Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Old Samobor fort, the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH” no. 60/08.

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 19 to 23 January 2006 the Commission adopted a






The architectural ensemble of the Old Samobor Fort, Municipality Novo Goražde, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the ramparts and buildings of the old Samobor fort.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 125/1 (new survey), title deed no. 97/3, cadastral municipality Hladila, Municipality Novo Goražde, 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 providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation and presentation 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 basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works, including works designed to display the 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);

-          the site of the monument shall be open and accessible to the public and may be used for educational and cultural purposes;

-          works on the infrastructure are prohibited except with the approval of the relevant ministry and the expert opinion of the heritage protection authority.


To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following shall be carried out:

-          structural repairs to the towers and ramparts where cracks have appeared that threaten to cause the structure to collapse;

-          restoration of parts of the facing of the towers and ramparts;

-          clearing the ramparts, the walls of the towers, the remaining areas and surroundings of self-sown vegetation representing a threat to the structure of the monument;

-          conduct archaeological excavations to uncover the remains of the mosque, cistern, the bridge leading to the entrance to the keep, and other buildings the remains of which have been buried by falling materials, and carry out conservation works on such remains as are found;

-          during structural repair, conservation and restoration works, original materials and binders shall be used wherever possible;

-          during repair works, existing stone blocks shall be re-used;

-          missing areas of dressed stone revetments must be paid of the same materials as the original revetments;

-          the finish of the areas of repaired walls must match that of the rest of the wall;

-          the crown of the wall must be composed of natural materials (coping stones or a finish of hydraulic mortar);

-          major cracks must be filled with a compound of small pieces of stone and hydraulic lime mortar;

-          a programme for the presentation of the National Monument shall be drawn up and implemented, to include marking the footpath from Međurječje and the Janja valley to the fort.


To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, a buffer zone with a radius of 100 m from the boundaries of the National Monument as defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision is hereby stipulated.

The following protection measures are hereby stipulated for this zone:

-          all construction or works that could have the effect of altering the site or the ambient are prohibited. The only works permitted are research and conservation works on the buildings forming an integral part of the defences on the approaches to the Samobor fortress;

-          the construction of buildings with a maximum height of 6.50 m to the base of the roof frame, i.e. two storeys (ground + 1), and a maximum footprint of 10 x 12 m, shall be permitted;

-          infrastructural works are prohibited except with the approval of the relevant ministry and the expert opinion of the heritage protection authority.




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 rehabilitation thereof.




The Government of Republika Srpska, the relevant ministry and 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 – 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) 




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. 246.




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.


No: 05.2-257/05-735/05

20 January 2006



Chairman 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.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the architectural ensemble of the Old Samobor Fort to the Provisional List of National Monuments, under serial no. 246 (erroneously giving the municipality as Gacko instead of Goražde).

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.



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 old Samobor fort stands on the rocky summit of a hill on one of the slopes of Mt. Borovska, above the confluence of the rivers Janjina and Drina. It was possible from the highest point, at the north-western end, to survey the road that runs along the Drina valley and the local road along the Janjina valley. The cliff on which the fort stands falls away steeping from the north-west towards the south-west and south-east. In the late 19th century, people from the surrounding villages used the land on the steep plateau within the ramparts of the fort to grow cereals, grass and fruit (Delić, 1892, 263). Access to the fort is from the road running along the Janjina valley, by a relatively steep footpath taking about a hour. Roughly half way along the footpath is a fine level area rich in water from nearby sources, where the village of Vinje stood.  From there one reaches the mediaeval route leading to the entrance to the Samobor fort. By following a steep ascent Samobor may be reached on foot from Međurječje to the village of Vinje and on to Samobor. Presumably this latter was the route of the mediaeval road from Međurječje to the Samobor fort, some 4-5 km long. The only access to the fort is from the south-west, for here, the barely accessible cliff on which the fort stands is separated to the north-west from the massif of Mt. Borovska by impassable ravines and crags, and a large sheer rock extends to the south-east, east and north-east. In the mediaeval period the journey from Dubrovnik to Samobor took 3-4 days on horseback.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 125/1 (new survey), title deed no. 97/3, cadastral municipality Hladila, Municipality Novo Goražde, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical details

The upper Podrinje region, which extends around the upper course of the river Drina, is referred to by the Doclean priest in the mid 12th century. From then on the political and economic importance of the region can be traced, whether it formed part of the Serbian or the Bosnian state. The district belonged to the mediaeval Bosnian state in 1373, when Bosnia’s Ban (governor) Tvrtko and Serbia’s Prince Lazar conquered Nikola Altomanović and agreed to divide his lands between them. Samobor was in the mediaeval župa (county) of Pribud. Of particular importance was the fact that the well-developed markets of Foča and Goražde were close to Samobor (Kojić-Kovačević, 1978, 106). In the late 14th century, when local lords began to gain in power, the upper Podrinje belonged to the Kosača family. It remained under their rule until it came under Ottoman rule in 1465. 

The earliest reference to the old Samobor fort dates from 1397. It was built by Sandalj Hranić, and was one of the Kosača family’s favourite forts. It has frequent mention in documents dating from the first half of the 15th century in connection with envoys from Dubrovnik staying with Sandalj Hranić. A document dating from 13 January 1423 with the itinerary of a Dubrovnik mission refers to the outskirts of Samobor (Sottosamobor), where the Dubrovnik emissaries met Sandalj (Jireček, 1951, 63). Samobor is referred to on 19 January 1428, 1430 and 1435 (Jireček, 1951, 63,67, Kojić-Kovačević 1978, 101, n. 106). The Samobor fort and its outskirts were not a common destination for trade caravans. Up to 1435, historical sources record only three caravans whose destination was Samobor (Kojić-Kovačević, 1978, 101; idem 1981, 117-118).

Samobor was also one of the main forts of herceg Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, who succeeded his uncle Sandalj Hranić in 1435. The Samobor fort in the Pribud county is referred to in a charter of King Alphonse V of Aragon and Naples dated 19 February 1444, confirming individually a list of Stjepan Vukčić Kosača’s holdings. Two charters of similar content refer to the Samobor fort and its environs; the first was issued on 20 January 1448 by “the Roman King Friedrich III; the second again by Alphonse V on 1 April 1454” (Dinić, 1978, 178). Herceg Stjepan issued a charter on 13 October 1461 in nearby Međurječje. During herceg Stjepan’s time, there are frequent references in historical sources to Samobor at the time the Ottomans were advancing in 1465 and 1466.  In December 1464, Hungary’s King Matthias Corvinus took Jajce from the Ottomans; he was helped in this by herceg Stjepan and his son Vlatko. On this occasion King Matthias promised to come to the aid of the garrisons in forts that were under threat, having himself already planned to occupy Zvornik. But since King Matthias did not send the promised back-up, the herceg suggested he send his own garrisons and take five forts in Herzegovina that were in a particularly difficult position (Ćirković, 1964, 261-261). In April 1465 the herceg was still holding the Samobor fort, along with a number of nearby forts in eastern Serbia and Podrinje, but not for long.  In the late spring of that year the Ottoman army, under the command of the Bosnian sandžakbeg Isa-beg Ishaković, invaded the lands of herceg Stjepan. The first of the Herzegovina forts in Upper Podrinje to fall into their hands was Samobor (Dinić, 1978, 260; Šabanović, 1982, 44). On 10 March 1466 Herceg Stjepan wrote to the government in Dubrovnik that Samobor was lost and had been conquered by the Ottomans (Vego, 1957, 103). Even in this later period of the herceg’s rule in Upper Podrinje the Samobor outskirts had not evolved into a significant trade centre, and it was very unusual for its inhabitants to incur debts in Dubrovnik, and then only for small sums (Kojić-Kovačević, 1978, 101, n.105and 106; 243, n. 80). It is not clear where the Samobor outskirts were located.

According to a 1469 census, Samobor belonged to the Hersek vilayet, part of the Bosnian sandžak. Since Samobor was important for the wider environs, when a nahija was established, Pribud or Samobor became the centre of the nahija (Šabanović, 1982, 120). The Hersek vilayet, a military-cum-political entity, was divided into two seraskerluks or military commands. Serasker Senkur headed the seraskerluk in which the nahija of Samobor was located. From the judicial and administrative point of view, the vilayet was divided into two kadiluks: Drina and Blagaj. The nahija of Samobor belonged to the Drina kadiluk, which covered the area of Upper Podrinje and of which Foča was the centre. Between 1572 and 1582, Čajniče was separated from the Samobor or Probud nahija and the Foča kadiluk. The Čajniče kadiluk was established, where the nahijas of Samobor, Pribud, Međurječje and Duboštica were mentioned. In 1667 the Čajniče kadiluk was removed from the Herzegovina sandžak and merged with the Bosnian sandžak. The nahija is referred to by two names, Samobor or Pribud, until the 18th century. At the beginning of that century, the Čajniče kadiluk was once again part of the Herzegovina sandžak (Šabanović, 1982, 136- 137, 139, 195, 230). From the time it was taken until 1832, when the fortress was abandoned, the Ottomans maintained a permanent garrison there, headed by a dizdar. In or around 1800 there were three military service branchesin the fort: 20 mustahfiz (fortress guards, timarniks), 18 džebedžija (armourers), and an unknown number of artillerymen (Kreševljaković, 1953, 11).  


2. Description of the property

Samobor is one of a small number of large, much-ramified fortresses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, such as those of Bobovac and Jajce, which were royal residences, Borač, the centre of an entire district, and Ključ on the Sana or Bokševac, the focus of their surroundings.  The old Samobor fort occupies an area of more than a hectare. Thanks to a concatenation of specific circumstances, the fort developed at the centre of its environs.

The relief on which the fortress was built is steep and rocky, with narrow passes, and small plateaux. This lie of the land is appropriate to the highly ramified form of this fortified town.  Although in a ruinous state, Samobor is the best-preserved of the fortresses that belonged to the Kosača’s in the Upper Podrinje. In some places the fort is as wide as 350 or 400 m. The southern, northern and eastern parts of the fortress were only partly surrounded by ramparts, since the cliffs were an effective and adequate defence. The fort consists of several parts:

1. South-western lower entrance tower. The main entrance to the entire complex of fortifications was guarded by a tall three-sided tower with a roughly equilateral triangular ground plan, the sides measuring 9.1 m (west), 10.10 m (south) and 9.8m (east) on the outside. The interior space of the tower is 2.25 x 2.25 x 2.45 m, and in part the remaining height is about 7 m. The walls of the tower are 1.8 to 2.1 m thick. The wall has survived up to ground-floor ceiling height, but the facing of walls of the upper floor of the tower has been completely destroyed. The ramparts of the fort abutted onto the east side of the tower, rising towards the north-east; they are 1.5 m thick.  There is an arched gateway in the rampart, right beside the tower; the gateway is 4.5 m high and 3 m wide. In 1973 there was still a mass of stone cannonballs of various calibres beside the gateway. No ramparts were built to the south of the west fortress since the fortress cannot be reached from this side (Kajmaković, 1973, 87). The shape of this tower is very distinct and extremely rarein BiH (Popović, 1995, 48). A pathway about 400 m long leads from the gateway through a natural, narrow and in places very steep cutting to the eastern part of the fortifications.

2. The eastern part of the fortified town is unapproachable from three sides, since the cliffs are at their sheerest here. To the west, it was defended by the western entrance tower. A natural cutting runs through the centre of the eastern part of the fortress from west to east, which was probably adapted for the construction of timber-built houses. In some places there are regular-cut pieces of stone that could have been used as the bases for pillars in the houses or as platforms for cannon.  Ruins in the shape of some narrow sections of the wall of small guardhouses and guards’ seats cut into the living rock are to be found on the exposed points to the north. The path led to another gateway that guarded the entrance to the central part of the fort, leading up to the main tower to the north-west and to the eastern rampart of the fortifications. At the end of the 19th century, S. Delić was still able to note that this entrance to the inner part of the fort was guarded by two towers, square in ground plan, and up to 8 m in height, between which was a gate 1.7 m in height and 1.2 m in width. In 1973 it was noted that there were the remains of one tower to the north-east of this entrance. Now even the entrance cannot be seen, and all that remains is a corner of one of the towers.

3. The central part of the fortress consists of the area around the mosque. The mosque stood 20 m to the north-east of the entrance referred to above. The mosque is assumed to have been built by repairing the old church dating from Sandalj’s day. In the late 19th century the imam of the Samobor mosque, Mula Osman Imamović, said that the original mosque was larger, like the church on the foundations of which it was built. It was demolished twice, being built on unlevel ground falling away towards the west. In 1892 Delić saw the remains of the altar arch between the east wall of the mosque and the rock, while the west entrance end of the church had fallen into the ravine. To avoid its collapsing, the mosque was set lengthwise across the width of the former church. This was done in 1763 for the Bosnian valija, Malovan Ali pasha. The next repairs to the mosque were in 1886-87. The length of the mosque, including portico, was 10 m, of which the portico accounted for 3 m, and the width was 5 m. The walls were 1 m thick, 3 m high (up to 8 m to the west), and were built of stone and tufa coated with lime; the roof was wooden. The wooden minaret, 5 m in height, was by the north-west wall of the mosque. The entrance to the mosque (1.4 m high and 0.74 m wide) was in the same wall (Delić, 1892, 258-259). A photograph published in 1912 shows the mosque building still intact, but without a minaret. In 1973 all that was found was the foundation sections of the entrance and walls of the mosque. There is a short plateau outside the north-west wall with the traces of a wall that could have belonged to an earlier stage, in the shape of the church built by Sandalj Hranić. In 1973, researchers found that it was impossible to determine where the south-eastern end of the mosque was without excavating, so that the answer to the question whether the building was rectangular in ground plan, as it appears, or square, had to be postponed (Kajmaković, 1981, 143). The site of the mosque is now completely buried under stones and earth.

Four seats are cut into the living rock beside the path in this part of the fortress, from the entrance to the central and upper part of the fort to above the mosque.  

The first seat is to the left of the path which, after entering through a second gateway, leads up to the upper fort. It was carefully carved from a large rock. The seat is rectangular in shape, 2.7 m long and 0.5 m wide. The vertical backrest is of the same length as the seat, and about 1.5 m in height. As a result of the shape of the rock, the backrest has the shape of a not quite regular trapezoid. There is a small footrest about 0.2 m in height at the base of the seat. There is a “basin” cut into one end of the seat, probably designed to catch rain water. The seat faced south-east.

The second seat is 5 metres from the first. The seat is about 1.2 m long and about 0.3 m high and wide. The backrest is cut vertically and is about 0.4 m high. This seat faces the inside of the fort, and has a view of the dungeon tower. There is no space in front of it to allow for a large number of people to gather.

The third seat is to the right of the path to the upper part of the fort, and about 15 m from the first. A four-sided horizontal prism was cut from the edging rock, on which another smaller, three-sided prism was cut. This gives a shape like two steps with a three-sided roof above the upper part of the steps. The seat is 1.25 m in height, and about 0.4 m wide, extending at a right angle on two sides, one for about a metre and the other about 1.6 m. The seat, which is 0.25 high, stands on a plinth 0.4 to 0.6 m high. The backrest looks like a three-sided prism, with the vertical side about 0.15 m high, above which it slants towards the upper gable. The three-sided prism is 0.4 m in height. The seat faces two ways – the shorter side has a distant view towards Međurječje, and the longer side faces the western part of the fort with the dungeon tower. The seat is damaged: part of the “roof” and part of the plinth to the south-east are missing.

The fourth seat is about 6 m above the third, to the left of the path leading up to the upper fort. A bench is cut into a lump of rock to form a seat 2.5 m long, about 0.6 m wide andn about 0.7 m high. The vertical backrest is in the shape of an irregular rectangle about 2.2 m in height. The rock is cracked and much chipped roughly in the middle of the seat, which is thus missing. The bench is so set that if one stands on it one can see far into the distance towards Međurječe. Here too there is no room in front of the bench for several people to gather together (Bešlagić, 1985, 18-20).

4. In the upper part of the fortress stands the best-preserved building in the entire fort: the main tower, built on a projecting rock at the extreme north-western point of the fort and dominating much of the environs. Built on the summit of the rock, towering over the rest of the fortress, this tower is one of the finest and certainly one of the most interesting structures in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s mediaeval fortresses. The tower survives to rather more of half its original height, about 11 m. The area to the east of the tower is the steepest, and is intersected by a dense network of ramparts, walls and retaining walls; presumably there were wooden buildings here at one time. The ground plan of the tower is an irregular ellipse, lying north-east/south-west. The narrower side walls are rounded on the outside. Three storeys have survived, formerly divided by wooden beams that fitted into the wall by up to 0.5 m. There were eight beams supporting the floor of the first storey, 11 the second, and 13 the third. At a height of 5 m to the south-east is an opening 1.05 m wide and 1.55 m high. The tower was entered via a bridge, which was guarded on both sides by wings forming an arch, built of limestone. It is said that the local people took tufa from the tower to repair the mosque. The bridge had already been demolished by that time, as had one side of the defences. There is now no trace of these details (Delić, 1892, 257). The window or loophole above the door is 0.95 m wide on the inside and 0.4 m on the outside, with the opening 0.95 m high. There is a similar window on the second storey, intended for the defence of the tower, and a door that can be reached only by ladder. This door opening is 0.7 m wide and 1.6 m high. The interior dimensions of the tower are 4 x 2 m, and the exterior 6.9 x 4.55 m. The walls are of varying thicknesses, from 1.3 to 1.9 m and 0.9 to 1.05 m. Delić estimated that the tower survived to a height of 18 m, but in 1973 it was about 11 m in height. It was built of regular cut stone and tufa blocks laid in horizontal courses. The architraves above the door and windows are of thick oak beams. Inside, the tower is filled with stone from the fallen walls, and more stone is to be found in the ravines of the Janjina, which are over 200 m deep at this point. The 1912 photograph shows the tower higher by one storey than in 1973; now part of the south-eastern wall has collapsed completely, so that the uppermost opening no longer exists. The faint ruins of a building, the shape and size of which cannot be determined without archaeological research, can be made out on a low, widish plateau to the north-east of the highest part of the fort with the main tower. Somewhere here was a cistern with a diameter of 1.6 m, with a barrel vault ceiling (Delić, 1892, 258). The 1973 researchers do not refer to the cistern, and without excavations it cannot even be seen today.

5. The southern fort is about 150 m lower than the central plateau. It was linked to the central part of the fort by a zigzag rampart, built to suit the steep terrain. At the base of the rampart are the remains of a square tower with a door to the north. At the end of the 19th century it had all its four walls, but in 1973 the researchers found that the east wall had fallen into the ravine. The hillside drops almost vertically down to the Janjina behind the southern tower. A number of years before the Austro-Hungarian occupation it was used as a prison, although the fort was abandoned in 1832 (Delić, 1892, 225; Kajmaković, 1973, 87-91).

The chronological sequence of these five sections of the fort was mainly in reverse order.  First to be built were the defensive and other buildings of the uppermost part, followed by the central area. The fort gradually extended westwars and southwards.

At the end of the 19th century it was known, according to eye-witnesses, that the many cannons that were here were taken by raft to Višegrad, while the largest, known as “Šiba”, was taken to Livno. One cannonremained in Samobor until 1872, when it was taken to Čajniče. At some time in the late 1880s the cannon was loaded with dynamite in Čajniče, and burst. Part of it was left outside the Orthodox church in Čajniče, and the other half was handed over to the National Museum in Sarajevo, where it is on display (inv. No. 179) in 1890 by Stipe Delić.

There is a free-flowing spring in the immediate vicinity, above the remains of the village of Vinje, which was no doubt also used by the occupants of the Samobor fort.

There is a burial ground in the forest above this village, by the forest road leading to the Janjina valley. It was not possible to ascertain how large it was, but among the graves one stands out with two rectangular nišan tombstones, of which the southern stone bears a Damascene sword with two orbs above it.


3. Legal status to date

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, and by Ruling of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NRBiH dated 7 December 1950, the old Samobor fort above Batovo, NOO Čajniče (now Novo Goražde municipality), was placed under state protection. By Ruling no. 02-726-3 of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR BiH dated 18 April 1962 this monument was entered in the Register of immovable cultural monuments.

The architectural ensemble of the old Samobor fort is on the Provisional List of National Monuments under the heading Samobor – old fort, under serial no. 246.

The Regional Plan for BiH to 2000 lists it as a Category II monument.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

            Samobor is one of those forts that have until now been abandoned to the ravages of time. The main reason for this is that there is no road suitable for the transport of materials or for undertaking major protective architectural and conservation works.

The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina was responsible for the inter-republic scientific project entitled Upper Podrinje in the time of the Kosača’s. During the project, in 1973, an architectural survey of the site and three details (the main and entrance details and the foundations of the mosque) was carried out. The monument was inspected in detail, but no archaeological excavations were carried out. The documentation and a detailed report were published in 1973 and 1981.


5. Current condition of the property

            In 1882, Stipe Delić wrote that “not much has survived of old Samobor – only the oak beams of the doors and windows, iron hinges on the gates, and a copper finial and iron spear up to 0.5 m long, which was found in Samobor, on the minaret” (Delić, 1892, 264).

An on site inspection on 2 December 2005 ascertained as follows: the walls of the fortifications and the buildings inside them are in a fairly ruinous state. The best preserved is the main tower, but even here the walls are cracked. The ruinous walls of numerous unidentified buildings within the ramparts can be made out here and there. The mosque and cistern can no longer be made out on the surface. The arch over the first, western entrance is on the point of collapse. Large parts of the facing have fallen away from the still more-or-less standing walls and the three remaining towers. Part of the road to the fort, particularly from the foot of the hill to the plateau on which the village of Vinje stood, is very difficult, as is the lower part of the road from Međurječje.


6. Specific risks

-          lack of maintenance,

-          self-sown vegetation.



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

C.v.       value of details

D.         Clarity

D.i.       material evidence of a lesser known historical era

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

F.         Townscape/ Landscape value

F.ii.       meaning in the townscape

G.         Authenticity

G.i.       form and design

G.ii.      material and content

G.v.      location and setting

H.         Rarity and representativity

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


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan;

-          Copy of Land Register entry of the Municipal Court in Višegrad;

-          Copy of Ruling no. 02-726-3 of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NRBiH dated 18 April 1962 on entry in the register of immovable cultural monuments;

-          Copy of plans of the property from the project Drina at the time of the Kosača (1968-1973);

-          Photodocumentation (photographs taken on site on 2 December 2005);

-          Photograph of the mosque taken in 1912 v(x).



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


1892.    Delić, Stevan, “Samobor kod Drine” (Samobor  on the Drina), Jnl. of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1892, no. IV, 255-269.


1951.    Jireček, Josip, Trgovački drumovi i rudnici Srbije i Bosne u srednjem vijeku (Trade routes and mines of Serbia and Bosnia in the mediaeval period), Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1951.


1957.    Vego, Marko, Naselja bosanske srednjovjekovne države (Settlements of the Mediaeval Bosnian State), Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1957.


1971.    Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci, kataloško-topografski pregled (Stećak tombstones, a catalogue and topographical survey), Sarajevo, 1971, 142-143.


1973.    Various authors, “Izvještaj o predhodnim istraživanjima”, U: Gornje Podrinje u doba Kosača (Report on preliminary investigations, in: Upper Drina valley in the time of the Kosača), Inter-republic scientific research project, report for 1973, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1973, 3-142.


1978.    Dinić, Mihailo, “Zemlje hercega sv. Save”, U: Srpske zemlje u srednjem veku (Lands of Herceg St Sava: in: Serbian 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), Sarajevo, 1978.


1981.    Kojić-Kovačević Desanka, “Arhivsko-istorijska istraživanja gornjeg Podrinja”, U: Drina u doba Kosača (Archival and historical studies of the upper Drina valley, in: The Drina in the time of the Kosača), Naše starine, XIV-XV, Sarajevo, 1981, 109-125.


1981.    Kajmaković, Zdravko, “Novi arheološko-arhitektonski spomenici”, U: Drina u doba Kosača (New archaeological and architectura monuments, in: The Drina in the time of the Kosača), Naše starine, XIV-XV, Sarajevo, 1981., 141-176.


1982.    Šabanović, Hazim, Bosanski pašaluk (The Bosnian pashaluk), Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1982.


1985.    Bešlagić, Šefik, Kamene stolice srednjovjekovne Bosne i Hercegovine (Stone seats of mediaeval BiH), Academy of Sciences and Arts of BiH, Works, Bk. LIX, Social Sciences Dept., Bk. 34, Sarajevo, 1985.


1995.    Popović, Marko, “Srednjovekovne tvrđave u Bosni i Hercegovini” (Mediaeval fortresses in BiH), Collected papers for the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Dept. for the history of BiH, Belgrade, 1995, 33-55.

Old Samobor fortPlan of the Old Samobor fort View of the main TowerMediaeval road leading to the Fort
Western (main) entrance into the FortDetails from the central plateauxUpper plateaux communicationGraveyard
Guards’ seatsMain towerMosque, Kajmaković and Ninković, 1973. 

BiH jezici 
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