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

Donja mosque in the village of Lukavica, the historic building

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 8 to 14 November 2005 the Commission adopted a






The historic building of the Donja mosque in the village of Lukavica, hamlet of Delići, municipality Gračanica, 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.. 1388 (new survey), cadastral municipality Lukavica, municipality Gračanica, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of 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 preservation 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).

The works shall be carried out in two stages:

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;
  • protect 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 m 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 10 February 2003 Gračanica Municipality submitted to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments a proposal to designate the Delići mosque (Donja mosque) in Lukavica, hamlet Delići, municipality Gračanica, as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Pursuant to this 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 site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


            The hamlet of Delići is part of the village of Lukavica Donja, and is in Tuzla Canton, Gračanica municipality.

            It is some 20 km to the north-west of the centre of the municipality, on the slopes of Mt Trebava. The building stands on c.p. no. 1388 (new survey), c.m. Lukavica, Federation of BiH, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

The settlement of Gračanica originated in the mediaeval period, close to an iron mine.  In 1463, Gračanica came under Ottoman rule for the first time, only to come under Hungarian rule again in 1464 and once again under Ottoman rule in 1520.

In 1572 it became the seat of an extensive kadiluk, extending from the river Spreča to the river Sava and including the following towns: Srebrenik, Gradačac, Orašje, Modriču and Šamac. From 1600 on, it became a major Bosnian centre for trade and crafts, and had its own čaršija and at least eight mahalas, with the same number of mosques.

There are many villages and hamlets in the environs of  Gračanica, the inhabitants of which are mainly engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry.  They usually sell their products in Gračanica.

The mosque in the village of Donja Lukavica was built to meet the needs of the inhabitants of the village, although there is an older mosque only about 100 metres away, which is marked on an old Austro-Hungarian plan dating from 1885, and which is still standing and used by the local congregation. (1) It is not known exactly when the lower mosque was built, although it is still known locally as the «Inat džamija» - the «defiance mosque».

According to information from the Council of the Islamic Community, it dates from the Austro-Hungarian period, c. 1900.  Some features of the building support this claim, principally the shape and size of the windows, and the details and workmanship of the woodwork.  The age of the tombstones in the harem also indicate that the building could not be either older or more recent than 1914.


2. Description of the property

            The mosque belongs to the type of rectangular mosque with interior mahfil, hipped roof and wooden minaret.

            The building measures 8.13 x 5.30 metres. The entrance is to the north-west, where there is a wooden portico, 1.56 m in width, the structure of which rests on a wooden joist and six square-section wooden pillars.

To the north-west are double doors leading to the antechamber of the mosque, where there is a staircase to the south-west that leads to the mahfil and minaret.

On the same side as the portico, roughly midway at upper floor level, is a small rectangular window, partly covered by the portico, which is thus probably of later date.

Taking into consideration the concept of the mosque, the appearance of the antechamber and the fact that in the partition wall between the antechamber and the main prayer space there are two windows of the same size and shape as those on the exterior facade, it is possible that the mosque was previously of square ground plan and that it had sofas which, when the need was felt to extend the space, were later partitioned and walled in.  This is also suggested by the arrangement of the structural elements of the pillars and beam, which is visible from the outside as a result of the building's dilapidated condition.

The mosque has a total of 9 windows in two rows, four lower and five upper.  The structural system of the building is half-timbering, with an infill of unbaked (adobe) and baked brick.  The walls are 20 cm thick, and are plastered and whitewashed inside and out.

The mosque has a very simple interior.  The mihrab is undecorated, and not differentiated from the rest of the wall other than by its wooden frame and distorted niche.   The area of the prayer space was extended by the construction of a wooden mahfil extending to half the length of the building.  The structure of the mahfil rests on four wooden pillars with decorated capitals and corbels. The area for the muezzin is at the centre of the mahfil.  The underside of the mahfil has a decorative wooden edging board known as ćenar (Turkish – edging, surround).  There is a simple wooden railing, 70 cm in height, on the upper side.  Later the entire structure was painted with green and white oilpaint.  The mosque contains a ćurs and mimber.  The mimber is also very simple, and appears to be the work of a local workman.  The mosque has a flat wooden ceiling which is plastered over.

The mosque has a hipped roof clad with tiles.  The underside of the eaves is also decorated with a wooden ćenar edging board.

The octagonal minaret is wooden, with the šerefe, which has an iron railing, at about 2/3 the height of the minaret.  The minaret is faced with sheet metal on the outside, which was later painted with white oil paint.

There is a small harem around the mosque containing graves of fairly recent date. The oldest on which the year is legible dates from 1914.


3. Legal status to date

The building has not been under protection.


4.  Research and conservation and restoration works

No expert conservation or restoration works have ever been carried out on the building other than maintenance works.  Maintenance works have been carried out by the locals.


5. Current condition of the property

            An on site inspection on 8 April 2004 ascertained as follows:

  • roof structure – the roof cladding is damaged and rain has penetrated to the interior of the building in some places;
  • the worst damage is to be seen on the joists, which is deformed and where part of the plaster has fallen away over an area of approx. 8 m2, with a tendency for the damage to spread;
  • there is rising damp in parts of the interior.  The worst-affected part of the building is by the north-east wall and the base of the mihrab niche;
  • the structure of the minaret is in poor condition and at risk of collapse;
  • the extent of damage to the load-bearing roof structure and joists is not known;
  • the plaster facing of the building is in very poor condition, leaving parts of the timber structure exposed to the elements over the entire length of the building.

In its present condition, the building is unusable.


6. Specific risks

Long-term lack of maintenance and failure to take protective measures against the penetration of rainwater has resulted in serious damage to the roof.

Rising damp was observed.




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

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

E.iii. traditional value

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


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

o        Copy of cadastral plan

o        Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

o        Photodocumentation;



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


1994.    Kulenović, Dr. Salih, Gračanica i okolina, Antropogeografske i etnološke odlike (Gračanica and environs, Anthropogeographical and ethnological features), Tuzla, Museum of Eastern Bosnia, DD “GRIN”, Gračanica


1997.    Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne I Hercegovine (Islamic Epigraphics of BiH),  bk 2, Eastern & Central Bosnia, Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo


2004.    Mirzah, Fočo, Report composed during official visit to the village of Donja Lukavica.


(1) The mosque has been renovated on a number of occasions on the initiative of the local congregation, using modern materials – concrete, cement mortar etc.



Historic building of the Donja mosque in the village of LukavicaEntrance porch Donja mosque 

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