Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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60th session - Decisions

Old mosque in the village of Šenkovići, the historic building

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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 8 to 14 November 2005 the Commission adopted a






The historic building of the Old Mosque in the village of Šenkovići, Municipaliity Novi Travnik, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 772, title deed no. 211, land register entry no. 133, cadastral municipality Šenkovići, Municipality Novi 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 responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, and display the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the protection of 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.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision.

  • all works are prohibited other than 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 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority).

Two stages of the works are determined:           

Stage I consists of drafting a project which shall incorporte urgent protection measures:

  • investigate and conduct structural analysis of the structural parts of the building;
  • carry out structural consolidation of the building and repairs to structural parts using traditional materials and the same technical procedures wherever possible;
  • protected the building from harmful external influences.

Stage II consists of conservation and restoration works:

  • when carrying restoration and conservation works on the building it is vital to maintain its original appearance;
  • when carrying out restoration and conservation works, original materials and original workmanship and building methods shall be used wherever possible.

On the plots bordering the plot on which the National Monument stands, the only construction permitted is of buildings with a maximum height of ground and one upper floor, or 3.50 to the base of the roof frame, and maximum dimensions of 10 x 10 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 the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Canton, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




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




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




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




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.



9 November 2005                                                                                



Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n




Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina  and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of  BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

On 4 January 2005 the BZK [Bosniac Cultural Association] Preporod, Municipalit society Novi Travnik submitted a proposal to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to designate the Mosque in Šenkovići, Municipality Novi Travnik, as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Pursuant to the proposal, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry)
  • 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.

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


1. Details of the property


            The village of Šenkovići is 8 kilometres south of the centre of Novi Travnik, on the Novi Travnik-Bugojno road.  The territory the village occupies borders with the villages of  Kopila, Torine, Pečuj and Zijameti (Municipality Bugojno).

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 772, cadastral municipality Šenkovići, Municipality Novi Travnik, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

The area of Novi Travnik municipality has been settled without a break ever since prehistoric times (the area of Travnik plain, the Grlonica river valley and Rastovo).  During the Roman period the areas of Pećine and Rude became more densely occupied for the sole reason that they were rich in iron ore.  During the mediaeval period the remaining areas saw greater development, and some losing in importance (Pećine).  The Ottoman period saw a revival of the original mining areas (Rastovo), while in other regions cattle-raising settlements took (Kreševljaković, p. 7,8).

According to M. Kreševlljaković, the village of Šenkovići was first settled in the far distant past(1), as evidenced by two sites about the village: Gradina and Gradac.(Kreševljaković, p. 84)(2)   

The village is mentioned in historical sources in a Defter dating from 1568(3), which records it as Šenkovići with the mezar (tomb) of the Dragalići.(4) According to a defter dating fron 1604, Šenkovići had 50 houses with hereditament.  A 1711 list of Bosnian spahis who went to war against Russia mentions three owners of timar estates from this village.(5) There is another reference to the village of Šenkovići in 1201 AH (1786) concerning the liability to pay tax (Oriental Institute, sidžil no. 26). In a Travnik sidžil dating from 1832, there is reference to a lawsuit between the inhabitants of Šenkovići and the villlage of Sinokos.  A sidžil dating from 1251-1254 AH (1835-1838), there is a list of villages that are bound to provide food for the valiya and his escort, among which the name of Šenkovići features. A Travnik sidžil for 1257 AH (1841/42) gives a list of village from which, according to old custom, stakes, mallets and watchmen were sent.

There is an old mosque in the village, about which no information is available as to who built it and when.  It is said to be about 450 years old(6) (Kreševljaković. p. 86). Based on the masonry techniques, the types of building materials and the quality of the lime mortar used, it could date from the late 16th or early 17th century.

According to a population census taken in 1879, Šenkovići had 114 inhabitants (Kreševljaković, p. 87). 

The 1910 census showed that the village had a total of 27 houses, with 130 Muslims, 59 Catholics and 2 Orthodox Christians. The first post-war population census of 1948 showed a total of 254 inhabitants, and that of 1971 showed that the village had a total of 4819 inhabitants. (7)  


2. Description of the property

In the concept of its spatial organization, the mosque in Šenkovići belongs to the type of single space mosque with a hipped roof and wooden minaret.  Until the 1970s, the mosque had exterior wooden sofas, which were later removed.(8) The remains of the sofas can still be seen on the exterior facade.  It was solidly built, using limestone for the lower reaches and unbaked (adobe) brick for the upper. On the outer façades of the building, oak tie beams can be seen under a thick layer of plaster in places where the walls have been badly damaged.

The exterior dimensions of the building are roughly 8.80 x 7.40 metres.  The entrance to the mosque is in the north-west wall, and is 1.60 m wide and 1.70 m high.  It terminates in a round arch with no decorative features.  The entrance door is a simple double wooden door.  There is no tarih or other inscription on the mosque that might indicate when it was built or a possible builder.

The interior prayer space measures 5.90 m (south-west/north-east) x 6.30 m (south-east/north-west). It is enclosed by a flat wooden ceiling with šiše of deal boards.  The usable height of the interior from the floor of the mosque to the ceiling is approx. 3.50 m.  The load bearing construction of the roof rests on the exterior walls and a wooden beam set lengthways which is supported at about one-third of its span by a 16 x 16 wooden pillar.

The entire interior of the mosque is plastered with lime mortar and painted green. Test drillings taken during investigation of the type and quality of the binder revealed the remains of tow and animal hair.

The floor of the mosque was originally of wooden boards 40-50 mm thick. Nowadays there are layers of concrete visible on the floor between wooden joists onto which a decking floor was attached.

Along the north-west and north-east wall of the mosque is a wooden mahfil reached via a wooden staircase in the northern corner of the mosque. The staircase is 97 cm wide.

The mahfil measures 6.30 x 0.80 m (by the north-east wall) and 5.90 x 3.54 m (by the north-west wall), giving an overall area of approx. 23 m2.  The structure of the mahvil rests on two wooden joists, the first of which runs south-west/north-east and the other south-east/north-west, which themselves rest on the exterior walls and on two wooden 14 x 14 pillars.  The pillars are topped by richly decorated wooden corbels. At the centre of the mahfil is a projecting wooden console platform for the muezzin, measuring 1.48 x 0.43 m.

Over the entire length of the mahfil is a low wooden railing which, in appearance and workmanship, recalls the railing of the mahfil of the Handanija mosque in Prusac.(9) In the upper part of the mahfil are five wooden 4 x 8 cm pillars, set at an average distance apart of 1.40 m.  By the north-west wall are steps leading from the mahfil to the roof area and the minaret.

The mihrab is of tufa, plastered on the inside with lime mortar which has been covered with several layers of paint.  The width of the lower part is 1.30 m.  At a height of 2.05 m the sides of the mihrab depart from the vertical towards one another at an angle of about 60 degrees.  The frame of the mihrab is a simply moulded band 28 cm wide projecting outwards from the wall surface by about 15 cm.  The semicircular micharb niche is 78 cm wide, with a radius of 48 cm.  There are no traces of painted or stalactite decoration.

The mimber and ćurs are of simple workmanship and are entirely of wood with no decoration of any kind. They are probably the work of a local craftsman.

The mosque walls are about 0.80 m thick to the south-west and north-east, and 0.75 to the south-east and north-west.  They are of quarry limestone, with tufa here and there.  The upper parts of the walls are of unbaked (adobe) brick. On the exterior, the walls are roughly plastered and whitewashed. 

The façades of the mosque are very simple (Kreševljaković, p. 87)  The mosque has a total of nine windows and two doors – one entrance door and one leading from the mosque to the sofa area.  The window openings are set in two rows on the north-west, but on the south-east, south-west and north-east side, as a result of the slope of the terrain, there are windows only at the upper level.

In the lower part of the north-west wall of the building, there are two rectangular window openings measuring 0.48 x 0.92 (the window by the north corner of the mosque) and 0.50 x 0.77 m (the window by the west corner).  By the north corner of the mosque in the upper part of the same wall is a simple wooden door measuring 0.97 x 1.60 m.  By the west corner is a window opening measuring 0.80 x 1.08 m.  The south-west wall has two window openings similar to those of the upper part of the previous wall, measuring 0.80 x 1.00 m.  The south-east, mihrab wall has two window openings measuring 0.80 x 1.00 m.  All the windows have wooden crossbars.

The minaret of the mosque is also wooden, and has eight sides. The remains of the original substructure of the minaret to which the structure was attached can be seen on the roof.  They are of trimmed timber with large-headed hand-wrought iron nails.

There is a small harem around the mosque with a number of old nišan tombstones.


3. Legal status to date

The building has not been under protection.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

Apart from a number of photographs from the archives of BZK Preporod, Municipal Society Novi Travnik, and one drawing and a brief description of the mosque from the study by M. Kreševljaković entitled «Naselja opštine Pucarevo», there have been no other research works, and thereby no conservation or restoration works either, on the building. The majority of the works carried out on the building have been at the initiative of the inhabitants of the village. The most recent such interventions date from the 1970s.


5. Current condition of the property

An on side inspection of the condition revealed the following:

-     The building is overgrown with weeds and vegetation;

-     The tile roof cladding is damaged in places;

-     The worst damage is to be seen on the north-east wall, where the wall surface is badly deformed with a tendency for the deformation to spread and cause further sagging;

-     Diagonal cracks extending over the entire height of the building are to be seen on the other walls;

-     In the interior, there is rising damp in several places. The worst affected areas are in the part of the building that is set back into the ground – the north-east, south-east and south-west walls.

-     The woodwork of the doors and windows is in poor condition as a result of many years’ lack of maintenance, with a tendency to further deterioration;

-     The plaster in the lower part of the mihrab has fallen away as a result of damp;

-     The part of the mahvil by the north-east wall is at risk because part of that wall has collapsed;

-     The structure of the minaret is in poor condition and at risk of falling into ruin.  The board facing has fallen away from the upper part of the minaret (the šerefe and the part beneath it);

-     The roof structure is undamaged;

-     The Šiše ceiling of the mosque is in good condition;

-     The plaster with which the building has been coated is in very poor condition in places, so that over the entire length of the building parts of the load-bearing wooden structure (tie beams) are visible and exposed to the effects of atmospheric water.


6. Specific risks

As a result of many years’ lack of maintenance and failure to take urgent protection measures, and of damp penetrating into the structure, the building has suffered severe damage.

The building is not currently in use.




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.iv composition

            G. Authenticity

G.v. location and setting


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-     Copy of cadastral plan

-     Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-     Photodocumentation – photographs of the building provided by BZK Preporod, Municipal society Novi Travnik

-     Ground plan of ground floor – drawing by Mirzah Fočo

-     Ground plan of mahvil level – drawing by Mirzah Fočo

-     Photodocumentation of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of BiH



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


1972.    Basler, Đuro, Arhitektura kasnoantičkog dobi u BiH (Architecture of Late Antiquity in BiH), Sarajevo 1972.


1987.    Kreševljaković, Muhamed, Naselja općine Pucarevo (Settlements of Pucarevo Municipality)


2005.    Mirzah, Fočo, Izvještaj sačinjen na službenom putu u selu Šenkovići (Report drawn up on official visit to the village of Šenkovići)


Travnik sidžil (Ottoman period court records) nos. 21, 26, 31, 33, 41, Oriental Institute in Sarajevo.


(1) Certain toponyms suggest the age of the village, and particularly its association with the mediaeval period– Varošište and Selište. The first is to the west of the village.

(2) Neither Mandić nor Korošec refer to this site although they made a detailed study of the area (Kreševljaković, p. 84)

(3) A copy of the defter is in the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo.

(4) According to the census there were 33 Muslims and 5 bachelors.  The dues, such as potatoes, onions, wheat, oat and musk melon, reveal that the main occupation of the inhabitants was agriculture.

(5) These were Hasan, whose timar was worth 6000 akči, Hasan with 4600 akči and Mustafa with 2500 akči.

(6) There was a story that this mosque and the one in the neighbouring village of Kasapovići were built by two spinster sisters who sold their robes for the purpose.

(7) Kreševljaković relates that the Muslim population of the village wanted to build a new mosque on the site of the old one. The Catholic population offered money to have the old mosque renovated and a new one built on a different site.

(8) Based on drawings and photographs, the sofas were approx. 1.50 m wide. The entire sofa structure rested on a wooden joist and eight square-section wooden pillars of varying sizes.

(9) See the Decision to designate the architectural ensemble of the Handanija mosque in Prusac – No. 09-2-17/05-6, dated 15 March 2005.


Old mosque in the village of ŠenkovićiOld mosque, nort-east facadeOld mosque, access Old and new mosque in the village of Šenkovići
Interior of the mosqueMahfilMimberMinaret

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