Status of monument -> National monument
Pursuant to Article V para. 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, at a session held from 16 to 22 May 2006 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic building of the Church of St Sava in Bileća is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 183/14 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 564, cadastral municipality Bileća, 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.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, restore, 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.
Protection Zone I consists of the area defined in Clause I para. 2 of this Decision.
The following measures shall apply in this protection zone:
- all works on the church building are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed to present the National Monument, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska,
- during restoration, conservation and presentation works on the building its original appearance shall be retained, using original materials and original methods of treatment of these materials and building methods,
- conservation and restoration works and routine maintenance works shall be permitted on the monument erected to the victims of World War I on the same site in the immediate vicinity of the church.
Protection Zone II consists of all the plots bordering the plot of Protection Zone I.
In this zone the construction of new buildings that could be detrimental to the National Monument in size, appearance or any other manner is prohibited.
All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and restoration thereof.
The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska, 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.
The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba)
Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.
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. 80.
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.
17 May 2006
Chair of the Commission
E l u c i d a t i o n
I – INTRODUCTION
Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the Church of St. Sava in Bileća to the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH under serial no. 80.
Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
II – PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DECISION
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
- Documentation on the location of the property (copy of cadastral plan)
- Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
- Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
The historic building of the church of St. Sava in Bileća is in the centre of Bileća on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 183/14 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 564, title deed no. 288, ownership of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Zahum-Herzegovina Eparchy, cadastral municipality Bileća, Municipality Bileća, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Access to the church is from the west.
The main axis of the church lies east-west, with the entrance at the west end and the altar apse at the east end.
The earliest traces of human culture and civilization in the area of present-day Bileća municipality date from the late Stone Age (Neolithic), as evidenced by archaeological sites that have yet to be adequately investigated. The most ancient peoples to settle this area were the Illyrians.
The administrative and economic centre of the entire region during the Roman period was in the village of Panik in the river Trebišnjica valley, known in written works as Leusinium. A bridge spanned the river Trebišnjica very close to Leusinium; a surviving inscription recounting that the bridge was renovated during the reign of the Flavians, from 79 to 84 CE, is also the earliest written source on the area of this municipality.
The earliest reference to Bileća as a settled site is to be found in documents from the Dubrovnik archives, dating from 1286, referring to the place as Bilechia. The same sources also refer to Bileća under the same name in the 14th century as a major crossroads on the mediaeval caravan road. The ruins of the mediaeval fortified town of Toriča, referred to as belonging to the Pavlović family in the 15th century, are located very close to Bileća.
Bileća came under Ottoman rule in 1466.
By decision of the 1878 Berlin Congress, Bileća became part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was at this time that the barracks was built in Bileća.
The church of St. Sava in Bileća was built in 1896. There are no historical written details on the church.
2. Description of the property
In terms of spatial organization, the church of St. Sava in Bileća belongs to the type of single-nave church with parvis, nave and altar area.
Architecturally speaking, the church was built in the eclectic style, with a rectangular ground plan, an apse that is three-sided on the outside and semicircular on the inside, simple tall arched windows and a stone portal.
The church is rectangular in ground plan, with the sides measuring approx. 9.50 x 22.00 m on the outside. There is an apse at the east end, which is three-sided on the outside and semicircular on the inside. The height of the building from ground level to the roof cornice is approx. 9.00 m.
The church has solid stone walls approx. 60 cm thick. The walls are of regular-cut stone blocks with cement pointing, the structure of which is visible on the outside of the building, whereas the inside walls are plastered. The north and south facades of the building have simply moulded cordon string courses dividing the facades into a lower and an upper zone. In the lower zone of the longitudinal facades of the building are arched north and south portals; the upper zone has six arched windows. Vertically, the longitudinal facades are each articulated by six pilaster strips (parts of the pilasters visible on the exterior). The pilaster strips project outwards from the plane of the facade walls by approx. 10 cm, and are approx. 60 cm in width. The spaces between then are 2.70 m wide, and have windows in the upper zone. Square turrets abut onto each of the four corners of the church, markedly taller than the gable wall of the church. These turrets are stone built and are pyramidal at the top, below which are two accentuated stone string courses.
The church has a gabled roof. The roof frame is timber, with tile cladding. The roof terminates in a moulded roof cornice with a row of small arcades.
The three-sided apse at the east end of the building has a three-pitch roof clad with tiles. The sides of the apse are approx. 3.20 m in width, and have a cordon string course at mid-height. There is no cordon string course on the east side of the apse, which is 2.80 m wide, but there is an arched window at the same height.
The church is entered from the west, through the main entrance portal of the church, which is approx. 1.50 m in width and 3.00 m in height. The double doors are rectangular in shape and made of solid wood. They are approx. 2.00 m in height. Each wing of the doors bears four relief-decorated panels. The doors are painted brown. Above the doors is a round-arched fanlight approx. 1.00 m in height. The portal is surrounded by a stone frame approx. 10 cm in width. In the upper zone of the west façade, above the portal, are two large arched windows, measuring approx. 115 cm in width and 320 cm in height. Above these, centrally between the two, is a circular window.
There is a belltower “na preslicu” at the top of the gable wall of the west façade, on part of the roof ridge. The belltower consists of two turrets between which is a belfry with a single bell and topped by a stone cross.
The windows on the facades of the building are set in a single horizontal row.
The north and south facades each have six arched windows. These are composed of two sections, the lower part consisting of rectangular double-casement windows and the upper part of the arch. They are made of wood, and are surrounded on the outside by stone frames without mouldings. The rectangular section of the windows is divided into eight panes, in each of which a cross is painted, while the arched section is divided into three, painted white, blue and red.
The interior of the church measures approx. 15.30 x 8.00 m. Functionally, the church is divided into the parvis, nave and altar area. The nave measures approx. 13.10 x 8.00 m, and the parvis approx. 2.50 x 8.00 m. The parvis is separated from the nave by a wall, and above it is the choir gallery. A spiral staircase in the south-west part of the parvis leads to the choir gallery, which is of the same width as the parvis and is approx. 4.00 m high. It is supported by two stone pillars between which is an arched passageway. It is enclosed by a stone balustrade, and has wooden floorboards.
The church has a flat ceiling, and pilaster strips on the longitudinal side walls, between which the windows are located. The pilaster strips terminate in moulded capitals, and then extend along the entire length of the ceiling, like reinforcing ribs, also dividing the ceiling into caissons. The ceiling is approx. 8.50 m high.
The interior walls of the church are plastered and whitewashed. The ceiling is painted light blue, the walls light yellow, and the pilaster strips and string courses white.
The floor inside the church is stone-paved.
The altar area is separated from the nave by a masonry iconostasis, and is three steps higher than the nave area. It consists of three semicircular niches, and is approx. 4.50 m in depth. The central part of the altar area is occupied by the altar table.
The iconostasis partition is set in the arched opening between the altar and the nave.
The murals on the iconostasis partition and the two murals on the arched opening were painted in 2004 by Bogoljub Arsenijević.
Arrangement of the murals on the iconostasis partition:
- Lower zone, from north to south:
1. The Holy Mother of God – throne icon
2. Scene of the Annunciation:
- Archangel Gabriel
- Virgin Mary
3. Christ – throne icon
- Upper zone, from north to south:
1. St Nicholas
2. St Sava the Serb
3. St Peter the Apostle
4. Prophet David
5. Holy Trinity
6. Prophet Solomon
7. St Basil of Ostrog
8. St Paul the Apostle
9. St John the Baptist
Above the arched opening are two symmetrical figures of winged angels. Beside each of them is an inscription in dark paint: Holy angel the Lord's heavenly rank.
The archpriest's throne and wooden choirstalls are decorated with restrained classicist decorations.
To the north of the church, in the churchyard, is a monument to the victims of World War I. The monument is in the form of a tapering obelisk on which the names of the victims are inscribed.
3. Legal status to date
The church of St. Sava in Bileća is on the Provisional List of National Monuments of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments under serial no. 80.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
There is no information concerning research or conservation and restoration works.
5. Current condition of the property
The church of St. Sava in Bileća is in good condition.
6. Specific risks
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. v. value of details
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.ii. meaning in the townscape
F.iii. the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site
G.i. form and design
G.ii. material and content
G.iii. use and function
G.vi. spirit and feeling
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of geodetic plan,
- Photodocumentation of the Commission taken in April 2006,
- Drawing of the ground plan of the ground floor surveyed and drawn by the Commission
During the procedure to designate the historic building of the Church of St. Sava in Bileća as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
2006. Popović, Čedomir, Zena, Extract from monograph on Bileća, (not yet published, found on the internet)