home    
 
Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Provisional List

About the Provisional List

List of Petitions for Designation of Properties as National Monuments

Heritage at Risk

60th session - Decisions

Church of the Holy Apostles SS Peter and Paul in Palačkovci, together with its movable heritage, the architectural ensemble

gallery back

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 3 to 9 May 2005 the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

The architectural ensemble of the Orthodox timber-built church (church of the Holy Apostles SS Peter and Paul) in Palačkovci, Municipality  Prnjavor, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the church and movable heritage items consisting of the royal doors, 26 icons, and an antimensium.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no.. 228, Land Register entry no. 78, cadastral municipality Palačkovci, Municipality  Prnjavor, Republika Srpska, 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 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

 

To ensure the on-going protection of the property, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the site specified in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision.

  • all works are prohibited on the buildings constituting the architectural ensemble, other than conservation and restoration works and routine maintenance works, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska,

            A protective strip 50 m wide extending from the boundaries of Protection Zone I is hereby stipulated.  In this protective zone all new construction, the construction of major infrastructural facilities and the dumping of waste are prohibited.

 

IV

 

            All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the 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 removal of the movable heritage items referred to in Clause 1 para. 2 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 temporary removal 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 items in any way. 

In granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritage, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under which the movable heritage may be removed from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the date by which the items shall be returned to the country, and the responsibility of individual authorities and institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the Government of Republika Srpska, the relevant security service, the customs authority of  Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general public accordingly.

 

VII

 

            The Government of Republika Srpska, the ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska, the ministry responsible for culture 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 – VI of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.

 

VIII

 

            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) 

 

IX

 

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.

 

X

 

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. 481.

 

XI

 

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. 07.2-02-108/05-5

4 May 2005

Sarajevo

 

Chair of the Commission

Ljiljana Ševo

 

E l u c i d a t i o n

 

I – INTRODUCTION

 

            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 timber-built church in the village of Palačkovci to the Provisional List of National Monuments, under serial no. 481.

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.

 

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.
  • Copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.

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

 

1. Details of the property

Location

            The village of Palačkovci is in the northern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, midway between Prnjavor and Derventa, about 2 km south-west of the road leading to a place known as Crkvina, locality Šuma. The church stands on a plot measuring 20.35 (north) x 23.30 (west) x 21.45 (south) x 21.00 m (east).To the east is an Orthodox cemetery, still in use, from which the church plot is separated by a fence.

The National Monument occupies c.p. no. 228, c.m. Palačkovci. Land Registry entry no. 78, Municipality Prnjavor, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

            According to a census drawn up in 1911for the Banja Luka eparchy(1),  there was a total of 83 timber-built religious edifices in the Bosnian krajina (frontier region) (2nd schematism of the Orthodox Banja Luka Bihać metropolitanate for 1911). As regards their date of origin, seven dated from the 18th century, sixteen from the 19th (pre 1878), and a total of sixty prior to 1911. Up to 1952 there were almost thirty of them. Many disappeared during World War II and in the early years following the war, the principal reasons for which were largely associated with the war and, later, poor or inadequate maintenance of these buildings.

            Local tradition dates the church in Palačkovci to the remote past. This same tradition relates that the present church is the third timber-built church to be built on the same site (Ševo, 86.) (2)      

            The present timber-built church in Palačkovci was built by one Pejo Kljunić as leading craftsmen, and his assistants, Ratkovci from the Derventa Detlak. The church was built in 1843, as recorded on an inscription incised at the top of the north doorjamb on the west front of the church. Although built in the 19th century, one of its features is that it is not of large size, as are the spacious churches like those in Marićka, Rakelići or Busnovi.  Its simple ground plan, with no apse, and modest size suggests that it must have originated much earlier and that 1843 was in fact the year when it was rebuilt or renovated.  Another pointer to this conclusion is a discovery made during works on the restoration of the royal doors, when older painted layers of much greater artistic value were found under the existing coat of paint. To all appearances, this earlier painting is attributable to 18th century Serbian icon painting of the highest quality. This discovery, and the discovery of the old stone floor paving below the brick-paved floor, as well as the architectural features of the building already noted, provide solid grounds for claiming that the 1843 building was merely renovated.

 

2. Description of the property 

Timber buildings constitute a large group in the architectural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Retaining distant Slav traces as well as mediaeval and later influences from the period of independence, the churches of Bosnia are full of inventiveness and adapted to natural conditions and existential needs (Pavlović, 1962. p. 91). Since these are buildings of modest size, they were often listed as ”timber-built” or ”village-style  (Bećirbegović, 1999, p. 9).

            In regions rich in building-quality timber, many buildings of various types, form and purpose can be seen. Timber church architecture was evolving into an extensive architecture with its own typical decoration when its evolution was abruptly cut short.

            According to Petar Momirović, timber-built churches can be divided into four groups:

  1. simple rectangular churches of small size and mainly without apse,
  2. larger rectangular churches with decorative roofs and polygonal apse,
  3. a transitional form with additional three-sided apse and new structural and decorative elements, and
  4. a new type of timber-built church with more elaborate ground plan, finer workmanship and austere lines. (3)             

In her book Džamije sa drvenom munarom (Mosques with wooden minarets), Prof. Madžida Bećirbegović classified timber-built churches according to building methods and general features(4). She classifies timber-built churches into just two groups:

    • pre-18th century churches, and
    • 19th century churches(5).

In terms of their date of origin, the churches may be classified into three basic types:

    • older timber-built churches (built in the mid 18th century (6))
    • more recent (built during the 19th century (7)), and
    • churches of transitional type. 

The church in Palačkovci is dedicated to the Apostles SS Peter and Paul. In the harmony and precision of its architectural structure and wealth and diversity of its decorative features, the church in Palačkovci stands out as a distinctive creation in the frontier family of timber-built churches.

The church is rectangular in ground plan, measuring 9.82 x 4.56 m.  The height of the ridge exceeds 7.00 metres.

The church has no altar apse, and is made of oak timbers with the joints and overlaps executed with great precision. The timbers are of sound oakwood finished to a high standard.

The basal trunks are laid on rough-cut stone, and joined at the corners by a dual overlap.  The wall timbers are narrower than the basal ones. Given the considerable length of the building, to extend the timbers, an upright was set in the north side into which shorter timbers were tongue-and-grooved (contrary to the church in Jelićka). To the south this was not necessary, since the doorjambs of the south door to the church served the same purpose.

The horizontal timbers are joined at the corners by a dual overlap. At the east, altar end, the wall is of simple timbers, while at the west end the timbers are tongue-and-grooved into the substantial doorjambs. The eave purlin of the church is not exposed, since both the underside of the eaves and the ceiling in the interior of the church are composed of šašavac wedges.

The church roof is high and steeply pitched, with its highest point at about 7 metres.  Towards the base, the entire roof structure curves slightly, forming eaves approx. 1.60 m. wide.

The wide shingles with which the church roof is clad are laid in 6-7 layers in regular courses of decorative appearance.The roof ridge is clad with a row of short, wide, pointed shingles which are purely decorative in function. There are wooden flamboyant-style crosses on the ridge faces.

The eaves of the church are arch-finished with soft-wood šašavac wedges. The entire eaves are lined with boards over which the cornice is fitted. The cornice is slightly curved to follow the form of the roof, and then carved with hollow relief interlinked semicircles between two raised relief bands, which are decorated with incised parallel lines.

There are rectangular windows with iron bars on all four sides of the church.

The church has two entrances, one at the west end and the other on the south side. The west entrance to the church consists of double doors framed by two oak doorjambs, into which an arched lintel is set. The angles of the lintel are decorated with three rosettes, two small and one larger. The north doorjamb bears an incised design of a church with a dome and two bell towers, and the year 1843, as the date the church was built. A cross is incised opposite the church(8).

The entrance door opening measures 1.80 x 1.05 metres. The doors are of thick oak and each measure 1.92 x 0.60 m. The decorated part of the doors is of softwood. The background is painted red. The arch is edged with pellets and the remaining surfaces with floral curlicues. Each of the doors is decorated with a double design of rhombs and rings, in blue and green paint and carving. At the centre of the smallest rhombus is a crux gammata (swastika). The doors are closed on the inside by a large latch.

The south entrance opening measures 1.16 x 0.66 m, with a wide, substantial doorjamb and round-arched lintel. The angles of the lintel are decorated with two rosettes, at the centre of which is a smaller carved rosette painted yellow.

This entrance has a single door measuring1.28 x 0.70 m, with a thickness of 7.5 cm. The door is decorated in similar fashion to the one on the south side of the church. The background is red, and the doors are surrounded with fuller floral curlicues, with the use of yellow paint and accompanied by a number of rhombs carved into the wood. In the central, smallest rhombus is a relief design of a rosette.

The interior of the church is divided, as is the case with most buildings of this type, into parvis, nave and altar area.

The parvis of the church occupies an area of 2.80 x 4.64 metres. It is divided from the nave, the central prayer area, by a screen consisting of four oak pillars with decorated bases and capitals. The pillars are linked by arches. The parvis screen has a low railing, about 50 cm high.  The flat ceiling is composed of šašavac wedges. Above the parvis, at a height of about 2.20 metres, is the choir, which is reached via a wooden staircase in the south-west area of the parvis. The staircase is 68 cm wide. The choir has a screen with mušebak lattice-work.

The central area of the church, the nave, measures 3.68 x .64 m. The vault is similar to that of the altar area; here, the vault is 4.03 m high. At a height of 2.95 m there is a flat section of ceiling about 50 cm wide between the outer walls and the barrel vault. The structure of the vault is similar to that of the church in the village of Jelićka, but is not exposed, being clad on the ouside with šašavac wedges. The arched wooden ribs rest on wooden beams measuring 10 x 6 cm, and are tenon-jointed at the top into a 3 cm thick wooden board.

The altar area of the church is rectangular in ground plan, measuring 2.77 x 4.64 metres. It is roofed by a conical structure with šašavac, except for the area over the altar and diaconicon, where it has a flat wooden ceiling.

At the centre of the apex of the vault is a square board divided by beading into three rectangular panels. The outer rectangular panels are decorated with the same design composed of nailed beading. The design consists of three rectangular, a larger one surrounding a smaller one, and a third set at right angles to these two. The corners of the smaller and larger rectangular are joined by slats. The outer corners of the rectangle are enclosed by slats running parallel with the third rectangle. At the centre of the central rectangular panel is a rhombus design executed in slats, the inside of which is another two slats fixed crosswise. This panel is used to attach the polijelej (Virgin's wheel). This consists of twelve arched terminal boards, each decorated with a different carved design (usually crosses and semicircles, combined in various ways). A cross is incised at the top of each arch of the polijelej.

The sacrificial altar in the north-east corner of the altar area consists of a small cupboard decorated with laths and linear designs.

The hierarchical chair stands on a stone pillar with a wooden plaque.

The altar area is separated from the nave by a wooden iconostasis screen, which has the usual three entrances, two to the sides and the central royal doors.

The iconostasis screen is decorated with numerous icons, of which the following are of note:

1. CHRIST WITH SS PETER AND PAUL

Date of origin: c. 1843

Technique: tempera on board, gilding

Size: 101 x 105 cm

Description: The edge of the throne icon is bordered with a red and gold band.  The background of the lower half of the icon is red, and of the upper half blue. The icon shows the standing figures of the following saints:

§          Christ is wearing a red robe with a blue cloak over it. He is giving a blessing with His right hand and holding the Gospels open in his left. He has a gold halo within which is a cross drawn with double red lines. His initials, ISHS, are inscribed in white beside the halo.

§          To the left of Christ is the apostle Peter, represented as a middle-aged man with grey hair and beard. He is wearing a green robe with a violet cloak. He is holding keys in his right hand and a model of a church with three towers in his left. He has a gold halo, with his name inscribed beside it in white.

§          To the left of the apostle Peter is the apostle Paul, represented as a middle-aged, dark-complexioned man with a high forehead. He is wearing a green robe with a red cloak. He is holding the Gospels, closed, in his left hand, and in his right the other side of the model of the church which St Peter is holding in his left. His name is inscribed in white next to his halo.

§          The hands in which the apostles are holding the model of the church are painted disproportionately small by comparison with their bodies.

2. MOTHER OF GOD WITH CHRIST AND THE EVANGELISTS MARK AND LUKE

Date of origin: c. 1843.

Technique: tempera on board, gilding

Size: 90 x 105 cm

Description: The Mother of God is represented in half figure on this throne icon, wearing a blue robe with a violet maphorion bordered with a gold band. The Mother of God is holding the Christ child in her left hand; He is wearing a green robe with a red himation, giving a blessing with His right hand and holding the Gospels, open, in His left. The Mother of God has a gold halo and is wearing a baroque five-pointed crown, which is being held by two small angels who have an orb with the Mother of God's initials in their other hand. The evangelists are wearing blue robes, over which Mark has a brown cloak and Luke a red one. The background of the icon is red. The figures of the evangelists are similar to those of the apostles in the preceding icon, suggesting that the same artist painted both.

3. FATHER ST SAVA, FIRST SERBIAN ARCHBISHOP

Date of origin: c. 1908

Technique: tempera on canvas

Size: 53 X 67 cm

Description: The central part of the icon shows the figure of St Sava as a middle-aged, grey-haired man wearing archbishop's vestments. He has a halo, and a mitre on his head. He is holding a bishop's crozier in his left hand. To his left is the figure of Christ, and to his right the Mother of God and Christ child, whom she is holding in her arms.  Below the saint's feet are four men and two children on either side, with between them a white scroll with an inscription in Cyrillic in dark-toned letters: COME NOW AND HEAR ME FEAR O LORD TEACH US.  At the base of the icon is the following text in capital Cyrillic letters in red: JOVIĆ GAVRANOVIĆ OF SRĐEVIĆI A GIFT TO THE SERBIAN SCHOOL IN PALAČKOVCI.

4. ST JOHN THE BAPTIST

Date of origin: c. 1910

Technique: tempera on canvas

Size: 37.5 x 47.5 cm

Description: The icon shows St John the Baptist as a young man, standing, wearing a brown robe and blue cloak, and holding large cross and a scroll in his left hand while giving a blessing with his right.  Behind him is a river and its banks, with palm trees in the distance. The name of the saint is inscribed in the upper part of the icon, and the following text in the lower part, in red Cyrillic: THIS ICON WAS GIVEN TO THE CHURCH IN PALAČKOVCI IN 1910 BY STOJAN SRDINČIĆ

5. ST STEPHEN THE ARCHDEACON

Date of origin: c. 1910

Technique: tempera on canvas

Size: 37.5 x 47.5 cm

Description: The saint is represented in a church beside icons, wearing a red robe. His right arm is resting beside his body, and he is holding an icon lamp in his right hand. He has a halo around his head. The following inscription is inscribed at the bottom of the icon in red Cyrillic capitals: THIS ICON WAS GIVEN FOR THE SOUL OF THE LATE ĐURAĐ MILINKOVIĆ BY HIS LAWFUL WIFE ĐURĐIJA IN 1910.

6.SS PETER AND PAUL

Date of origin: c. 1904

Technique: tempera on canvas

Size: 37.5 x 49.5 cm

Description: The two middle-aged men are show on a blue background. The apostle Peter is represented as a grey-haired man in a red robe and wrapped in a blue-green cloak, holding the Gospels in his left hand and extending his right to the observer. He has a halo around his head. The apostle Paul is represented with long brown hair, wearing a green robe and wrapped in a red cloak. His arms are folded across his chest, with the right hand holding a long staff. He has a halo around his head. The apostles' names are inscribed at the top of the icon, while the bottom bears a note on the gift of the icon in red Cyrillic capitals: THIS ICON WAS DONATED TO THE CHURCH IN PALAČKOVCI BY PETAR MILINČIĆ IN 1910.

7. MOTHER OF GOD AND CHRIST

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on canvas, overlay, embossing

Size: 45 x 45 cm

Description: The icon is under glass. The painted area, apart from the faces of the Mother of God and Christ, who is represented in the same axis as the Mother of God, and their hands, is overlaid with embossed silver. The silver overlay is decorated with floral designs.

8. CHRIST PANTOCRATOR

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on canvas, overlay, embossing

Size: 45 x 45 cm

Description: The icon is under glass. The painted area, apart from the figure of Christ who is represented in baroque style, is overlaid with embossed silver. The silver overlay is decorated with floral designs.

9. ST NICHOLAS

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on canvas, overlay, embossing

Size: 45 x 45 cm

Description: The icon is under glass. The painted area, apart from the figure of the saint who is represented in baroque style, is overlaid with embossed silver.The silver overlay is decorated with floral designs.

10. MOTHER OF GOD OF SMOLENSK WITH CHRIST

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on canvas, overlay, embossing

Size: 45 x 45 cm

Description: The icon is under glass. The painted area, apart from the faces of the Mother of God and Christ, Whom she is holding on her left arm, together with her hands and his arms and legs, is overlaid with embossed silver. The silver overlay is decorated with floral designs.

11. CHRIST CRUCIFIED WITH SAINTS

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on board

Size: 32.5 x 38.5 cm

Description: Iconography typical of Russian icons, with a cross with Christ crucified in the centre. The crucifixion is on a claret-red background with the Pantocrator at the top and a skull and crossbones at the base. The upper panels contain the Mother of God and Christ, and St Nicholas, and the lower the figures of SS Demetrius and George on horseback.

12. CHRIST CRUCIFIED WITH SAINTS

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on board

Size: 32.5 x38.5 cm

Description: Iconography typical of Russian icons, with a cross with Christ crucified in the centre. The crucifixion is against a background of the starry sky, with the Pantocrator at the top and the Mother of God and St John to the sides. The upper panels contain the Kazanskaya Mother of God with Christ and St Nicholas, and the lower the figures of SS Demetrius and George on horseback.

13.  FIGURE OF ST NICHOLAS THE MIRACLE-WORKER

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on board

Size: 31 x 37 cm

Description: The edge of the icon is painted with a broad red band along the edge of which runs a narrow white line.  Within this red panel is the half-figure of St Nicholas. His head is large in proportion to his body. Dark ochre tones are used in the careful stylization of the outlines of the face, dominated by its high forehead and long, thin nose.  The saint is giving a blessing with his right hand and holding the Gospels open in his left. The right hand side of the saint's cloak is decorated with three circles (yellow, orange and green). The edges of the circles are decorated with dots. The traces of earlier punched circles can be seen beside these three circles.To the left and right of the saint's shoulders are circular medallions with Christ and the Mother of God, giving him the Gospel and an omophorion. At the top of the icon, in red Cyrillic capitals, are the words FIGURE OF ST NICHOLAS THE MIRACLE-WORKER.

14.  MOTHER OF GOD AND CHRIST

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on board

Size: 31 x 37 cm

Description: The edge of the icon is painted with a broad red band along the edge of which runs a narrow white line. Within this red panel is the half-figure of the Mother of God with the Christ child beside her. The background of the icon is gilded. Ochre and pale pink skin tones are used to model the Mother of God's pensive face, while Christ's complexion is much darker. The entire surface of His cloak is covered with spiral stylized palm fronds. The edges of this design are mainly painted dark red and the inside dark blue.The edge of the cloak has a narrow gold border with small circular and curly motifs.

15. FIGURE OF ST DEMETRIUS THE MARTYR

Date of origin: 18th or 19th century

Technique: tempera on board

Size: 32 x 39 cm

Description: The edge of the icon is painted with a broad red band.The top of the icon bears a red band with an inscription in dark Cyrillic capitals: FIGURE OF ST DEMETRIUS THE MARTYR. Within this panel is the figure of St Demetrius on horseback. To the left of the saint are two figures holding an icon, outside a building. In the background is a winged angel. At the centre of the top of the icon is the Holy Face.

 

In addition to these five icons by Russian masters the church has another eleven icons of the same school, but set so high on the iconostasis in the church that they could not be reached.

ROYAL DOORS

In addition to the icons, the royal doors form a prominent feature of the iconostasis screen, with a scene of the Annunciation with King David and King Solomon.

The carved edge of the doors is framed by gilden garlands of palmettes, fleur de lis and stylized spirals (horizontal hooks). 

The Archangel Gabriel is shown on the north-east section of the doors. Simple architecture can be seen in the background.

The Mother of God enthroned, arms crossed on her breast, is shown on the south-east section.  She has a halo around her head. The architecture in the background is more elaborate than that in the scene with the Archangel Gabriel.

Kings David and Solomon, facing one another, with crowns and gilded halos around their heads and holding scrolls, feature in the upper, semicircular section of the doors.

At the top of the doors is a gilded stylized cross in the form of an eight-petalled flower, with a red teardrop between every other petal.

Momirović infers from the drawing of the figures in the Annunciation with Kings David and Solomon that the royal doors of the church in Palačkovci were made by the same artist who painted the mural frescoes in the Gomionica monastery between 1865 and 1870 (Momirović, 1956, 164).

In 1998/99 the picture conservator Milica Kotur carried out conservation and restoration works on the two throne icons and the royal doors.  Based on the old woodcarving method used, she assumed the existence of an older painted layer beneath the present one. Tests were carried out on the upper, semicircular section of the doors, and it was ascertained that there was an older painted layer, now surviving only in fragmentary form, beneath the figure of King Solomon.

The iconostasis screen is topped by a cross beside which are two finely modelled dragons and icons of the Mother of God and St John the Divine.

The church also contains an antimensium dating from 1851, consecrated by Patriarch Kyril.

 

3. Legal status to date

By ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of BiH in Sarajevo, no. 02-UP-1-5-1/70, dated 27 March 1970, the Serbian Orthodox timber-built church of SS Peter and Paul in Palačkovci is of the nature of a cultural monument and was placed under legal protection.  This ruling became legally valid on 10 February 1971.

The property was on the Provisional List of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the name timber-built church in the village of Palačkovci, serial no. 481.

 

4. Research and conservation and restoration works          

Most of the works on the building have been carried out by the inhabitants of the village of Palačkovci. Before the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a repair project had been drawn up by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of BiH, and timber procured (according to architect A. Ninković).

            The most recent interventions were in 1997 and 1998, and consisted of:

  • structural repairs to the foundations by concreting beneath them and treating the stone face of the foundationi wall;
  • replacing the main roof beam;
  • holding the binding rafters together with a system of ties;
  • laying the floor in the central prayer area;
  • replacing the shingle roof cladding;
  • laying a catwalk of quarry stone around the church;
  • relocating the belltower; 

Conservation and restoration works on the royal doors and throne icons were carried out by picture conservator Milica Kotur.

During these latest interventions, the church was raised using a hydraulic lift, and replaced in position after completion of the works. During the replacement of the roof cladding, a temporary roof structure was fitted to prevent precipitation leaking into the building.

The shingles were cut by craftsmen from Mt Vlašić (information from the locals).

 

5. Current condition of the property

The church in Palačkovci is in good structural condition. There are no damp or structural problems in the building itself.

During an on-site inspection on 22 April 2005, certain discrepancies in regard to the technical documentation obtained from the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of BiH were observed. Since the technical survey of the building was carried out just before the outbreak of the 1992-1995 war in BiH, it follows that the works that led to these discrepancies must have been carried out during or immediately after the war.

The local people say that the latest interventions on the site were carried out in 1997-98.  According to them, these works involved:

  • moving the belltower from its original position to a position some 20 metres to the south-west;
  • replacing the majority of the structural components of the belltower;
  • adding new visual and functional components to the belltower – roofs between the various storeys;
  • the construction of a new timber building about 4 metres to the west of the church;
  • by comparison with the facts as shown in the Institute's documentation, there was only one grave in the north-east corner of the plot on which the church stands, not two;
  • a stone catwalk of quarry stone was laid around the church. While this was being done, according to the locals, skeletal remains and parts of a grave cross were found, which are now propped up by the east fence around the plot;
  • the entire church was raised by hydraulic lift to enable the concrete underpinning and the base for the basal wooden beam to be laid, after which it was lowered again;
  • in the interior of the church, the brick flooring was removed from the central prayer area, revealing the original paving stones, which were cleaned and pointed with cement mortar;
  • the main roof beam was replaced;
  • the layers of shingles are regularly sprayed with wood preservative.

6. Specific risks          

None.

 

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

C.  Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i. quality of workmanship

C.ii. quality of materials

C.iii. proportions

C.iv. composition

C. v. value of details

C.vi. value of construction

D. Clarity

D.ii. evidence of historical change

D. 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.i. ontological 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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.i.  Relation to other elements of the site

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

            H. Rarity and representativity

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

 

            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan

-     Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-     Photodocumentation of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, photographs taken by Mirzah Fočo and Slobodanka Nikolić

-     Site plan and blueprints – documentation of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport:

1.       site plan scale 1:200

2.       ground plan scale 1?50

3.       transverse section scale 1:50

4.       longitudinal section scale 1:50

 

Bibliography:

During the procedure to designate the timber-built church in Palačkovci as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:

 

1912.    2nd schematism of the Serbian Orthodox Banja Luka-Bihać Metropolitanate for 1911, Banjaluka, 1912

 

1953.    Momirović, Petar, Naše starine I, 1953

 

1956.    Momirović, Petar, Drvene crkve zapadne Bosne (Wooden churches of western Bosnia), Naše starine III, 1956

 

1962.    Pavlović, St. Dobroslav, Crkve brvnare u Srbiji (Timber-built churches in Serbia) Doctoral dissertation defended at the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade, Belgrade, 1962.

 

2002.  Nenadović, M., Slobodan, Ilustrovani rečnik izraza u narodnoj arhitekturi (Illustrated dictionary of terms in folk architecture), Prosveta, 2002.

 

2002.    Ševo, Ljiljana, Crkva u Romanovcima. (The church in Romanovcima) Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878 (Orthodox churches and monasteries in BiH to 1878), Banja Luka, 2002.

 

2004.  Lalić, Slobodanka, Folklorni elementi u dekoraciji u crkvama brvnarama u Bosni i Hercegovini (Folklore elements in the decoration of timber-built churches in BiH)

 

2004     Fočo Mirzah, Tradicionalna arhitektura BiH – Upotreba drveta u sakralnoj arhitekturi (Traditional architecture of BiH – use of wood in religious architecture) Seminar paper, Interdisciplinary post-graduate studies at the Faculty of Architecture in Sarajevo.

 

Documentation of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport

 


(1) The church belongs to the Banja Luka eparchy, founded in 1900 as a metropolitanate. This eparchy is in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to this, the region belonged to the Dabrobosnian metropolitanate. Prior to this, the region belonged to the Dabrobosnian metropolitanate. The first bishop of this eparchy was Metropolitan Evgenije Letica (1901–1907), followed by Serbian archpriests Vasilije Popović (1908–1938), Platon Jovanović (1940–1941), Dr Vasilije Kostić (1947–1961), Dr Andrej Frusić (1961–1980) and the present bishop, Jefrem Milutinović.

(2) The first church was built before one of the many epidemics of the plague, and the second after the epidemic. Momirović writes that a shepherd discovered the dilapidated, rotting remains of this second church.

(3) The first group consists of churches with a very simple ground plan and of modest size. As a rule, they have no apse. The churches in this group are small and simple, and of modest size. As a rule the skeleton system was used, with walls of tongue-and-groove boards. These buildings had no ceiling – the roof rafters were fully exposed on the interior. The churches in this group had very few openings, only an entrance at the west end, usually with a solid arched lintel and jambs. Light entered the church, usually around the altar, through narrow angled horizontal gaps between the timbers. The churches in Malo Blaško, Šljivan (destroyed in the 1950s. Or 60s), Javorine, Romanovci and Koli belong to this group.

The second group consists of somewhat larger churches constructed of massive timbers with more decorative roofs and thicker layers of shingles. The churches in this group always had a polygonal apse, where the timbers were joined at the angles by a complex system of dual angled overlap with the ends rounded at an angle. The ceiling is partly flat, partly barrel-vaulted composed of šašavak wedges. The Jelićka church and the church in the village of Rakelići belong to this group.

The third group is transitional in form between the two preceding groups, with the addition of a three-sided apse and certain details. The best known church in this group is the wooden church in Krupa on the Vrbas.

The fourth group consists of more recent churches with more elaborate ground plan, new features and new structural treatment. The treatment of the material is more modern and the building techniques more complex. The walls are high, the roofs high and wide, and the interior spacious. The windows and doors are of normal size, the ceilings vaulted, and floors wood or stone. These churches are more richly decorated than the other groups. The exterior lines are austere and the interior, unlike the churches in the other groups, is cold and austere. The churches in Drugovići, Busnovi and Marićka belong to this group.

(4) This classification works only for buildings the exact date of origin of which is known and where there have been no later interventions, which were very common in the case of timber-built churches. Following certain interventions, usually in the form of extensions or of transferring parts of one church to another, what is in fact authentic becomes open to question.

(5) In her view, the first group is typified by simpler workmanship and decoration, a rectangular ground plan with no apse, and a roof structure that is exposed on the interior. These churches are of modest workmanship and, in choice of materials and workmanship, look more like an ordinary village house than a religious building.  The churches in Malo Blaško, Javorine, Romanovci and Koli belong to this group.

The second group in this classification includes the churches in the villages of Jelićka, Rakelići, Busnovi, Marićka and Palačkovci.  These churches are considerably larger, and have one or more apses.

(6) A total of five buildings from this period survive in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the churches in Malo  Blaško near Slatina, the church in Javorani near Kneževo, the church in Romanovci near Gradiška, and the church in Han-Kola near Banja Luka. They are about 50 km apart. They were probably built (or perhaps rebuilt on the site of older churches) in the first half of the 18th century. They share certain features in common. All are modest in size, no more than 9 m in length and 4 m in width. In size and construction they do not differ from the timber-built houses people lived in in those days, or from various small-sized buildings used for production (e.g. mills and stamping mills). The ground plan of these churches is usually rectangular, with the load-bearing structure set on the bare ground without any foundations or dry stone underpinnings to transfer the load to load-bearing ground. In most cases they are built on cut stone. As a rule the skeleton system was used, supported by wooden uprights tenon-jointed to the base beam. This was thus a type of skeleton system with consisting of uprights and walls of tongue-and-groove boards. In addition, buildings of this kind have an architecturally very interesting roof structure with a ridge and trough at the top (Ševo, 1996, 73, Stanković, 2003, 62). Some churches are made of true rectangular-section timbers, joined at the corners by overlapping. The upper timber of this type of structure often formed the eave purlin; in some cases, this was doubled to form a dual eave purline. In most cases, struts were mounted between the uprights to brace the structure and add stability to the walls, though this is not an invariable rule (the church in Koli). The churches in this group had very few openings, only an entrance at the west end, usually with a solid arched lintel and jambs. The oak doors are rectangular, with horizontal crossbars at the back and an iron lock with a large key. Light entered the church, usually around the altar, through angled horizontal gaps between the timbers. The interior of the church was almost completely in darkness.

The interior of the church is divided into an altar section separated from the nave by a high altar screen.  The nave and the parvis are separated, as a rule, by a low screen or by pillars and arches. The floor is earthen or covered with floorboards. The royal doors are somewhat more decorative and are painted. There are no doors on the side entrances. The nave is also separated from the parvis by a similar wooden screen.  A wooden chandelier known as the wheel of the Mother of God hung in the centre of the nave. All the surviving chandeliers of this type are of similar shape and very similar in workmanship and decoration, usually including details of the erection and consecration of the church.

(7) There are four timber-built churches dating from this period in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the churches in the villages of Jelićka, Marićka, Rakelići and Busnovi. These timber-built places of worship are in north-western Bosnia, close to the town of Prijedor, in the Timar district. They are about twenty kilometres apart.  With the exception of the church in Jelićki, which was built rather earlier, they were all built over a period of about twenty years, betwwen 1856 and 1872. The churches of this group share certain features.  They are considerably larger than the previous group, ranging in size from 15-16.5 x 9.35-10.70 m. They are rectangular in ground plan, with a polygonal apse at the east end.  They are built of massive timbers joined by a system of special overlaps joined at the angles of the apse. The ends of the timbers are rounded at an angle. The roof cladding is tiles or wooden shingles. The roofs are high and steeply pitched, three-pitched or hipped. Inside the church, the altar area is separated from the nave by a high altar screen. The nave and parvis are separated by pillars and arches, over which there is a choir gallery. The gallery is reached from the parvis via a steep wooden staircase. In some cases the gallery area is enclosed by mušebak (wooden latticework) (the church in Jelićka). The church in Jelićki has a brick-paved floor, but the others have stone-paved floors. The bare log walls of the church can be seen on the inside of all these churches except the church in Rakelići, where the walls are plastered. The interior of these churches is well lit through three windows in the apse and one in the nave area. In addition to these windows and the main entrance door, there is a small side door in the north or south wall of the church. These churches have a portico over the main entrance at the west end, and a tall belltower built directly onto the roof.

(8) Among the local people it is the custom to kiss this cross when entering the church.



Church of the Holy Apostles St. Peter and Paul in PalačkovciEast facadeDetail of the roofDetail of the eaves
Interior of the churchDetail of the carvingInterior, detailIconostasis
Royall doorThrone iconTombstonesTombstone


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