home    
 
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

Monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin in Dobrićevo, the architectural ensemble

gallery back

Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the „Official Gazette of BiH“ no. 18/07.

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 16 to 22 May 2006 the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

The architectural ensemble of the Monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin in Dobrićevo, Municipality Bileća, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the church of the Presentation of the Virgin, the «old smokehouse,» and the church of St Nicholas of Mistihalje.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 20/3, Land Register entry no. 363, cadastral municipality Zariječje, Municipality Bileća, 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.

 

II

 

The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect,  conserve and display the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.

 

III

           

In order to ensure the on-going protectionof the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

Protection Zone I consists of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision. In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

  • All works are prohibited on the church of the Presentation of the Virgin, the «old smokehouse,» and the church of St Nicholas of Mistihalje other than conservation and restoration works, 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),
  • Routine maintenance works are permitted on the new konak building and other existing outbuildings.

Protection Zone II consists of a protective strip with a width of approx.100 metres surrounding the National Monument. In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:

  • The construction of any industrial buildings or facilities, or of buildings the use of which could endanger the National Monument, and the siting of environmental polluters are prohibited;
  • Infrastructure works shall be permitted only with the approval of the relevant ministry and subject to the conditions laid down by the heritage protection authority;
  • Detailed spatial plans and town planning and technical conditions for the erection of new buildings in the protective strip must have the approval of the heritage protection authority.

 

IV

 

All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.

 

V

 

Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and restoration thereof.

 

VI

 

            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 – V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.

 

VII

 

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) 

 

VIII

 

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.

 

IX

 

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. 74.

 

X

 

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.: 06.1-2-64/06-7                                                                   

17 May 2006

Sarajevo                                                                                   

 

Chair of the Commission

Amra Hadžimuhamedović

 

E l u c i d a t i o n

 

I – INTRODUCTION

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

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the Church and Monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin in Dobrićevo, municipality Bileća, to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina under serial no. 74.

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:

  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage
  • The current condition of the property
  • Documentation on the location and current owner of the property
  • 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

Location

Curerentn location of the monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin – Orah          

An asphalt road approx. 750 m in length forks off the regional Bileća-Trebinje at kilometre 13, leading to the village of Orah, close to which the Monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin now stands. Located at latitude 42°49' N and longitude 18°25' E, at an altitude of approx.442 metres above sea level(1), it stands a few hundred metres to the west of the shore of Lake Bileća, or approx. 7 km to the south of Bileća as the crow flies. The terrain on which the monastery complex stands slopes gently from west to east. There are no residential buildings in the immediate environs of the monastery complex.

The monastery section, surrounded by walls, stands on plot no. c.p. 20/3, c.m. Zariječje.

To the west, north and east, c.p. no. 20/3 is adjoined by plots nos. 20/2 and 21/1, also in the possession of the Dobrićevo monastery. Plots c.p. nos. 20/2 and 21/1 are surrounded by a low concrete wall in which is a metal gate to the west.

Former location of the monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin – Dobrićevo

The original location of the Dobrićevo monastery, before it was relocated in 1964-65, was on the right bank of the Trebišnjica (alt. 328 m. above sea level), about twenty kilometres upstream from Trebinje. The Kosijerevo monaastery was close to it, but on the opposite side of the river Trebišnjica, in the administrative territory of Montenegro.

Historical information

There is no written record of the exact date of origin of the Dobrićevo church, and scholarly opinion varies, with some dating it to the first half of the 15th century and others to the 16th.

In the view of architect Marica Šuput, the characteristic elements of the architecture of the church, as well as the oldest layer of frescoes, place the Dobrićevo church among early 16th century monuments(2).

Zdravko Kajmaković also addressed the dating of the Dobrićevo church: «... the only church analagous to the old cruciform church in Dobrićevo is the church of Herceg Stjepan in Sopotnica near Goražde. This too, like the Dobrićevo church, was cruciform in ground plan, but instead of a wooden roof it was immediately given vaults, and pointed vaults at that, of the kind that Dobrićevo would acquire only with its first renovation. It would be more justifiable, therefore, to date the old church in Dobrićevo to the first half of the 15th century at the latest, and its renovation to the early 16th, with the newly-erected church in Tvrdoš influencing the concept of the Dobrićevo church at this time.» (3)   

During works to dismantle the Dobrićevo church in 1964-65, the foundations of an older, 14th century building were found, «whereby the present-day Dobrićevo church dates from the early 15th century at the latest» (4).

The names of monks from Dobrićevo are recorded in the Sopoćani Pomenik,. Anden the first written document to refer to Dobrićevo dates from 1661(5). The 1661 note records that in that year the church «was dedicated to the Virgin, perhaps as part of a nunnery.» (6)   

After the church murals were painted, the work of Georgije Mitrofanović, a parvis was built on.  Again, the exact date is not known, but it was certainly in the early decades of the17th century.

The endowment of the parvis is ascribed to the Aleksić family, whose descendants live in the village of Oputna Rudina(7).

The monastery was looted twice, in 1649 and 1680, and in 1672 the frescoes were damaged by a fire that also swept through the church.  An inscription discovered on a window frame in the apse, dating from 1672, records the construction of the cistern. Over the next seventy years or so the monastery was left abandoned. The earliest information concerning its renovation dates from 1730.

A number of inscriptions dating from the first half of the 18th century, discovered in books and other artifacts within the monastery, testify to the monastery's many activities. «Many contributions are coming in from Vojvodina(8) (father Sofronije Dobrićevac collecting alms), Sarajevo and elsehwere. The monastery is visited by the Peć Patriarch Joanikije and the Zahum-Hercegovina Metropolitan Filotej(9). The monastery has an abbot, Dionizija Boškovića, a vice-abbot, father Petronija, and numerous brethren. It was then that two persons of importance to us appeared: pop [priest] Brajović and the painter Rafailo Dimitrijević. The monastery parvis and, as we shall see, its murals date from that time. At that time the icon-painter Teodor the muralist was also present. Thereafter the monastery developed its economy normally for the most part.» (10)  

In 1854, during the time of Abbot Teodosije Mišković, a channel was built to irrigate the monastery estate. Between 1860 and 1865 the monastery estate was enlarged by the purchase of a meadow, and in 1866 by the purchase of a tower with čitluks (Muslim peasant holdings) in Podvori.   Priest-monk Partenije Đedović(11) increased the monastery holdings by the purchase of two vineyards in Mostaći and shops in Trebinje, and in 1886, Jeustachius Gaćinović built a mill(12).

During the 1875 to 1878 uprising, the monastery was laid waste, but the worst damage was caused in 1914, during World War I, when Austrian troops torched the church: the iconostasis and many of the monastery's valuables were destroyed by fire, as were the murals(13).

Immediately upon adoption of the decision to build a hydroelectric system on the Trebišnjica, on 26 December 1959, a meeting was held in Trebinjeattended by representatives Trebišnjica HE, the Trebinje NOO(14), the Authority for the Protection of Cultural Monuments in Mostar and the Regional Museum in Trebinje, at whic the decision was taken to rescue the antiquities and cultural monuments that would be at immediate risk from the formation of the Bileća reservoir(15). 

The Dobrićevo monastery, the Arslanagić bridge near Lastva, and the Kosijerovo monastery (in Montenegro), were regarded as the most valuable cultural and historical properties in the upper Trebišnjica valley, so outstanding that they should be saved by being relocated to new sites(16). The construction of the Grnčarevo dam and the creation of an artifical reservoir would have left the Dobrićevo monastery under about 70 metres of water(17) and, after an analysis and valorization of the cultural property, and seven years' fund-raising, the work of relocating it was carried out in 1965-1965(18).

 

2. Description of the property

Description of the monastery complex – as it was to 1964 (in Dobrićevo)

The monastery complex covered an area of 1190 m2, and consisted of the church, refectory, old kitchen, monastery school, konak (lodgings), and cistern. The referectory was in the old drying-house which, «in every aspect of its architeture, suggested that it was contemporary with the church itself.»(19) The walls surrounding the complex to the north, i.e. the retaining walls of the plateau on which the monastery complex stood, had also survived.

Priest-monk Leontije Ninković(20) provided information on the appearance of the monastery prior to the 1875-1878 uprising in which the monastery was laid waste. According to him, «Dobrićevo formerly gave the impression of being a fortified defence structure. There was a terrace of two-storey houses on three sides (north, east and south), as it were a defence wall. The building to the north, known as the Refectory, was a two-storey edifice. It is 19 m long and 8 m wide. It adjoins another, also two-storey house (the old kitchen with cistern), which is 9 m long and 5.5 m wide. To the east of that building are a row of monks' cells. To the east there extends a large building, 20 m long and 5.5m wide, and to the south a two-storey edifice known as the «Čardak» [blockhouse], 10 m long and 6 m wide. There were monks' cells of varying sizes between the čardak and the main monastery gate to the west. One was known as the Sarajevo cell, having supposedly been built by Sarajevans – probably Selakovići – when they fled Sarajevo to escape an epidemic of the plaque (1731-32, or 1762-78). At the time of the Herzegovina uprising (1875-78), the surrounding monastery cells were destroyed, but immediately after the war ended, as well as later, they were repaired. On the other hand, at that that some small cells the walls of which abutted onto the church were also destroyed.  This made it easier to reach the church, which was no longer used solely for the ascetic monastic life»(21).  

In the 1960s, the remaining parts of the 19th century monastery complex described in Leontije Ninković's book were the church, refectory, old kitchen and cistern. The two-storey residential building of the new konak, built between the two World Wars, to the east of the old monastery complex, spoiled the silhouette as a whole, and a monastery school was built in 1891 instead of the monks' cells to the south-west of the complex. Zdravko Kajmaković and Smail Tihić note: «This is approximately what the rough layout of the architectural edifices of the monastery in Dobrićevo looked like. As can be seen, this building, like every other older monument in our country, has undergone various trials, which have left more or less visible traces on the building, damaging its original value. For all that, two of the buildings within the monastery complex can be said to be quite well preserved. These are the church and the refectory with smokehouse. Although these too have suffered from the ravages of time, their basic architectural and structural organization has remained almost intact.» (22)  

Description of the monastery complex – after 1964 (in Orah)

Formation of the new monastery complex (23)

The selection of a suitable site for the relocation of the Dobrićevo church was dictated by a number of factors: the monastery had to remain in the same region, not too far from the reservoir and its original location; it should be in an area that would provide the basic conditions for the economic life of the brethren; it should stand on a site the configuration of which corresponded to that of the original site; it.

Three possible sites were proposed: 1) Kuletina at the source of the Trebišnjica, very close to Bileća, 2) Vraćevica hill in Panik and 3) the village of Orah to the west of the Bileća reservoir. The last was selected, on the Vrtina meadow, owned by Jefto Kureš of Orah, 8 km from the old site.

The advantage of the chosen site of Vrtina-Orah over the other two was that the site sloped at almost exactly the same angle as that of the old site of the Dobrićevo church, from west to east, and was similar in the geomorphological characteristics of the terrain. The present-day site of the monastery has an unimpeded view of the Miruš valley and lake(24).

The drying house and boundary wall were re-erected in relation to the church as they had been on the old site, with the intention of restoring the former appearance of the monastery complex.  There were minor changes: the drying house was shifted 2-3 m to the north so as to widen the passageway between the old refectory and the church, and the east boundary wall was shifted towards the church by approx. 3 m.

On the suggestion of the heritage protection authority, the owner of the monument, the Eparchy in Moaster, built the old refectory on the same site and to approximately the same shape (to the north of the church), enabling the north side of the monastery to retain its previous appearance for the most part.

The Commission(25) suggested that the small church of St Nicholas of Mistihalje in Panik be relocated to the site of the old school to the south-west of the church. Somewhat further to the south a new konak building was erected, financed by the Eparchy. The design of the konak was by architect Vuk Roganović.

Boundaries of the monastery complex

The monastery complex is surrounded by a stone wall, approx. 3.30 m high to the west and approx. 2.00 m to the north, south and east. The boundaries of the monastery complex are defined spatially by the west boundary wall, approx. 22.50 m in length, which links the monastery konak with the «old smokehouse,» and by the line of the monastery boundary walls linking the «old smokehouse, bypassing the monaastery church to the north, east and west, with the konak building.

The monastery church of the Presentation of the Virgin stands at the centre of the enclosed monastery area, with the small church of St Nicholas of Mistihalje approx. 7 m from and parallel to it.

South of the «old smokehouse», in the north-west corner of the monastery courtyard, is a group of five graves marked by stone crosses on stone coffins. Three of the crosses are engraved with epitaphs in Cyrillic. One of them bears the epitaph:

ABBESS VOSKRESIJA STANOJEVIĆ

PRINCIPAL

BORN 1913 DIED 1986

TOMBSTONE ERECTED BY THE MONASTERY BOARD

OF DOBRIĆEVO AND SISTER MARY

STANOJEVIĆ WITH THE SISTERS 1986.

Another is inscribed:

HERE LIES

PRIEST-MONK

.....  PAREŽANIN

.................,

while on the third, an epitaph of 9 rows of letters is incised at the base of the cross on the grave, the tenth line bearing the date 1882.

The entrance gate, with double solid wooden doors in an arched opening (measuring 1.45 x 2.70 m, rise of the arch approx. 30 cm), is set in the west boundary wall. There is a side gate at the north-east corner of the monastery plot, leading to the outbuildings of the monastery complex (plot no. 21/1, also owned by the Dobrićevo monastery). There is a stone cistern in the south-west corner of the monastery complex, hard by the boundary wall.

Monastery church of the Presentation of the Virgin

The church lies with its long axis south-east (apse) – north-west (entrance portal), with a deviation of approx. 20 deg. in relation to the east(26).  

The present-day ground plan of the church, with its parvis, nave divided into three bays, north and south choirs, and three apses at the south-east end, is the outcome of alterations and repairs to the building at various times past, following fires and vandalism of various provenance. The craftsmen who carried out these repairs and renovations on the building were under the influence of both the Serbian mediaeval architectural tradition and of coastal architecture.

As a result, it is hard to attribute a specific type to the Dobrićevo church. Investigations conducted prior to the relocation of the church from Dobrićevo and findings arrived at during the work of dismantling the building suggest that during renovation works in the early 16th century the cruciform church was extended by the proscomidion to the north-east and diaconicon to the south-west. Both proscomidion and diaconicon have small semicircular apses to the south-east.

The rectangular choirs to the north-east (inside measurements approx. 215 x 275 cm) and south-west (inside measurements approx. 230 x 270 cm), are linked(27) with the proscomidion and diaconicon, giving the church the appearance, from outside, of a triple-bayed church of the Rascian type, and inside of an inscribed cross. The church also acquired vaults, as investigations confirmed.

The areas above the proscomidion, diaconicon and choirs have semicircular barrel vaults. The central area of the church is divided into three bays: the area above the east bay (measuring approx. 220 x 350 cm; altar area bay) and the west bay (the length of the diagonals of the bays differ: 4.70 and 4.55 m) have pointed vaults, while the central bay (measuring approx. 2.75 x 3.55 m) is cross-vaulted.

The nave is separated from the altar space by a wooden iconostasis. The height of the nave from floor level to the crown(28) of the vault is approx. 5.70 m.

In the early 17th century a parvis with a semicircular barrel vault was built onto the west end of the church. The outer measurements(29) of the facade walls of the parvis are 5.67 m, 6.40 m and 6.41 m respectively (length of the «south, west and north»(30) facades). The parvis vault is set longitudinally, east-west, and is supported on each side by two pairs of rebated arches. These are rebated against the side walls of the parvis and supported by pilasters aggainst the central side walls. The parvis is an irregular rectangle in ground plan, with the lengths of the diagonals differing as measured(31): 6.64 and 7.11 m.

Because of the refectory, which was too close to the church on the original site in Dobrićevo, it was impossible to give the north (side) wall of the parvis a position parallel to the north outer walls of the church (i.e the north walls of the nave and choirs); insttead, it obtained a «slight deviation» to the south. In addition, the parvis is wider than the nave all round by the thickness of the walls (approx. 70 cm); its longitudinal walls cover the walls of the nave of the church, but it is still narrower than the projecting choir areas.

In the early part of the second half of the 19th century a stone bell tower with three bells (approx. 3.55 m in height) «na preslicu», level with the gable end  of the wall of the entrance facade, at a height of +6,85 m(32).

The interior of the church is lit by rectangular windows in the outside walls of the choirs; an oculus set in the clerestorey above the central bay; rectangular windows in the conches of the apse; and rectangular windows in the parvis walls.

The church has a main entrance at the north-west end and a side entrance in the south wall of the parvis. The entrance portal is simple: a stone frame, measuring 110 x 184 on the outside, with a rectangular entrance opening measuring approx. 82 x 190 cm. The architraval stone beam above the entrance measures approx 115 cm wide x 30 cm high. Above it, centrally above the entrance, is a semicircular lunette (base approx. 60cm, height approx. 25 cm) with an arched stone archivolt (outer radius of the archivolt is approx. 50 cm and height of the beam approx. 20 cm).

The floor of the parvis is approx. 30 cm higher (entrance step and doorstep) than the level of the entrance. The floors of the parvis, nave and altar area are paved with regular-cut rectangular stone slabs.

 

The walls of the church, which are approx. 70 – 75 cm thick, are of regular horizontal courses of «block bond» with regular overlaps; all the stones of a given course are of the same height, and are laid on their longer side. The outer facades are not plastered, and the joints between the stones are pointed.  The masonry of the nave is more rustic, and that of the parvis more regular.

The church roof is clad with stone slabs set in a layer of lime mortar. The pitch of the gabled roof panes is approx. 25 deg. off horizontal.

Below the roof the central nave is decorated on all four sides with a frieze of protuberant serrated stone. The roof projects outwards beyond the wall plane by 20-30 cm.

The area above the main apse has a conical roof clad with stone slabs set in lime mortar.  The apex of the conical roof is approx. 180 cm lower than the ridge of the gabled roof.

Old smokehouse

This relatively small ground-floor building (exterior dimensions approx. 4.50 x 7.66 m) stands at the west end of the monastery plot and is linked with the stone boundary wall. It is stone-built, with walls approx. 50 cm thick, and consists structurally at ground-floor level of two bays. Functionally, both bays form a single space, now used as a tea room, souvenir shop and place for visitors to the monastery to rest. The eastern rectangular section has a pent roof clad with stone slabs, while the walls of the square west bay narrow by means of a stereotomic masonry structure in the form of a cylindrical vault(33) towards a narrow (outside diameter approx. 1.30 m) and relative tall chimney (approx. 2.70 m in height).

To the east of this building is a ground-floor building measuring 8 m wide x 19.2 m high [sic], built of stone and clad in part with stone slabs, in part with sheet metal; to the south this building has a set-back(34) porch (measuring approx. 2.60 m deep x 17.60 m long). This extension houses a kitchen, refectory, toilet block and utility rooms.

Church of St Nicholas of Mistihalje

            In 1965 the church of St Nicholas of Mistihalje was also dismantled and moved to Orah along with the Dobrićevo church and for the same reason, the construction of the reservoir.

The single-nave church lies with its long axis south-east (apse) – north-west (entrance portal).  It is rectangular in ground plan, with exterior measurements of approx.4.12 x 7.94 (7.82) m(35). Above the nave is a round barrel vault. The vaulted apse at the south-east end of the church is lit by a single narrow windows and is ellipsoid in ground plan.

Inside the church, spolia from the Roman site of Prle in Panik was used in the altar area to make the altar table.

The length of the outside walls of the apse is approx. 4.78 m, and the lengths of the outer semaxes of its ellipsoid ground plan are approx. 1.60 and 1.72 m.

The church has a single entrance, at the north-west end. The entrance portal has a rectangular entrance opening measuring 76 x 180 cm, above which is a stone architrave beam (height approx. 30 cm, length approx. 131 cm). Central to the axis of the entrance opening, superimposed on the architrave beam, is a round-arched lunette (height approx. 51 cm). To the right of the lunette is a stone plaque with an incised text on the renovation of the church: «During renovations in 1869, a stone was mounted on the west facade with an inscripition naming the founder of the previous renovation, pop [priest] Vučkosav, and Hristo and Božo, who can be identified as the renovators of the Dobrićevo monastery – Božo Bajović and Hristo Bratulović, referred to in 1745 on an icon from Dobrićevo.»(36)

Approx. 135 cm above the lunette is an oculus with a diameter of approx. 35 cm.

The walls of the church are approx 70 cm and are of limestone, with the joints pointed with lime-cement mortar.

Light enters the nave through a single round-arched window in each side wall of the church, with exterior masonry measurements of approx. 40/74.

The roof of the church is clad with stone slabs, and is topped by a stone bell tower «na preslicu» level with the gable end of the wall of the entrance facade, at a height of +5,52 m(37).

The pitch of the gabled roof panes is approx. 30 deg. off horizontal(38).

The new konak building was built on 25 May 1969(39), following the relocation of the Dobrićevo monastery to Orah. The building measures approx. 8.20 m wide x 12.77 mlong x 6.85 m in height to the roof eaves, with a ground floor and one upper floor, and is built of regular-cut limestone blocks. It is reached from the monastery courtyard, with the entrance to the ground floor of the konak, to the north of the building, accentuated by the first-floor terrace (which measures approx. 1.74 m deep x 4 m wide x 3.70 m high), supported by two stone pillars approx. 50 x 50 cm in cross section.  On the facadees of the konak, the door and window openings are round arched; the windows measure 80 x 160 cm, and the entrance door 130 x 225 cm.

Murals of the monastery church in Dobrićevo

During the relocation of the monastery complex, or rather of the murals of the Dobrićevo church (1960to 1965), murals of various periods were discovered, which can be divided into three:

  1. the oldest parts of the murals were the work of an unidentified artist from the coastal region. The murals were probably painted in the early 16th century
  2. in the late 16th or early 18th century the nave was painted by Georgije Mitrofanović
  3. the mural on the east wall of the parvis was painted in about 1745 by the icon painter Teodosije (Kajmaković, 1971, 345)

The oldest parts of the Dobrićevo murals were discovered on the east wall of the name. Parts were found under Mitrofanović's composition of the Spirits. Mitrofanović stripped off most of the old fresco before painting his own.

Fragments have been preserved in a narrow band along the side of the east wall of the church. Judging from the fragments, the unidentified central composition was surrounded by a garland of six-winged seraphim. The skin tones of their heads, not one of which has survived intact, were maroon, with an undercoat of white ochre and a touch of red on the cheeks. The eyes of the seraphim are modelled with two black lines, as are the eyebrows. The base colour of the wings of the seraphim is maroon, with ochre lines. A broad brush was used to paint them (Kajmaković, 1971, 69).  The surviving fragments of the composition were on a dark blue ground, exactly like the background colour used by Mitrofanović.

In Orthodox iconography, seraphim appear singly or in groups on many occasions, but never in this shape or in this place. In western-oriented painting, iconographic solutions of this kind are more common, and feature in compositions of the Madonna with Christ and the Assunta (Assumption of the Virgin). They were much favoured in Italian, and in particular in Pisan, painting of the 14th and 15th century, as well as in the Dubrovnik school of the 15th and 16th century(40). On this basis, Kajmaković deduced that this composition was by a painter who united in his artistic personality both eastern and western painting. He is also of the view that this coomposition dates from the early 16th century and that it is somewhat more recent than the renovation and repairs to the Dobrićevo church that took place at that time. In Kajmaković's opinion, this unidentified artist painted the east wall of the church above the triumphal arch, while the apse, diaconicon and prothesis remained unpainted (Kajmaković, 1971, 70).

The inscription above the door to the nave recording the painting of the church murals survived until the 1920s, and was read and published on several occasions by the Dobrićevo abbot Jeustachius Gaćinović and priest-monk Leontije Ninković, who published the following transcription:

«izvoªenªem %ca i spospe{enªem s=&ia i s...

dha poª t...sp...

tr'di`e % .. smo ...' me..

r'ka gre{na ge... htafa

s negora

m= &-ia....»

 (Kajmaković, 1971, 195)

In his analysis of this transcription, Kajmaković is of the view that the word «htafa» should be read as part of Georgije's surname, or as a distortion of the word «zografa» (acc. or gen. of zograf, painter of icons or church murals), and that «GE» is the beginning of the painter's first name. The obscure word «s ne gora» is an inaccurate transcription of the site of Mitrofanović's home monastery, Hilandar. In Kajmaković's opinion, it is important for ascribing a date to the Dobrićevo mural that the month of June, when renovation works were completed, is mentioned. Since the work on the murals in Zavala must have been completed in the summer of 1616, Mitrofanović could not have worked in the Dobrićevo church that same year, given that he was in Peć at the end of 1619 painting the church of St Demetrius and the monastery refectory. He worked in Hilander for the next two years, as a result of which Kajmaković hypothesizes that the Dobrićevo church was painted before 1619, and even gives the exact year, 1592 (Kajmaković, 1971, 195-197). He reaches this conclusion on the basis of an inscription found in the second layer of plaster in the diaconicon and apsidal conch when the Dobrićevo church was moved to its new site. This inscription, drawn on fresh plaster, was composed of two symbols 3P (7100-5508 = 1592.) (Kajmaković, 1971, 1977, 34-37). According to Kajmaković, the letter P, the upright of which curves markedly to the right, is reminiscent of Mitrofanović's handwritingwhen he wrote the names of saints in the synopia in cursive script in the apse on the second layer of plaster. In addition, Kajmaković notes that «regardless whether this is in the hand of the painter or of his assistants, there is no doubt that the plaster in question was applied just before the church was painted, and that it dates to the same time as Georgije's frescoes in this church.»  Another reason for Kajmaković to believe that this mural is older than those in the Zavala monastery is a «certain stylistic rigidity in the treatment of the figures and a tendency towards an iconographic treatment of the physiognomies.» (Kajmaković, 1971, 197).

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, frescoes painted in the early 17th century by the famous artist Georgije Mitrofanović, who referred to himself as the painted «from the monastery of Hilandar(41),»are relatively the most numerous. He is regarded as the best Serbian painter of the Ottoman period after Longin. The frescoes in the monastery churches of Dobrićevo and Zavala, both on the river Trebišnjica in south-eastern Herzegovina, are his work; and in 1967 an icon of his featuring the Holy Trinity was found in Rijeka near Foča. In addition, Mitrofanović's works are to be found in the Peć and Morača monasteries, andn in Hilander on Mount Athose (Kajmaković, 1971, 193)

So far twenty icons and fresco ensembles by Georgije Mitrofanović have been recorded. All these works, five of which are complete fresco ensembles, were painted over the brief period of seven years:

-          1615-1616, Annunciation from the Hilander museum and icon of the Holy Trinity from Rijeka near Foča,

-          September 1616, mural on the west facade of Morača,

-          1616-1617, throne icon of the Mother of God in Morača,

-          late 1618-first half of 1619, frescoes in the Zavala monastery,

-          c. 1620, three frescoes on the parvis wall in Morača,

-          1619-1621/2, fresco ensemble of St Demetrius in Peć, mural in the Peć refectory, altar partition in the church of St Tryphon in the Hilandar complex, and Christ on the ceiling of the refectory in Hilandar

The fresco in Dobrićevo is the only of his works of certain date the exact date of which is not known. As already noted above, the inscription on the painting of the murals in the church remained above the door to the nave until the 1920s, and was read and published on several occasions by the Dobrićevo abbot JEustachius Gaćinović and priest-monk Leontije Ninković. (Kajmaković, 1971, 211, 195).

In 1621 or 1622 an old man called Mitrofan died in Hilandar. Georgije Mitrofanović noted below his fresco in the Hilandar refectory: «Presented [in] everlasting memory to the modest old Mitrofan in the summer of 1621-22.» (Kajmaković, 1971, 208). Kajmaković believes that this was in fact Mitrofanović's father. The mural could refer to him here since he was indeed the benefactor of the renovated mural in the Hilandar refectory. Kajmaković also guesses Mitrofanović's age from this – he assumes he was about sixty at the time, and that he died soon after, which the reason his works are no longer to be found after that date in church murals (Kajmaković, 1971, 210).

The rigidity that features in Mitrofanović's icons and on some of his frescoes arises from the fact that, like Longin, Mitrofanović evolved principally from an icon-painted to a mural-painter (Kajmaković, 1971, 213). The faces of the figures on Mitrofanović's frescoes are frequently damaged.  The reason is the poor chemical composition of the skin tones, as well as the actual method of painting the faces. Mitrofanović painted faces using an almost contemporary method of painting easel pictures and icons, meticulously finishing every detail with a fine brush, adding one colour to another in secco technique. This meant that the coats of pigment could not bind to the base, and became detached as time passed, pulling the next coat away with them (Kajmaković, 1971, 216).

The last-but-one fresco painter working in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be known by name was Teodor. His name survives on a fresco inscription in the proscomidion of the Dobrićevo church.

The inscription reveals that at some unknown date priest Boško Bajović renovated and inventoried the Dobrićevo church. The works at that time were carried out by «the painter Teodor».

His signature is to be found on a black-painted are of the fresco in the prothesis, on Mitrofanović's plaster base coat.The white lime pigment bonded poorly with the old patinated base of this area, and the inscription is badly damaged.

The only elements from which the inscription could be dated are:

-          the marked difference between the base coat and the pigments added in secco,

-          the reference to priest Božo Bajović,

-          the style of the frescoes, which can be dated to the 18th century.

The base coat on which the inscription was painted was laid by Georgije Mitrofanović, meaning that the text is more recent.

Priest Božo Milinkov Bajović was at one time a parish priest in Sarajevo. Until 1914, there were two icons in Dobrićevo that Božo Bajović had donated to the monastery. Priest Bajović was active in the mid 18th century, so the frescoes by Teodor probably also datefrom that time, the 1760s, when the monastery was extremely active, as evidenced by many inscriptions in books and on icons and other church wares.  Somewhat earlier, around the 1740s, the Dobrićevo parvis was built, and in 1745 the painter Rafailo Dimitrijević, a native of the Bay of Kotor from Risno, was staying in the monastery and would paint for priest Bajović a large icon of the Last Judgment with a famous inscription by the painter in which he says that he painted 221 figures with 16 brushes. The following fact is important for dating more exactly the painter Teodor from Dobrićevo: as well as the name of Božo Bajović, the fresco inscription also refers to priest-monk Mojsej. According to documents found in the archives of the Old Church in Sarajevo, priest Bajović took monastic orders sometime between 1761 and 1768, and adopted the name Mojsej.

Teodor «uses a brick red tone instead of red, and largely substitutes black for maroon, while the cyclamen and lilac tones so typical of Mitrofanović do not exist in his case. Blue and green feature only sporadically. As a rule he handles shading and drapery in pure black pigment, regardless of the base colour of the costumes. He places broad strokes of yellow on the dark maroon skin tones, leaving the transition sharp and undefined. He takes more care over the treatment of the vestments, caps, mitres and crowns, and pays particular attention to the decoration of the throne.» (Kajmaković, 1972, 299,300).

Iconographic description of the frescoes

1. Assumption of the Mother of God (o'cpenªe...)

The extension of the passageway between the parvis and the nave destroyed the lower part of this composition, while the central section is badly damaged by the fresco plaster falling away.

The composition can be divided into three sections.

The Mother of God featured at the base, lying down surrounded by the apostles, church dignitaries and angels to the side. Two angels stood beside Christ, who was holding His mother’s soul in the form of a child.

The central part of the composition consisted of two large white clouds, one facing the other, each held by two angels. Six apostles were seated on each cloud.

The upper section of the composition consisted of the figure of the Mother of God in a mandorla, ascending to heaven standing on a duza. Above her, at the top of the wall, are the gates of heaven, being opened by two angels.

What is original here is the separation of the apostles into two groups of six disciples, seated on two clouds held by four angels. Judging from the line separating the lower from the central section, this composition was painted over two working days. It may be assumed from surviving fragments of the frescoes that lively colours were used – blue, red, violet, cyclamen, green, grey, ochre and yellow.

The architecture of the fresco in the background is green on one side and orange on the other, with blue roofs.

An indistinct inscription by the artist in cursive script in red pigment was discovered on another layer of plaster after the fresco was removed.

2. Emperor Constantine and Empress Helena Jelena (staael+na, st=& ko...)

The emperor’s divitision is dark violet with white dots. The loros which the emperor is holding around his neck and arms is orange. The empress Helena is wearing a red divitision with wide sleeves, decorated with white spots and dark-toned crosses. The cross between son and mother is maroon.

3. St. Anthony the Great of Egypt (... aidonªe v+lik=&).

The figure of the saint is shown standing, with a short beard, and a blue veil around his head.  He is wrapped in a mauve cloak, beneath which is a red robe. His right hand is on his chest, and he is holding a scroll with the following text in his left:

Vide s... =& vra`ªe prostrrti pov=celie nesi

ªako me`' v=zdahno'h= ireh kto o<ve`s< s=&h. Izidemi.

4. Unidentified saint (...emisªon).

The composition is a fresco-representation of an icon on a chain, featuring a saint shown half-length. The frame of the painted “fresco-icon” is ochre, and the background red. The saint’s hood is dark blue, and his cape is green. His halo extends beyond the painted frame of the icon. In his left hand he is holding a scroll with the text: ... e... ko ... sz=& i sla... ' .ti lk= slavi b`ªe ~e..

5. St. Ismail (st=& ªsmaªl=).

The saint is shown as a young man. His face is painted with particular care, using a fine brush. The skin tone is dark ochre, and his cloak is dark red, while his robe is grey-green. His white belt is decorated with vertical red and blue lines. The hem of his vestment is decorated with a border.

The saint is holding a cross in his right hand. The background is dark blue at the top and rather lighter below.

The fresco is damaged only around the shoulders of the figure.

6. St. Isaviel (st=&  ªsav+l=).

Only fragments of the fresco survive, showing the saint’s head and the part around the legs.  His cloak was green, and his robe violet with a red border at the bottom.

7. St. Manuel (st=& man'ªl= ).

Only fragments of the fresco survive, showing part of the halo and the saint’s body below the waist.  His cloak is violet and his robe red with a broad ochre edging. It is decorated with floral ornaments. He is shown with a cross in his right hand.

8. Prophet Zechariah (prophet. zaharia).

The prophet is shown half-length, in semi-profile, with long hair and beard and a cap on hhis head. His cloak is decorated with vertical grey lines. He is holding a scroll in his left hand.

9. Prophet Samuel (prophet sm'i).

The prophet is shown half-length. He is holding an ochre horn in his right hand and a scroll of paper in his left.

10. Prophet Aaron (prophet aron).

The prophet is shown half-length. His right hand is raised slightly. He is holding a scroll of paper in his left. The skin tones are dark yellow.

11. St. Vakh (st=& v=kh= ).

Features the standing figure of a young man. His cloak is light red, and his robe somewhat darker. The collar and edgings are ochre with brown ornaments.

12. Unidentified saint in a medallion. Features a young man to bust level, probably one of the 40 martyrs.

13. Unidentified saint in a medallion. Features a young man to bust level, probably one of the 40 martyrs.

14. Unidentified saint in a medallion. Features a young man to bust level, probably one of the 40 martyrs.

15. Unidentified saint in a medallion. Features a young man to bust level, probably one of the 40 martyrs.

16. Unidentified saint in a medallion. Features a young man to bust level, probably one of the 40 martyrs. A cross can be seen in the saint’s right hand.

17. Unidentified saint with beard.

18. Unidentified saint in a medallion.

19. Unidentified saint in a medallion.

20. Unidentified saint in a medallion.

21. Unidentified saint in a medallion.

22. Cross in a circle.

23. Transfiguration of Christ (pr+bra`enªe).

The lower parts of the composition have been destroyed by fire, damp and, possibly, retouching. The upper part features Christ standing on a hillock, in light green vestments. To his left is the figure of Moses and to his right Elijah. Below them are three of the apostles, Peter, James and John. Three rays from Christ’s halo extend to the heads of the apostles.

24. Ornament on socle – stylized white palmette on dark and red background.

25. Jesus Christ (IC, HS).

The half-length figure of Christ, giving a blessing with his right hand, and holding the Gospels in his left. He is wearing a blue cloak and a red robe. His face is executed with an icon-painter’s meticulousness using a fine brush. This is one of the best-preserved fresco ensembles in the Dobrićevo monastery.

26. Unidentified young saint.

Features the half-length portrait of a saint holding a red cloak in his right hand. His robe is light green.

27. St. Eustachius, perhaps St. Evgaf.

Features the badly damaged half-length portrait of the saint with a cross in his right hand. He is wearing a blue cloak and a red robe. He has a white cloth decorated with dark and red lines around his waist.

28. Unidentified saint.

29. Unidentified saint.

The head of the saint has been completely destroyed. He is shown in a light green cloak and orange robe.

30. St. Demetrius (...dimitrie).

Features the half-length figure of a saint, holding a cross in his left hand. He is wearing a green cloak and red robe, with a white sash.

31. Unidentified saint.

Features the half-length figure of a young saint wearing a red cloak and holding a cross in his left hand.

32. Unidentified saint (st=& mina?).

This fresco has been cut in height as a result of enlarging the space.

The saint wearing a green robe with a red cloak over it, and a light-toned sash around his waist.

33. Unidentified saint (st=& merkurije).

Features the half-length figure of a saint. His left hand is on his chest and his right is holding a cross. He is wearing a violet robe with a red cloak over it.

34. St. Artemius (... ardemie).

Features the half-length figure of a saint. He is wearing a red robe with a blue cloak over it, and a white sash around his waist. He is holding a cross in his right hand.

35. St. Nikita (... nªkªta).

Featured in half-length portrait in semi-profile. The fresco is well preserved, except that it has been cut off below the shoulders by the opening to the diaconicon. The saint is wearing a violet cloak and holding a cross in his right hand.

36. Stylized floral ornament.

A strictly symmetrical branch of flowers, discreetly coloured in muted ochre tones, rises from a vessel against a dark blue background.

37. Ornamental border of zigzag band with alternating red, grey, violet, blue and, to the right, green sections. Each section is divided into two tonally differing areas. The dark background of this border is enlivened by three white dots at the corners.

38. Holy Trinity (st=a troica).

Features seated three figures (God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit), Before them is a table covered with a cloth on which table-settings are disposed. The central figure is shown full face and the other two in semi-profile.

39. Last Supper (... vªe<era).

The scene of the Last Supper is a building painted violet with projecting wings to the sides. The table is semicircular and covered with light green cloth. Christ is shown seated at the table to the left. St John is coming up to him. The other apostles are seated, and Judas is shown leaning across the table.

40. Washing of the feet (ovmivatie he '~enikom= iogi)

This is one of the finest painted ensembles in Dobrićevo. The composition is most richly coloured and relatively well preserved.  It is of central importance for a study of the style of the Dobrićevo protomaster, Georgije Mitrofanović. In the background is architecture of a flat wall with two raised galleries with pillars. The wall is red with a broad band at the top, and the right-hand tower is green, draped in red. The apostles, occupied with removing their footwear, are seated or kneeling on the cinnabar-red plinth. There is a separate scene in the left-hand corner in which Christ is wiping the apostle Peter’s feet. Christ has removed his blue cloak and thrown it over a pergola in the background. He is wrapped in a white loin cloth with red and black lines. The apostles are wearing richly-coloured robes: orange, blue, chrome green, dark blue, violet, light green, red, green and dark ochre. The skin tones of the face are dark brown with an admixture of ochre. The faces are carefully executed with meticulously drawn fine lines. St Peter’s head is especially carefully painted, with reflextion of fine light lines.

41. Ornament in the form of wavy lines intersecting at right angles with elliptical leaves. The leaves are alternately grey and dark ochre in colour. The dark background is enlivened with white spots, three in each group. The ornament has been retouched.

42. St. Cosmas (st=& kozma).

The saint is shown with his left leg extended towards a segment with three rays in the left-hand corner. The fresco is damaged.

43. St. Damian

Features the half-length figure of a young saint.

44. St. Mark (st=& marko )

The saint is shown seated on a chair outside a house the walls of which are painted lilac. The saint is wearing a dark red robe and is wrapped in a dark blue cloak.

45. St. Matthew (st=& matej).

The apostle is shown seated on a chair outside a house, holding the Gospels.

46. Ornament similar to no. 37.

47. Medallion with red background and figure of an archangel in a red robe and green cloak.

48. Prophet Isaiah (prophet= ªsaªa).

The prophet is shown seated on a cloud. He is wearing a dark red cloak. There is a text level with his head:

Se dva va cr+ve primiti i rodi sna i nar+k' ime em'ª emmalionl=

49. Prophet Avacum (prophet= avakym=).

This figure is designed to be a counterpart to the prophet Isaiah. The prophet is shown seated on a cloud. He is wearing a green robe and red cloak. His right hand is raised above his head, and in his left he is holding a scroll of paper.

50. Christ Emmanuel (is hs emmaioil..).

Features the half-length figure of Christ with both hands raised above his head, giving a blessing with the right, and holding a scroll of paper in the left. His cloak is red.

51. Prophet Daniel (prophet= danªl=).

The prophet is shown seated on a cloud. He is wearing a blue robe with a red cloak. He has a tripartite crown on his head. Below the figure are three stars. He is giving a blessing with his right hand, and holding a scroll of paper in his left.

52. Prophet David (prophet= dv=ªd=).

The prophet is seated on light green clouds, and is wearing a blue robe with a large, elaborately decorated red collar. He has a tripartite crown on his head. Below the figure are three stars. He is holding a scroll in his left hand.

53. Christ Pantocrator

The fresco is damaged. A blue cloak, red robe and Gospels in the left hand can be made out.

54. Christ the Elder of Days

The fresco is damaged. He is holding a scroll in his left hand, and giving a blessing with his right.

55. SS. Cyril and Julita (...kirik=...)

The saint is shown with his left hand raised to head height. He has a short beard, and is wearing a blue cloak. St. Julita is shown with hands outstretched towards Cyril. She is wearing a red cloak. Both saints are shown in half length.

56. St. Simeon Stylites (st=& simeun stlpnik=).

The saint is shown in half length. He has a monk’s cowl on his head and is wearing a red cowl. He is giving a blessing with his right hand, and holding a scroll in his left.

56a. The east side of the pilaster is decorated with white florets on a violet background.

57-66. Ten medallions with the busts of saints on the pilaster-strips above the iconostasis on the south wall. The background inside the medallions is in the form of two concentric circles of the same colour but different tones. Grey and red alternate (from the bottom up). All that can be identified are some of the figures, as follows:

57. Unidentified saint.

Figures of the 40 Cretan martyrs (57-66).

58. Young man with a short beard. His robe is red and his cloak green. His right hand is on his chest and his left is holding a cross.

59. St. Ilijan [sic: ? Ilija/Elias – trans.]

The saint is shown with a red cloak fastened on the left shoulder. His right hand is open on his chest and his left is holding a cross.

60. St. Evnik-the martyr-the black, Evnoik

Features an old man with a long beard. His right hand is on his chest and his left is holding a cross. His cloak is red, with an ochre collar, decorated with brown lines.

61. Very young saint – St. JIisimal (?)

His right hand is on his chest, and his left is raised. His cloak is red.

62. Middle-aged saint with short black beard

He is wearing a red robe and green cloak. He is holding a cross in his left hand.

63. St. Jules

Features a young saint with a short chestnut-brown beard and a cross in his left hand. The fresco is damaged.

64.  St. Cyril

The saint is shown with hands raised. The fresco is damaged.

65. St. Alexander

66. Figure of a young saint in a blue robe with hands raised. The fresco is damaged.

67. White cross in a circle (IC-XC, NI-KA).

68. Painted gathered white and ochre yellow drapery edged with horizontal red andn blue lines. The drapery is decorated with miniature ornaments, grey in colour, in the form of blossoming rhombuses, triangles, vases of flowers, anchors, and hearts. Two heads also feature: an old man with a long beard and the profile of a youth with a hat.

69. Ornamental panel filled with stylized white palmette on a red-black background.

70. St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria (st=& adanasªe v+l=ªkªi).

Features the slightly stooped figure of the archpriest wearing white vestments decorated with red and white panels. Below it his red robe can be made out, and oveer it is a yellow epitrachelion. The saint is holding a scroll of paper with a dark red text.

71. St. Gregory of Nyssa (st=& grigorie nªski).

The saint is shown in exactly the same pose as the previous one. He is wrapped in a light-toned cloak with dark red crosses, and is holding a scroll with a text.

72. Bust of an unknown archpriest (possibly St. Nicholas).

Features an old man with a luxuriant curly beard. The light-coloured vestments of an archpriest are decorated with red crosses. He is giving a blessing with his right hand.

73. St. Spiridon of Corfu

Features the saint standing with a semicircular mitre on his head and a short forked beard. He is giving a blessing with his right hand, and holding the Gospels in his left.

74. St. Sylvester, Roman Pope

The pope is shown with a mitre on his head and a short beard. His right hand is pointing to the Bible he is holding in his left. He is wearing an archpriest’s white vestment decorated with brown crosses.

75. Cherubim.

Shown headless, with six wings, in red on a black background.

76. Blank panel, painted black, reserved for attaching the iconostasis.

77. As before.

78. St. Hieroteos (st=& erotei).

Features the half-length figure of an old man with a long beard. He is wearing an archpriest’s vestments and epitrachelion decorated with two crosses. He is holding the Gospels in his left hand..

79. St. Eleftheria (st=&....).

Features an old man with a short beard, dressed similarly to St. Hieroteos. His right hand is raised and he is holding a cross in his left.

80.  St. Cyril (. .. kur (n) l= )

All that survives is the saint’s halo

81. St. Parthenius of Lampsacus (st=& pa...)

All that survives is the halo and part of the cloak.

82. Tricolour zigzag band.

83. Reddish, luxuriantly leafy red acanthus spray spreading out in waves from a chalice in the centre. The background is black.

84. Three white semicircuar stylized palmettes (identical to those on the other side of the pilaster strip) on a red background.

85. Nativity of Christ (ro`astvo hvo).

The composition consists of five scenes.

The Virgin, wearing a green robe and violet cloak, is lying in the centre of the picture on a red bed in the chestnut-brown entrance to a cave. Above her, also on a red bed, is the infant Christ in white swaddling clothes. The head of a cow can be made out behind him.

To the upper left, the three wise men, riding white, dark red and orange horses, are shown in an orange-red landscape. They have large crowns on their heads. The wise men are being led by a group of angels appearing from behind the rocks at the top of the painting.

On the right hand side of the composition is an identical group of angels, but now appearing to a shepherd dressed in a short green robe and with a crook in his hand. At the centre on this side of the composition is a dark violet cave entrance.

The lower right corner of the composition features Joseph seated on a rock. He is being addressed by a barefoot old shepherd wearing a pale blue cloak and red robe. Between this and the previous scene are large blocks of dark and reddish sheep and goats grazing, or reaching up to eat leaves.

The left-hand corner, which is now badly damaged, shows the infant Christ being bathed.

The title of the composition is above it on the dark grey background of the sky.

The entire area of the rocky landscape is enlivened by clumps of undulating vegetation and the crowns of trees, represented by rows of short horizontal lines and intersected by the vertical lines of the trunks.

86. Area of the socle from which the fresco plaster has fallen away. Judging from the surviving details, on the south wall, these areas were decorated with imitation marble (slanting wavy lines with cracks of various colours)

87. Stevan Dečanski, Serbian king (st=& st... kr)

Features a standing figure, of which only the bust survives. This and the next two figures were so badly damaged that they had been whitewashed over before the monastery was relocated. They were cleaned in 1958. The assumption is that this is Stevan Dečanski, from the position where the fresco is located, if not on the basis of the position Stefan Nemanja who is painted alongside this fresco.

88. Stefan Nemanja.

The saint is shown as a monk in a dark grey monk’s habit and dark red cloak. As in the case of the previous fresco, only some faint traces of line and pigments survive.

89. St. Euphtimius the Great, Otšelnik (st=& s<...).

The faintest traces of pigments and line no more than hint at the outlines of a bearded old man with a cross in his right hand. The conclusion that it is the figure of St. Euphtimius the Great was drawn from a comparison with Zavala and the surviving details.

90. Painted representation of an icon of which only a few fragments survive. The surviving part of the red frame, as in the case of the similar icon in the same position on the south wall, suggests that here too the icon was painted as if hanging on a chain.

91. Unidentified martyr, probably Fotije Besrebrenik.

The martyred saint is shown in a green tunic and blue cloak with aa wide, richly decorated collar around the neck. As in the case of the two preceding figures, the saints are painted against a background where the lower part is grey and the upper is blue.

92. St. Samon, the martyr (st=& samona)

Features a young saint with a short beard, wearing an ochre tunic decorated around the edges. He is wrapped in a red cloak and is holding a cross in his right hand.

93. St. Anikita, besrebrenik (st=& anªk...)

She is wearing a green tunic with decorated edgings.

94. Unidentified saint – since this is the counterpart of St. Vakh (no. 11), it is probably St. Srđ.  The young saint is shown in a red cloak and blue robe with an ochre edging.

95. Prophet Ezekiel (prophete ªezek=ªl= ).

Features the half-length figure of an old man wearing a red robe and blue cloak. He is holding a scroll of paper with a text inscribed on it.

96. Unidentified prophet.

Almost completed destroyed bust with a scroll of paper to the right bearing an illegible text

97. Prophet Sophonia (pr... sofon...)

The saint’s head survives only in the synopium. He was wearing a violet cloak and red robe.  The scroll wound around his head bears the following text:

sv+ti se sv+ti se nov=&.... pm osv+ti... slava gi s ga na teb+ b=...  (Sof. 1, 1, 2).

98. Crucifixion (raspetªe hvo).

The naked Christ is crucified on a dark red cross with a monogram at the top (IS HS).  He has an ochre loincloth decorated with red and maroon lines.

The violet-tinted summit of Golgotha, damaged at the centre, can be seen below the cross.

To the left of the cross are three women – the Mother of God, wearing a blue-green robe with a violet cloak over it, Mary Magdalene with long hair hanging loose, wearing an orange robe with a green cloak over it; and behind them, the third Mary, wearing a red cloak.

To the right is John the Divine in a blue cloak, with behind him Longin with a red shield and grey breastplate. A white kerchief decorated with blue and red horizontal lines is wound around his head. Below the breastplate his violet trousers can be made out, tucked in over his blue greaves and ochre socks. The trousers reveal the influence of Italian costume of the Renaissance period. He has a red cloak fastened at the back.

The background of the composition is dark grey in the lower section, cinnabar red in the central section, and black at the top, with a red sun and grey moon stylized as human profiles.

99-101. Medallions with portraits of 40 martyrs.

The same representation of martyrs as on the previous series of busts of ten saints each on the pilasters. The entire series is badly damaged, with the first four martyrs’ figures the best preserved.

99. Unidentified young saint in a dark red cloak with ochre collar.

100. Unidentified older saint in a cinnabar red cloak, with a monk’s hood on his head and a cross in his left hand.

101. Unidentified saint with arms outspread, wearing a light red cloak and violet robe.

102. Unidentified young saint wearing a blue robe and red cloak.

103. Unidentified saint. Only traces of pigment survive.

104. Unidentified saint.

105. Unidentified saint. Only traces of pigment survive.

106. Unidentified saint wearing a red robe.

107. Unidentified saint wearing a blue robe and red cloak..

108. Unidentified saint u wearing a red robe and blue cloak.

109. Red cross in a blue circle.

110. The side of the pilaster strip is decorated with a narrow band of palmettes the leaves of which spread out in wavy lines. The leaves are white on a black background.

111. Symmetrically arranged zigzag band in black, broken so as to form a series of rhomboids, decorated at the centre with quadrifoils.

112. Elaborately stylized tendrils of palmettes with white leaves on a black background.

113-118. SS. petočislenici(42)  

113. St. Eugenius (st=& e<genie).

He is wearing a green robe with ochre collar. A red cloak is thrown over the robe. He has a white belt around his waist, decorated with vertical red and black lines. He is holding a cross in his right hand and his left is tucked under his cloak.

114. St. Eustachius (st=& e<...atªe).

He is wearing a dark green robe with a violet cloak over it. The ends of the sleeves and around the neck are red. He is holding a cross in his right hand.

115. St. Aksentije?

Features a young saint. He is wearing a green robe with a dark olive cloak over it. His left hand is concealed under the cloak on his chest, and his right is holding a cross.

116. St. Mardarije? (st=& m...).

He is wearing a red robe with ochre collar over which is a dark violet cloak.

117. St. Orestes (st=& %)

Badly damaged bust of the saint.

118. St. George the Martyr? (st=& ge...)

Features a young saint wearing a violet robe with a red cloak over it.

119. Unidentified saint

Features an elderly saint in a dark red cloak.

120. Unidentified saint

Features a saint wearing a violet robe and red cloak with ochre collar.

121. Unidentified saint

Features a saint wearing a violet robe and red cloak.

122. Unidentified saint.

Only part of the halo has survived

123. Blank space painted black.

124. Representation of the sun.

A red circle from which extend ochre rays. The circle is surrounded by a white line. The sun is painted on a dark blue background framed in a red band.

125. Palm Sunday (cv+tonosªe hvo).

The composition features Christ in a cyclamen pink robe with a blue robe over it, riding a donkey. Behind him are three apostles. Two boys holding palm branches are wearing ochre robes, and are spreading a red cloak in front of Christ. A group of people waiting to welcome Christ are standing by the open gates of Jerusalem. One of the figures, wearing a red robe and blue cloak, is holding three leaves.  Behind him is a young man with a blue kerchief on his head and a red cloak. Behind them another eight heads can be seen. A violet temple with red roof and dome can be seen in the city, in the centre, with the green facades of other buildings behind. Behind the apostles is a rocky, red landscape. A boy in a palm tree can be made out above Christ.

126. Lazarus is brought back from the dead (voskr+eiie... evo).

A relatively well preserved composition, outstandingly successful in colour palette. The rocky landscape to the right of the composition is orange and that to the left is violet.  At the centre of the composition are the green ramparts of the city with towers and people at the open gates. Christ is shown in a blue cloak and red robe, with the apostles behind him. In front of Christ is a young woman kissing His feet.  Another woman is standing above him. The composition also features two young men taking hold of the lid of the sarcophagus in which Lazarus is lying.

127. Same as 41 (ornament).

128. Three youths in the fiery furnace (st=& trie %troici i `e`..a pe..).

Three young men in a hexagonal furnace, over whom is an angel in a violet robe.

129. St. Pantaleimon (st=&  paitaleimon=).

All that survives of the former fresco is a drawing in the synopium.

130. St. Jermolaj-Vrač (st=&  ...%lade).

The saint is shown in a green cloak with small square red panels and a blue cross on the chest.

131. Evangelist Luke (. ... l'ka).

Featured seated on a chair, wearing a blue robe and red cloak.

132. Evangelist John (odg...&%..de%..goY).

The lower part of the composition is badly damaged. The evangelist is shown seated in front of an orange mountainous landscape.

Drawings of vegetation and a rocky landscape in a green and reddish synopium are to be seen on the second layer of plaster. It is of interest to note that Mitrofanović has written the inscription in the Greek script.

133. Archangel.

The archangel, shown against a reddish background, is wearing a green robe and red cloak. He is holding a blue orb.

134. Prophet Solomon (... solomon=)

The prophet is shown standing on a cloud below which the remains of a six-pointed star can be made out. He is wearing an ochre robe, and has a red crown on his head. The text, on a perpendicular white scroll, has been destroyed.

135. Prophet Isaiah (prophete isa...)

The prophet is shown standing on a cloud below which a red star can be seen. He is wearing a red robe and blue cloak.

136. Prophet Jeremiah (prophete ªer+mªa)

The fresco is damaged so that only the blue of the prophet’s cloak and part of the text on a scroll of paper can be faintly made out.

137. Prophet Joel (prophete ª%ªl=).

The fresco is damaged. Red tones predominate. A text on a scroll of paper can be faintly made out..

138. Christ as angel (v+likago sav+ta aggel=).

The fresco was almost entirely destroyed by fire, and Christ’s face has disappeared completely. Christ features with arms outstretched, wearing a red robe and blue cloak. His wings are painted reddish-maroon. He has a halo around his head.

139. Ten medallions with the Cretan martyrs – painted similarly to the thirty martyrs on the other three pilasters in the church. Almost completely destroyed.

140. The sides of all four pilasters are decorated with stylized white palmettes on a black backgreound, and the east side of the pilaster by the iconostasis with heart-shaped stylized palmettes on a red and black background.

141. The sides of all four pilasters are decorated with stylized white palmettes on a black backgreound, and the east side of the pilaster by the iconostasis with heart-shaped stylized palmettes on a red and black background.

The sides of all four pilasters are decorated with stylized white palmettes on a black backgreound, and the east side of the pilaster by the iconostasis with heart-shaped stylized palmettes on a red and black background.

142. St. Petka (s... pet...).

The saint is shown in a violet cloak with a blue headscarf.

143. Red panel with stylized white palmette.

144. Unidentified St. stylites

The bust of the stylite, of which all that remains is some pigmenet and drawing in the synopium on the second layer of plaster, was painted on a pillar with a moulded violet plinth decorated with white stucco in the form of affronted spirals.

145. Socle for waste water. Square panel decorated with stylized white palmette on a black, red and ochre background. Damaged.

146. Vision of Peter of Alexandria (petar= alezendr=sk=ª, is hs kto ti spse rªz' r=zdra drªa bez...). Peter is shown with a curly beard, wrapped in a light ochre priest’s cloak decorated with maroon crosses. His omophor is white with red crosses, and his robe is blue. He is holding a red codex. Christ is standing on a red plinth, wearing a red cloak. The upper part of the composition is almost black, and the lower grey. The figure of Arian that previously featured has been destroyed.

147. Unidentified saint, archdeacon?

Features the standing figure of a young man wearing a yellow robe with a red cloak over it, holding a censer.

148. Unidentified archdeacon.

Features a standing figure wearing a yellow robe with a red cloak over it, holding a book in his left hand.

149. Panel with inscription by the artist Teodor:

+seª svet (' cr) kov= %bio(V)ªh= '... po(p=) Ba%vi} ªeromonah= moªseª bg= da ga prostª trodi se delom= teodor= izograv= (bg=) da (ga prostª)

150. Holy Trinity or “and are upon the throne” – final prayer at the proskomidia (offertory).

The composition is in the western half of the north side of the vault over the prothesis.  It has been almost completely destroyed; all that survives of the former ensemble is the figure of Christ in outline on the western edge of the vault.  It seems that this was a composition of the Holy Trinity with the Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, seated to the east of Christ and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.  Part of the Sabaoth’s halo can be made out.

151. Deposition of Christ in the Tomb

The composition is in the eastern half of the north side of the vault over the prothesis. The upper parts of the composition have been completely destroyed – all that survives is part of the body of Christ, laid horizontally and wrapped in white and ochre cloth, and the lower parts of the women carrying his body, who are wearing orange, yellow and red robes. The centre of the composition features an angel in white, following the procession with a candle.

152. The Marys at Christ’s Tomb.

Only parts of the former composition survive – in the lower left corner, three heads of guards with spears and part of a figure above them. The helmets and armour of the soldiers are blue, their weapons are white, and the landscape is bluish and orange with maroon vegetation.

153. Ascension of Christ – Descent into Hades.

The scene is on the south side of the vault over the prothesis, in the western half. All that survives is the upper right-hand corner of the composition. Three Old Testament kings with crowns on their heads, and a brigand above them, feature in a greenish, rocky landscape with vegetation. The rest of the scene has been hammered away.

154. Panel above the passageway to the prothesis from the inside.

Features an ornament – a flower spray extending from a chalice at the centre.

155. Unidentified archdeacon.

The figure of the archdeacon survives in fragments.

156. Unidentified composition in the semicircular top of the west wall of the prothesis.

The fresco is damaged.

157. Pietà – Christ in a sarcophagus.

The scene is in the area of the semicalotte above the apsidal conch in the prothesis.

The Mother of God, Mary Magdalena and St John the Divine are laying Christ’s body in a sarcophagus. John is kissing Christ’s left hand. A cross is painted above the figures.

158. Archangel

Featured at the top of the east wall of the prothesis.

The fresco is damaged.

Both sides of the socle in the passageway have been overpainted in orange-red. Above this, on each side, is a bust in the form of an icon of archpriests with codices in their left hands, giving blessings with their right. They have omophors decorated with crosses.

159. Red strip of socle.

160. Bust of an archpriest in the form of a painted fresco-icon

161. Bust of an archpriest in the form of a painted fresco-icon.

162. Bust of angel at the top of the passageway.

163. St. Sava the Serb (st= sava sr=bsk=&).

The saint is shown on the underside of the arch between the altar and the prothesis, on the east side of the church. All that survives is part of the halo and the inscription.

164. St. Arsenius the Serb (st= arsenªe sr=bsk=&).

The saint is shown as the counterpart of St. Sava. He is wearing priest’s vestments with cruciform ornaments. He is giving a blessing with his right hand, and holding a red codex in his left.  He has a long beard.

165. Ornamental panel of wavy lines in a square grid.

166. Reddish seraphim with six wings on a black background.

167. Double zigzag band.

168. St. Ipatije (st=ª ªpatªe).

Features the half-length figure of a saint. His cloak is decorated with red and black checks. He is holding the Gospels in his left hand.

169. Unidentified archhierarch

Features the half-length figure of a saint. All that survives of his head is an ochre drawing. His cloak is decorated with red and black checks. He is holding the Gospels, painted in red. In his left hand. The identification of this saint was made on a textual note by the painter on the second layer of plaster in the conch of the apse.

170. Unidentified archhierarch

Features the half-length figure of a saint wearing white priest’s vestments decorated with red crosses. He was probably holding the Gospels in his left hand and giving a blessing with his right.

171. Unidentified archhierarch, probably St. Polycarp of Smyrna, by analogy with Zavala and the text in the synopium on the second layer of plaster. Only a small part of the halo has survived.

172. Ornament identical to no. 83.

173. Ascension of Christ (without inscription).

The scene is shown in an orange, rocky landscape with a few green palm trees. The Mother of God is shown wearing a violet cloak, and surrounded by angels. Christ is seated on high in a grey mandorla, circular in shape, and wearing an ochre-red cloak. The mandorla is being held and raised to heaven by two angels.

174. Unidentified saint, inscription destroyed

The fresco has been completely destroyed.

175. St. John the Almsgiver (st=ª ª%an mlst=ªvªi)

The saint is wearing an ochre cloak decorated with rows of maroon rhombuses and a red cross on the back. His dalmatica is violet and red, and his epitrachelion is ochre. He is holding a scroll of paper.

176. St. John Chrysostom (... ª%an zlato..)

All that survives is the central part of his cloak with maroon and blue applications.

177. St. Basil (st=ª vasilªe).

All that survives is the saint’s back, clad in an ochre cloak. The figure was damaged by the widening of the apse area.

178. Mother of God Spanning the Heavens (mr d').

The Mother of God is shown seated on a cyclamen-coloured plinth. Her hands are raised above her head, and she has an image of Christ on her breast. She has a green scarf around her head. To her left is an archangel in maroon garb, and to the right another in green and orange garb. Christ and the other parts of this fresco are damaged.

179. Angel from the Annunciation.

The angel is shown stepping in to the south side of an arch, which has been completely destroyed. His cloak is red and his robe blue.

The monastery treasury formerly abounded in valuable items acquired as gifts from wealthy benefactors or by purchase. It was thus that the “Metropolitan of Timišoara, Nikola Dimitrijević, donated a book to the Dobrićevo monastery in 1741, and further gifts of books came in 1744, 1747 and 1748. In 1745 the painter Rafailo Dimitrijević from Risno painted a large icon of the Deisis for the monastery. In 1757 the Dobrićevo church was given an icon of St Sava and St Simeun, and according to the inscription on the icon, the donors were Cvjetko Lazarević and his grandson Risto. Christ’s icon dating from 1756 was a gift from Lazar Gavro Miloradović, who donated a cross to the monastery in 1765. The polyeleos in the church dated from 1754, and is known to have been repaired in 1765. In 1761-69, priest-month Visarion Stefanović ordered a sacred host tray for Dobrićevo, which was forged by one Panto, and in 1975 the same priest-monk donated a meneon to the monastery. There is reference to a cross from Dobrićevo in 1770, and gifts of books are recorded in 1771, 1773 andn 1784. A reliquary and orarion were donated in 1778.

In the 18th century, there stood alongside the monastery church the so-called Sarajevo cell, which tradition has it was built by Sarajevans from the Selaković family(43). The monastery iconostasis has icons donated by the brothers Todor and Petar Selaković in 1745. They also donated to the monastery a srbljak printed in Moscow in 1765, in which there is an inscription dating from 1772. In 1745 the Sarajevo priest Božo Bajović and his nephew Arsenije Arsenije Rajković and Hristo Bratulević donated to the monastery an icon for which he had paid 16 ducats. In 1871 Tomo Bajović of Sarajevo donated to Dobrićevo a meneon printed in the Kijevopečer monastery in 1713.

Abbot Visarion brought a Bible printed in Russia in 1774 from Mount Athos to Dobrićevo.  Marko Mrkšić of Itebej purchased a meneon for the church. The monastery also owned a silver box dating from 1784 and a silver plaque on an orarion dating from 1778. A silver censer was a gift from priest-monk Stefan Lazarević, one of six silver icon lamps on which the year 1778 was marked was a gift from Ante Samardžić, and a silk-embroidered cape was donated by Solomija. The collection of printed books, mainly from Russia, donated to Dobrićevo in the second half of the 18th century included several dozen books, as well as a manuscript book, the Sermons of John the Damascene, written by Pero, a pupil from Sarajevo, nephew of Zaharije Dobrićevac. A reliquary was ordered for Dobrićevo by Risto Selakov(ić)’s wife in 1801 (Ševo, 1998, 165-170).

These items have not survived, as a result of damage to the monastery on several occasions, above all in the fire of 1672, and then during the 1875 to 1878 uprising. The final coup de grâce was in World War I, in 1914, when Austrian troops torched the church. The iconostasis and many of the monastery’s valuables were burned, and the murals were destroyed (Ševo, 1998, 169).

 

3. Legal status to date

The 1980 Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina listed the Dobrićevo monastery near Bileća as a Category I cultural and historical property.

At a session held on 14 June 2000 the Commission issued a decision to add the Church and Monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin in Dobrićevo, municipality Bileća, to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina under serial no. 74.

 

4. Research and conservation and restoration works

In early 1964, on the basis of projects and estimates submitted(44), the National Institute for the Protection of Monuments and Natural Rarities of BiH in Sarajevo received 51.800.000 dinars, «of which 23.800.000 were for the frescoes, and 28.000.000 for the architecture».(45)  

On 20 April 1964 the Commission for Conservation Works on the  Dobrićevo Monastery(46)   held its first meeting in Trebinje, considering and approving the estimates and projects submitted, and gave its assent for the works to begin(47).

The works of relocation of the church with its frescoes and the drying house of the Dobrićevo monastery, along with conservation and restoration works, took 9 months in all, beginning in 1964 and ending on 1 October 1965(48).

According to the accounts dated 1966, the cost of relocating the Dobrićevo monastery to Orah was 913.000. A further 300,000 dinars were spent on purchasing the site, building an access road, and installing electric lighting(49). 

The conservation building site operated relatively independently in Trebinje and Dobrićevo.

The removal of the murals produced some archaeological finds of major importance for a fuller understanding of the history of this church. The remains of older frescoes were discovered on the east wall of the church, above the triumphal arch but below the composition of the «Spirits,» evidence that the Dobrićevo church was already decorated with older frescoes before those of Georgije Mitrofanović.

Extremely clear traces of the former gabled timber roof of the Dobrićevo church on which the builders of the vault simply continued building were found beneeath the older layer of frescoes on the east wall.

This makes it possible to distinguish yet another stage in the history of the Dobrićevo church, although it is now hard to say whether a longish or a very short period elapsed between this rational extension to the church and the origin of the older fresco composition on the east wall. The slight patination of the structural layer of mortar beneath the original fresco, however, sugggests that the church could have waited for some time after the extension works for the arrival of the unidentified artist(50).

During the 1964-1965 works, about 800 photographs were taken on site and numerous drawings and plans were made; a daily log of the works was also maintained(51).

Dismantling of the church and monastery drying room

A technical survey of the architectural complex of the Dobrićevo monastery was carried out in 1958 and 1959, when a detailed geodetic blueprint of the ground plan of the church was also drawn up.

The dismantling of the church, old drying room and boundary walls, the oldest and most valuable parts of the architectural ensemble of the Dobrićevo monastery, and their subsequent recomposition in Orah, were carried out on the basis of this document, checked on site and supplemented in detail.

Before dismantling, the stones on the facade walls of the church were marked with a specific system of numbereing. The conservators had opted for dismantling, and retaining for subsequent reintegration, the original parts of the facade stone and decorative architectural elements of the interior of the church: consols, string courses and cornices, bolsters, the stone-paved church floor, and the stone church fixtures (two altar tables and an ambo of recent date). The entire stone material of the inside walls was replaced with new.

Prior to the start of the works, it had been planned to replace the stone blocks of the cross vault of the church, but during the course of the works it turned out that this was not necessary.

The feasibility of the method to be used was tested out on the monastery smokehouse, which was the first to be dismantled, transported and rebuilt in Orah, mainly while the removal of the frescoes was still under way, in July and August 1964.

The facade walls of the Dobrićevo church were pointed, so that before any works t could begin the mortar had to be removed and the joints cleared, after which the blocks were each given an individual alphanumeric code(52). The facades were them photographed, and technical plans were drawn up with the blocks and their codes marked. The wall surface was intersected by horizontal vagris-lines, intended to serve during reconstruction as a reliable point of reference for determining the vertical dimensions. In places, the stone blocks on the facades were joined by short black lines, which were useful at times during reconstruction in determining the correlation between individual blocks and the thickness of the joints(53).

Alphanumeric codes were also marked on all the elements in the interior of the church that were intended for dismantling and subsequent reintegration.

In addition to technical documentation and coding, models of individual details were also used in the methodology of relocating the monastery church. Wooden models (moulds) were made for all the vaults, arches, conches, semicalottes and the cross vault as a whole(54). 

The model for the cross vault was made in a single piece in the vault and was supported on moulded string courses, and could be removed only after the dismantling of the vaults of the church.  The wooden models that covered the inside of the church made it possible for the stone elements of the arches and vaults to be carefully dismantled and re-used.  As a result, the carefully calculated and modelled tufa blocks of the cross vault could again be set in place during recomposition. They too, therefore, were also coded.

First to be dismantled was the bell tower, followed by the facades of the parvis. The dismantling of the stone was carried out in line with the coded courses and numbers, and the stone was deposited in the same order direct on the lorry that was to take it to the new site, where it was laid in order by the appropriate side of the foundations of the church, which had already been dug.  Following the parvis, the proscomidion and diaconicon were dismantled, and then the choirs. In order to examine the foundations, the core of the walls was demolished and removed, and all that remained in Dobricevo was the foundations of the former church, of about half a metre.

The roof cladding of stone slabs and the dog’s toothing below the roof were also dismantled and rebuilt in their original place. In addition, 70% of the stone in the arches and vaults, and in much of the walls too, was rebuilt into the structure of the church in Orah, as a result of which it could be said that the church was rebuilt on its new site using approx. 80% of the original stone material of the Dobrićevo church.

According to Zdravko Kajmaković: “The dismantling confirmed the earlier hypothesis, and the local tradition, that the parvis of the church was a later addition, and the same could be said for the proscomidion and diaconicon, which date from the same time as the vaults of the church, and consequently as do all the architectural decorative features of the interior, the keystone(55), consols and stringcourses/cornices. Before this general make-over the church had a gabled wooden roof. Traces of a roof of this kind were also confirmed during the demolition of the gable paerts of the east and west walls. However, it was not possible to determine with certainty whether the choirs were also a later addition, given that no difference could be made out on the wall between the choirs on the one hand and the prothesis and diaconicon on the other, which does not for all that mean that the choirs were not originally there. Traces of the original wall of the south choir were found half a metre above ground on its west wall. Hence, bearing in mind this and the fact that the prothesis and diaconicon were indisputably a later addition, the only possible conclusion to be drawn is that prior to the major renovation of the early 16th century the Dobrićev¬o church was in a considerable state of dilapidation, particularly the choirs, while the east and west walls were in a better state of preservation.

The ground plan of the church was a freestyle cross. Instead of a prothesis, it had a largish niche in the northern part of the east wall, and the semicalotte of the apse rested on the conch forming a shallow indent, replacing a moulded string course. The church was somewhat lower than the present-day one, and its walls were of smaller, irregularly-shaped facing stone. Instead of vaults, it had a wooden gabled roof.  It is not possible to say what the choir roofs were like.

The craftsmen who renovated the church in the early 16th century were very familiar with contemporary Dubrovnik building, and were probably trained there. The Gothic stylistic elements in the cross vault and keystone are persuasive evidence of this assumption. The unidentified donor of this renovation was not a particularly wealthy man. In seeking pure Rascian elements for his church, he nonetheless – probably for financial reasons – made compromises in the rebuilding; instead of giving the church a dome, which would be closer to the idea of an Orthodox church, and which the monastery churches of Tvrdoš and Kosjerovo were acquiring at almost the same time, he made do with an imitation in the shape of a cross vault.  With the addition of the prothesis and diaconicon, the church acquired the outward appearance of a three-aisled basilica, and inside of an inscribed cross.  On the surviving gables of the east and west walls the craftsmen merely continued building, setting a pointed Gothic vault over them. Circular windows – oculi – were pierced in the north and south triangular walls below the crossvault, in place of windows on the nonexistent drum. When making the window jambs of the north oculus, the craftsman used the base of a Roman column, which he merely recut, turning the moulding to the inside of the wall. This single example of spolia is evidence that there was a Roman building either in Dobrićevo itself or somewhere nearby, as had already been assumed on the basis of an earlier find. A lengthy text from the Roman period, inscribed on the living rock, was recently found very close to the monastery, on the opposite bank of the Trebišnjica, while 3 km from Panik there is a Roman settlement that has already been partly excavated. All this tells us that life on the hillock above the Trebišnjica, where the Dobrićevo monastery stood until recently, had continued without a break from the early Neolithic, marked by the Red Rock, from which the monastery can be hailed, right through to our times and its monument in  Grančarevo.

The old cruciform church in Dobrićevo now finds an analogy only in the church of Herceg Stjepan in Sopotnica near Goražde. Both this and the Dobrićevo church were cruciform in ground plan, but instead of a wooden roof the former immediately acquired pointed vaults of the kind that Dobrićevo was to acquire only with its first renovation. It would be more appropriate, therefore, to date the old church in Dobrićevo to the first half of the 15th century at the latest, and its renovation to the early 16th, when the just-built church in Tvrdoš influenced the concept of the Dobrićevo church. It was at about this time that the east wall of the church was painted, probably by Dubrovnik artists, who knew how to paint in the “Greek style.” In the early 17th or late 16th century this composition was removed by the team of the best Serbian artist of the Turkish period, Georgije Mitrofanović who, as a student and propagator of the idea of restoring the Peć patriarchate, could have noted its western features, which he was of the view should be replaced(56).”

Reconstruction of the church and drying room(57)   

The slope of the site in Vrtina from west to east, similar to that in Dobrićevo, made it much easier to lay new foundations in the same relationship to the ground. Accuracy in reconstructing the facades of the church was greatly dependent on laying the first course of stone exactly.

The masons were given enlarged photographs of the old facade and blueprints with the alphanumeric codes, which made their task easier. As each course was laid, the heights were checked, and any differences were corrected by reducing or increasing the horizontal joints of the subsequent courses.

Problems emerged in the reconstruction of the interior elements of the church, and in particular its ground plan, or specifically the first course of stone of the interior masonry plane. The measurements on the blueprint had been taken by various people at different times: some while the church still had its frescoes, others after the frescoes had been removed, and others again after the plaster had been stripped off. Some measurements were checked through the dimensions of the removed frescoes, which in such cases were the only reliable judge. The exterior dimensions of the church were identical to the old, while those of the interior (the dimensions of the walls prior to replacing the frescoes) showed differences in some places of +/- 3 cm. These differences were rectified before the frescoes were replaced by increasing or reducing the thickness of the plaster coat.

During reconstruction of the facades of the church, only five blocks in the apse were replaced, being in an advanced state of dilapidation. All the decorative architectural elements, inside and out, are original: consols, stringcourses and cornices, rustic bolsters, keystone, the tufa blocks from which the oculi were cut (except that the window jamb of the north oculus was replaced, since the original was Roman spolia), the perforated cross on the west side of the parvis, the cross at the east end of the church, all the window and door frames (although these dated from the 1920s), the dog’s toothing below the roof and, of course, the entire bell tower. The vaults of the church were built of both old and new material, the arches mainly from the original stone blocks, and the cross vault entirely from the old, original blocks.

The foundations and the ring beam below the roof were made of concrete, but lime mortar was used in the masonry of the church. Horizontal damp proofing was introduced (roof felt and bitumen), and the roof was insulated in the same way by laying a hydroinsulation layer beneath the stone slabs.

The reconstruction of the church and drying room was completed in mid November 1964, in very adverse weather conditions. The still-to-be clad vaults of the roof and the core of the walls, which had still not dried out, were soaked with rain. The church was left to dry out by lighting fires during the winter, and the remaining works were completed by 1 June 1965.

Chronology of conservation and restoration works on the frescoes:

  • 1952. The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out minor conservation works on the roof, facades and window jambs of the church.
  • 1955 to 1959. The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out works to remove whitewash from the frescoes.
  • 1958 to 1959. The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted a technical survey of the church and monastery complex.
  • 1960. The pan-Yugoslav commission drew up a draft of the extent and type of rescue works on the monastery complex. It was proposed that the The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina take all steps to ensure that the church and complex be relocated to a site away from the future reservoir.
  • November 1960. Archaeological investigations of the interior of the church and the area around it. Investigation of the parvis and nave (by the iconostasis and in the choirs), the altar area, proscomidion, diaconicon. The excavations were not completed.
  • 1960 to 1962. The Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina carried out a trial removal of the frescoes in order to obtain a clearer picture of potential problems. The trial removal was carried out by artist conservator Rajko Sikimić. The best of an archpriest in the altar area, the first saint from the cycle of the petočislenici in the north choir, and a detail of the retouched composition of the Assumption were removed (Kajmaković, 1962, 39-46)
  • 1 May 1964. A team of artist conservators began to clean the frescoes to make it easier to remove them. The removal of the frescoes was entrusted to Dušan Nonin, an academic painter and conservator from the Institute in Novi Sad. Over a period of 42 days he and his team of experts removed 216 m2 of frescoes. The fresco plaster was removed throughout the church, and larger compositions were cut into smaller sections, although 90% of the frescoes were removed without being cut, or cuts were made along existing cracks or through the red border surrounding certain groups. The frescoes were removed together with the plaster using adhesive canvas. Since Mitrofanović's drawings, practice sketches, freestyle improvizations, orientation system and certain textual notes were found on the second layer of plaster, it was essential to separate the upper from the lower layer of plaster so that all the synopia could be recorded and preserved.
  • Late 1964 to 1965. During the winter, the frescoes were laid on their moulds and stored on shelves in the monastery konak on the old site (Kajmaković, 1967, 67-73)
  • October 1964. During reconstruction of semicalotte of the church, the composition of the Oranta was set in place in the apse along with the mould, because of potential deviations in dimensions.
  • Spring 1965. The church was plastered on the inside with good-quality lime plaster to which about 30 km of chopped tow was added.
  • Early summer 1965. Once the plaster of which the surface had been punched with a bricklayers trowel had dried out, work began on replacing the frescoes. This was done entirely by attaching them with casein plaster. The major problem was that the size of the frescoes did not match that of the walls. The problem was resolved by removing the plaster base coat and adding a new one. As the frescoes were replaced, so they were puttied, leaded and restored.  The restoration did not take in merely the lines along which the frescoes had been cut, but also all the artistically subsidiary areas such as the red borders and black backgrounds to the ornaments (Kajmaković, 1967, 80-84)      

5. Current condition of the property

All the buildings within the monastery are in good condition.

Two floodlights the front of which measures approx. 25 x 110 cm have been mounted on the entrance facade of the church of the Presentation of the Virgin, below the belltower, in the gable wall area. Lighting has also been mounted on the west facade wall of the old smokehouse.

A few years ago electric-fired central heating was installed in the church of the Presentation of the Virgin, with the requisite equipment of electric boiler, radiators, and copper piping. The radiators are attached to the lower parts of the walls, which are painted.

 

6. Specific risks

The installation of central heating in the church of the Presentation of the Virgin gives rise to concer that there could be changes to the microclimatic conditions inside the church, which could have a negative impact on the frescoes.

 

III – CONCLUSION

Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.

The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A.  Time frame

B.  Historical value

C.  Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i.       quality of workmanship

C.ii.       quality of materials

C.iii.      proportions

C.iv.      composition

C. v.      value of details

C.vi.      value of construction

D.  Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

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

D.ii.       evidence of historical change

D.iii.      work of a major artist or builder

D. iv.     evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

D. v.      evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

E.  Symbolic value

E.i.        ontological value

E.ii.       religious value

E.iii.      traditional value

E.iv.      relation to rituals or ceremonies

E.v.       significance for the identity of a group of people

F.  Townscape/ Landscape value

F.iii.      the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site

G.  Authenticity

G.i.       form and design

G.iii.      use and function

G.vi.      spirit and feeling

G.vii.     other internal and external factors

 

The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan, scale 1:6250, cadastral plots nos. 20/2, 20/3 and 21/1 (old survey), title sheet no. 86, c.m. Zarječje, Plan no: sketch of survey no. 20/4, issued 24 March 2006 by the Bileća branch of the Authority for Geodetic and Property Affairs of Republika Srpska,

-          Transcript of title sheet, c.p. nos 20/2, 20/3 and 21/1, title sheet no. 86, c.m. Zarječje, transcript of title sheet no. 12-952-62/06 issued on 27 March 2006 by by the Bileća branch of the Trebinje Centre of the Authority for Geodetic and Property Affairs of Republika Srpska,

-          Copy of Land Register entry, c.p. no. 20/3, c.m. Zarječje, no. of Land Register entry no. 363, order no. 095-0-NAR-06-000-019, issued in Bileća on 27 Maarch 2006 by the primary court in Trebinje, Republika Srpska,

-          Photodocumentation:

o        photographs of the current condition of the monastery taken on 28 March 2006 by Slobodanka Lalić and architect Emir Softić (using: Canon PowerShot A60 and Canon PowerShot G3 digital cameras)

o        photographs of current condition of the interior of the church taken on 13 April 2006 by architect Orjana Mujkić (using: Olympus C-4040 Z digital camera),

o        photographs published in: Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite, Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 143-161, 1959.,

o        photographs published in: Kajmaković Zdravko, Prenos manastira Dobrićevo, Naše starine br XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 67-87, 1967; photographs taken by: Ćiril Rajić, Zdravko Kajmaković, Ranko Rosić,

o        photographs published in: Kajmaković Zdravko, Zidno slikarstvo u Bosni i Hercegovini. Sarajevo, 1971.

-          Graphics:

o        drawings published in: Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite, Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 143-161, 1959

§         Monastery in Dobrićevo – site plan

§         Longitudinal section of the church a-a

§         East facade of the church

§         West facade of the church

§         Transverse section of the church b-b

§         Transverse section of the old refectory b-b

§         Transferse section of the old refectory and drying room c-c

§         Sketch with schematic representation of layers of plaster in Dobrićevo

o        drawing published in: Kajmaković Zdravko, Zidno slikarstvo u Bosni i Hercegovini. Sarajevo, 1971

§         ground plan of the monastery church in Dobrićevo

 

Bibliography

During the procedure to designate the architectural ensemble of the monastery of the Presentation of the Virgin in Dobrićevo as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:

 

1959.    Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 143-161.

 

1962.    Kajmaković Zdravko, "Značajniji likovni i arhitektonski spomenici u dolini Trebišnjice", Naše starine br VIII, Zavod za zaštitu spomenika kultura SR Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 1962, 39-53.

 

1964.    Vojislav Korać, Crkve sa prislonjenim lukovima u Staroj Hercegovini i Dubrovačko graditeljstvo XV-XVII vijek (Churches with rebated buttresses in Old Herzegovina and Dubrovnik Architecture 15-17 Century) Proceedings of the Faculty of the Humanities No. VII, Belgrade, 1964, 561-629

 

1967.    Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo" (Relocation of the Dobrićevo monaastery), Naše starine br XI, Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 67-87.

 

1971.    Zdravko Kajmaković, Zidno slikarstvo u Bosni i Hercegovini (Murals in BiH), Sarajevo, 1971.

 

1972.    Arslanagića most Trebinje, Povodom prenošenja mosta 1970-1972. godine (Arslanagić bridge Trebinje on the occasion of the relocation of the bridge, 1970-1972), publ. Hydroelectric power station on the Trebišnjica, Trebinje, Trebinje, 1972.

 

1977.    Kajmaković Zdravko, Georgije Mitrofanović, Sarajevo, 1977.

 

1984.    Šuput, Marica, Srpska arhitektura u doba turske vlasti: 1459-1690 (Serbian Architecture during Turkish rule: 1459-1690), Belgrade, Serbian Academy of Science and the Arts, Faculty of the Humanities in Belgrade, Institute for the History of Art

 

2002.    Ševo, Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine (Orthodox churches and monasteries in BiH to 1878), Banja Luka, 2002          

 


(1) Using the program Google Earth, the position of the monastery was located and the geographical coordinates and elevation were read off (op. E. Softić)

(2) Šuput, Marica: Dobrićevo, crkva Bogorodice, Srpska arhitektura u doba turske vlasti: 1459-1690. Belgrade, SANU, 1984

(3) Kajmaković Zdravko: "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI, Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 77.

(4) Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Glas Srpski, City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 166.

(5) Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine. Glas Srpski. City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 165.

“P. Momirović, knjiško arhivski spomenici iz Banata, Građa za proučavanje spomenika kulture Vojvodine knj. II, 1958, 211” (book archives of monuments from Banat, material for the study of cultural monuments of Vojvodina) (Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite" (Dobrićevo monastery – protection issues), Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 153)

(6) Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 154.

(7) Vojislav Korać –Vojislav J. Đurić, Crkve s prislonjenim lukovima u staroj Hercegovini i dubrovačko graditeljstvo, XV-XVII vek, Belgrade, 1964, 586.

(8) In 1741 the Metropolitan of Timişoara, Nikola Dimitrijević, donated a book to the monastery, and contributions of books also arrived in 1744., 1747 and 1748 (Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine. Glas Srpski. City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 167).

(9) The Zahum-Hercegovina Metropolitan Filotej stayed in Dobrićevo in 1745 (Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Glas Srpski. City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 167).

(10) Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite," Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 153

(11) the author cites the following source: V.J.Korać, Trebinje, II, 1971, 358-366

(12) Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Glas Srpski, City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 168-169

(13) Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Glas Srpski, City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 169

(14) Abbreviation for Narodno oslobodilački odbor – National Liberation Committee

(15) Arslanagića most – Trebinje, Povodom prenošenja mosta 1970-1972 godine, publ: Hidroelektrana na Trebišnjici – Trebinje, Trebinje, 1972

(16)  “…The Dobrićevo church, along with the church of the Žitomislić monastery,is in fact the most interesting and most monumental structure of the eastern Byzantine style in the architecture of Herzegovina. The churches in Zavala, Mostaći, Aranđelovo, Trijebanj and Ošanići, as well as all those regarded as of earlier date, are architecturally much more modest than this one. Of particular interest is its relatively elaborate interior, and in particular the Gothic addition, which is of outstanding importance for a study of architectural styles and their transmission and cross-fertilization.…” (Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 159)

(17) The planned level of the future reservoir was alt. +400 m., and the Dobrićevo monastery stood at alt. +328 m. (Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 157).

(18) Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine br XI, Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 67

(19) Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 143

(20) Leontije Ninković: »Monografija manastira Dobrićeva sa područnim crkvama« (Monograph of Dobrićrbo Monastery with local churches), Mostar, 1908 g.

(21) quoted from source: Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 144.

(22) quoted from source: Kajmaković Zdravko, Tihić Smail, "Manastir Dobrićevo – Problematika zaštite", Naše starine VI, Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1959, 144.

(23) from: Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967

(24) from: Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967

(25) Commission for conservation works on the Dobrićevo monastery, appointed by the Executive Council of SR BiH

(26) measured from copy of cadastral plan (op. E. Softić)

(27) length of the façade wall north of the choir and proscomidion is approx. 7.15 m, and the length of the façade wall south of the choir and diaconicon is approx. 7.67 m (measured on site, 28 March 2006, by architect E. Softić)

(28) referring to the crown of the vault in the interior of the church (op. E. Softić)

(29) measured on site, 28 March 2006, by architect E. Softić

(30) the actual orientation of the walls is different, bearing in mind the deviation of the longitudinal axis of the church of  + 20 stepeni (op. E. Softić)

(31) measured on site, 28 March 2006, by architect E. Softić

(32) measured from ground level outside the entrance portal (op. E. Softić)

(33) Seen from the inside, the transition is in the shape of a cylindrical structure, while from outside, above the four-cornered roof the wall structure has the form of an octagonal drum, approx. 125-130 cm in height (op. E. Softić).

(34) The portico is set back within the volume of the building and is under the same roof

(35) These measurements include the apse. The length of the walls without the apse are: north-east approx. 7.94, south-west approx. 7.82 m (op. E. Softić). All measurements of the church of St Nicholas taken on site on 28 March 2006 by architects Amra Šarančić and Alisa Marjanović (op. E. Softić)

(36) from: Ševo Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Glas Srpski, City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002, 163 (the author refers to: Kajmaković Zdravko, "Zaštita spomenika kulture i prirodnih rijetkosti u dolini Trebišnjice III" (Protection of cultural monuments and natural rarities in the Trebišnjica valley III), Naše starine no. VIII, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1962, 49-50)

(37) measured from ground level outside the entrance portal (op. E. Softić)

(38) calculated from measurements taken on site (op. E. Softić)

(39) carved into the doorstep of the entrance door to the konak (op. E. Softić)

(40) Similar compositional solutions are to be found around the Madonna of Matko Junčić on the polyptich from Our Lady of Šunje in Lopud, and on theh polyptich of the Dominicans in Dubrovnik, the work of Lovro Dobričević, and on his polyptich in Danče. (Kajmaković, 1971, 70)

(41) Mitrofanović's inscription on the west facade of the church in Morača. (Kajmaković, 1971, 193)

(42) The leading disciples of SS Cyril and Methodius were the so-called Petočislenici, SS Kliment (Clement) of Ohrid and Naum, Sava, Gorazd and Angelarije

(trans: from  www.geocities.com/byzantion2001/Pravednikistorija.html)

(43) The Selaković's, along with some other Sarajevo families, took refuge in Dobrićevo during the great plague epidemics, probably in 1731-1732 and from 1762 to 1778  (Ševo, 1998, 168).

(44) “Estimate and project for architecture drawn up by architect Nedeljko Rosić in consultation with Dr Vojislav Korać,and for the frescoes etc by Zdravko Kajmaković in consultation with Zdravko Blažića.”

(45) Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 67

(46) “The Commission for Conservation Works on the Dobrićevo monastery, appointed by the Executive Council of SR BiH, was composed of the following: Dr.: dr Cvito Fisković, Chair, architect Ivan Zdravković, Vicechair, Dr Vojislav Djurić, representative of the Institute in Mostar, architect Džemal Čelić, representative of the Institute in Sarajevo, writer and historian Svetislav Mandić, Dr Dragomir Tadić, representatives of the  Eparchy in Mostar and engineer. Esad Karamehmedović, representativeof the investor,HE Trebišnjica. The author of this article was appointed as expert manager of the conservation works, with eng. Architect Nedeljko Rosić as his deputy. Senior painter-conservator Zdravko Blažić and painter-conservator Dušan Nonin were appointed to head the team working on the removal and replacement of the frescoes. Direct supervision of the architectural works contractors was carried out by technician Velibor Šain, and intermittently also by Dušan Rakojević; supervision on behalf of the Commission of the team engaged on the architectural aspects of the task was carried out by Dr. Vojislav Korać, practical works on the architecture as a whole were carried out by the Masonry Workshop of  Andrija Galić of Posušje with a group of 20 masons and carpenters, geodetic surveying was carried out by surveyor Asim Bajbutović of Sarajevo, and the team working on the frescoes consisted of painter-restorers Josip Trajkovski from the Institute in Skoplje, Nevenka Vučićević of Zagreb, Petar Balabanović and Abdulah Grguri from Priština, Jusuf Začinović from Sarajevo, and artists Mihajlo Barbić and Ljubo Milojević of Trebinje, Dušan Kesić a painter from Belgrade, Salih Obralić, Enver Koljanac and Mićo Sopić, students from the College of the Applied Arts in Sarajevo, photographs were taken at intervals by art photographers Čiro Rajić and Ranko Rosić, and on-going photographs were taken and other documentation maintained by the undersigned.  We received frequent assistance from colleagues Dubravka Beritić and Radomir Stanić, art historians. We take this opportunity to thank all these members of the Commission and the team, workers and colleagues most warmly, and particularly the Institutes that sent their experts to assist us in this task, particularly the Institute i Novi Sad. We especially thank the group from the Institute in Dubrovnik, which provideed us with various kinds of assistance on many occasions.” (Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 68, fn. no. 3)

(47) Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 68

(48) Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 67

(49) Arslanagića most – Trebinje, Povodom prenošenja mosta 1970-1972 godine, publ.: Hidroelektrana na Trebišnjici – Trebinje, Trebinje, 1972

(50) Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 71

(51) Kajmaković Zdravko: "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no.r XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 73

(52) “The marking was done with disperol paints. The courses were given letter codes and the stone blocks numeric ones.  For example, Al, A2, A3... B1, B2, B3... The project provided for plastic stickers to be used, but we changed our minds, fearing that they might fall off.” (Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 73, fn. 4).

(53) Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 73

(54) Writing about the conservation and restoration experience of relocating the monastery church, Zdravko Kajmaković emphasizes the following: “We can say that the system of models naturally implies that they are made ideally, most functionally in such cases. We can note from our experience that there were times when we regretted we had not made a wooden model of the entire ground plan of trhe church. For example, the skilled master carpenters from Posušje made models for the cross vault that were so perfect as to reflect almost all the most marked accidental irregularities in the original execution of these highly complicated elements.” (Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 74)

(55) Keystone (Fr.. clef de voûte, Ger.. Schlusstein and Gewölbestein, It.. chiave di volta and serraglia): in architecture, a structural static element, conical in shape, fitted into the very centre of a vault at the intersection of the diagonal ribs.

(56) (Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967, 75-78)

(57) from: Kajmaković Zdravko, "Prenos manastira Dobrićevo", Naše starine no. XI. Annual of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1967.



Monastery in DobrićevoMonastery before 1964, Ćiro RajićMonastery before 1964.Monastery after 1964.
Dobrićevo in 2006Interior of the complex ChurchEntrance facade
Old smokehouseOld smokehouseComplex of the monasteryChurch of St Nicholas of Mistihalje - entrance facade
Church of St Nicholas of MistihaljeThe new konak building The new konak building Graves in the monastery courtyard
IconostasisFrescos above the altar Parvis, south wallParvis, north wall
Mitrofanovićs frescoes   


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