and the opening of one of the most important customs houses in Bosnia. At that time the town became an important junction, which accelerated the development of trade. In 1920 the following mahalas (residential quarters) were established in the town:  Atik, Džedid, Varoš, Karanfil and Kolobara. It is not possible to determine with accuracy the date of construction of the mesdžid (religious high school) on the location of the oldest Atik mosque, even though it is known to have been in existence before 1651. A further three mosques were built later: Džedid mosque, Hadžipaša's and Hadžidizdar's mosques. The latter was demolished after WW II. In 1850, Srpska Varoš was gradually established.

            Srpska Varoš is a stretch parallel with the course of the river Sava in the eastern part of the historical centre of Brčko. An Austrian geodetic plan of 1882 shows the layout of today's main streets and their connections to the quays on the river Sava. The streets laid in this part of the town surround a space around the Orthodox Church, in the churchyard of which the parish house is shown.  The survey confirms that some structures were built even before 1882. Those were mainly residential or office premises in the form of blocks with their frontispieces facing the main street and with their side walls facing side streets, thereby forming an interior office courtyard. There were entrances to this courtyard from two or all three wings of the building.

The establishment of Austro-Hungarian rule brought more rapid development to Brčko and the strong influence of the European life style and building techniques. Since the borders on the river Sava ceased to exist with the occupation, trade began to flourish, bringing prosperity to all spheres of life. A new concept of town layout can be seen on the land survey plan referred to, with orthogonally placed town streets replacing the spontaneously formed ensembles of the mahalas and čaršija.

            “The essential feature of Brčko as a town that has existed for many centuries is not the interconnection and parallel existence of historical strata in the ordinary way with tangible areas of overlapping, but rather the total overlapping, intermingling, erasing of old strata by new ones and rectification of layouts. It is impossible to discern any consistency in any of the present traces and historical trajectories in the city matrix. In spatial and functional terms, the town was oriented towards both rivers and developed around the river mouth from the very beginning. The evidence of the overlapping of the various layouts suggests that its physical continuity was constantly being broken, as the result of its specific geographical position. As a result of its  vulnerable position on the border and its important geostrategical location, Brčko acquired the features of an urban area rather late. (Hadžimuhamedović 1989).

            The Town Hall is situated in the architectural ensemble of the Town Hall and park. The boundaries of this ensemble extend along Braće Ćuskić street, alongside Konačko brdo, and end at the Posavina Hotel and the Town Hall building. These two buildings are the final structures in the town panorama. The Savska mosque (Atik mosque) (3) constituted a vertical accent in this structure. From the mosque, next to the hill, the composition of streets continued – the čaršija with its line of shops emphasizing the morphology of the terrain. The original layout of the town suggests that there was a row of shops between the mosque and the river, but in time, due to the regulation of the river Brka and the building of new roads, this area disappeared. The shops that survive to this day are ground-floor buildings of which the gabled roofs, with very small eaves or without eaves, but with roof cornices, slope down towards the street. The treatment of these office premises, their size, position with regard to the street and the way they form an interlinked group, is further evidence of the unity between the two different, and in many ways contrasting, cultures that meet in this region. The spatial layout and relation to function reflect an oriental style of trading – small-scale manufacturing. The architecture of the buildings, the distinctive appearance of the individual facades, the height of the office premises, roofs without eaves and quantity of ornaments and other mouldings on the facades reflect a European mindset and attitude towards the building. The picturesque composition of shops culminates in the voluminously luxurious and extensive buildings of the Palestina palace, the Posavina Hotel and the Town Hall – all these buildings represent an effort by their architects to adjust to European architectural trends. 

            The Palestina palace is a neo-Renaissance structure built on the lines of Renaissance palaces with an interior courtyard, shops, artisans’ and catering facilities on the ground floor and living quarters on the upper floor. The Posavina Hotel was built in 1891. Given its appearance, features and location within the town, it can be classified as a structure built in the pseudo-Moorish style (Hadžimuhamedović, 1989).

            The construction of the Vijećnica or Town Hall building in Brčko began in 1890. All works on the structure were completed by 1892. Its construction lasted 14 months and 18 days in all. The building was designed by Ćiril Metod Iveković, (4) who worked as an architect for the Territorial Government in Sarajevo from 1890. The fact that the building of the Town Hall in Brčko was entrusted to an official architect of the Territorial Government, the same architect who later designed the Town Hall in Sarajevo, confirms that the development of Brčko was high on the agenda of the authorities of the day. The completion of such a representative structure as a Town Hall in Brčko in 1892, before the building of the Town Hall even began in Sarajevo, and even more so the fact that it was designed by a renowned architect, is evidence of the strategic, political and commercial significance of Brčko in the new province of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. The architectural values of the building, its significance in the Brčko townscape and in the context of the architectural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and its stylistic characteristics, are what determine attitudes towards this structure as an architectural monument. (Hadžimuhamedović, 1989). 


2. Description of the property

            The Vijećnica building in Brčko is one of the most valuable edifices in the pseudo-Moorish manner(5) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The entire composition of the building is composed on the principle of strict symmetry with a central, pronounced projection and two angular projections. Thus, in addition to the horizontal division, there is a division of the front façade along the vertical axis. The designer of the Town Hall, Ćiril Iveković, used this principle to suggest the segmentation of forms of more complex Ottoman Turkish architecture, which is even more marked on the structure of the Travnik medrese (Kurto, 127).

            The ground plan of the building is a regular rectangle measuring 37,50 x 14,45 m. The lateral projections measure 5,00 x 5,00 m, and the central projection is 11,20 m in width. The central projection extends forwards from the wall plane by 1.20 m, and the lateral projections by 45 cm. The central projection is divided vertically into three equal zones, with the  windows set in the axes, identical to those of the lateral projections.  The lateral projections terminate in a horseshoe-shaped dome.

            The Town Hall building consists of a basement, ground floor and upper floor. 

            The basement originally housed a wood store, butler’s pantry and storage space for lamps and paraffin oil(6).  The outside doors to the basement premises to the north, from the office courtyard, with access from the interior the central stairway.  In the middle of the floor is a 1.65 m wide corridor running east-west.  The basement rooms have brick-built barrel vault ceilingss. The structural walls in the basement vary in thickness from 0.90 m in the central part to 0.70 m in other parts of the building. Outside lighting and ventilation is provided by a large number of windows, several of which (ten) face north, with fewer (eight) facing south.  The basement has one window each to the east and west. Because of the sloping site, the basement level to the north is at ground level.

            The ground floor of the building is approximately 2.5 m above ground level as measured on the south.   The difference in height over a comparatively short distance is achieved by two flights of steps, the first outside the building and the other immediately inside the entrance door.

            The main double-flight staircase with landing is situated in the central part of the building and faces the courtyard (north). The overall width of the flights is 4.0 m. The staircase is lit from the outside by a triforium window at first floor level. The staircase is of stone, and the stair rail of wrought iron with wooden handholds.

            Access to the lateral wings of the building and other rooms is from the central corridor which, like the basement corridor, runs east-west.  Since the load-bearing walls are rather les thick here, the central corridor is 1.90 m in width. Every room in the Town Hall is entered from the central corridor. Some of the rooms are also interconnected. The main rooms of the structure face south, while the ancillary premises, including the kitchen, staircase, toilet block facilities and archives, face north.

            The first floor of the Town Hall is of similar layout as the ground floor. The central area is a conference hall, which measures 9.70 X 6.80 m. The walls and ceiling are richly decorated with floral designs, the ceiling painted and the walls papered.  The wall surface is divided by four pilasters on each side, set on tall plinths and terminating in a simple capital abutting onto the moulded horizontal string course of the hall.  The floor of the hall is wooden parquet.

            The entire Town Hall building is made of bricks of Austrian format and later plastered with lime cement mortar. The lower parts of the ground floor, in direct contact with the ground, are stone-built (to a height of 45cm), while the remaining surfaces are plastered. The thickness of the walls varies: that of the outside walls of the central projection is 0.75 m, while and that of the side projections is 0.60m. Partition walls are usually from 0.30 to 0.45 m thick. All mouldings are executed in fine cement mortar, later finished with moulded sheet metal and wooden rails.

             The south  façade of the building of of particular value, with its strongly pronounced horizontal expression, underlined by an even sequence of windows, and strongly emphasized floor cornices and its treatment in imitation of alternating layers of stone and brick. As the main accent of the south façade, the arched main doorway is set in the central axis, and surrounded with a pair of columns and two pairs of columnar pilasters set on a tall stepped plinth set back into the wall.The columns and pilasters terminate in richly decorated capitals on which two consoles rest, thus additionally emphasising the main entrance to the building. This composition terminates at the first-floor string course with two fragments in the form of stone balls on stands. The width of the entrance doorway is 2.70 m. There are another two doorways on the south of the building, terminating in horseshoe arches. These doorways are not emphasized in the same way as the main entrance. They are 1.60 m in width.

            The ground floor windows of the Town Hall terminate in horseshoe arches with segments painted in alternating colours. The lower  parapet zones are decorated with geometric motifs with a circular medallion in the centre of the composition.

             The building has a horizontal string course dividing the façade into an upper and lower zone. The only part of this string course that is decorated is above the main doorway. The same decoration was used on the terminal roof cornice of the building.  

            The upper zone or first floor of the building gives the appearance of greater lightness than the ground floor. The façade has a row of bifora windows with rosettes.  This is particularly visible on the central projection, where the main conference hall of the Town Hall is located. The geometric ornament of the rosette is common in the Islamic architecture of Northern Africa and Southern Spain . The rosettes on the lateral projections are blind, whereas those of the central projection are open and glazed with multicoloured glass through which light enters the building.

             While the lower and upper windows are different on the south façade, this distinction is lost on the other façades. On both the first floor and the ground floor of the building there are windows terminating in pointed arches.  The decoration on the parapet sections of the ground floor façade consists of round medallions, while the first floor decoration consists of rhombs. On the northern side of the central projection, in addition to the trifora lighting the staircase, there are three rectangular windows lighting the attic.

            The Town Hall building terminates in a wide cornice above which is a markedly projecting roof with arch-shaped domes at the corners. At some earlier times town clocks were mounted on the wide cornice of the corner projections (Božić, 1988). The cornices of the projection differ from those of the rest of the building, being divided into two sections horizontally, the lower composed of an endless sequence of floral ornaments (in this case stylised fleur de lis), while the upper consists of s series of corbels that appear to support the markedly projecting eaves of the building.

            All these decorative elements – the arch-shaped domes above the lateral projections, the horseshoe-shaped arches above the windows, and the endless relief ornaments below the roof cornice – are recognizable elements of the entirety of expression of buildings in the pseudo-Moorish manner in the historicist period in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For the most part they were adopted according to the affinity of individual architects with different stages in the development of Islamic art and its regional centres. Since the architects of European school were most familiar with North African and Spanish Moorish architecture, these elements are the most commonly represented (Kurto, p.36).

            The roof of the Town Hall is clad in galvanized iron. Chimneys with specially decorated chimney tops are visible on the roof.

            In the course of the investigative procedure prior to the adoption of a decision to designate the property as a national monument, based on probes on the south and east façades, it was ascertained that some parts of the façade were terracotta in colour.

            The Town Hall in Brčko is an outstanding example of the interpolation of a monumental structure of Austro-Hungarian architecture that has not resulted in disharmony, disproportion and defiance of the laws of the existing fabric.  The open space in the front of the Town Hall and the Hotel have become an inseparable part of the townscape. (Hadžimuhamedović, 1989).


3. Legal status to date

            The Town Hall (Vijećnica) in Brčko is on the Provisional List of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments under serial no. 129.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

            No conservation and restoration works have been carried out on the building other than technical maintenance works.

            In the 1980s roofing works and works on the facades were carried out.  On that occasion paint was used that did not match the authentic paint (composition of the paint) in colour and other characteristics.


5. Present condition of the property

             On 10. 11. 2003. a survey of the condition of the endangered monument of the Town Hall in Brčko was carried out.

            The following was established on site:

  1. The exterior façades are badly damaged by adverse weather conditions and lack of maintenance, and by the absence of proper guttering to drain rainfall from the roof.
  2. The damage is most serious to the north of the building, where entire areas of plaster and coats of paint have become detached right down to the underlying brick.
  3. Water retention and subsequent freezing in the mortar has caused damage to the mortar in the joints between the brick, causing pieces of brick and mortar to to fall away.
  4. Several windows have been smashed and have been temporarily sealed with PVC sheeting, but this too is rotting and no longer provides any protection.
  5. To the north, near the entrance to the basement, is an unlocked door where rubbish is being dumped.
  6. The condition of the roof is not known, but according to staff in the library, the roof is damaged and water penetrates through the holes in the galvanized iron cladding into the inside of the building.
  7. Inside the building, in one of the library rooms on the first floor, the floor joists have collapsed and the entire floor has fallen through to the ground floor.
  8. There is visible damage caused by damp in the interior, particularly noticeable on the ceilings and upper reaches of the walls.
  9. There is also visible damage to the lower parapet zones caused by water from the sills splashing against the walls of the building; inadequate protection has meant that this water has penetrated through into the inside of the building.
  10. The entire system of water and drainage pipes, electric wiring and heating is in poor condition, and the high damp levels in the walls mean that there is a serious risk of the building catching fire.


            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

D. Clarity

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.i.  Relation to other elements of the site

F.ii. meaning in the townscape


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-         Copy of cadastral plan

-         Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-         Photodocumentation;

-         Drawings



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


1971.    Dr. Marković, Jovan, Brčko – najveći grad Bosanske Posavine, Gradovi Jugoslavije (Brčko, the largest town in the Bosnian Sava Valley], Towns of Jugoslavia), Institute for the Publication of Textbooks of SR Srbije, Belgrade 1971, pp. 175 – 178.


1983.    Blago na putevima Jugoslavije” (Treasures on the roads of Yugoslavia), Encyclopaediac tourist guidebook, Jugoslavija Publishing Belgrade, 1983, p. 274.


1983.    Decision to implement the town plan of Brčko Municipality, Official Gazette of Brčko  Municipality, Brčko, 1983.


1985.    Regional Plan for Brčko Municipality, state of regional planning, cultural, historical and natural heritage, Institute of Architecture, Town Planning and Regional Planning of the Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo, Sarajevo, 1985,


1987.    Decision to implement the town plan of Brčko Municipality, Official Gazette of Brčko  Municipality, Brčko 1987.


1988.    Božić, Jela, Arhitect Ćiril Iveković, Third Programme – Radio Sarajevo, no. 60/1988, year XVI, April to September 1988


1989.    Hadžimuhamedović, Amra, “Struktura historijske gradske jezgre Brčkog” (Structure of the historic urban centre of Brčko), seminar paper, post-graduate study Development of Architecture and Settlement at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, May 1989


1998.    Kurto, Nedžad, Pseudomaurski slog, Arhitektura Bosne i Hercegovine – Razvoj bosanskog stila (The pseudo-Moorish style, Architecture of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Development of the Bosnian style) Sarajevo 1998,


1999.   Study by the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Republika Srpska to designate properties as national monuments of BiH – townscape ensemble of Srpska Varoš – Brčko




(1) The description of the settlement related to the ferry on the river Sava and inhabitants of the settlements, who were mainly ferrymen.

(2) This probably concerns a fortification made of logs and strong stakes with wickerwork, banked up with soil on the outer side.  There was invariably a moat (hendek) around such fortifications.

(3) A mosque was built in this place even before 1651 and, in line with the established rules of the origins of the cities of Islam, it was the focus of the first nucleus of Brčko as a city. According to data provided by Hamdija Kreševljaković in his research into the history of Brčko, the mosque was not the only element of urban functions in the newly established settlement. By 1716, two public baths had been built opposite the mosque, on the left bank of the river Brka, with a tower nearby. The very existence of two public baths points to the significance of the urban structure even though there are no historical data related to the size of the town and its inhabitants.  At that time only Banja Luka, Mostar and Foča had two public baths each. It is thus rather surprising that such an advanced urban structure should have been so ravaged that its surviving fragments have no meaning in the overall picture of the town. The Atik mosque was altered over the centuries (on the last occasion in 1987, when it was restored) and gradually lost the features of its stylistic affiliation. The mosque was totally demolished during the recent war in Bosnia and Herzegovian (1992-1995) (Hadžimuhamedović).

(4)  Ćiril Metod Iveković was born in Klanjec (Croatia) where he attended primary school. He attended grammar school in Varaždin and Zagreb, and vocational high school  in Vienna. As an associate of architect Bolle, he was in charge of stone dressing during the restoration of the cathedral in Zagreb. From 1885 to 1889 he studied at the Art Academy in Vienna and worked for architects Fellnera and Helmer. In 1889/90 he drafted detailed blueprints at prof. Hassenauer’s for the forefront of the courtyard of the Tsar’s court and for the staircase hall of the Historical Museum in Vienna. From 1890 to 1896 he worked for the Government in Sarajevo. During that period he designed a large number of buildings amongst which the most prominent are the Pensionfondsgebaude building in Sarajevo, 1890; the Customs House, which was demolished between the two World wars, 1891; the design of the park at Ilidža, 1892; the design of the Town Hall in Brčko, 1892; the Town Hall in Sarajevo, 1893; the restoration of Ali-pasha’s mosque in Sarajevo, 1894; the Medrese in Travnik, 1895. In 1896  he worked on the cathedral in Kotor, and the restoration of the church of St. Stošije and St. Kerševan in Zadar. His scientific works earned him election as an associate member of the Central Commission for the Preservation of Monuments of the Archaeological Institute in Vienna.  He was engaged in archaeological work and excavations in Assery, Monte Negro, Bribir and Čitluk. He died in Zagreb in 1933.

(5) The first and wholly original, consistent architectural expression in Bosnia and Herzegovina was the so-called Bosnian style, formulated in the early years of the 20th century. This eclectic architecture is in a sense original by comparison with the central European style in the evolution of yet another quasi-style adapted to time and place – the pseudo-Moorish.  This essentially eclectic method aimed at a generalized expression of the oriental architectural tradition, a feature that may be explained as the product of the encounter of two cultures.  The pseudo-Moorish style, as a specific form of the electic method, emerged just a few years after the occupation, and is expressed in a literal transposition of familiar features of Islamic art and architectural, with this attitude to history established at the purely decorative level. (Kurto, Prilozi 28 (1999) pp.115-127).

(6)  Before the building was wired for electricity, oil lamps were used as lighting.

Town Hall in BrčkoTown Hall, photo from 1999 and 2003South facadeNorth facade
East and west facadeTown Hall, interiorTown Hall, detail-doorTown Hall, Details- bifore and rosette above the bifore

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