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Baths in Ilidža mahala (residential quarter) in Gornji Šeher, the architectural spa ensemble

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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 200t, the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

The architectural spa ensemble of the baths in Ilidža mahala (residential quarter) in Gornji Šeher, Banja Luka is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the site and remains of the Ebin hauz; the baths in the Muharem Gušić house (Maslin hauz); the baths in the house of Šeranić Bisera; three baths with thermal waters in the Demirović house; the Osmančević baths (situated to the south-east of the Osmančević house); the site and remains of the Žbana baths; the Direklija baths in a cliff by the Vrbas riverbank; the site and remains of the Šugavica baths, and the Ilidža baths (Kraljičina Ilidža or Trokića Vrelo – the Trokić spring) by the Vrbas riverbank.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot nos. 670/1, 679/1, 674, 686/1, 690, cadastral municipality Banja Luka III-8, municipality Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Direklija baths, the site and remains of the Šugavica baths and the Ilidža baths are not marked on the map (they are situated on the right bank of the river Vrbas, in the riverbed itself, on the stretch of the Vrbas to the north-east of c.p. no. 628 to c.p. no. 358, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, municipality Banja Luka) and are situated, respectively, on the following geographic coordinates: latitude 44º 44.923 N by longitude 017º08.801 E, latitude 44º 44. 942 N by longitude 017º09.534 E and latitude 44º44.936 N by longitude 017º09.519 E.

The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 9/02) shall apply to the National Monument.

 

II

 

The Government of Republika Srpska 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.

 

III

 

The complex of spas in Gornji Šeher is situated in Ilidža mahala, on the right bank of the river Vrbas, in an area defined by the following boundaries:

  • to the north-west, the boundary consists of the bed of the river Vrbas over a length of approx. 200 metres downstream from the new iron bridge, and of Od Zmijanja Rajka street (formerly Braće Alagić street) over a distance of approx. 100 m to the south-west of the bridge,
  • the south-west boundary of c.p. no. 662, c.m. Banja Luka III-8 (the plot where the Šeher spa recreational center is situated),
  • the natural boundary where the slopes of Šehitluk merge into the level area on the south-east side,
  • on c.p. no.700, c.m. Banja Luka III-8 (the Hajji-Isaković house) on the north-east side.

 

To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following measures are hereby stipulated, pertaining to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision. 

  • As regards the Ebin hauz, located on c.p. no. 670/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, the only works permitted are rehabilitation works and the restoration of its original appearance, shape, form and dimensions, using original materials and building techniques wherever possible, and removing unauthorized extensions, on the basis of available technical and other documentation;
  • As regards the hauz in the Muharem Gušić house (Maslin hauz), located on on c.p. no.670/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, the only works permitted are restoration works on the entrance area of the building to provide a view of the baths, and conservation works on the baths themselves; as regards the Muharem Gušić house, restoration works on the façade of the house shall be permitted, as shall works on the interior of the house designed to convert it into a facility complementary to spa tourism;
  • The three baths with thermal waters on the ground floor of the Demirović house, which stands on c.p. no. 674, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, should be restored to use, the premises where the baths are located should be cleaned and repaired, and the natural free flow of water into these baths should be restored;
  • As regards the hauz in the house of Šeranić Bisera, located on c.p. no. 679/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, the only works permitted are restoration works on the entrance area of the building to provide a view of the baths, and technical repair and routine maintenance works on the baths themselves; as regards the house of Šeranić Bisera, adaptation and extension works shall be permitted, as shall works for change of use (the new use should be complementary to spa tourism), within the following guidelines: two storeys (ground and first floor), with the ground floor not to exceed 8 x 10 m, while the first floor may have an oriel overhang; exposed wooden beams may be used for the oriel; hipped roof with a steep pitch of 40-45 degrees clad with plain tiles, deep eaves; facades plastered and painted white (ground floor accentuated by, for example, rusticated rendering – suggesting the stone-built ground floors of old buildings in Šeher); windows and doors and the materials used to make them are to match the design of old Šeher houses;
  • As regards the Osmančević baths, located in a single-storey building standing on c.p. no. 686/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, approx. 25 m to the south-east of the Osmančević house (which stands on c.p. no. 685/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), alteration and extension works on the single-storey building in which the baths are housed shall be permitted, as shall change of use (the new use should be complementary to spa tourism), within the following guidelines: two storeys (ground and first floor), with the ground floor not to exceed 8 x 10 m, while the first floor may have an oriel overhang; exposed wooden beams may be used for the oriel; hipped roof with a steep pitch of 40-45 degrees clad with plain tiles, deep eaves; facades plastered and painted white (ground floor accentuated by, for example, rusticated rendering – suggesting the stone-built ground floors of old buildings in Šeher); windows and doors and the materials used to make them are to match the design of old Šeher houses; the existing baths must be incorporated into the building and their function retained;
  • As regards the Žbana baths, located on c.p. no. 690, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, the construction of a building to be used for purposes complementary to spa tourism shall be permitted, within the following guidelines: two storeys (ground and first floor), with the ground floor not to exceed 8 x 10 m, while the first floor may have an oriel overhang; exposed wooden beams may be used for the oriel; hipped roof with a steep pitch of 40-45 degrees clad with plain tiles, deep eaves; facades plastered and painted white (ground floor accentuated by, for example, rusticated rendering – suggesting the stone-built ground floors of old buildings in Šeher); windows and doors and the materials used to make them are to match the design of old Šeher houses; the existing baths must be restored, conserved and incorporated into the building and their function retained, subject to the distinction between the old and the new being clearly recognizable;
  • As regards the Direklija baths (the entrance to which is at latitude 44º44. 923 N by longitude 017º08.801 E), the only works to be permitted are rehabilitation works and the restoration of their original appearance, shape, form and dimensions, using original materials and building techniques wherever possible, on the basis of available technical and other documentation;
  • As regards the Šugavica baths (located at latitude 44º44.942 N by longitude 017º09.534 E), repair works to the stone wall and stone trough shall be permitted, along with clearing and making good the site;
  • On the right bank of the river Vrbas, the river bed to the north-east of c.p. no. 628 to c.p. no. 358, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, municipality of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, shall be cleared of solid mechanical waste which defaces the landscape and pollutes the soil and water, and paths shall be laid from the road to the spring below the cliffs and to the Direklija, Šugavica and Ilidža baths (the latter a habitat of liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha and maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus Veneris); the area between these baths shall be landscaped (minimal levelling of the ground to create small terraces or resting places, suggesting the structure of traditional wooden platforms; wooden benches, litter bins, changing rooms and “chemical” toilets shall be introduced, and may also be located on the layby area of the road above the site of these baths;
  • The use of the well for extracting the thermo-mineral waters used by the Šeher spa recreational centre shall be supervised by the relevant authorities of Republika Srpska to ensure that the use of the thermal water well within the extraction field of the Šeher spa recreational centre shall at no time endanger or diminish the natural outflow of thermo-mineral waters into the baths hereby designated as a National Monument.

To ensure the on-going protection of the landscape and townscape values of the site of the National Monument as defined in Clause III, para. 1, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

  • The historic building of the Šeranić house in Ilidža mahala, in Gornji Šeher, Banja Luka (c.p. no. 630, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), which has been already designated as a national monument, shall be conserved and restored, and missing parts shall be reconstructed in their original form; of the same size, using the same or the same kind of material and the same techniques wherever possible, on the basis of documentation on the original form dating from 1989, subject to approval issued by the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority in Republika Srpska;
  • As regards the house of Sadik and Ibrahim Demirović (c.p. no. 674, c.m. Banja Luka III-8) conservation and restoration shall be permitted;
  • As regards the house of Emina Osmančević (c.p. no. 685/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), conservation and restoration works shall be permitted;
  • As regards the house of Zeira Šeranić (c.p. no. 689, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), conservation and restoration works shall be permitted, as shall works on the interior of the house to convert it for purposes complementary to spa tourism, crafts or catering use;
  • As regards the house of Hadžiisaković Zlatko (c.p. no. 700, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), conservation and restoration works shall be permitted;
  • As regards the house of Golbaher Štefko and Marta (c.p. no. 629, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), conservation and restoration works shall be permitted, as shall works on the interior of the house to convert it for purposes complementary to spa tourism, crafts or catering use;
  • As regards the Trokić house (c.p. no. 628, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), conservation and restoration works shall be permitted;
  • On the northern-west part of c.p. no. 628, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, where the musalla (outdoor place of prayer) was located, the nišan tombstones shall be brought back from the places to which they were removed and restored to their original positions, the epigraphic material of the harem shall be documented,  the harem of the shall be made good, and damaged nišan tombstones shall be repaired and conserved;
  • The motel erected on c.p. no. 631, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, is detrimental inn size and appearance to the landscape value of the site of the National Monument, as a result of which the said property should be subject to the measures prescribed by the 1980 Gornji Šeher Renewed Regulation Plan drawn up by the Town Planning Institute of  Banja Luka, which requires it to be removed;
  • On the remaining cadastral plots within the National Monument area as defined in Clause III, para. 1, proprietors may erect new buildings which in appearance, size, materials used and spatial relationship with the existing buildings, and in particular those buildings that are designated as National Monuments, shall not be detrimental to the landscape/townscape values of the site of the National Monument. New buildings should revitalize the importance of Gornji Šeher in the city of Banja Luka, and their use (commercial premises, hotels, restaurants and crafts) should be complementary to spa tourism. The guidelines for the design of such buildings are as follows: two storeys (ground and first floor), with the ground floor not to exceed 8 x 10 m, while the first floor may have an oriel overhang; exposed wooden beams may be used for the oriel; hipped roof with a steep pitch of 40-45 degrees clad with plain tiles, deep eaves; facades plastered and painted white (ground floor accentuated by, for example, rusticated rendering – suggesting the stone-built ground floors of old buildings in Šeher); windows and doors and the materials used to make them are to match the design of old Šeher houses;
  • On the site of the National Monument, thermo-geological investigations shall be conducted and a study drawn up on the basis of the findings for the sustainable management and use of this natural resource in a manner that shall not be detrimental to the National Monument.

Approval issued by the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska are required for all the works referred to in this Clause.

 

IV

 

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

 

V

 

Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.

 

VI

 

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

 

VII

 

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) 

 

VIII

 

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.

 

IX

 

This Decision shall come into effect on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

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

 

No: 06.1-201-12/03-15

26 January 2005

Sarajevo                                                               

                                                                                                                                     

Chair of the Commission

Amra Hadžimuhamedović

 

E l u c i d a t i o n

 

I – INTRODUCTION

 

Pursuant to the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Article 2, paragraph 1, 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 as well as properties listed in the Provisional List of National Monuments  of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette  of BiH, No. 33/02), until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

On 30 September 2003 the Commission received a petition to designate the Baths in Gornji Šeher as a national monument from the Citizens’ Group Friends of the Baths of Lučka Antiquities.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the property of the Mehmed Pasha Kukavica Han 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.

 

II – PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DECISION

 

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.
  • Inspection of the current condition of the property
  • Copy of cadastral plan
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.

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

 

1. Details of the property

Location

The location of each of the baths within the site of the National Monument is as follows:

  • Ebin hauz(1) and hauz within the Muharem Gušić house (Maslin hauz): c.p. no. 670/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8,
  • Hauz in the Šeranić Bisera house: c.p. no. 679/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8,
  • Three baths with thermal waters on the ground floor of the Demirović house, standing on c.p. no. 674, c.m. Banja Luka III-8,
  • Osmančević baths in the single-storey building standing on c.p. no. 686/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8, approx. 25m. to the south-east of the Osmančević house (standing on c.p. no. 685/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)
  • Žbana baths: c.p. no. 690, c.m. Banja Luka III-8,
  • Entrance to Direklija baths (baths in the cliff by the Vrbas river bank): latitude 44º44.923 N by longitude 017º08.801 E(2),
  • Šugavica spa: latitude 44º44.942 N by longitude 017º09.534 E,
  • The spring (Kraljičina Ilidža or Ilidža) by the Vrbas riverbank: latitude 44º44.936 N by longitude 017º09.519 E.

Historical information

During Roman times, favourable economic and geographical conditions led to the development of several known Roman settlements along the Salona-Servitium Roman road.  These settlements included way stations (mansiones, mutationes): Lamatis (Krupa on the Vrbas), Castra (Banja Luka), Ad Ladios (Trn, a settlement 9 km from Banja Luka), Ad Fines (Laktaši).

In the late 19th century, archaeologists began to explore the antique sites in Banja Luka and its environs, paying most attention to the study of antique communications and settlements.  No systematic archaeological investigations were conducted in Gornji Šeher, but among the twenty or so Roman coins brought to the National Museum in Sarajevo in the late 19th century were a number that had been found in Gornji Šeher: these coins dated from the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire (including a valuable Numerianus antoninianus). This suggests, therefore, that Roman money was already in circulation in the area in the second century BCE, and that it remained in circulation until the time of Valentinian I (356 CE).

In the 1980s, during construction works on the Gornji Šeher spa recreational centre, some 600 Roman coins were discovered, presumably associated with the use of the thermal waters and suggesting the custom of “stipem iacere(3) .

The area with sulphur springs upstream from the Sofi Mehmed pasha mosque is referred to in Sofi Mehmed pasha's vakufnama(4) (deed of perpetual endowment) by the name Ilidža, and in the 1604 register of mahalas, where there is reference to the mosque in Ilidža whose founder, Mahmud Čelebi(5),  witnessed Sofi Mehmed pasha's vakufnama of 1554./55.

The building of Sofi Mehmed pasha's endowments on the right bank of the river Vrbas, and of the bridge connecting them the already existing Hunkarija (Emperor's) čaršija (crafts and trades centre) on the left bank of the Vrbas with Sofi Mehmed pasha's mahala, was a great stimulus to the urban development of Donji Šeher; mahalas took shape downstream along the Vrbas: Osman Shah mahala, Kalendarija (Šinikova), Sitarska mahala and Tabaci mahala (from two mahalas later developed: Gornji and Donji Tabaci); Ilidža mahala was founded upstream alongside the river Vrbas, and the Hadžibeg-zade and Džaferagina mahalas(6) were founded above the Careva (Emperor’s) mahala, on Grab.

Ilidža mahala took shape between the river Vrbas and Šehitluk hill, on the eponymous site named after the mineral thermal springs(7) between which a the stream of warm water flowed into the river Vrbas. The oldest buildings of the mahala were the indoor pools known as hauz and two small mills, which could operate even during very cold winters.

The thermal springs located all along Ilidža mahala, and which were or are still used as hot baths, are Ebin hauz, Maslin hauz (Gušić baths), Hekerin hauz in the garden of the house of Bisera Šeranić, the hauz by the house of Bisera Šeranić, the Demirović baths, the Osmančević baths, the small pool by the house of Zeira Šeranić, Žbana, Direklija, Šugavica, and Kraljičina Ilidža.

All the hauzes were interconnected by a warm water brook, which ran down from Maslin hauz to the river Vrbas. Small wooden bridges were built over the brook, while right on the riverbank, close to the point where the brook flows into the Vrbas, two small mills(8) were built, which remained operational even during harsh winters, and which were still in existence at the beginning of the 20th century. One mill belonged to Muhamed Šeranić, and the other was known as Manserov. The mills, stamping mills, tannery equipment and bridges(9) over the river Vrbas were swept away on several occasions when the river was in spate, and the mills were destroyed by a flood between 1903 and World War I.  In 1989, Braća Alagić street was built (now known as Od Zmijanja Rajka), the street level was raised, the brook was covered over, and the small bridges were demolished.

In or around 1660 the famous Turkish travel chronicler Evliya Çelebi wrote: “…Ilidža in Latin means baths. Since there is a hot spring (ilice) outside this Šeher, on the edge of the garden (bāgh), it acquired the name Banja. Then too, at that time, there was a šeher (town – Persian) at the edge of Banja, it acquired the name Luka. The two names were later merged into one in colloquial speech, and the town was named Banja Luka.” (on the meaning of the name Banja Luka: Otadžbina, Banja Luka, 1907, no. 13, and Jnl. Of the Yugoslav Teachers’ Association, volume for June – August 1934, Beograd 1934, offprint Bosanska Krajina, p. 13, note 1). (10)   

The central feature of the mahala was undoubtedly the musalla, surrounded by a stone wall, within which were a stone-built mihrab and mimber. “It was the custom of the Turks at that time to build a musalla among the first facilities they introduced to newly conquered places, and especially where there were no resources to build a mosque, because a musalla could be built much faster and more cheaply.”(11) Later on, but before 1604, the mosque in Ilidža was built, and much later, a mekteb was built next to the mosque.

No major changes took place in Ilidža mahala during the Austro-Hungarian period.  At some time after 1880(12) a steel grid bridge was built at the point where the Vrbas is at its narrowest, as well as the Žbana military baths and several buildings in the Austrian provincial style: the Gušić, Hadžialić, Lihović and Bisera Šeranić houses. At that time, there were several craft and trade workshops and commercial premises in Ilidža mahala: (the Aleksander Goldbacher coffee house, the Karl Goldbacher coffee house in the “Hladari” house near the bridge over the Vrbas, the Bajagilović shop in the Hadžialić house, the Menser coffee house known as the Globe, Trokić Mustafa’s shoemaker's shop) which were later closed, or the buildings were demolished.

The mimber (which the citizens of Banja Luka called the “small minaret” or “akšamlija”) and the mihrab of the musalla were demolished in 1935. The mosque in Ilidža was demolished in 1948. It had a wooden minaret and entrance porch with sofas, and a hipped roof.

Written sources relate that “during archaeological excavations in 1983, the foundations of the mosque were uncovered, consisting of three courses of stone, like a cavity wall (Photographic and Map Library of the Institute for for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Nature – Banja Luka)(13). These excavations were related to the construction of the Gornji Šeher spa recreational centre (the former Commission for Town Planning, Utilities and Housing of Banja Luka municipality issued a Ruling granting permission to build the Gornji Šeher spa recreational centre).

 

2. Description of the property

The specific feature of Ilidža mahala are directly related to the natural resources of the region. The presence of thermal springs in a relatively small area was reflected in use of these natural resources by people who made use of the thermal waters (the average temperature of which was 33 to 36 degrees Celsius) when creating residential areas, introducing hot water into the buildings and making separate bathrooms in their houses, building next to a hot spring, incorporating an existing bathhouse into the layout of their houses, or building a pool with thermal waters in their gardens.

Hauz (covered pool) buildings are one-room structures of solid stone walls and perforated brick-built domes, to allow for ventilation of the baths; the lime mortar used to build the domes was made with the addition of egg(14). The pools are usually surrounded by wooden benches, and the bottom of pools is gravelled. This type of bath has a different layout from that of the hammam (Turkish baths), as a result of the different technical process (the baths of Gornji Šeher use thermal water).

Maslin hauz (or Gušić baths)

The first hauz pool to be built dates from the Turkish period and was formerly a detached building. Later, in or around 1880, the house belonging to Muharem Maslo was built to the south-west of the hauz.  The house later came through the female line into the possession of the Gušić family – hence the two names for the hauz: the Maslo baths and the Gušić baths.  An antechamber was built on the north-west entrance side to the hauz, the exterior façade wall of which, together with the exterior north-west wall abutting onto the house, forms a single façade completely concealing the view of the baths.  The antechamber to the baths contains an entrance area serving as a windshield and links the baths with the house via a single-flight staircase; it also contains a toilet block and cloakroom for people using the baths.

The hauz building is a square, single-roomed building measuring 6 x 6 m on the outside.  The walls, which are approx. 75 cm thick, are of quarry stone, pointed on the outside and plastered on the inside; lime mortar was used as binder.  The central interior space of the hauz measures 4.50 x 4.50 m.  A walkway consisting of a wooden board platform 85 cm deep and 450 cm wide on a steel NP I girder, 180 cm above the bottom of the pool, leads down via a single-flight wooden staircase to wooden benches 40 cm in width (consisting of four longitudinal wooden slats on which bathers can rest) around the pool. The bottom of the pool is gravelled.  The height of the building from the bottom of the pool to the inside apex of the dome is approx. 830 cm.  The dome, built of Turkish bricks, is supported on the stone walls via a system of pendentives and rebated blind pointed arches (the rise of the arch measures approx. 200 cm, and the span from springer to springer is 430 cm).  Near the top of the dome are eight circular vents, one at the top of the dome, with a diameter of approx. 10 cm, and seven arranged radially around it, with a diameter of approx. 18 cm.

The baths are in use.

Ebin hauz

The Ebin hauz is close to the Maslin hauz, approx. 12 m to the north.  It takes its name from its last owner, whom the local inhabitants called eba (old mother).

Originally(15), the Ebin hauz building was square, and consisted of a single room (measuring approx. 5.10 x 5.10 m on the outside). The walls of the hauz, which are approx. 65 cm thick, are of quarry stone, pointed on the outside and plastered on the inside; lime mortar was used as binder. The central interior space of the hauz measures 3.80 x 3.80 m. A walkway consisting of a wooden board platform 90 cm deep and 380 cm wide on a steel NP I 22 girder, 170 cm above the bottom of the pool, leads down via a single-flight wooden staircase to wooden benches 40 cm in width (consisting of four longitudinal wooden slats on which bathers can rest) along two sides of the pool. The bottom of the pool is 250 m below ground level on the south-west side of the pool(16). The bottom of the pool was gravelled. The height of the building from the bottom of the pool to the inside apex of the dome was approx. 850 cm. The dome, built of Turkish bricks, is supported on the stone walls via a system of pendentives and rebated blind pointed arches (the rise of the arch measures approx. 230 cm, and the span from springer to springer is approx. 380 cm). Circular vents were installed at the top of the dome. As can be seen on old photographs of the baths, there were the remains of an extension on the west side of the building. There is information(17)  to the effect that a cottage was built onto the south-west side of the baths shortly after 1851; this cottage was occupied by a sheikh who became the owner of the abandoned baths. Nothing is known of the appearance of this house.

By the end of the 20th century the baths were derelict, and as a result of inappropriate interventions designed to repair the baths in recent years, very little of their original appearance survives: all that has been retained is the structure of the stone walls of the baths to a height of approx. 2.20 m above ground level.  Above this, the building has been rebuilt and roofed with a concrete dome.

The baths are in use.

The hauz in Bisera Šeranić’s house

Another indoor pool, currently forming part of the house of Šeranić Bisera, is located some 50m to the north-east of the Maslin hauz. The house, which was originally built in Austrian provincial style, was built by Ahmed Šeranić in 1910, when the baths were incorporated into the house. After the 1969 earthquake and subsequent repairs, the house acquired its current appearance and lost its original stylistic architectural values.

An entrance area measuring approx. 180 x 470 cm leads into the hauz. The hauz building is a square, single-room, stone-built structure with outside walls approx. 70 cm thick, measuring 4.70 x 4.70 on the inside. A walkway consisting of a wooden board platform 85 cm deep and 470 cm wide on a steel NP I girder, 190 cm above the bottom of the pool, leads down via a single-flight wooden staircase to a concreted area surrounding the pool, serving both as a walkway and as benches for bathers to rest on (this walkway is approx. 80 cm wide along the north-east and north-west walls and approx. 50 cm along the other two walls).The bottom of the pool is gravelled. The height from the bottom of the pool to the inside apex of the dome is approx. 655 cm. The dome, which is in the shape of an irregular ellipse in both transverse and longitudinal section, rests on the stone walls.The rise of the dome is approx. 210 cm, and its span is approx. 505 cm. There are ten vents at the top of the dome: four circular vents with a diameter of approx. 15 cm, and six rectangular vents set radially, measuring approx. 20 x 20 cm.

The baths are in use. The dome of the baths is protected by a temporary wooden structure clad with corrugated PVC tiles, to prevent the dome from leaking. Judging from its condition on site, the dome was protected by cement slurry and a thin cement screed, which had become damaged.

Osmančević baths

The baths known as the Osmančević baths are approx. 40 m to the north-east of the hauz in the house of Šeranić Bisera and 25m to the south-east of the Osmančević house (standing on c.p. no. 685/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8), in a single-storey building standing on c.p. no. 686/1, c.m. Banja Luka III-8. The entrance area, measuring 2.33 x 3.07 m, which is used as a cloakroom, leads into the antechamber of the baths, measuring 1.42 x 2.33 m, which in turn leads into the final premises, measuring 2.50 x 2.33 m, containing the baths.  A walkway 70 cm in width and approx. 2.33 m in length leads via a single-flight wooden staircase down to the pool, the bottom of which is 1.50 m below the level of the walkway. The height from the bottom of the pool to the ceiling is approx. 3.60 m. The pool is in a single-storey building which lacks any architectural value. The building itself is in use, but the ventilation is poor, resulting in high humidity levels in all the premises, and extensive condensation on all the walls and ceilings, giving the general impression of a building in poor condition.

Žbana  

All that remains on the site of the former Austro-Hungarian military baths is the pool, measuring approx. 4 x 5 m, with a depth of about one metre. There is no surviving information concerning the building that once housed the pool. The pool is fed by a natural inflow of thermo-mineral waters. The site is untidy and overgrown with weeds and scrub, the surface of the water is covered with waterweeds, and there is no path leading to the pool, making it very difficult to reach.

Between the Žbana and Osmančević baths, a brook appears above ground over a short stretch of about five to six metres (referred to in the historical section), only to disappear below ground again between Žbana and the north-west retaining wall of Od Zmijanja Rajka street (formerly Braće Alagić street). The brook flows through an outlet through the embankment of the road and then follows the natural fall of a channel into the river Vrbas.

The baths in the Demirović house 

Two baths with thermal waters are located on the ground floor of the Demirović house; they are said to have been there since 1918, although the building itself is much older. In 1918 the Maglajlić family sold the house to Wilhem Öhler, an evangelical clergyman, who in turn sold it to the two Demirović brothers in 1922. The baths are located in three rooms on the ground floor of the left wing of the church (as seen from the street), with the top of the pools at floor level.  They have not been in use in recent years, and no sign of a natural inflow of water was seen during inspection.  It is not clear whether the inlet pipes are blocked or whether the natural inflow into the baths in the Demirović house has stopped as a result of changes to the movement of subterranean water and increased extraction of the thermal waters in the Ilidža area. The premises where the baths are located are in a state of neglect.

Direklija baths  

The path to the baths runs down the Vrbas to the right of Od Zmijanja Rajka street to the river bank itself, by means of steps composed of stones set into the ground down the steep descent. The Direklija baths are right next to the river Vrbas, cut into the rock so that the space housing the baths resembles a small cave. In front of and to the left of the cave is a small antechamber some 2.80 m wide, on the floor of which a stone bench for the use of bathers once stood; only the stone plinths of the bench now remain. The cave itself where the pool is located is about 230 cm deep and 190 to 215 cm high. It was closed off by an outside wall about 180 cm wide and 225 cm high, with a round-arched iron door and one small rectangular vent measuring approx. 20 x 20 cm at a height of approx. 180 cm above floor level. Within the baths a bath-shaped hollow was excavated in the rock floor, 90 cm wide, about 50 cm deep, and 140 cm long. The top of the bath is approx. 23 cm above floor level. The baths have not been used of late, but during a visit to the site on 28 December 2004 a strong natural inflow of water was observed.  The baths are named after the stone posts or uprights that formerly served as doorjambs at the entrance to the baths. It is said that Roman milestones were used as the uprights for the entrance, and that one of these milestones is now in the Kastel fort, while the other is broken.  The site of these baths is not being maintained.

Šugavica baths

The path to the baths runs down the Vrbas to the left of Od Zmijanja Rajka street (formerly Braće Alagić street) and along the stone retaining wall of the road embankment, by means of steps composed of stones set into the ground down the steep descent. The baths were used to treat skin diseases, and consisted of a small building which was demolished after World War II; it is not known what it looked like. A trapezoidal recess with sides 140 and 300 cm deep and approx. 280 cm wide, faced with stone, has been cut into the site of the baths, in the road embankment. The recess contains a small trough with an outlet pipe. The entire area of the recess is overgrown with plants and creepers, and the stone facings of the recess are damaged.

Trokić spring (Kraljičina Ilidža or Ilidža)

The Ilidža spring is located further down the path, some 20 metres upstream of Šugavica. Thermal waters emerge right next to the Vrbas river bank. Near this site is a habitat of the rare maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus Veneris), which dates from the glacial period, and which has survived thanks to the hot springs, together with a habitat of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, which carpets the surface of the ground.

Residential properties in Ilidža

Houses were built to the north-east of the Ilidža mosque, which formed the core of the entire mahala. Some of the houses incorporated baths (for instance, the Demirović house); in other cases, the baths were built next to the house (the Gušić house, the Osmančević house, the house of Šeranić Bisera) or in the garden beside the house (for instance, the Šeranić house near the Vrbas).

The “Šeher house” is cubic in shape, with a steep-pitched, wide-eaved hipped roof clad with plain tiles (previously, shingles were used to clad the roofs), and the first floor projecting outwards beyond the ground floor. The walls of the ground floor are stone-built, and those of the first floor are half-timbered (post and pan), with an infill of wattle and daub, laths or unbaked brick.  In layout, the ground floor consists of a hayat (antechamber or hall), with a corridor and staircase leading to the first floor, a halvat (main chamber) and a smaller room, a hudžera (pantry or larder), and premises housing the baths with thermal waters (as in the case of the Demirović house) or a shop (the house of Zejra Šeranić, the Hadžialić house). The first floor consists of the divanhana (spacious landing), sitting rooms – usually with a fine view of the Vrbas – and the “house”, as the kitchen was called, usually on the first floor and with exposed roof beams, leading to the vodnica, an overhanging room used for water storage and usually also equipped with a latrine; there would also be an outside staircase leading to the garden. Some houses (the Gušić house, the Hadžiisaković house) had a nursery on the first floor with a built-in stove with inset “pots”.

A wooden musandera (sergen) is an integral part of every room, consisting of a dolaf (shelved wall cupboard), banjica (washroom) and dušekluk (where bedclothes were stored), and shelves for copper dishes and decorative objects (for example, the Šeranić house, the Demirović house, the house of Zejra Šeranić). A sećija (built-in wooden settee) decorated with serdžade (mats), embroidery and embroidered cushions also formed an integral part of the room.

The buildings in Ilidža mahala that still retain the features of a Šeher house and are of townscape value are:

  • The Šeranić family house (c.p. no. 630, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)
  • The house of Sadik and Ibrahim Demirović (c.p. no. 674, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)
  • The Gušić house (c.p. no. 670/1, c.m. Banja luka III-8)
  • The house of Emina Osmančević (c.p. no. 685/1, c.m. BanjaLluka III-8)
  • The house of Zeira Šeranić (c.p. 689, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)
  • The house of Hadžiisaković Zlatko (c.p. no. 700, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)
  • The house of Golbaher Štefko and Marta (c.p. no. 629, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)
  • The Trokić house (c.p. no. 628, c.m. Banja Luka III-8)

3. Legal status to date

By Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities NR BiH in Sarajevo, no. 727/50, dated 16 July 1950, the Old Baths in Banja Luka, c.p 150/14, Land Register entry no. 641, c.m. Banja Luka, was placed under the protection of the state and registered in the Register of immovable cultural monuments.

The 1980 Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina listed the Old Baths(18) in Banja Luka as a Category II cultural and historical property.

Pursuant to Regional Planning Decision no. 12-012-25/92, Article 10, para. IV – Protection of Sites of the Natural, Cultural and Historical Heritage, published in the Official Gazette of the municipality of Banja Luka, no. 1, the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka listed the Thermal Waters in Gornji Šeher among the sites of particular natural value in Banja Luka municipality; within these sites, pursuant to Article 11 para. 1, all works are prohibited with the exception of works designed to make good the said sites, while Article 10 para. 2 lists Gornji Šeher among the group of complexes of particular cultural and historical value, within which, pursuant to Article 11 para. 2, works may be carried out only pursuant to the Regulatory Plan.

 

4. Research and conservation and restoration works

In 1851, certain repairs were carried out on Ebin hauz (a detailed description is given in section 2, Description of the property).

In 1982, when issuing provisional approval to the Building Institute of Banja Luka for the construction of an indoor pool in Gornji Šeher, the following conditions were stipulated:

  1. When building in the area where archaeological excavations had uncovered the foundations of the Ilidža mosque, constituting an interesting example of building on damp ground, the foundations were to be conserved and provision made for their presentation;
  2. Although the presentation and conservation of tombstones was provided for by the project, the solution was to be part of the landscaping of the area around the property and under the constant supervision of experts from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Monuments of Banja Luka;
  3. Within stage I of construction, as previously agreed upon, the reconstruction of Ebin hauz was to be carried out to restore it to use, and stage II of the works was to include the reconstruction of the remaining baths, which were to be restored to use. 

Based on an on site inspection and information gathered during works on the site, it was learned that archaeological exploration of the site of the musalla and Ilidža mosque had been carried out in the early 1990s.  Over the past few years, the archaeological finds presented in situ have been vandalized and destroyed, as have the boundary wall of the musalla and the nišan tombstones.  It was also found that the works to reconstruct the Ebin hauz and other spas in Gornji Šeher have never been carried out.

 

5. Current condition of the property 

As stated in section 2, Description of the property.

 

6. Specific risks

According to the statements in the Petition to designate the property as a national monument, submitted by the owners of the properties, the extraction of thermal waters from well no. 2 (situated a few metres from the Mazlin hauz and Ebin hauz) by the owners of the Gornji Šeher spa recreational centre is jeopardizing the operation of the remaining baths by interrupting or drastically reducing the inflow of thermal waters to the baths, posing a direct threat to their operation and thereby to their survival.  During the first inspection of the condition of the buildings, conducted on 28 November 2003, it was observed that there was a very limited inflow of water.  During the second inspection, conducted on 28 December 2004, the flow was normal.

 

III – CONCLUSION

 

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

D. v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

E.iii. traditional value

E.iv. relation to rituals or ceremonies

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

  G. Authenticity

G.iii. use and function

G.iv. tradition and techniques

G.v. location and setting

G.vi. spirit and feeling

 

The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan

-     Copy of land register entry and proof of title

-     Photo-documentation

-     Drawings

 

Bibliography

During the procedure to designate the Architectural ensemble of the baths in Ilidža mahala in Gornji Šeher, Banja Luka as a national monument of Bosnia and Hrzegovina, the following works were consulted:

 

1880.    Austro-Hungarian map (copy) featuring Gornji Šeher

 

1953     Bejtić, Alija, Banja Luka pod turskom vladavinom, Arhitektura i teritorijalni razvitak grada u 16. i 17. vijeku (Banja Luka under Turkish rule, Architecture and the territorial development of the city in the 16th and 17th centuries),  Naše starine I (Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina), Sarajevo

 

1972     Blueprints “Turska banja-Gornji Šeher” (Turkish baths-Gornji Šeher), Ground plan and section Sc. 1:50, Architectural Studio, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

1975     Banja Luka, Town Plan, documentation, 2. historical development and heritage, 2.3. cultural and historical heritage, Town Planning Institute, Banja Luka, 1975. (Study prepared by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in BiH, Sarajevo

 

1980     Regulatory plan Gornji Šeher, Town Planning Institute, Banja Luka

 

1983     Kraljević Gojko: Rimski novci iz okolice Banja Luke (Roman coins from the surroundings of Banja Luka), Jnl. of the National Museum (A) NS 3a, 1983, p. 109-125, Sarajevo

 

1998     Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic epigraphics of BiH), bk. II, Eastern and Central Bosnia, 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998.

 

1988.    Husedžinović, Sabira, Vakufname-značajni istorijski izvori za upoznavanje urbane topografije Banja Luke XVI-XIX vijeka (Vakufnamas – important historical sources for a knowledge of the urban topography of Banja Luka from the 16th to the 19th century, Jnl. of the Archives and Association of Archivists of Bosnia and Herzegovina, no. 30, Sarajevo)

 

1989.    Ryszard Pankiewicz: QUELQUES REMARQUES SUR L'ÉCONOMIE PREMONTAIRE DANS LA ROME ARCHAÏQUE, ACTA CLASSICA XXXIII (1990) 65-75 ISSN 0065-1141

 

1996     Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis – odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama (Travelogue – Excerpts on Yugoslav countries),  translation, introduction and commentary by Hazim Šabanović, 3rd ed. Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1996.

 

1999.    Selman, Mehmed: Banja Luka – za svakog ponešto (Banja Luka – something for everyone), Travnik, 1999.

 

2000.    Detailed description of the Bosnian sanjak from 1604. vol. III (original title: Defter-i-mufassal-I liva-I Bosna cild salia, Ankara, Tapu Kadastro, Kuyûd-1 KadĪme Arşivi TD 479), Sarajevo: the Bosniac Institute Zürich, Section Sarajevo: Oriental Institute

 

Ebin hauz Banja Luka, monument file compiled by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska; documentation of the Commission in its previous complement 

 

(1) Hauz: Arabic – covered/indoor pool

(2) The geographical coordinates of the site, together with the geographical coordinates of the remaining sites given in the text of the Decision, were measured on site using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device, make Magellan 315, on 28 December 2004.

(3) Hannibal's soldiers had the custom of throwing coins into springs to honour their gods; in Vespasian's day, copper, silver and gold coins were built into the foundations of buildings; to honour the health of the emperor Augustus, his soldiers too used to throw coins (Ryszard Pankiewicz: QUELQUES REMARQUES SUR L´ÉCONOMIE PRÉMONTAIRE DANS LA ROME ARCHAÏQUE).

(4) The oldest written and surviving vakufnama [from waqf, perpetual endowment, and nama, deed or document] from Banja Luka, so far, is Sofi Mehmed - pasha's vakufnama, which dates from Safer 962 (26.12.1554.-04.01.1555.) (Mujezinović: 1998. p. 126).

(5) There are several references to the name Mahmud Čelebi in the vakufnama. Judging from his title, he was probably an educated man. Mahmud Čelebi can be identified from the supplement to the 1604 register of mahalas as the founder of Ilidža mosque (Ankara, Tapu ve kadastro DN 479, microfilm Oriental Institute in Sarajevo, 205, fo 205/135, 205/136, translation prof. Fehim Spaho).

(6) Husedžinović: 1990, p. 95-115; Bejtić: 1953, p. 96-97.

(7) The healing sulphur waters were used for the treatment of rheumatic diseases of the muscles, joints, neuralgia and skin diseases.

(8) The mills are referred to in Fejzo Čavkić: O Banjoj Luci i njenoj okolici, Školski viestnik X, Sarajevo, 1903

(9) It is known that in 1730 the waters of the Vrbas in spate completely destroyed and swept away Sofi Mehmed pasha's wooden bridge

(10) Evliya Çelebi: Putopis, Odlomci u jugoslovenskim zemljama (translation, introduction and comments – Hazim Šabanović) 3. edition, Sarajevo, 1966, p. 212

(11) Bejtić: 1953, p. 97

(12) The bridge is not marked on the 1880 Austro-Hungarian map

(13) Husedžinović: 1990. p. 95-115, footnote no.31

(14) Details from the petition for designation of the property as a national monument, submitted by the owners of the baths

(15) From the blueprints „Turska banja – Gornji Šeher“, Ground Plan and Section scale 1:50, Architectural Studio, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1972 

(16) According to the monument file and drawings of Ebin hauz in Banja Luka prepared by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska; documentation of the Commission in its previous complement

(17) Data from monument file of the building of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities NR BiH, Sarajevo, 1950, from: Dr. O. Blaum Reisen in B.u.H., Berlin, 1877; Renner Velikanović, All Through Herzeg Bosnia; Dr. E. Ludwig, Mineralquellen in Bosnien, Wien, 1889

(18) Hauz forming part of the house of Muharem Gušić (Maslin hauz) 



Spa in Ilidža mahala in Gornji ŠeherSpa, archival photoOld photo of Banja LukaSpa in Ilidža mahala
Spa in Banja LukaDemirovića  house Zejre Šeranić houseMaslin hauz(Gušića spa)
Osmančevića houseOsmančevića bathTrokića house and Golbaher Štefko and Marta houseTrokića house
Trokića spring (Ilidža)Šugavica bathDireklija bathDireklija bath, an old photo
Direklija bath, interior   


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