Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Kapidžić house (the birthplace of Nasiha Kapidžić-Hadžić), the historic building

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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 4 to 11 September 2006 the Commission adopted a






The historic building of the Kapidžić house (the birthplace of Nasiha Kapidžić-Hadžić) in Banja Luka is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of a residential building, courtyard and garden.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 915 (new survey), corresponding to c.p.nos. 102/28, 102/25, 102/27, 102/63 and 102/64, cadastral municipality Banja Luka IV-7, Municipality Banja Luka, 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, conserve, and display the National Monument.

The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the presentation of the National Monument.

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




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision.

  • all works are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, including those designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska,
  • on the plots adjoining the plot on which the National Monument is located, the construction is permitted of new buildings with a maximum of two storeys (ground + 1) – a maximum height to the base of the roof frame of 6.50 m – and maximum dimensions of 10 x 10 m, with hipped roof clad with plain tiles, being new buildings that are not detrimental to the National Monument in character, size, appearance or any other manner.




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




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




The Government of Republika Srpska, the 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 – VI of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.aneks8komisija.com.ba) 




Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH.


This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


No. 07.2-2-118/04-4

5 September 2006



Chair of the Commission

Amra Hadžimuhamedović


E l u c i d a t i o n




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

On 20 May 2004 the Commission received a petition to designate the property as a national monument from Sabiha Kapidžić, Vojvoda Pero Kreco street, Banja Luka.

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 para. 4 of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (Municipality Banja Luka, copy of cadastral plan and copy of land register entry)
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.
  • Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.

The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The Kapidžić house is in the residential area of Banja Luka known as Mejdan. The plot is bordered to the west by the river Vrbas, and to the east by Vojvoda Pero Kreco street (formerly Nurija Pozderac street). The property is about 70 metres from the river. Opposite, to the east of the property, is the city harem and reconstructed Stupnićka (Salihija) mosque.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 915 (new survey), corresponding to c.p.nos. 102/28, 102/25, 102/27, 102/63 and 102/64, cadastral municipality Banja Luka IV-7, Municipality Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

The house was built in the late 18th or early 19th century, as may be inferred from the type of materials and masonry techniques, as well as the surviving layout of the building. The property is also marked on the geodetic map of Banja Luka compiled by the Austro-Hungarian Geodetics Authority in 1882.

According to the information in the possession of the present owners of the property, their father, Hadžić Ali-efendi Kapidžić, purchased the house in 1920 from the grandfather of Muhammed-beg Kulenović. The witnesses to the purchase of the property were engineer Suljaga Salihagić and Mehaga Hadžiselimović, a merchant.

Hadžić Ali-efendija Kapidžić was senior military imam (tabor-imam) in the Royal Yugoslav Army, and first signatory at the beginning of World War II to the famous Resolution of the Muslims of Banja Luka, opposing the persecution of Serbs and Jews by the NDH (so-called Independent State of Croatia) authorities(1). 

After its purchase in 1920 the house was renovated. On 6 November 1931 the well-known poet of Bosnia and Herzegovina Nasiha Kapidžić Hadžić was born in this house.

Nasiha Kapidžić Hadžić attended primary and grammar school in Banja Luka, and graduated in literary studies from the Faculty of the Humanities in Belgrade. She taught in the Banja Luka grammar school and worked as editor in the Children's and Educational Programmes of Radio Sarajevo, and as editor of the ”Lastavica” series and other publications for children and young people in the Veselin Masleša publishing house in Sarajevo. She wrote poetry, prose and drama. Her children’s books include Bal Masqué in the Forest, The Embroidered Bridge, The Hidden Story, When You Were Little, From Your City to Mine, The Voice of Childhood, and Lilliput.

Nasiha Kapidžic-Hadzic’s poetry and stories have been published in numerous selections, feature in reading primers and school readers, and have been translated into other languages. They also feature in some foreign anthologies. Her dramas for children have been performed on radio and in the theatre (The Dream of the Little Meadow, Loncipunum the Miraculous City, etc.). 

She received numerous awards and tributes, including the 27th of July Award, the Sixty of April Award of the City of Sarajevo, the Veselin Masleša award from the City of Banja Luka, and two annual awards from the Svjetlost publishing house. She was living in retirement in Sarajevo when the war broke out, and was in poor health. She died in September 1995.

Each July, literary meetings entitled “Embroidered Bridges,“ named after one of Nasiha Kapidžić Hadžić's poems, are held in the house and garden as part of the event Days of the Banja Luka Diaspora. The importance of her poetry has been acknowledged by the issue of a postage stamp with her head on it.

In 2006 offensive graffiti were scrawled on the street front of the house. According to Nasiha Kapidžić Hadžić's sister, the graffiti were written just before the start of the Days of the Banja Luka Diaspora event, and the same happened just before the 2005 event.


2. Description of the property

Following M. Kadić’s typology, the Kapidžić house belongs to the type of two storey house with overhang(2).  

In ground plan the building is asymmetrical, with the central corridor typical of the 19th century urban residential architecture of northern Bosnia.

Like other houses of this type, the first floor and part of the ground floor are of lightweight materials, and the part of the ground floor that is in contact with the ground is of durable building material, in this case quarry stone with lime morter as binder. The entire first floor, apart from the north side, projects outwards by some 50 cm. The facades are adorned with numerous rectangular windows.

The building stands on level ground, 70 metres from the river. To the east is the street, from which the property is separated by a high stone wall. The main gateway leads into the courtyard, where stabling and cowsheds, barns and other outbuilding were located. There is a secondary gateway in the courtyard wall, as well as an opening through which used bedding from the stables and cowshed was thrown onto the street; this was later walled up. The courtyard led into a garden with orchard, flower garden and vineyard, and a gate leading to the river.

The entrance to the ground floor from the cobbled courtyard was to the east. The ground floor measures 10.20 x 11.30 m on the outside, and contains seven rooms in all. The central room is the hajat, which is about 2.60 m wide. This leads into two rooms to the west, measuring 3.30 x 3.50 and 4 x 3.70 m respectively, and to a kitchen and pantry to the east. There is a storeroom on the north side of the property, used principally for tools and as a woodshed, since it is entered direct from the garden. There is a smaller storeroom alongside this main one. The ground floor rooms are 2.60 m in height.

A 1 metre wide wooden staircase leads from the hajat to the first-floor divanhana (landing), which has a seating area with wooden sećija (built-in settee) to the south.  The divanhana led into the upstairs rooms: a reception room to the south-west, measuring 4.20 x 4.20 m, a room in the central part of the building measuring 3.70 x 4.20, the grandmother's room to the north-west, measuring 3.70 x 4.20 m, a kitchen, dining room and a large room measuring 5.00 x 4.00 m to the south-east.  The rooms probably formerly had hamamdžiks (washrooms), but there is no sign of them now(3).

To the north is the exit to the wooden first-floor veranda, measuring 10.20 x 2.00 m, with a vodnica in the north-east corner. The vodnica is wooden, and connects with the garden via a 1 metre wide single flight staircase. The structure of the veranda is composed of two longitudinal wooden beams 25 cm in height resting on seven wooden 20 x 20 cm pillars. Joists consisting of numerous transverse beams of varying sizes and distances apart rest on these beams. According to the owner of the property, the wooden staircase is not original, but was brought there from a nearby building.

The first floor rooms are 2.50 m in height. All the rooms have wooden floors composed of 42 mm thick boards nailed to a wooden substructure consisting of joists and cross-pieces.

Most of the building is of unbaked (adobe) brick, apart from the part in direct contact with the ground, which is of limestone. The walls are more than 70 cm at ground floor level. Wooden tie beams can be seen in places (the north-west corner of the building). The first floor structure consists of a wooden frame composed of rows of wooden uprights, cross-beams and struts, with an unbaked (adobe) brick infill. The ceiling joists consist of wooden beams to which reeds were nailed and covered with lime plaster. The overall height of the building is almost 10 metres.

The house has a wooden hipped roof clad with common tiles. All the adjacent buildings of this type are clad with plain tiles, and it is likely that this one was too, although the owner claims that the house was formerly clad with shingles.

The house contains a memorial room to Nasiha Kapidžić Hadžić, with her own and her father’s library, her books, documentation and literary awards. The Bosniac cultural society Preporod has had a plaque mounted on the east façade of the building with some of her verses.


3. Legal status to date

The property has not been subject to legal protection.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

No conservation or restoration works have been carried out. The most recent works on the building were those carried out in 1920. Some of the windows can be seen to have been walled up.


5. Current condition of the property

The Kapidžić house is in a street that, until the outbreak of the recent war in BiH, had largely retained its original townscape value. By the end of the war many of the buildings had been abandoned and were at risk from the long years of lack of maintenance. New buildings have been erected on some of the plots where there were buildings like or similar to this one; the appearance of these new buildings has been very detrimental to the appearance of this part of the town.

During an on-site inspection on 17 August 2006 the following was ascertained:

-          The outside of the courtyard wall has been sprayed with offensive graffiti: Slaughter the balija [offensive term for Muslims], Draža is still alive, This is our city, etc.

-         Thanks to the fact that the Kapidžić's, brother and sister, lived in the Kapidžić house throughout the war, it is in relatively good condition.

-          The courtyard and garden are kept well maintained.

-          Nišan tombstones from the nearby harem are leaning up against the courtyard wall on the inside.  These were rescued from the Vrbas by the owners after having been thrown into the river by the then city authorities.

-          The remains of cobbling can be seen in the eastern part of the courtyard.

-          Plaster is falling away from the walls on the ground floor, and there is some damage to the floors, woodwork, walls and ceilings.

-          There is no structural damage apart from minor cracks on the ceiling.

-          Part of the roof cladding is damaged.

-         The building contains the library belonging to Hadžić Ali-efendi Kapidžić, father of Nasiha Kapidžić Hadžić, which is housed in unsuitable conditions.

-          The building is being used for residential purposes.


6. Specific risks

§         Rising damp, particularly in the northern part of the property;

§         Graffiti on the courtyard wall.




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

E. Symbolic value

E.iii.     traditional value

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.ii.      meaning in the townscape




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


Documentation from PEN Bosnia and Herzegovina -http://www.penbih.ba/kojeko/kapidzic.htm


Documentation from the Kapidžić family


Nezavisne Novine, p. 10, “Insulting graffiti”, RTRS


(1) The Resolution of the Muslims of Banja Luka reads, in full:  Ever since the NDH was founded we Muslims have been watching with great concern the Ustasha and other factors both responsible and otherwise committing the gravest errors and crimes. The most elementary human rights are being ridden over roughshod without the slightest scruple. Safety of life and property, freedom of religion and conscience, have ceased to count for much of the people of this part of the world. The killing of priests and other leading figures without trial or verdict, mass deaths by firing squad and torture, often of entirely innocent men, women and even children, mass expulsions from hearth and home of entire families at one or two hours’ notice, and their deportation to destinations unknown, the confiscation and looting of their property, the destruction of places of worship often with their own hands, forced conversions to Roman Catholicism – all these are facts that appal every decent person and that create an extremely unpleasant impression on us, the Muslims of this part of the world. We never even expected, let alone desired, that war and rule should be conducted in this way in our part of the world. In our turbulent past we never made use of such means, even in the most difficult of circumstances.  We believe that such violence should not be perpetrated even against one’s worst enemy. We doubt that it would be possible to find an instance of what is being done here in the history of any nation or people. The results of such a policy (if these actions can be dignified with the term) are horrific, as any reasonable person would expect. The high level of eligious tolerance that prevailed in Bosnia and Herzegovina despite religious differences has fallen dramatically. Insults and incitement have reached such a pitch in regard to us Muslims that we are compelled to give the matter serious thought. Part of the Catholic priesthood believes that its time has come, and they are exploiting it without the least scruple.  Propaganda for conversions has reached such a pitch as to call to mind the Spanish Inquisition. Orthodox Christians are being converted to Catholicism under pressure, which is tolerated by the public authorities. In this way those whose civic values and national kinship had previously been denied have become equal citizens merely for having formally embraced the Catholic faith.  The equality of Islam, frequently referred to in articles and statements, is being called into question in life and practice. Derogatory songs are often to be heard from Ustasha Catholics, offensive to the feelings of Muslims and denying them the same destiny as Christians. Part of the Ustasha army, not only irregulars but also the regular troops, have carried out serious attacks not only on Orthodox Christians but also on Muslims, giving rise to grave alarm in our ranks.  The case of the brutal murder of hojja Edhem ef. Hodžić here in Banja Luka, in the full light of day in the hospital courtyard, is a horrific example of unrestrained behaviour on the part of Ustasha Josip Babić. Most regrettably, it remains unknown to this day whether the perpetrator has been even arrested, let alone subjected to exemplary punishment, as called for by the entire Banja Luka and other Muslim population.  We have plenty of instances of Ustasha wearing fezzes joining in prayers and killing Orthodox Christians. This happened in Bosanski Novi where four truckloads of Ustasha arrived wearing fezzes and slaughtered Orthodox Christians en masse. The same thing happened in Bosanska Kostajnica, where eight hundred and sixty two Orthodox Christians were butchered in the same way in a single day. They did it in Kulen Vakuf too, where Miroslav Matijević, an Ustasha from Vrtoča, took a leading role. Here about nine hundred and ten Orthodox Christians were killed, prompting retaliation by Chetniks on 6 September 1941, when Kulen Vakuf was torched and 1365 Muslims (men, women and children) paid with their lives.  We know of certain Ustasha Catholics attacking Orthodox Christians with the war-cry: "At ’em Mujo, hang on Huso, don’t give up there Meho…!" and the like. Provoking such fierce clashes between us Muslims and Orthodox Christians incites us as soldiers to quell the insurrection and thus to kill Serbs, and they us, annihilating and exterminating one another, and who knows when it will stop or what the aftermath will be – so that the fighting, which we did not provoke, has reached such a pitch that many of our villages have been torched and ransacked, and their inhabitants – men, women and children – are wandering about barefoot and in rag, hungry and thirsty, seeking held and protection from the invited and uninvited alike, fleeing to and overcrowding our cities, where it is difficult to provide them with help. The level of protection afforded to our villages is wholly inadequate, particularly in the regions under Italian occupation. There the Italian troops are calmly looking on as Muslim villages are torched, as has happened these days in the villages of the Ključ, Petrovac and Sana districts. Worst of all, the perpetrators of these deeds retreat into the background, parading in uniforms, largely engaged in looting Serb and Jewish property. This is plainest to see in Banja Luka, where the property of Serbs and Jews who have fled have become a source of plunder and providing the wealth of individuals and their families and friends. We reject with due contempt the allegation that we want to lay our hands on others’ property. We hereby associate ourselves with every action with the same aims, particularly that of the Muslims of Sarajevo of 12 October 1941, and to this end we demand:

  1. that genuine security of life and property, and freedom of religion be introduced for everyone in this country,
  2. that the innocent be protected by a powerful military defence,
  3. that all those guilty of any violence or crime, regardless of position or religion, be brought to justice, together with those who ordered or abetted such acts,
  4. to prevent all forms of religious intolerance,
  5. as soon as possible to introduce and provide sufficient material assistance to the innocent victims of this lawlessness.

Banjaluka, 12 November 1941.

(2) This type is widespread over an area ranging from Cazin, Bosanski Petrovac, Kulen-Vakuf, Bihać, Ključ, Banjaluka, Tešanj, Jajce, Livno and Travnik to Sarajevo, but varying in nature from defensive (in the west) to more comfortable properties (eastern variant). The emergence of this type reflects higher social, economic and residential standards.

(3) Such washrooms are to be found in almost every surviving property of this period. Another argument in support of the claim that there was formerly a washroom in the property is the damage to the floor joists caused by long-term exposure of the timber to damp.

Kapidžić house in Banja LukaKapidžić housePorchView at Vrbas
Nišan tombstones in the courtyardInterior of the houseLevhe 

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