Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Batal's grave in Turbe near Travnik, the archaeological site

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Status of monument -> National monument

Pursuant to Article V, Paragraph 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 archaeological site of Batalo’s Tomb in Turbe near Travnik is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The National Monument consists of the archaeological site with the remains of a tomb as well as movable artifacts found on the archaeological site and now housed in the National Museum in Sarajevo, recorded in the inventory books of the Museum’s holdings.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as c.p. no. 1127 (new survey) corresponding to c.p. 328/1 (old survey), land register entry no. 71, cadastral municipality Turbe, Municipality of Travnik, 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 duty bound to ensure and provide the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, and display the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be required to provide the resources for the drafting and implementation of necessary technical documentation for the protection of this national monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (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





            In order to ensure on-going protection of the National Monument the following measures are hereby stipulated:

Protection Zone consists of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision. In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

  • research and conservation and restoration works, including those designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority), shall be permitted
  • rehabilitation works on the Orthodox church of St. John the Baptist and individual residential properties shall be permitted;
  • the site of the National Monument shall be open and accessible to public and may be used for educational and cultural purposes;
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited.




The removal of the movable heritage items specified in Clause 1 of this Decision (hereinafter: the movable heritage) from Bosnia and Herzegovina is prohibited.

By way of exception to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Clause, the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable heritage for the purposes of display or conservation shall be permitted if it is established that conservation works cannot be carried out in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Permission for the temporary removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable heritage under the conditions stipulated in the preceding paragraph shall be issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, if it is determined beyond doubt that it will not jeopardize the movable heritage in any way. 

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritazge, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under which the removal may take place, the date by which the collection shall be returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the responsibility of individual authorities and institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the relevant security service, the customs authority of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.




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 Federal Ministry responsible for culture, 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 VI of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




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




On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 639.




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




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


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


No: 05/1-2-284/05-3

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 (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) 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 (hereinafter referred to as Annex 8) and as 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 archaeological site of Batalo’s Tomb in Turbe to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 639.

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 this site as the national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

  • Documentation on the location of the property and its current owner and user (copy of the cadastre plan and the land registry excerpt)
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data on war damage if any, data on restoration or any other works on the property if any, etc;
  • Historical, architectural or other documentation on the property.


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


1. Details of the property



Turbe is a village situated in the Lašva River valley, 7 km to the west of Travnik. On a hill by the road in a place called Crkvine, there are the remains of a mediaeval necropolis, where Batalo Šantić, a tepčija, was buried under a ridge-shapaed tombstone.      


Historical information

            The favourable geographical position and natural resources of the Lašva Valley have been important conditions for continuity of settlement since prehistoric times. Many prehistoric settlements have been recorded in the Lašva River valley. The Romans occupied the region in the early years C.E. and remained there until the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in 476. The Travnik area was relatively densely populated. The remains of Roman settlements have been found in Mali Mošunj, Putičevo, Dolac, Travnik, and around Turbe. These settlements were interconnected by the network of local roads linked to the main Salona-Argentaria route. Mining was of crucial importance for the economic life of this region in the Roman era. The remains of iron slag found there indicate intensive exploitation of iron ore. One of the larger gold mines was the one in the valley of the Lašva River, evidence of which can be found in the numerous mounds of gravel still standing alongside the river banks.

The earliest reference to the župa (county) of Lašva, consisting of the area around the present-day town of Travnik, dates from 1244, in a Charter of Hungary’s King Bela IV. About 900 mediaeval tombstones have been registered in this county. Several fortified towns have also survived (Travnik, Toričan, Vrbenac, Škaf and Kaštel). Numerous individual finds have been reported, of which the most interesting are fragments of a metal belt (appliqué) dating from the 15th century, excavated from a grave in Nova Bila(1). 

The earliest reliable data on Batalo are to be found in a document issued by King Stjepan Dabiša, heir to Tvrtko I Kotromanić, on 17 July 1392 to the Government of Dubrovnik. In this document, Batalo is mentioned in the capacity of court tepčija and as witness to the validity of the document. Batalo was married to Resa from the patrician Hrvatinić family, and it was thus that he governed the county of Sana. Above the place that is now the village of Varošluk, Batalo erected a well fortified castle, Toričan.

In written sources, Batalo Šantić, a tepčija, is referred to as the owner of property in the County of Lašva and Sana in the second half of the 14th century(2). Information about Batalo is to be found in the "Bogomil Gospel of Tepčija Batalo," which dates from 1393, according to a note (Vrana, 1991 806-807)(3) and in a number of surviving documents dating from the reign of Bosnian kings Stjepan Dabiša, Jelena Gruba and Stjepan Ostoja.

Batalo’s tomb (mausoleum) was discovered in 1915 by Captain Teplý on the hill of Crkvine. Crkvine is a multi-strata archaeological site that dates back, in cultural and historical continuity, to the Neolithic and Eneolithic eras, through the necropolis of the early Roman era and a late antique mausoleum to the end of the 14th century.


2. Description of the property


Batalo’s tomb was originally located in a building (a mausoleum) of square ground plan (measuring 5.80 x 5.80 m) with a portico (measuring 7.20 x 3.10m ). At the time of the first archaeological research, in 1915, remains of the 80-85 cm high mausoleum walls were found around the tomb, together with considerable quantities of tufa blocks scattered around. Brightly-coloured decorations could be seen on these blocks. Around the mausoleum was a small courtyard surrounded on all sides by a ditch; the complex resembled a small fortification.

The deceased was buried in a stone sarcophagus made of sandstone and laid in a double-walled tomb (measuring 2.05 x 1.05 x 1.26 m). The deceased’s head was facing a dish-shaped hollow in the top corner of the sarcophagus. Above the sarcophagus, the walls of the tomb were fitted with consoles to hold the inner covering slab.  At first sight the tomb thus appeared to be empty and protected from grave robbers.  Under the slab a textile curtain attached by iron nails was found.

A ridge-shaped (gabled) stećak measuring 1.45 x 0.60 x 0.80 m stood on the upper slab (measuring 2.25 x 1.25 m).

The most interesting part of the structure of the lower part of the tomb is the frontal stone slab with an epitaph in Bosnian Cyrillic script (measuring 17 x 24 cm).  The slab is damaged at the top where the first line of the epitaph should be, and in the upper right corner. The epitaph has been completely reconstructed and reads:

  Ase leži] uzmo [žni] mužÕ t [epÕ]čija Batal[o] bosanÕski a pisa RadomilÕ dijakÕ.

(Here lies a wealthy man, tepčija Batalo, and this was written by Radomil the disciple)

In the course of excavation, only the scattered bones of the deceased and fragments of brocade were found. No grave goods were found.

Between the two world wars, a church was built with its apse lying against the entrance to the tomb. The church was demolished during World War II. In 1970 a new church of St John the Baptist was erected on its foundations. In the last war, the church was damaged, and repairs are underway.


3. Legal status to date


The archaeological site of Batalo’s Tomb in Turbe is on the Provisional List of National Monuments under the name of  Travnik – Batalo’s Tomb, serial no. 639.

The Regional Plan for BIH to 2000 lists the property as a Category x monument.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works


In 1915, archaeological research was conducted led by Ć. Truhelka.

In 1952, prince Batalo’s tomb was repaired, under the auspices of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR BiH.

The movable archaeological material is deposited in the National Museum in Sarajevo.


5. Current condition of the property


An on site inspection in December 2004 ascertained as follows:

The access road and plateau on which Batalo’s Tomb is located have been cleared of mines only recently. It is still surrounded by a minefield. The stećak above Batalo’s Tomb is in good condition. The other two stećaks are covered with leaves and moss.

Except for the Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist, white is currently being reconstructed, there is no building activity in the immediate vicinity of the site.




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

iv. composition,

v. value of details (fragments of painted plaster)

vi. value of construction.

D. Clarity (documentary, scientific, educational value)

i. eidence of historical change,

G. Authenticity

i. form and design

ii. material and content

iv. tradition and techniques

v. location and setting

H. Rarity and representativity

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


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

  • Copy of cadastral plan
  • Photo documentation
  • Drawings




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


1893.    Truhelka, Dr Ćiro and Patsch, Dr Karlo, Iskopine u dolini Lašve 1893. (Excavations in the Lašva Valley), Jnl. Of the National Museum in Sarajevo, V, Sarajevo, 1893, pp. 685-707.


1915.    Truhelka, Dr Ćiro, Grobnica bosanskog tepčije Batala, obretena kod Gornjeg Turbeta (Kotar Travnik) (Tomb of Bosnian tepčija Batalo, located near Gornje Turbe (Travnik District) Jnl. Of the National Museum in Sarajevo, XXVII, 1915. 365 -374.


1923.    Petrović, Jozo, Lubanja (calvarium) i dijelovi kostura bosanskoga velmože Batala (Scull and Skeletal Parts of Bosnian Patrician Batalo), Jnl. Of the National Museum in Sarajevo, XXXV, Sarajevo, 1923, pp. 177 - 182.


1924.    Mandić, Turbe kod Travnika (Turbe near Travnik), Jnl. Of the National Museum in Sarajevo, XXXVI, Sarajevo, 1924, pp. 83 - 903.


1931.    Petrović, Jozo, S arheologom kroz Travnik (With an Archaeologist through Travnik), Special offprint from Bk. VI of "Narodne starine", Zagreb, 1931.


1951.    Sergejevski, Dimitrije, Kasno-antički mauzolej u Turbetu (Late Antique Mausoleum in Turbe), Jnl. Of the National Museum in Sarajevo, n.s. vol. VI, 1951, pp. 135-145.


1957.    Korošec, Josip, Neolitska naseobina na Crkvinama u Turbetu kod Travnika (A Neolithic Settlement in Turbe near Travnik), Jnl. Of the National Museum in Sarajevo, n.s. vol. XII, Sarajevo, 1957, pp. 5 - 18.


1959.    Mazalić, Đoko, Konzervatorski zahvat na Batalovoj grobnici i njezin današnji izgled (Conservation Intervention on Batalo’s tomb and its present appearance), Naše starine VI, Sarajevo, 1959, pp. 239-242.


1971.    Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci, kataloško-topografski pregled (Stećci; a Catalogue and Topographic Overview). Sarajevo, 1971, pp. 142-143.


1982.    Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci-kultura i umjetnost (Stećak tombstones, culture and art), Sarajevo, 1982, pp. 49-50, p. 116.


1990.    Maslić, Fatima, Starine i muzeji Travnika (Antiquities and Museums of Travnik), Tourist Association of Travnik, Zagreb, 1990.


2004.    Kliko, Amir, Tepčija Batalo, gospodar župa Sane i Lašve (Teščija Batalo, the Landlord of Sana and Lašva County), Divan No. 45, Periodical of the Bosniac Cultural Association "Preporod", Travnik branch, 2004.


(1) These are now housed in the Regional Museum in Travnik.

(2) The title of tepčija features in Bosnia from the 13th to the early 15th century.  There were two ranks of this title: Grand Tepčija, and Tepčija.  The Grand Tepčija was based in the royal court, while Tepčijas served in counties or under the lords of a district.  Regardless of their rank, the function of tepčijas was that of land agent for their lord (whether the ruler or a lord of a district or county).  These dignitaries feature when properties (again, whether royal, district or county) boundaries were being drawn or re-drawn.  In Serbia the title of Grand Tepčija died out before Dušan was crowned as emperor, and in Bosnia in the late 14th and early 15th century (M. Blagojević, 1976, 7-47 and 1999, 728).

(3) The Gospel is now housed in the National Library of St. Petersburg in Russia.

Batal's graveSituationThe grave of Tepčija Batal, Truhelka 1915Cross sections, Truhelka 1915.
The inscription with bosančica in grave of Batal   

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