Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Clock Tower on Musala, 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 25 to 31 January 2005 the Commission adopted a






The Historic monument of the Clock Tower at Musala in Travnik is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 956, cadastral municipality Travnik, the 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.




The following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision.

  • the original use of the property shall be retained,
  • all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, 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,
  • existing components of the property shall be conserved and damage shall be made good;
  • all methods and degrees of intervention must be identifiable;
  • the property shall be maintained under the supervision of the proper authorities;
  • the property shall be floodlit in accordance with an appropriate project;
  • alterations in height to the buildings surroundingn the National Monument are prohibited;
  • on the plots adjoining the plot on which the National Monument is located, the only construction permitted is of residential buildings with a maximum height of 6.50 m. to the base of the roof structure, i.e. ground floor and one upper floor.




            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 preservation and rehabilitation 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. 645.




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.



25 January 2005


Chair of the Commission

Amra Hadžimuhamedović


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 Clock Tower at Musala in Travnik to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 645.

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:

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and copy of land register entry)
  • Details of legal protection of the property to date
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.


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


1. Details of the property



The historic monument of the Clock Tower is located at Musala, a small level area above the Donja Čaršija area in the old part of Travnik, close to the Sulejmanija or Šarena Mosque.

Historical information

The earliest reference to Travnik during the Ottoman rule was in 1463, when it was briefly visited by Sultan Fatih Mehmed II, the Conqueror. The town was inhabited as early as in the Roman times, and the Travnik Fort was built in the first half of the 15th century. (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 325).

During the 16th and 17th centuries, a small settlement took shape below the fortress, a kasaba, with the main square of Baš-čaršija, on the site of the present Sulejmanija Mosque. In the late 17th century, Travnik became the administrative centre of the Bosnian Pashaluk. After the campaign by the Austrian Prince Eugene of Savoy against Bosnia, who torched Sarajevo and caused great devastation to the city, the Bosnian Vizier Defterdar Halil-pasha Ćoso transferred the headquarters of the vizier from Sarajevo to Travnik. From 1699, with two short breaks, Travnik would be the residence of Bosnia’s governors. During this time, the town was developing economically and territorially and became an important crafts and trade centre.

During the first half of the 18th century, the vizier’s residence of Konak was built on the outskirts of the town, on the left bank of the Lasva river; this building was demolished after World War II.   Seventy-seven Bosnian viziers resided in the Konak over a 150-year period, several of them appointed to the office more than once, so that there was a total of 90 changes to the holder of the post.  Seven viziers died in Travnik.

During the time of the viziers, many buildings and facilities were built in Travnik: mosques, religious schools, baths, inns, bezistans (covered markets, suqs), water pipelines, street fountains, and the like. The major donors in particular were Mehmed-pasha Kukavica, who built numerous facilities in the Gornja čaršija, Hajji Ali-beg Hasanpašić, who reconstructed some of Kukavica's facilities after a fire, and Sulejman-pasha Skopljak, who built a large mosque in the Donja čaršija, and had some of the existing facilities in the town repaired.

The majority of the monuments from these times were destroyed in the fires that were a frequent occurrence. The fire of September 1903 was disastrous in extent, burning to their foundations many buildings, houses and shops in the Donja čaršija, as well as complete mahalla areas on the left bank of the Lasva river (Maslić, 1990, pp. 6-7).

The building of clock towers began in the Ottoman Empire in the mid-16th century. Urban development, and also the requirement to perform the five daily prayers that Muslims are obliged to perform at specific times, as prescribed in the Qur’an, meant that clock towers were widespread (Kreševljaković, 1991, p. 497).

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, clock towers first appeared in the late 16th century; the first was built in Banja Luka, followed by clock towers in many other towns and cities during the 17th and 18th centuries.

           According to Kreševljeković, there were 21 clock towers in Bosnia and Herzegovina: two in Travnik, and one each in Banja Luka, Donji Vakuf, Foča, Gornji Vakuf, Gračanica, Gradačac, Livno, Jajce, Maglaj, Mostar, Nevesinje, Počitelj, Prozor, Prusac, Sarajevo, Tešanj, and Trebinje. In addition to these, until 1878 there had been two more that were destroyed, one in Stolac, and the other in Sarajevo, next to the Bijela Mosque in Vratnik (Kreševljaković, 1991, p. 496).

           Travnik is the only town in Bosnia and Herzegovina with two clock towers. One is located in Donja čaršija, and the other in Gornja čaršija.  As these two čaršijas are quite far apart, it seems to have been necessary to build two clock towers, one for each part of the town. The older of the two Travnik clock towers was built at Musala, the small level area above Donja čaršija, with which it makes a harmonious composition and which it dominates thanks to its position.

           It is not known when exactly the Clock Tower at Musala was built, but it was presumably after 1660. In his description of Travnik, Evliya Çelebi does not mention the clock tower, yet if it had existed he would not have overlooked it in his list of the public facilities in the town. By the late 17th century, Donja čaršija had taken shape in full around the then Gazi-aga Mosque (the present-day Sulejmanija or Šarena Mosque), and the majority of the clock towers in Bosnia and Herzegovina were built in this period. The erection of this clock tower, too, can be attributed to this period, no later than the early 18th century (Sulojdžić, 1999, p.13).


2. Description of the property


Clock towers were usually built within the central zones of a čaršija, alongside the mosque, as endowments of individual vakifs (legators), although they do exist in other places too. Clock towers are tall buildings with a rectangular footprint, usuallly built of stone and with polygonal roofs. There is usually a cornice below the roof of the clock tower, with below this again four openings, one on each side, where there are clock-faces with a time mechanism. The clocks are connected with the bell. Previously, the clocks kept time “a la Turque“, whereas more recently they have been keeping time “a la Franka“ – Central European Time. In addition to the four openings for the clock faces, clock towers also have openings in the form of loop-holes, rising from the base to the top of the tower, designed to allow some light into the interior to light the steep wooden staircase leading to the clock mechanism. The legators themselves looked after the clock towers. Each clock tower had an official who was responsible for winding up the clock, while repairs were carried out by clock makers. Stone plaques mounted on the clock towers bear iscriptions recording the reconstruction of the buildings, mostly in Turkish in Arabic script.

            The clock tower at Musala was built of tufa in lime cement, with the foundations well built and cut into the limestone plateau of the Musala itself. The clock tower has a square ground plan measuring approx. 3.6 x 3.6 m, and the walls are 60 to 90 cm thick in the entrance area.  The tower is approx. 19.50 m in height.  It tapers slightly towards the top, and terminates in four-sided pyramidal roof. The steep wooden staircase inside the two is a double-flight stairway, with small landings at each change of direction.

            The body of the clock tower is built of quarry stone and it is not plastered from the base up to a height of 14 m, so that the stones are somewhat set back into the mortar, and the parts visible on the surface do not particular reflect the structure of the stone courses. Above this section is a plastered section probably built of unbaked (adobe) bricks and rebuilt after the 1903 fire. This later part of the structure is divided horizontally into three sections, identical on all four façades. The first section has a narrow stone projection separating it from the lower stone-built zone of the tower, and ending in a broader stone cornice on 12 small consoles. The sides sides terminate in round stone columns. This section is approx. 2 m in height. The clock-faces, which are red, are mounted in these panels, and are visible from various parts of the town. The clocks are mounted circular openings of approx. 110 cm diameter. The second section is approx. 2.5 m high, with three tall, narrow, round-arched openings, approx.1.6 m in height, with metal louvres. This space was used for the bell. The third section has a narrow stone projection separating it from the second, and is approx. 0.6 m in height. It has seven massive consoles supporting a simply moulded cornice above which is the roof in the shape of a four-sided pyramid clad with sheet metal.

           On the southwest facade of the clock tower, which faces the centre of Donja čaršija and the Šarena Mosque, the remains of a clock face can be seen at a height of 11 m from the ground. This façade also has two narrow openings used to light the interior staircase. One is below the mechanism itself, and the other one lights the entrance area of the building, and is at a height of approx. 3 m from the base. The other two are on the other façades, mid-way up the tower.

           The entrance into the clock tower is on the northeast façade, and the tower is entered through four narrow and high stairs. The door is rectangular, made of wrought iron, of standard size, and opens inwards, and the lintel is of nicely carved stone.

          The clock tower at Musala in Travnik has two stone plaques with inscriptions about those who rebuilt the tower. The older of these plaques is on the southwest façade at a height of 10 meters above ground, and its translation from Turkish, by Zejnil Fejić, can be found in the book on the Travnik Clock Tower by E. Sulojdžić. It was in this book that the photograph, the transcript and the translation of this plaque were first published.


The first governor of Bosnia

Ibrahim Hilmi-pasha,


For his building

This is the chronogram:

«The Clock Tower was reconstructed »

1226 (1811).

           The second stone plaque measures 35 x 45 cm and is on the northwest façade, about three meters above ground; the inscription, which is in Turkish verse, is damaged and barely illegible.

«Hazin Ibrahim-aga, originating from Bosnia,

Strove to do good deeds and spent his property to this end,

So he also rebuilt this clock tower after it was burned,

And when rebuilding it, he procured a clock,

May it announce the time for the people day and night,

And proclaim that the clock tower was rebuilt by

Ibrahim Hazin-aga.

1230 (1814/15)

(Chronogram) composed by Hafiz Ruhija»

           It is not known when exactly the Clock Tower at Musala in Donja čaršija was originally built, but the inscription shows that in 1814/15, after it had burned, it was rebuilt by Ibrahim-aga Hazin. (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 386.)

           The present-day appearance of the Clock Tower is not original, and is the result of frequent repairs over time. The oldest surviving representation of the tower is on a drawing of a panorama of the town dating from 1878. The tower had a four-paned roof, with below it on each façade square openings between which was the bell. On the parts of the walls around these openings that were plastered, traces of wall painting similar to the plant motifs of the Sulejmanija Mosque can still be seen. These were probably done by the same craftsmen, because the tower was burned and then rebuilt in 1815, as was the mosque.

           Between 1878 and 1892, the Austro-Hungarian authorities rebuilt the Clock Tower at Musala, giving it a new appearance. After 1892, and before the 1903 fire, the tower was given a new roof, similar to the roof of the Clock Tower in the Gornja Čaršija. The clock mechanism was incorporated where the bell had been, between the square openings. The four-paned roof was divided with part of it was raised on small pillars, thereby gaining more space for the bell.

            In September 1903, much of Travnik was destroyed by fire, which also damaged the Clock Tower at Musala. During the rebuilding of the town in 1906, the Clock Tower was also rebuilt and acquired its present-day appearance.

           The Clock Tower stopped working towards the end of World War I, and the authorities removed the bells from the towers, using them as raw materials for weapons.

           In between the two wars, a fire station was housed in the building, and after World War II, large speakers were installed in openings where the clock faces had been.

           In 1964, the Clock Tower received a new clock mechanism with a bell and clock faces on all four sides, keeping time “a la Franka“ – Central European Time.

           The Clock Tower at Musala is in very poor condition today. The part built on after 1903 is badly damaged, the clock mechanism has been destroyed, the wooden staircase is unsafe, the doors are not locked, and access to the tower is almost impossible.


3. Current legal status   


           The Regional Plan for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 does not list the Clock Tower at Musala in Travnik as a monument.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works


  • In 1815, the Clock Tower at Musala was rebuilt;
  • Between 1878 and 1892, the Austro-Hungarian Empire rebuilt the Clock Tower at Musala, giving it a new appearance;
  • In 1906, the Clock Tower was rebuilt, acquiring its present-day appearance;
  • In 1964, the Clock Tower was fitted a new clock mechanism with a bell and clock faces on all four sides.


5. Current condition of the property


An on site inspection in December 2004 ascertained as follows:

  • The Clock Tower at Musala is in dilapidated condition;
  • The part built after 1903 is badly damaged;
  • The clock mechanism is destroyed;
  • The wooden staircase in the tower is unsafe;
  • The doors are unlocked.




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.iii. proportions

C.iv. composition

D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

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

F.i.  Relation to other elements of the site

F.ii. meaning in the townscape

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

G. Authenticity

G.i. form and design

G.ii. material and content

G.iii. use and function

G.v. location and setting

H. Rarity and representativity

H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style

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;
  • Drawings




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


1957.  Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini, (Clock Towers in BiH) Naše starine IV, Sarajevo, 1957. Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini, (Clock Towers in BiH) Naše starine IV, Sarajevo, 1957.


1971.  Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Esnafi i obrti u Bosni i Hercegovini 1463-1871 (Guilds and trades in BiH 1463-1878), Selected Works II, Sarajevo, 1971, pp. 280-281


1980.    Institute for architecture, town planning and regional planning of the Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo, Regionial Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina; Stage «B» - valorization of natural, cultural and historical monuments, Sarajevo, 1980.


1991.    Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Izabrana djela II – Esnafi i obrti u Bosni i Hercegovini (1463-1878), (Selected Works II – guilds and trades in BiH 1463-1878) Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1991.


1996     Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis – odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama (Travelogue – Excerpts on Yugoslav countries),  Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1996.


1998.  Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, (Islamic epigraphs of BiH) bk. III, 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998.


1999. Sulojdžić, Enver, Travničke Sahat-kule (The Clock Towers of Travnik), Regional Museum of Travnik,  Travnik, 1999.

Clock Tower on Musala in TravnikClock Tower on MusalaClock Tower Detail of the Clock Tower
EntranceInscriptionInterior of the tower 

BiH jezici 
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