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 27 June to 2 July 2005 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic building of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 593 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. nos. 735 and 736 (old survey), title deed no. 577, cadastral municipality Nevesinje, Municipality Nevesinje, 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.
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.
Protection Level I shall apply to the National Monument
- all works are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, including works designed to present the National Monument, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
- during restoration, conservation and presentation works on the building its original appearance shall be retained, using original materials and original methods of workmanship and building methods,
Protection Zone II shall apply to the remainder of the area designated as c.p. no. 593 and the areas directly contiguous with that of the National Monument, i.e.c.p. nos. 594, 595, 596, 597, 598, 599 and 600.
No alterations in height to the buildings surrounding the National Monument shall be permitted, and the height of new buildings along Marshal Tito and Đukica Grahovac streets (former street names) shall not exceed two storeys (ground floor + 1) with a maximum height to the roof cornice of 6.5 m and maximum dimensions of 10 x 8 m.
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 Republika Srpska, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and restoration thereof.
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.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba)
Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.
On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 439.
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.
30 June 2005
Chair of the Commission
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 Church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje to the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH under serial no. 439.
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:
- Documentation on the location of the property (copy of cadastral plan)
- Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
- Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
The historic building of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje is in Dugalića (Pahljevića) mahala, on a site consistingof c.p. 539 (new survey, corresponding to c.p. nos.735 and 736 old survey), title deed no. 577, owned by the Serbian Orthodox Church, Zahum-Herzegovina eparchy, c.m. Nevesinje, Municipality Nevesinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Access to the National Monument is from the north-east, from the pedestrian street linking Marshal Tito and Đukica Grahovac streets (former street names).
The main axis of the church lies east-west, with the entrance at the west end and the altar apse at the east end.
The Serbian Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Christ was built between 1879 and 1886, and was consecrated on 15 August 1886.
There is no information in writing on the building(2).
According to the head priest of the church, until 1936 the roof was clad with stone slabs. During World War II the building was set on fire. After World War II it was turned into a wool store.
In 1951 restoration works were carried out on the building, and the church was then reconsecracted.
Further restoration works were also carried out in 1987 and 1988 under the supervision of members of the heritage protection authority.
Since 1991, a parish hall has been built in the churchyard, on the south-western part of the plot(3).
2. Description of the property
In layout, the church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje is of the single-nave basilica type, with parvis, nave and altar space.
In architectural terms, neo-Romantic features are present in the church, which are to be seen in the rectangular ground plan, solid walls with few openings, simple, elongated, arched windows, and rectangular stone porta.
The building is rectangular in ground plan. The sides measure 9.20 x 20.0 m on the outside. The covered apse at the east end is semicircular in plan. The height of the building from ground level to the roof cornice is approx. 7.30 m, and of the apse is approx. 6.0 m.
A roughly square belltower measuring 2.80 x 2.90 m in ground plan,and with a height of approx. 15 m, stands in the axis of the outside west wall.
The church has stone walls about 80 cm thick, plastered on the inside. The structure of the walls (of regular ashlar stone with cement pointing) is visible on the exterior. The quoins on the exterior are of particularly regular ashlar blocks and are strikingly white in colour. The first two courses of stone in the walls of the church, forming the basal layer, are emphasized in the same way. The walls terminate in a simple moulded string course.
The interior space is enclosed by walls that take the stress of the barrel vault. In order to reinforce these walls, pilasters were set on the inside. The single vault was executed with no visible reinforcement or division.
The church has a gabled roof clad with sheet metal.
The windows are set in a single horizontal row in the facades of the building.
There are three arched windows each in the north and south facade. These measure approx. 70 cm wide x 235 cm high to the apex of the arch. On the outside the windows have plain stone frames. The window casements are metal, painted blue with the edges picked out in white. The rectangular section is divided cross-wise into panes, and the arched section is composed of three panes.
There is a single window in the east, apse end of the building, which is at a lower level than the others, but identical in every other respect.
The belltower on the west end is built of regular ashlar stone with cement pointing. The structure of the belltower rests on four massive pillars, two of which are set back into the wall thickness. These pillars, which measure 85 x 80 cm, are linked by steel ties set at the level of the capitals, and support the structure of the barrel vault.
The walls terminate in a simple moulded string course. The belltower has a pyramidal roof clad with sheet metal.
Functionally, the belltower has four storeys. At ground-floor level are three round-arched openings 1.95 m and 1.30 m wide respectively, leading into the church.
There are windows on each of the three storeys of the belltower. The first floor has one arched window each to the north, west and south, with plain stone frames.
The second-storey windows are set directly above those of the first floor. The square apertures are fitted with circular stone transennas.
The third storey has windows on all four sides, of elongated shape terminating in arches, with no external frames.
The top storey of the belltower is separated from the lower part of the building by a simple stone string course.
The entrance to the church is at the west end, through an arched passageway through the ground floor of the belltower. The rectangular entrance portal, measuring 1.30 m wide by 2.20 m high, has a plain stone frame. The double doors are made of metal, with each wing decorated with three rhombuses in relief. The doors are painted blue, with the lines of the rhombuses and the doorframe picked out in white.
The consecration of the church on the occasion of the Ascension of Christ, with the date, is inscribed in an arched opening above the entrance door.
The interior of the church is long and narrow, measuring 17.0 x7.60 m.
The side walls have shallow arched decorative niches around the windows. The inside walls of the church are plastered and painted. The vault is painted blue-green and decorated with gold-painted stars.
The interior of the church is divided functionally into the parvis, nave and altar space.
A double-flight L-shaped staircase(4) by the south wall of the parvis leads to the choir (gallery), which is of the same depth as the parvis itself. The structure of the choir is supported by two octagonal-section wooden pillars with moulded corbels. The structure of the choir is concealed by a boarded ceiling on the underside. The wooden choir railing consists of three perforated semicircular sections. The floor is composed of wooden boards.
Three stone steps in the niche of the door in the centre of the west wall lead to the first floor of the church tower.
The parvis, which measures 3.50 x 7.60 m, is not separated from the nave by any kind of partition.
The nave, which measures 7.60 x 14.20 m, is separated from the altar apse by a wall that serves as both altar partition and iconostasis. The iconostasis is articulated by two string courses (three rows of icons) and terminates in an arch.
There is an ambon outside the apse (altar space) in the solea. The ambon is at floor level, and is made of stone in the shape of a circle. To the south of the ambon is the bishop's throne, made of wood.
The altar space (apse) is two steps higher than the nave, and is entered through the round-arched royal doors. The central area of the altar space is occupied by the altar table (throne). There is also a direct entrance to the apse from the outside, through a door in the south wall of the apse.
The floor inside the church is paved with stone slabs.
The iconostasis of the church of the Holy Ascension in Nevesinje was installed in 1951 in place of the old stone iconostasis.
The iconostasis has a wooden frame to which the icons, in the form of paintings on canvas, are attached. The icons are separated one from another by spiral-twisted pillars. Compositionally, the arrangement of the icons on the iconostasis partition falls into four horizontal sections: (5)
• Section 1 of the iconostasis consists of throne icons, as follows (north-south)
- St Nicholas
- St Stephen the Archdeacon
- The Holy Mother of God
- Royal Doors with the Annunciation
- Archangel Michael
- St John the Baptist
According to father Krulj, this horizontal section of the iconostasis was replaced in 1994 because of the damaged condition of the older icons.
• Section 2 of the iconostasis (north-south)
- The Prophet Elias
- St Basil the Great
- St Arsenius the Serb
- The Resurrection of Christ
- St Stephen the Archdeacon
- SS Peter and Paul
- St George
• Section 3 of the iconostasis (north-south)
- St Demetrius
- The Holy Trinity (the Holy Spirit features in the shape of a human face)
- The Evangelist Matthew
- St Sava the Serb and Simeon
- St John the Baptist
- Synod of the Holy Apostles
• Section 4 of the iconostasis – festival icons – (north-south)
- The Three Hierarchs
- The Baptism of Christ
- The Nativity
- The Ascension of Christ
- The Transfiguration
- The Birth of John
- Assumption of the Mother of God
In 1987/88, during renovations, a «firmament» was made in the vault in the interior of the church.
The parish house in Nevesinje includes the library and reading room of the Serbian Orthodox Nevesinje congregation. Of particular note among the books are a Breviary dating from 1761, and several oktoih (books of Psalms), Palm Sunday triodions, large and small trebnik (ritual books), typicons, ecclesiastical calendars, psalters and missals. In April 2002, father Radivoje Krulj sent 87 books to be restored and rebound in the National Library in Belgrade. According to father Krulj, there is no documentation on the works carried out on the books in Nevesinje parish.
Among the most valuable books are: (6) (Šipovac, 2003, 203-206)
- Oktoih parts 1 to 4 dating from 1855
- Oktoih parts 5 to 8 dating from 1855
- Apostol dating from 1892
- Apostol dating from 1892
- Apostol dating from 1929
- Gospels dating from 1852
- Palm Sunday triodion dating from 1855
- Small ritual book dating from 1855
- Synopsis of general religious services, dating from 1864
- Synopsis dating from 1855
- Breviary dating from 1761
- Breviary dating from 1857
- Missal dating from 1898
- Hymnbook dating from 1854
- Survey of elementary theology and rhetoric dating from 1897
- Record of christenings from 1887 to 1893
- Record of christenings from 1911 to 1912
- Record of marriages from 1924 to 1931
- Record of marriages from 1927 to 1940
- Chronicles of the parish of Nevesinje for 1946
Domovniks : (7)
- Domovnik dating from 1896 (Nevesinje)
- Domovnik dating from 1900 (Nevesinje)
- Domovnik dating from 1910 (Nevesinje)
- Domovnik dating from 1912 (Nevesinje)
3. Legal status to date
The church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje is on the Provisional List of National Monuments of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments under serial no.439.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
Conservation and restoration works have been carried out on the building on several occasions under the supervision of the heritage protection authority(8).
The first such works were carried out in 1951, after World War II, and included:
- replacement of the old, damaged stone iconostasis with a new wooden one
- replacement of the stone roof slabs with tiles
In 1987/1988 the following works were carried out on the building:
- replacement of the stone roof cladding (copper sheeting replacing the tiles)
- a «celestial vault» was painted on the ceiling inside the building.
The most recent works on the building were carried out in 1994 when the first row of icons on the iconostasis, which were damaged and coated with soot, were replaced. The old icons were sent to Belgrade for restoration.
5. Current condition of the property
The Serbian Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Christ is in good condition.
6. Specific risks
- Possible changes to the immediate environs of the church
- Possible changes to the character of the architectural ensemble.
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. v. value of details
D. iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner
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
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
G.i. form and design
G.ii. material and content
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of geodetic plan;
- Photodocumentation (photographs of the condition of the building at the time a final decision was taken by the Commission in June 2005)
During the procedure to designate the historic building of the Serbian Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
2003 Šipovac, Neđo, Nevesinje slavno, (Renowned Nevesinje) Glas srpski, Banja Luka, 2003.
Documentation of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historicaland Natural Heritage of RS, Banja Luka
(1) The details in this section are based on a conversation with the head priest of the church, Father Radivoje Krulj.
(2) According to Father. Radivoje Krulj, the present-day church was built on the site of an older church..
(3) The date when the parish hall was built was deduced from the geodetic survey of the centre of Nevesinje in 1990, where the parish hall does not feature.
(4) The first step is concrete and the second is wooden. The steps currently have no railing.
(5) The schematic layout of the icons on the iconostasis is an integral part of the Decision
(6) List taken from the book Nevesinje slavno
(7) Translator’s note: this word does not appear in any BCS-English dictionary available to me either in hard copy or on the internet. It features in a large number of internet references in other Slav languages, but none of the meanings seems relevant to this context.
(8) A letter dated 18 May 2005, ref. L.A. 126-2/05, from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federation Ministry of Culture and Sport, reported that there was no documentation concerning the church of the Ascension of Christ in Nevesinje.