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
D E C I S I O N
The historic site of the Old Fort of Vesela Straža, Municipality Bugojno is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument consists of the foundations of the mediaeval fortifications and movable archaeological material.
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 2191, land register entry no. 343, cadastral municipality Vesela, and c.p. no. 2165, Land Register entry no. 530, c.m. Crnice, Municipality Bugojno, Federation of Bosnia andn 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 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 measures are hereby prescribed:
Protection Zone I consists of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision. The following protection measures shall apply in this zone:
- all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
- the site of the National Monument shall be open and accessible to the public, and may be used for educational and cultural purposes,
- works on the infrastructure are permitted only with the approval of the relevant ministry and the expert opinion of the heritage protection authority,
A protective strip with a width of 100 m from the boundaries of the site of the National Monument is hereby stipulated. In this strip, the following protection measures shall apply:
- the extraction of stone, the felling of forest trees and the construction of all buildings and facilities that could be detrimental to the National Monument are prohibited;
- the dumping of waste is prohibited both in Protection Zone I and in the protective strip.
The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for the future systematic archaeological examination of the site.
All movable artifacts found during archaeological investigations shall be deposited in the nearest museum or in the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, processed, and suitably presented.
The removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina of the movable artifacts found durring archaeological investigations of the site is prohibited. By way of exception, if the person in charge of the investigations determinesthat it is essential to process a given artifact abroad, he or she shall submit evidence to that effect to the Commission, which may permit the temporary removal of the artifact from the country subject to stipulating detailed conditions for its removal, treatment during its absence from the country, and return to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On receipt of reports on the investigations conducted, the Commission shall determine which movable artifacts shall be subject to protection measures to be stipulated by the Commission.
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 relevant ministry, the heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II to VI of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba)
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
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.
On 8 July 2005 the Board of Experts of the Archaeological Department of the National Museum in Sarajevo submitted a proposal/petiton to designate the historic site of the Old Fort of Vesela Straža above the village of Vesela near Bugojno as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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 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.
- 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 mediaeval fort of Vesela Straža stands on the rocky elevation of Kik (altitude 844 m above sea level), on a dominant area of the hill surrounding part of Skopje plain above Bugoljno to the south-west. It stands on a narrow natural inclination separating the Skopje plain and the Koprivnica saddle. The fort is located on the highest point of this slope, thus creating a barrier to the access to the fort. A forest road leads to the monument.
Minor archaeological investigations conducted in the early 1980s led to the discovery on the site of the old fort of Vesela Straža of prehistoric pottery, suggesting that this was indeed a prehistoric hillfort (Spaho, 1983, 36).
The information concerning Vesela Straža in the first half of the 15th century is extremely meagre and incoherent. The unreliable historical details provided by Fr. Nikola Lašvanin refer to a Franciscan monastery and church in 1406. According to Lašvanin, a meeting of the Franciscan order was held there, in the presence of King Ostoja of Bosnia (Jalimam, 2001, 373, n.23). A chater of King Stjepan Tomaš dating from 1446 confirming the holdings of the brothers Dragišić refers to the village of Gmići in Uskoplje, which is stated as beingn between Bugojno and Donji Vakuf. King Tomaš wrote a latter dated 13 October 1450 to the Venetian authorities from Vesela Straža (castra Veszela Straxa in comitatu Uschopya). Part of the župa (county) of Uskoplje was a holding of the Bosnian kings, while the remainder was ruled by Herceg Stjepan Dinić, 1978. 240). Dinić was of the view that Vesela Straža was the centre of the župa of Uskoplje (Dinić, 1978, 240).
In the second half of the 15th century, there are frequent reference to Vesela Straža, in connection with the passage of caravans and stop-overs by merchants. Trade routes from central Dalmatia intersected below the fort with the roads leading from the Vrbas and Lašva valleys. The road from Split led via Klis, Sinj, the Livno plain and Kupres to the upper Vrbas valley in the Uskoplje region, veering at Vesela Straža towards the central mining area. In 1543 a Dubrovnik merchant died in Vesela Straža. In 1456 a caravan of Dubrovnik merchants that had left Fojnica with a load of silver was robbed below Vesela Straža. The king's scribe Stjepan Milošević and Prince Pavle Modrinić, referred to as the fortress commander, were involved in the robbery (Kovačević-Kojić, 1978, 126). Archives in the towns of Zadar and Split list the names of nine natives of Vesela Straža who were conducting trade and other affairs on those towns (Kovačević-Kojić, 1978, 126; Jalimam, 2001, 374, 377). Juraj Gradomilić, who was recorded in 1455 as learning the trades of builder and sculptor in Split in the workshop of the famous Renaissance artist Andrija Alešije, was from Vesela Straža.
Reports from Dubrovnik to King Matthias Corvinus indicate that in 1456 and 1457 the Ottomans made camp in the župa of Uskoplje or its immediate vicinity. With the fall in Bosnia in mid 1463, the župa of Uskoplje came under Ottoman rule. By October that year, Hungarian forces and their allies, including Vladislav Hercegović, son of herceg Stejapn, began a counter-offensive. He liberated part of south-western Bosnia, Rama, Uskoplje with Vesela Straža and Livno. On 6 December 1463 King Matthias bestowed these holdings on him. The information available until 1503, when the nahija of Skoplje finally came under Ottoman rule, is obscure, so that the exact date until which Vladislav Hercegović held these lands between 1463 and 1469, when he left Bosnia, is not known. The archives of Dubrovnik include information dating from 4 March 1466, according to which two Vlahs abducted the servant of Mihoča Vukotić and handed them over to the Ottomans in Vesela Straža (Jalimam, 2001, 378, n.69). Pursuant to a treaty between the Hungarians and the Ottomans in 1503, Vesela Straža finally belongted to the Ottoman empire. The vakufnama (deed of endowment) of Mustajbeg Skenderpašić dating from 1517 refers to the village of selo Vesela Straža, but there is no further reference to the fort (Kemura, 1915, 596; Šabanović, 1982, 42, 126-128, 152).
In Ottoman sources the village of Vesela, on the outskirts of the old fort, is referred to solely by the name Vesela Straža. Here, during the 16th century, 100 to 111 households were listed as taxpayers. Here too was the vakuf of Mustajbeg Skenderpašić.
2. Description of the property
In its current condition (in 2005) it is extremely difficult to determine the actual ground plan of the fort without conducting archaeological excavations, or from the documentation recording the minor excavations conducted in the early 1980s. The fort is reached from the east, where there is a sizeable moat, about 6 metres wide and 8 metres deep. The fortifications lie south-east/north west. The northern section faces towards Skoplje plain, while the southern part is partly surrounded by the moat. The difference in height between the plateau and the end of the ramparts to the north-wesst is about 3.5 metres. The outline of the fort was dictated by the narrow slope on which it stands. Evidence of a tower on Kik has been established, the contours of which can be made out in part on the surface. In the late 1880s, a priest, one Čavić, from Bugojno noted that there was a boundary wall around the Great Keep, with a wall 2 m thick, and that loopholes could be seen in places on the tower (Čavić, 1888, 193-194). The relationship between the main tower on Kik and the rest of the fortifications is not entirely clear. Details from the summary report of the 1983 excavations coincide in part with the current condition of the fort in situ. It has been ascertained with certainty that the north rampart of the fortifications ran along the edge of a steep incline for a distance of about 50 m, and that it enclosed an almost rectangular area 50 m long and about 10 m wide. At the extreme south-western corner the area was only half that width (approx. 5 m), gradually widening towards the south. The perimeter eramparts and partition wall were about 0.95 m thick, though in places they were as much as 1.15 m thick. The ramparts protrude above ground to a height of about 0.50 m. This part of the fortifications was divided into two by a partition wall: a north-west sectioon 924 x 10 m) and a south-east section (20 x 10 m). The south-east section of the bailey area is now almost completely ruinous apart from part of the north rampart. The levelled plateau begins at about 4 m from the dividing wall. Following interventions during which it would appear that the plateau on which the main keep stood was somewhat altered, the link between the keep and the area described above is not clear. The north rampart can be traced as far as the levelled plateau on Kik, over a distance of 50 m. Whether the tower was part of the curtain wall of the ramparts or whether it projected outwards and was detached from the rest of the fortress area by the moat, as noted in the 1983 report, is something that could be determined only on the basis of further excavations. This report notes: “It should be noted that Kik is the part of the fort that projects furthest outward, separated from the natural narrow, steep icline on the north by a cleft, which was probably spanned by a wooden drawbridge linking the two parts of the fort into a single entity.” (Spaho, 1983, 36). The north rampart is now linked to the level plateau, which forms an irregular polygon with a diameter of about 16 m. Here the part vestiges of the north and west walls of the main keep can be made out. The ground plan of the tower is not known, but judging from the remains that can still be made out, it was probably square,with the sides about 10 m inlength. Before the plateau was levelled, the foundations were visible on the interior to a height of about 1 to 1.70 m. They did not protrude above round, but were dug out, so that the base of the tower was visible.
3. Legal status to date
In the procedure prior to the adoption of a final decision to designate, documents concerning the protection of the property were inspected, and it was ascertained as follows:
Pursuant to the provisions of the law, and by Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR BiH no. 1461/50 dated 28 October 1950, the foundations of the Old Fort of Vesela Straža, in Vesela, municipality Bugojno, were placed under state protection. This Ruling notes that the walls could still be seen in the early 20th century, but fifty years or so later only that was protected were the ”foundations of the Old Fort of Vesela straža.” By Ruling no. 02-867-3 of 18.04.1962 it was entered in the Register of immovable cultural monuments.
The property is not listed on the Provisional List of National Monuments of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments; the decision is adopted pursuant to the above-mentioned petition.
The Regional Plan of BiH to 2000 lists the property as a Category III monument.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
During the early 1980s, minor archaeological investigations were conducted as part of the project “Uskoplje in the mediaeval and early Turkish period, with particular reference to the fortified towns of Vesela Straža, Susjedgrad and Prusac”, by Prof. Fehim Spaho. The project was reported by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of Bosnia and Herzegovina and financed by the Self-Managing Scientific Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1983. The excavations were conducted by archaeologist Đorđe Odavić.
No conservation or restoration works have been carried out.
5. Current condition of the property
On site inspections in July and September 2005 ascertained as follows: the remains of the main keep protrude above the surface of the levelled plateau. In spring/summer 2004 the plateau on which the south-eastern section stood was levelled for the needs of the local flying club, as a result of which the foundations of the tower were buried. When the levelling was carried out by heavy machinery much of the stone was bulldozed into the moat, and the steep sides were made less steep to facilitate access. A forest road was cut as far as the moat, so that it is now easier to reach the monument by vehicle.
6. Specific risks to which the monument is exposed
The area is used as a paragliding base, which could lead to further damage to the monument. There are also signs of construction of a tourist facility relatively close to the monument.
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
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of cadastral plan
- Copy of land register entry and proof of title;
- Ruling no. 02-867-3 of 18 April 1962 of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SRBiH on entry of the monument in the Register of Immovable Monuments;
- Project “Uskoplje u srednjem vijeku i ranom turskom periodu sa posebnim osvrtom na utvrđene gradove Vesela Straža, Susjedgrad i Prusac” (Uskoplje in the mediaeval and early Turkish periods with particular reference to the fortified towns of Vesela Straža, Susjedgrad and Prusac), by Prof. Fehim Spaho, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1983, photocopy of project report provided to the Commission by the Oriental Institute in Sarajevo;
- Petition by the Board of Experts of the Archaeological Department of the National Museum of Sarajevo dated 8 July 2005;
- Information on desecration of the National Monument of Vesela Straža from municipal service for economic, financial and inspectoral supervision, 7 July 2005;
- Details and documentation provided for the architectural ensemble of Vesela Straža by the Institute for Town Planning, Regional Planning and Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage, Bugojno, 20.07.2005
a) from Leon Čosić, Cantonal Institute for Town Planning, Urban Planning and Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bugojno, 5 photographs taken on 11 July 2005
b) Leon Valento, historian, Sarajevo, 3 photographs of the interior of the keep
c) Lidija Fekeža, 21 photographs of the site
During the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1888. Pop M. Čavić, Opština “Vesela straža”(selo) (Municipality Vesela straža [village]) Dabro-bosanski source, Yr II, nos.11 and 12, Sarajevo, Nov-Dec 1888, 193-194
1915. Kemura, Sejfudin, Sarajevske džamije i druge javne zgrade turske dobe (Sarajevo mosques and other public buildings of the Turkish period) Jnl of the National Museum of Sarajevo, no. XXII, Sarajevo, 1910, 589-644.
1959. Jireček, Jospi, Trgovački drumovi i rudnici Srbije i Bosne u srednjem vijeku (Trade Routes and Mines of Serbia and Bosnia in the Mediaeval Period) Sarajevo, 1959.
1978. Dinić, Mihailo, Zemlje hercega sv. Save (Lands of Herceg St Sava) In:Srpske zemlje u srednjem vijeku (Serb Lands in the Mediaeval Period), Belgrade, 1978, 178-269.
1978. Kovačević-Kojić, Desanska, Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države (Urban settlements of the Mediaeval Bosnian State) Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1978.
1982. Šabanović, Hazim, Bosanski pašaluk (The Bosnian Pashaluk) Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1982.
1983. Spaho, Fehim, “Uskoplje u srednjem vijeku i ranom turskom periodu sa posebnim osvrtom na utvrđene gradove Vesela Straža, Susjedgrad i Prusac” (Uskoplje in the Mediaeval and Early Turkish Periods with particular reference to the fortified towns of Vesela Straža, Susjedgrad and Prusac), Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1983.
2001. Jalimam, Salih, Srednjovjekovni grad Vesela Straža, prilozi za studiju (The Mediaeval Fort of Vesela Straža) Jnl of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Archaeology), Vol.48/49, 1996-2001, Sarajevo, 2001, 370-385.