Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Kozija ćuprija («Goat Bridge»), the historic monument

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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 30 August to 5 September 2004 the Commission adopted a






The historic monument known as Kozija ćuprija («Goat Bridge») in Sarajevo is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot nos. 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 903, 943 and 944 (new survey), cadastral municipality Vasin Han, corresponding to part of c.p. no. 2808/2 (old survey), c.m. Hreša , Municipality Stari Grad - Sarajevo, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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 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 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 i para. 2 of this Decision:

  • all works are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, including those designed to present the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
  • all motor vehicle traffic over the bridge is prohibited,
  • the exploitation of natural resources is prohibited;
  • all operations that could have an adverse effect on the protected area (air pollution, noise, vibrations) are prohibited;
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited.




            All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.




Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the protection thereof.



            The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning, the Federation heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II to V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba) 




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




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. 527.




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.



1 September 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 Kozija ćuprija (Goat Bridge) in Sarajevo to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 527.

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.
  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (Municipality Stari Grad Sarajevo: copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry)
  • 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 historic monument of the Kozja ćuprija or Goat Bridge is some 3 km east of Sarajevo, upstream of the river Miljacka, on the old caravan route from Sarajevo to Istanbul, known as the Imperial City road or Stambol road. The road began at the  Šeherćehaja bridge, ran along the left bank of the river Miljacka via Alifakovac, and crossed to the right bank of the river over Kozija ćuprija, linking the whole of Bosnia with the Sandžak, Serbia, Macedonia, Istanbul and the entire Orient via Sarajevo, Prača and Goražde. From the 15th to the 19th century it was the main arterial road.

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot nos. 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 903, 943 and 944 (new survey), cadastral municipality Vasin Han, corresponding to part of c.p. no. 2808/2 (old survey), c.m. Hreša , Municipality Stari Grad - Sarajevo, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Historical information

Thanks to its geographical location and natural surroundings, the Miljacka valley has been the communications axis of the entire region since ancient times, its own course and that of the river Prača constituting the shortest east-west route. The route was introduced by Illyrian tribes, the Desidiati, who settled the area at the end of the Bronze Age, and was certainly used by the Romans in establishing the busy route linking Narona (present-day Metković) with the Drina and Danube valleys. Later, in the mediaeval period, it was along this route that the historic Bosnian road, known in the local language as Bosanska džada, ran from central Europe, through Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia all the way to Istanbul, making Vrhbosna the centre of both local and foreign trade (foreign meaning Dubrovnik, in this case). At this point the road had two branches. The first ran along the right bank of the river Miljacka, forming a link via Kozija ćuprija, Prača, Goražde and Novi Pazar with the Porte, and the second ran from Sarajevo via Vratnik and Mokro to the Drina at Višegrad, whence it too led to Istanbul.

From the mid 15th century on, following the Ottoman incursions and occupation, Sarajevo underwent rapid development to become one of the major cities of this region of the Ottoman Empire. The increasing importance of the Istanbul road soon led to the construction of a large number of bridges. Nowhere where so many bridges built over watercourses in such a short section of route as in Sarajevo. In the Ottoman period a total of 13 bridges were built, five of which were of stone (Čelić, Mujezinović, pp. 85,86).

There is little historical information relating to the origins of the Kozija ćuprija bridge. An indirect reference to the bridge can be found in Katarina Zeno's 1550 travelogue. Zeno travelled east from Sarajevo along the river Miljacka and over the surrounding hills to Pale. Although he gives no specific details of the bridge, it may be deduced from, his account that this road ran over a structure spanning the river, even though he does not say what kind of structure this was. The fact is, however, that the road was already a very important one at this time, linking two fortresses, the Sarajevo and the Hodidjedu forts.

There are numerous folk traditions concerning the date of origin and the significance of the name of every building or structure forming part of the architectural heritage, and this bridge is no exception(1).

Based on a record dating from 1682, Alija Bejtić associates the date of origin and name of the bridge with the Jarčedoli settlement, which he dates to the 17th century, seeing the name as deriving from the noun jarac or jarčevi, billy-goat, which the inhabitants of the village would no doubt have kept. It is below this village, on the Miljacka, that the Kozija ćuprija bridge is located, and it is of interest that the name of both the village and the bridge derive from the same animal(2). One folk tradition relates that the bridge was built by the Romans (Čelić, Mujezinović, p. 87)(3). However, Robert Michel may be cited in rebuttal of this claim; in his view beliefs of this kind are superficial and usually propagated by ordinary travellers who were reluctant to attribute monumental structures of this kind to the Ottomans (Čelić, Mujezinović, p. 87).

There are also claims that Kozija ćuprija bridge was built by Mehmed-paša Sokolović. This claim would not be particularly convincing were it not for another piece of indirect evidence suggesting this possibility. The evidence in question is the text of an inscription carved in stone from a building (kiosk) that stood very close to the bridge, which was probably built when the bridge itself was being completed, as a substitute for the sofa that was a common feature of the central pier of multi-arched bridges (such as the Višegrad bridge). The inscription gives the year when it was set up as 1577-78, which is the same as the later of the inscriptions on the Višegrad bridge. A transcript of the inscription has been preserved by Kadić (Zbornik II, 298):

This handsome kiosk has been built,

Whoever sees it thinks it heaven itself.

A dervish composed this chronostich for it:

A meeting-place for those in love, a beautiful place.

Year 985 AH [1577/78]

Kadić says that the inscription was transcribed from a manuscript in the National Museum. H. Kreševljaković claims that the inscription was composed by Selam-zade Saraji.

Reliable historical data on Kozija ćuprija originate, for the most part, from the 18th and 19th centuries and largely relate to repairs to the bridge or to certain works carried out in its environs. In 1771 Mula Mustafa Bašeskija recorded that a stone wall running from Kozije ćuprija all the way to Alifakovac was built using funds from the endowment of Hajji Osman Hadžibektašević. As far as is known, this is the oldest documentary reference to Kozija ćuprija, although it does not refer directly to the bridge itself.

The earliest information concerning repairs to the bridge are to be found in a taksit (tax assessment for the Vizier’s court) relating to the villages of the Sarajevo kadiluk during the time of the Vizier of Bosnia Husamudin pasha dating from 1 Rabi’ al-Awwal 1209 AH (26 October 1794). Interestingly, a full four years later a temporary wooden bridge was built by the Kozija ćuprija. There are no exact details of where this bridge stood, nor are there any signs of it to be seen on the ground. There is, however, a record of the construction of this wooden bridge in a sidžil (Tur. sicil, court record), in which the materials required to build it were listed on 6 Dhu-l Qa’dah 1213 AH (11 April 1799). When the bridge was dismantled is not known, but it was clearly erected to enable traffic to flow normally while works were being carried out on Kozija ćuprija, which was probably in an advanced state of disrepair. Works on the stone bridge were carried out at the same time. In 1214 AH (1799) the arch of the Kozija ćuprija was rebuilt. However, this reconstructed section of the bridge collapsed unexpectedly, probably when the scaffolding was removed.

Another document, dating from 1 Rajab 1254 AH (20 September 1838), refers to repairs to the road to Kozija ćuprija and to the dilapidated wall of the burial ground in Alifakovac.This is a list of the outgoings paid from a third of the estate of the late Hajji Mustafa-aga Begić of Kučuk-Katibova mahala (Mlini), as stipulated in his last will and testament.

The latest details of repairs to the bridge during the Ottoman period date from 1866. A report on the repairs was published by the Sarajevo newspaper Bosna.(4) The repairs were completed when the new road from Sarajevo to Pale was laid. The spandrel walls were built onto on the right bank, raising the height of the roadway of the bridge so as to adjust the approaches to the bridge with the newly-laid road. The works were carried out between 1880 and 1888.

As well as being a mere bridge, Kozija ćuprija was used for welcome and departure ceremonies for Bosnia’s viziers and hajjis. The earliest record describing such an event is in Bašeskija’s Chronicle, dating from 1799(5). There was a place called Hadžijska ravan (Hajji’s ground), very close to the bridge, deriving its name from such gatherings. According to old inhabitants of Sarajevo, this ground was on the right bank of the river Miljacka(6). There were several such sites in the city itself, and the same custom, and the same toponyms, are to be found throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina (the ground by the old mosque in Bužim, for instance). To serve the needs of a large crowd, a small building was erected beside the bridge, which some authorities refer to as a kiosk; this was later demolished, and during the Austro-Hungarian period a cafe was built on the same site. Further details of the departure or welcome ceremonies for Bosnian governors or hajjis are given by old Jovo Hajji N. Besarović in an article entitled ”Iz prošlosti sarajevske i bosanske” (From Sarajevo’s and Bosnia’s past) in which he described in minute detail the ceremonials of welcome and departure in which the Sarajevo esnafs (crafts guilds) and other inhabitants took part. The last imperial vizier to be welcomed in this way on this site was Hafiz paša, at the very end of Ottoman rule (Hadžijahić, 1935-36, p. 17).


2. Description of the property


Better-quality, more durable bridges were erected on all the major trade routes of the day serving the wider region. At first, bridges were usually timber-built (the bridge on the Prača), but by the 16th century there were already a certain number of stone-built bridges.The tradition of building wooden bridges continued in this part of the world, however, because they were both easier to build and cheaper(7). 

As a building material, the nature of stone and its capacity to be cut or otherwise shaped are ideally suited to stereotomic forms. The basic stereotomic form common to all bridge-building the world over is the arch – a single arch spanning a river from bank to bank, or a series of arches linking the banks in a specific rhythm(8).

When erecting a bridge, the lie of the land and width of the river have a considerable influence on the choice of the site where the bridge is to be built, and play a very important part in determining its form. Wider, navigable rivers were at first crossed by ferries (Bosna, Drina, Vrbas), whereas narrower ones, particularly those with steep banks and fluctuating water flow, were bridged (Miljacka, Žepa, Prača, Bistrica).

At the point where the Kozija ćuprija bridge was erected, the Miljacka is not wide, nor are its banks low – rather, the river has cut a deep channel in the rocks. The chosen site was the most suitable in the entire area for a bridge.Two rocky massifs, approximately of the same height, extend to about 17.5 m. from the banks. The narrow span and the considerable height of the Istanbul road at this point dictated the use of a single-arched bridge, similar to that at the mouth of the Žepa or the bridge in Mostar.

The Kozija ćuprija is a single-arched stone bridge giving an impression of unity between all its architectural details – the arch and the two relieving apertures. The large, roughly semicircular arch over the riverbed, and the two proportionately large circular apertures in the spandrel walls, the carefully-worked white Sarajevo limestone with the visual effect of the curves of the apertures emphasized by material of contrasting colour, create a structure that is as much an interplay as a composition of abstract geometric forms in the non-geometric diversity of the natural surroundings – these are the first impressions of everyone who unexpectedly comes upon this both daring and charming creation (Čelić, Mujezinović, p. 88).

The abutments of the bridge on either bank rest on bedrock, which has been cut to accommodate the masonry structure. On the right bank, the abutment of the bridge is set between two rocks. Since the distance between them is somewhat greater than the width of the roadway over the bridge, an adjustment has been made to the abutment by means of an extension at an angle of 45° to the transverse line of the bridge. This wing wall consists in height of seven courses of stone blocks, a total of some 2.16 m.  The continuation of the adjustment of the bridge structure to the terrain on the right bank is stepped. The structure of the bridge on the right bank is joined by a retaining wall perpendicular to the bridge structure.

The span of the arch is 17.60 m, meaning that its width is approximately the same as that of the wider arches of the Višegrad and Arslanagić bridges. In shape, the Kozija ćuprija bridge is similar to the Mostar and Livno bridges and to the bridge in Klepci near Čapljina. The barrel begins some two metres above the normal water level of the Miljacka, so that the distance from waterlevel to the intrados is about ten metres. The point where the barrel meets the abutments is not particularly emphasized by a string course, as is usual on bridges; rather, the structure rests directly on bedrock, visible on the left bank but underwater on the right bank, where seven courses of vertical stone blocks constitute the masonry abutment for the upper section. Although the left abutment rests on ground that is not compact, there are no wing walls here. On the left bank, the entire structure rests on solid rock.

The lower part of the barrel of the bridge is of limestone, and the upper of tufa (typical of all Sarajevo’s bridges). The spandrel arches are set back from the spandrel wall surface, thereby visually underlining this structural element. The two circular relieving apertures, which are specific in shape, and structurally provide the required relief from load, are set in the mass of the spandrel walls on both sides of the barrel and have a span of 3.01 and 3.15 m. These are set in the facades of the bridge somewhat asymmetrically to the barrel and terminal string course. The frames surrounding these apertures, like that of the barrel itself, are of tufa over their entire depth, and are set back by some 3-4 cm from the surface of the spandrel walls, thereby visually emphasizing the openings, similar to the way the barrel itself is emphasized. The spandrel walls of this bridge are entirely of regular-cut Sarajevo limestone. This has resulted in a visually effective decorative use of material, with the white wall surfaces still more strongly contrasting with the ochre-coloured tufa of the arch(9). The roadway of the bridge is marked by a string course and parapet of white limestone, which has survived to this day, unlike the parapet of Sarajevo’s other bridges, where this type of stone parapet has been replaced by wrought iron parapets(10). On the left bank, the roadway over the bridge was made less steep during the Austro-Hungarian period by a very noticeable jamb wall, which was removed during conservation and restoration works in 1956. It was then, too, that the parapet and string course of the bridge were restored to their original condition.

The average width of the bridge is about 4.75 m, with considerable variations (4.71 to 4.79 m), particularly on the section close to the left bank. The roadway was cobbled, and the cobbles were restored during the 1956 works. The width of the bridge and roadway is a whole aršin (0.712 m) wider than the Mostar bridge. This is evidence of the quantity of traffic along the road running over the bridge, as a factor of crucial significance in determining the width of the bridge. The length of the bridge, from the end of the parapet on the left bank to the end of the parapet on the right bank, measured in a straight line, is 42.18 m. However, the actual length of the bridge between these two points as measured along the roadway is 49.00 m.

The principal material used to build the bridge is white limestone. There are large quantities of this stone in the entire surroundings of Sarajevo, particularly to the east of the city, in the area of Hreša village. Since this stone was quarried in several places in this village, it is not easy to say exactly which quarry was used for this bridge. Blocks of red Han-Bulozi limestone (named for the eponymous village)(11) are also visible on the bridge, particularly the newly-cut blocks laid on the sections of the parapet that were destroyed earlier.

Tufa was used for the entire structure of many bridges built during the Ottoman period. The tufa used for building purposes in Sarajevo and environs was usually brought in from Pale. Almost all the surviving stone bridges in Sarajevo are built of tufa.

As regards the use of building material, a particular feature of this bridge is that there is only limited use of tufa, restricted to the most important structural components, the main barrel and relieving apertures.  Whereas the entire structure of the circular relieving apertures is of tufa, on the main barrel tufa does not extend over the entire length but only from the thirteenth course of hard stone on the left bank and from the fourteenth on the right bank. Limestone replaced tufa at the highest point of the barrel where it is at its thinnest, consisting of three courses over the entire length. It is difficult to say why the craftsman used a different stone for the arches, thereby achieving a striking diversity of materials, although the appearance is harmonious and almost decorative. When erecting the bridge the builder took into consideration the mechanical impact of the water, and thus used softer stone only in the upper parts of the bridge. Damage could also be caused not only by the force of the water but also by timber carried downstream(12). As a result, a harder stone was used for the top of the barrel for the sake of greater stability and better resistance to horizontal pressure forces. To make the structure as homogeneous as possible and able to resist not only vertical thrust but also possible horizontal pressure, which the stone alone would be insufficient to resist, a system of joining the blocks with iron cramps set in molten lead was used.

The stone used to build the bridge was cut into rectangular blocks of various sizes, ranging from 1.25 x 0.70 to 0.35 x 0.15 m. The blocks have somewhat more carefully worked edges along bands about 3 cm wide. They are laid in straight-line horizontal courses, with very thin, almost imperceptible pointing.

The manner in which the stone is worked shows that it was cut by skilled craftsmen. No evidence has yet been discovered to indicate where they were from, but by analogy with stone buildings in many parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and based on the undoubted quality of craftsmanship used in the building of this bridge, it is highly likely that they were builders from Dalmatia or regions close to the Adriatic coast. These regular-cut limestone blocks were used for the greater part of the masonry of the structure to above the relieving apertures.

The wing walls of the bridge are now of stone of different workmanship. The type of stone is the same, but the blocks used are of varying size and poorer workmanship. These later replacements are particularly striking on the upstream side of the left bank. Here, not only is the workmanship of the stone of poorer quality, but the way the blocks are laid is different, with the absence of courses forming joints, and even an admixture of other building materials. It may be deduced from this that there are no traces of earlier repairs to the bridge, known only from historical documents, on the main structure but only on the wing walls (19th century repairs).

This bridge stands out from others in its visual architectural diversity, finding expression in formal interplay and the colour contrasts of different materials. The bridge is the only Ottoman-period bridge over the Miljacka to survive intact (Čelić, Mujezinović, pp. 94-96).


3. Legal status to date


By Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities Sarajevo no. 685/50 dated 10 June 1950, the structure was placed under state protection.

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 02-624-3 dated 18 April 1962, the structure was entered in the register of immovable cultural monuments under serial no. 177.

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 listed the Kozija ćuprija bridge as no. 16 as a Category I structure. 

            The Commission adopted a decision to include the Kozija ćuprija bridge in Sarajevo on the Provisional List of National Monuments, under serial no. 527.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works


Ottoman period

1209 AH (1794)

Among outgoings referred to is expenditure on repairs to the bridge:

  • for stone-cutting
  • for timber and iron, and

To judge from the entries in the said document and the types of material used, together with the fact that timber scaffolding must have been used for the repairs, they were probably necessitated by major damage to the barrel of the bridge resulting from one of the occasions when the river Miljacka was in flood(13).


  • the barrel of the bridge was rebuilt

According to documentary evidence, once the scaffolding was removed the barrel collapsed as a result of poor workmanship.    .          

Austro-Hungarian period

Between 1880 and 1888 the following works were carried out:

A limestone superstructure was built up on the spandrel walls on the right side of the bridge, raising the level of the roadway to suit that of the newly-made road, particularly to the right of the bridge. This was achieved by raising the wall on both spandrels of the right wing of the bridge. A large quantity of soil was dumped over the entire width of the roadway between these raised sections of the spandrel walls, making the slope more gradual and the roadway approximately the same level on both sides. These changes to the original appearance of the bridge were very obvious. The line between the old part of the bridge and the built-on sections of the spandrel walls was visible, and emphasized by the different workmanship of the stone. These alterations were made using the same type of limestone, with lime mortar to which a small quantity of cement was added.

Post World War II period


            The very poor condition of the structure, the result of many years' lack of maintenance, was the reason for numerous studies and inspections on the basis of which an Action Plan was drawn up covering the works needed to protect the bridge.

            The plan covered the following measures:

1. protection of the bridge structure from further water penetration and retention. This was to be achieved by installing the prescribed, cost-effective insulation in the barrel of the bridge;

2. conservation of the barrel by injection from both sides;

3. demolition of the later addition of a jamb wall on the right bank, so as to restore the original appearance, which would simultaneously deal with the problem of how to ensure better, safer maintenance;

4. levelling the approach road from the right hand side of the bridge to the main road;

5. installing drainage channels;

6. making good the facades;

7. setting stone blocks in the parapet where it was damaged.


The following works were carried out:

1. cleaning the joints and thoroughly soaking the stone to ensure maximum adhesion for the mortar and sufficient moisture while the cement was setting;

2. injection of cement mortar into the joints and cracks over the entire surface of the intrados symmetrically from the highest point of the bridge towards the ends over its entire width. The removal of the iron cramps that had been envisaged was not carried out; the injection was carried out across them;

3. the replacement of seven tufa stone blocks in the barrel of the bridge that were in poor condition;

4. repairs to the arches of the relieving apertures, with the replacement of tufa blocks and injecting the structure;

5. the removal of the soil on the upper surface of the bridge to reveal the original cobbles and original roadway of the bridge;

6. the demolition of the wing walls of the bridge that had been added during the Austro-Hungarian period, with the dismantling of the parapet and string courses in order to replace them later;

7. the restoration of the string course to its original position prior to the intervention;

8. the removal of the old cobbles discovered beneath the layers of soil in order to make good the upper part of the barrel;

9. the dismantling of the upper main structure consisting of stone slabs joined by iron cramps. The mortar on the upper side was in good condition, as a result of which the joints here were not injected;

10. the installation of waterproofing on the upper surface of the bridge – a coat of glaze soaked in resitol followed by bitumenized strips;

11. filling in damage with a compound of stone dust, ordinary cement and white paint;

12. re-laying the old cobbles on a prepared base;

13. coating the cobbles with a bitumen compound;

14. replacing the bridge parapet, including the reconstruction of missing sections, using traditional methods with iron cramps and lead, but without lateral joints between the individual pieces;

15. cleaning the bridge with steel brushes;

16. pointing;

17. making pebble-lined gutters;

18. making good the surroundings of the bridge.

These works were carried out by the building firm Hiseta of Sarajevo, the stone masonry was carried out by masons from Imotski, and the works were supervised by the architect Alija Bejtić.


In 2000 a study was made of the damage to the bridge, during which it was discovered that in addition to the stone being dirty, the stone parapet of the bridge had tilted from the vertical on the south-eastern side of the bridge.

The following works were carried out:

1. the bridge was mechanically cleaned using water under high pressure;

2. the removal of salt residues by using an appropriate revetment and water under high pressure;

3. fungicidal and anti-bacteriological treatment;

4. protection of cut surfaces using appropriate chemical preparations;

5. the dismantling and subsequent replacement of the sections of the parapet that were out of true;

6. clearing the site of self-sown vegetation.

This was carried out by the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Sarajevo.


1. the site was cleared;

2. the structure has been floodlit

            This was carried out by the Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Sarajevo and Stari Grad Sarajevo municipality.


5. Current condition of the property


Following the completion of conservation and restoration works, the historic monument is in good condition.  It is noticeable that although motor vehicle traffic over the bridge is prohibited, vehicles are using it.




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

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A.  Time frame

B.  Historical value

C.  Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i. quality of workmanship

C.ii. quality of materials

C.iii. proportions

C.iv. composition

C. v. value of details

C.vi. value of construction

D. Clarity

D.ii. evidence of historical change

D.iii. work of a major artist or builder

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

E. Symbolic value

E.iii. traditional value

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

G. Authenticity

G.v. location and setting

H. Rarity and representativity

I. Completeness

I.i. physical coherence

I.ii. homogeneity

I.iii. completeness


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan;

-     Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-     Photodocumentation;

-     Technical documentation.




During the procedure to designate the Kozija ćuprija (Goat Bridge) as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1882.    Matković, P., ”Dva italijanska putopisa po balkanskom poluotoku iz XVI stoljeća” (Two Italian travelogues of the Balkan peninsula in the 16th century), Starine X, p. 206,


1866.    ”Bosna” no. 14 of 15 and 27 August 1866, p. 1


1886.    Bosanska vila, Vol. I. 1886. pp. 120-121


1873.    Studien uber Bosnien, die Hercegovina und die bosnishe Bahnen. Mitgetheit von Geiger und Lebret, Wien 1873.l


1911.    Turina, ing. Ivan. ”Novo nalazište Ham-Buloškog vapnenca kod Sarajeva” (New site of  Han-Bulozi limestone near Sarajevo), Jnl of the National Museum XXIII, 1911, pp. 225-252.


1918.    Bašeskija, Mula Mustafa, Jnl of the National Museum, 1918, p. 14.


1934.  Gujić, Kasim, ”Najljepši turski mostovi u BiH” (Finest Turkish bridges in BiH), Gajret Calendar 1934, Sarajevo,


1935.    Hadžijahić, Muhamed, ”Kozija ćuprija u prošlosti” (Goat Bridge in the past), Novi behar, IX, 1935-36, p. 17


1935.    Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Vodovodi i gradnje na vodi u starom Sarajevu (Water pipes and building on water in old Sarajevo), p. 208.


Kemura Sejfudin, Sarajevske džamije i druge javne zgrade turske dobe (Sarajevo’s mosques and other public buildings of the Turkish era), p. 73.


1951.    Mujezinović, Mehmed, ”Turski natpisi u Sarajevu iz XVI stoljeća” (16th century Turkish inscriptions in Sarajevo), Contributions to oriental philology and the history of the south Slav peoples under Turkish rule, vol. II/1951, pp. 110-111.


1957.   Ayverdi, Ekrem, Hakki, Yugoslavia da Turk Abidelari ve vakiflari, Ankara 1957.


1958.  Kraljević, Ljiljana, ”Kozija ćuprija na Miljacki” (Goat Bridge on the Miljacka), Naše starina V, 1958, pp. 13-30


1961.    Gojković, Milan, Katanić, Nadežda, Građa za proučavanje starih mostova i akvadukata u Srbiji, Makedoniji, Crnoj Gori (Materials for the study of old bridges and aqueducts in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro), Belgrade 1961.


1966.   Bejtić, Alija, ”Jarčedoli”, Oslobođenje 30. 05.1966.


1967.   Čelebija, Evlija, Putopis (Travelogue), trans. H. Šabanović, Sarajevo, 1967.


1968.   Bašeskija, Mula Mustafa, Ljetopis (Chronicle), trans. M. Mujezinović, Sarajevo 1968.


1998.   Čelić, Džemal, Mujezinović. Mehmed, Stari mostovi u BiH (Old bridges in BiH), Sarajevo publishing, 1998.


2001.    Main project for repairs to Kozija ćuprija, design by Amir Sulejmanagić, Cantonal Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Sarajevo, 2001,


and records from the Gazi Husrev-beg Library in Sarajevo:

-     Sidžil of the Court of Sarajevo no. 35, p. 40, GHB Library in Sarajevo

-     Sidžil of the Court of Sarajevo no. 38, p. 69, GHB Library in Sarajevo

-     Sidžil of the Court of Sarajevo no. 76, p. 244, GHB Library in Sarajevo


(1) The first legend about the building of the bridge is attributed to an orphan, Meho, who lost his parents as a boy and who was cared for by his neighbours. While attending mekteb (Islamic primary school) he heard about Istanbul and its brilliance. At that time he was a goatherd guarding flocks by the Miljacka, and noticed that one of the goats was digging away at a certain place. Here he found several jars of gold. He then went to Istanbul, finished his education and became a pasha. He built the bridge as a memento to the place and the events that had occurred to him there, giving it the name Kozja ćuprija, Goat Bridge. There is another legend about two brothers who also found hidden treasure, this time in one of the caves near the Miljacka. One used this wealth to build the bridge, and the other to build a mosque in Bistrik (Kečedži Sinan's mosque).

(2) There was presumably a market place by the Istanbul road close to Kozija ćuprija, where livestock was traded; in Turkish documents, village markets of this kind are usually called Koy pazari. If there was a bridge by a market place of this kind, it would be natural enough for it to be known as Koy kupru, but then again, if goatherds from Jarčedoli took their beasts to market over the bridge, it is possible that Koy pazari kupru became, in the local language, Kozija ćuprija, later to be translated as Keci kupru. It is perhaps at this point that the legend arose which confuses the builder of the bridge, the legendary Meho, with Kekeki Sinan, i.e. Jusuf.

(3) In his Kroz Bosnu i Hercegovinu (Through BiH) M. Stanojević writes: «There are several bridges over the chilly waters of the Miljacka, the oldest of which is the one known as Kozija ćuprija, which is said to have been built by the Romans, and over which goats crossed» (M. Stanojević, p. 106).

(4) The text reads: "There was some damage to the so-called Kozja ćuprija, half an hour’s walk from Sarajevo over the river Miljacka, which necessitated repairs.”

(5) The entry in the Chronicle reads: «In the year 1193 AH (1779) Mehmed paša Nišandžija was appointed as Bosnian valija for the first time, and prayed Bajram prayers in Novi Pazar, reaching Sarajevo on Tuesday.  I watched Kozija ćuprija, where 40 people leapt into the water...»

(6) In his article «Turski natpisi u Sarajevu», M. Mujezinović recounts that the kiosk, with an inscription, stood on the Abu Hayat ground. From details given in Muhamed Enveri ef. Kadić's Chronicle (Vol. II, p. 289) it was ascertained that Abu Hayat was the site used right up until 1295 AH (1878) to see off departing hajjis.

(7) All the old wooden bridges have now disappeared, and only a small quantity of documentation on them has survived as thye basis for describing them.

(8) As a rule, stone bridges consist of the following components:

-     abutments, joining the bridge structure to the ground. These are of crucial importance for the stability of the structure;

-     piers – a pier is a component via which the load of the structure is transferred to the abutments, and which is therefore constantly exposed to the action of the water;

-     barrel – the most important part of the structure, function and form of the bridge;

-     spandrel walls – defining the roadway of the bridge;

-     infill – used to fill the hollow space within the bridge;

-     relieving apertures – elements deriving from attempts to reduce the load of the infill and thereby lighten the structure itself;

-     string courses – an architectural detail that visually emphasizes the division of the bridge into load-bearing structure, load-bearing section (the barrel and arch) and roadway with parapet;

-     parapet – an architectural feature the basic purpose of which is to ensure safety;

-     additional structural components – wing walls, approach ramps etc.;

-     additional architectural features – portals on the bridge, sofas (benches) for resting;

-     guard towers.

(9) This same principle of the interplay of materials has been applied to only one other bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Podgradska ćuprija in Stolac.

(10) This type of parapet is now being replaced by stone parapets.

(11) engineer Ivan Turina wrote about this stone in ”Novo nalazište Ham-Buloškog vapnenca kod Sarajeva”, Jnl of the National Museum XXIII, 1911, pp. 225-252.

(12) It is a known fact that many owners took advantage of high waters to float logs down the Miljacka from Pale to Sarajevo

(13) On 18 Rabi' al-Awwal 1206 AH (15. 11. 1709) Sarajevo experienced one of the worst floods ever recorded. According to Bašeskija's entry, the river swept away all the bridges except the Šeherćehaja bridge, which remained intact. The flood waters rose so high that even Kračula mahala, which is at a higher elevation than Baščaršija, was flooded.

Kozja ćuprija in SarajevoPostcard from the beggining of the 20 centuryKozja ćuprijaOld drawing of the bridge
Upstream facadeDownstream facadeView from the river at bridge 

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