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

Parish church of St. Anthony of Padua with the tomb of the Bihać nobility (tomb of the Croatian aristocracy), the architectural ensemble

gallery back

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 7 to 10 November 2006 the Commission adopted a






The architectural ensemble of the parish church of St. Anthony of Padua with the tomb of the Bihać nobility (tomb of the Croatian aristocracy) in Bihać is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the church tower with the frontispiece and remains of the side walls and the tomb of the Bihać nobility (tomb of the Croatian aristocracy).

The National Monument is located on cadastral plot no. 5120, Land Register entry no. 4200, cadastral municipality Bihać City (new survey), corresponding to c.p. nos. 1/404 and 1/423, Land Register entry no. 305 (old survey), cadastral municipality Bihać, Municipality Bihać, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of the Federation of  BiH nos. 2/02, 27/02 and 6/04) shall apply to the National Monument.




The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Government of the Federation) shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, and display the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for providing the resources for drawing up and implementing the technical documentation required for the protection and presentation of the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (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. 3 of this Decision:

  • all works are prohibited other than revitalization, conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance and works designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of BiH.


The following works shall be carried out as part of the revitalization of the complex:

  • exploration of the site to determine the causes of damage;
  • research works to identify the historical strata of the property and the exact dates thereof;
  • an exact survey of the current condition of the property clearly indicating the type and extent of damage.


The analysis thereof shall form the basis for drawing up an architectural programme for the revitalization of the National Monument, subject to the following conditions:

  • any new use of the space shall be such as shall not endanger the monument in any way;
  • no future project shall be detrimental to the structure of the existing exterior and interior facades of the church;
  • no future project shall be detrimental to any of the historical strata of the property/complex or of archaeological finds, if any;
  • the monument shall be protected and conserved in line with international standards and principles;




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




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




            The Government of the Federation, the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning, the Federation 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 I to 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 nos. 54 and 55.




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. 07.2-2-923/03-14

10 November 2006


Chair of the Commission

Ljiljana Ševo


E l u c i d a t i o n




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

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the tomb of the Croatian aristocracy and parish church of St. Anthony of Padua to the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH under serial nos. 54 and 55.

Pursuant to the provisions of the law, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument, pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.




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

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (transcript of title deed, Bihać Municipality, with copy of cadastral plan),
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, details of war damage, details of 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 architectural ensemble of the parish church of St Anthony of Padua is in Bihać town centre, within the former city ramparts, on cadastral plot no. 5120, Land Register entry no. 4200, cadastral municipality Bihać City (new survey), corresponding to c.p. nos. 1/404 and 1/423, Land Register entry no. 305 (old survey), cadastral municipality Bihać, Municipality Bihać, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information (1) 

Most historians agree that the earliest reference to the toponym Bihać is in a 1260 charter (deed of grant) by Hungary's King Bela IV. In mediaeval times the town developed as a free royal town with a fort and two monasteries, one Dominican and one Franciscan, a few churches, several commercial and residential properties, and a number of defence towers. In the 16th century Bihać and surrounding fortified towns became part of the Military Frontier region, constituting a fortified defence zone against the ever more frequent incursions by Ottoman troops. The Ottoman army occupied the town in June 1592. Over the next three centuries Bihać was to become one of the Ottoman Empire's major fortifications in the far west, as well as a base from which Ottoman incursions and steady pressure on the borders of Croatia were launched. The specific feature of this fortified town, distinguishing it from others in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Ottoman period, was that the urban layout of the pre-Ottoman period survived within the ramparts. New building would not disrupt the existing outer limits of the fortress, even though the ramparts were strengthened by new bastions and towers. The inner urban layout also remained largely unchanged, despite new building.

The mediaeval church of St Anthony has survived to the present day. After Bihać fell to the Ottomans in 1592, it was turned into a mosque and named Fethija (from the Arabic fath, victory). It was agreed at the Berlin Congress in June 1878 that Austria-Hungary should have the right to administer Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the Jutarnji list (Daily News) of 12 January 1939, no sooner had Austro-Hungarian rule been introduced in 1878 than a timber-built Catholic church dedicated to St Anthony was erected along with an Orthodox church.

The initiative to build a new parish church of St Anthony of Padua was launched by the parish priest of Bihać, Fr. Franjo Čurić, who submitted an application to Prince William on 29 July 1880, requesting that the former church, now the Fethija mosque, be restored to the Catholics or that the Government provide assistance to build a new church on another site. The Ministry recommended to the Bihać authorities and Muslims that the parish priest be allotted a site for a church, and the Muslims undertook to purchase a site to build a church, either within or outside the town, and to help to build it, subject to the Fethija being left alone.

After being notified of this agreement, the Provincial Government sent a reply to the local general, who in turn notified the parish priest that the walls of the town were to be demolished and that the most suitable site for the church would be St Lucia's cemetery (in Križ). The Government itself undertook to assist in the construction (information from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Una-Sana Canton).

Work on the new church of St Anthony in Bihać was conducted in a number of stages:

Stage I

Fr Ambrož Radmanović, parish priest of Bihać, began building a new church with bell tower on a site known as Žabela, located within the town itself(2).The building works were continued by the new parish priest, Fr. Franjo Duljilović, and the church was completed in 1891.

Stage II

During this stage, in 1899, parish priest Fr. Alojzije Mišić enlarged the church by 11 metres and built on a new semicircular sanctuary. The restoration of the church was carried out to a plan drawn up by engineer Karl Fitzingere, and the district prefect Lotar pl. Bergs(3) provided all the timber free of charge from Mt. Lipa. The high altar was made to a design by Franz Kipar of Zagreb, and the works were carried out by craftsman Josip Dubovski from Bohemia (Czech Republic), who also made two side altars to a design by Fitzingere. Fr Alfonzo Marija Kudrić, parish priest of Bihać (1908-1913) built the choir.

Stage III

This stage began in 1938, when Fr. Viktor Šakić launched an action to refurbish and extend the church and tower with the assistance of all the townspeople, regardless of their religion or national affiliation.The blueprints for this reconstruction were drawn up by Stjepan Podhorski, an architect from Zagreb(4).

In 1941 the authorities ordered that the Orthodox church(5) be demolished and the material be used to enlarge the Catholic church and build onto the tower (Radić, p. 14.)

Allied aircraft bombed Bihać during World War II hostilities, in 1943, destroying about 70% of the town centre. The church of St Anthony was one of the buildings to suffer, with only the tower and part of the walls surviving.

Following World War II, land was expropriated, and the Franciscans were allotted an alternative site on which a new Catholic church was built.

The tower of St Anthony's church was also damaged in the recent war (1992-1995), suffering shell damage to the upper part of the east and south walls. The tomb of the Bihać nobility (Croatian aristocracy) has been vandalized on several occasions since 1995.

Between 16 and 30 June each year the level ground outside the church is used for cultural purposes as part of the Bihać summer event. Classical music concerts and plays are performed there.

By Decision of the Bihać Municipal Council dated 20 April 2006, the Franciscan Provincialate of Bosnia Argentina was granted the use of the tower and plateau of St Anthony's church for a period of five years to maintain the said site, subject to the user converting and making good the interior premises of the tower.


2. Description of the property

St Anthony's church in Bihać was built as a triple-naved structure with a bell tower at the east, entrance end. Judging from a picture of the town and the building close to it, the church was imposing in appearance. It occupied an area of 900 sq.m. and, along with the Fethija mosque and Kapetan's tower, dominated the town centre in height (Radić, p. 14)..

The church belongs to a group of religious buildings typical of the late 19th century. As a whole it is a historicist structure which, like other buildings of the same stylistic expression, is characterized by the use of a rich repertoire of forms of historical styles(6). As a result, numerous elements of the Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque come together in St Anthony's church(7).

The builders of the church were concerned above all to give the edifice a markedly spatial concept but without neglecting the use of decorative elements, particularly on the frontispiece, which is elaborately articulated with pilasters, string courses and cornices. The interior and its component parts – altar and pulpit – are also executed with considerable taste and imagination, with the choice of rather grand church furnishings and, which is especially important, with an emphasis on the murals (Radić, p. 14).

Stage I (1891)

The outside length of the church was 19.70 metres and the width 14.30 metres. In terms of layout, the church consisted of a narthex (approx. 3.00 m long), a nave (approx. 15 m long) and a sanctuary, along with a choir gallery above the narthex, with a railing along the front. There was a baptistery in the left-hand (south) side of the narthex and a staircase in the right-hand (north) side, leading to the gallery and tower. The church had a side entrance in the south wall (visible on the architectural blueprints of the church).

The main entrance to the church is at the east end, accentuated by a portal measuring 2.615 x 8.50 m. The portal is round-arched, with a radious of 1.375 m. The sloping ground necessitated steps at the entrance to the church, with an overall height of 1.51 m. These steps further accentuated the entrance area. To the left and right of the frontispiece (north and south of the portal) is a tall, narrow rectangular window measuring 0.90 x 2.20 m. Like the portal, these are round-arched, with a radius of 0.345 m. No sign of the altar from this stage of the property is to be seen in situ.

The walls of the church were 1.00 m thick. Judging from the remains of the church (to the east, north and south), they were built of quarry stone which was later rendered, while certain decorative features on the exterior – the string courses, the lower part of the church and the quoins – and the interior – principally the pillars, capitals and string courses – were made of bihacite(8). The socle of the facade walls is of varying heights, because of the sloping ground on which the church stands; the height of the entrance frontispiece of the church is thus more than 3.50. The socle is also made of bihacite.

Light entered the church through three round-arched windows measuring 1.10 x 3.10 m in the north and south walls.

The facades of St Anthony’s church were decorated below the eaves by rows of ornamental blind arcades. This decorative feature appears along the entire length of the church.  The church had a gabled roof.

There is very little information on the interior of the church from this stage. The remains to the east of the building, by the bell tower, reveal that the interior was elaborately decorated with a series of string courses of different designs (geometric and floral motifs).

The tower of St Anthony's church projects out from the centre of the front of the church by about 2 metres. At this stage it was about 50 metres in height: the walls were 31 m high, and the roof and cross were 19.00 m in height.

The tower had three storeys. The entrance portal was at ground floor level, so that the tower also formed a kind of vestibule to the church. The first floor contained the church choir, lit by a bifora to the east. The second storey is at a height of about 16 metres above ground level (measured at the entrance to the church). From here a four-flight wooden staircase led to the belfry. The staircase is lit by two small vaulted windows on three sides, with a single oculus between them. The top of the second storey is decorated on the outside by a row of blind arcades. The third and final storey is open with a Gothic trifora on all four sides. The sides of the tower are further accentuated by bihacite quoins.

At this stage the tower had a steeply pitched roof, very similar to Vancaš’s belltower on St Anthony’s church in Sarajevo, albeit of somewhat different proportions. The roof was octagonal in plan, and was clad with sheet metal.

Stage II (1899)

At this stage, the church was extended by 11 metres, with a semicircular apse and side altars added. The church was further lit by a window in the north and one in the south wall, and one in the apse.  A small window was also pierced in the west facade of the church, at the top of the roof. The rhythm of blind arcades and the final finish of the walls, rendered and painted white, with accentuated quoins, was continued on the new section of the church.

Stage III of the church

This stage lasted from 1938 until the destruction of the church during World War II.  During this stage the church was extended westwards, with the addition of two side and one central semicircular apse, giving the church as a whole a ground plan in the shape of a Latin cross. This increased the length of the church to 58 m and the width of the extension (width in the cross) of 24 m. The radius of the three newly designed apses was 3.10 m, and the walls of this part of the church were 0.50 m thick. The central apse was 60 cm higher than the rest of the church. There were three round-arched windows measuring 1.10 x 2.80 m in each of the apses, at a height of 4.70 m.

A dome was erected at a height of 20.35 m at the crossing of the nave and transepts.  The dome had a radius of 5.30 m, and the structure of the dome was 0.50 m thick. It stood on a square base measuring 14 x 14 m and four concrete piers measuring 2.75 x 2.60 m, joined by round arches with a radius of 4.25 m. The wall was 1.65 m thick at these points. The dome had eight round windows with a radius of 1.70 m, and was buttressed between by extensions of the lower walls of the church. The thickness of the wall separating the dome structure from the outside was a mere 50 cm at this point. The exterior height of the dome including the roof was 23.15 m. The dome was covered by a polygonal timber roof clad with sheet metal. A sacristy was built onto the north-west corner of the church, and a sizeable building, probably a school, was to have been built to the south-west.

In addition to building the new section of the church, during this stage the wooden ceiling of the old part was replaced by a concrete one. The church floor consisted of grey, red, black and yellow cast terrazzo.

During this stage the steeply pitched roof of the tower was removed and the tower was further adapted to the late Gothic manner. The masonry section of the tower retained its earlier features, but a further 15 m were built on above the 31 m level. Spaces for a clock were added in this extension to the north and south. The composition of the tower was completed with another trifora and a low-pitched hipped roof (resembling St Luke's bell tower in Jajce).

Tomb of the Bihać nobility – tomb of the Croatian aristocracy

This is some 50 metres to the south of St Anthony's church. According to Nikola Radić, there are signs that this tomb, together with its tombstones(9), was in the Fethija mosque before Bihać came under Ottoman rule.

The sarcophagus lies east-west (parallel with the church).  It is rectangular in shape, measuring approx. 1.00 x 3.00 m, with a height of approx. 75 cm.

The sarcophagus consists of a stone plinth, upright slabs joined by iron cramps set in lead, a horizontal stone slab projecting out beyond the upright slabs by about 15 cm, and a triangular headstone. The upright slabs of the sarcophagus are decorated top and bottom with complex horizontal mouldings, and the centre is decorated with an abundance of mediaeval geometric and floral motifs. The slab forming the front end is engraved with the armorials of the town of Bihać with three towers and a banner. The sides of the sarcophagus are each carved with three mediaeval armorials with decorations such as the handle of a mace, a flambeau, oak leaves, fish, crabs and so on. The slab forming the lid of the sarcophagus bears a coat of arms incised with a hand holding a sword (very similar to the Hrvoje armorials). The entire sarcophagus is made of bihacite.


3. Legal status to date

The Commission issued a decision to add the tomb of the Croatian aristocracy and parish church of St. Anthony of Padua to the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH under serial nos. 54 and 55.

The properties are protected pursuant to the Law on the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of Una Sana Canton (Official Gazette of USC no. 3/2004).

            According to the valorization conducted for Bihać Municipality's Town Centre Programme by the Institute for Architecture, Town Planning and Regional Planning Sarajevo in July 2004, the tower and remains of the church are of no particular architectural value. The value of this monument, according to the programme, lies in its composition in the outline of the town, pursuant to which it is listed as Category I.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

Church of St Anthony of Padua

No major conservation and restoration works have been carried out on the remains of the church apart from clearing the building and removing self-sown vegetation. 

It is understood that the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport is drawing up a project to make good the tower.

According to documentation in the possession of the Commission, gathered for the purpose of designating the Fethija mosque as a national monument of BiH, as long ago as 1966 certain measures were proposed for the purpose of protecting this site.

Tomb of the Croatian aristocracy – tomb of the Bihać nobility

  • works have been carried out on several occasions to clean and re-affix the stone slabs of the tomb;


  • the chief designer of repair works on the tower of St Anthony's church – the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and implementor of the approved project (ODRAZ) was asked to ensure that the project included works to reconstruct the tomb of the Bihać nobility, on which outline consent has been granted;
  • stone fragments around the tomb have been collected up;
  • the inside of the tomb has been cleared of refuse;
  • the tomb has been sealed to prevent further physical damage.

5. Current condition of the property

Church of St Anthony of Padua

During an on site inspection the following was ascertained:

  • the site of the plateau on which the church stands has been largely cleared of self-sown vegetation;
  • fragments of the walls of Stage I of the church are scattered around the northern part of the former church;
  • small quantities of waste have been dumped in the same area;
  • part of the bell tower (seen from the inside) is overgrown in places with self-sown vegetation;
  • the interior of the bell tower has been closed off and locked, but is in very poor condition;
  • the upper parts of the bell tower have been hit by artillery projectiles;
  • stone blocks have shifted out of position on the outside of the east and north sides of the church. This has probably been caused by water;
  • the crown of the remains of the walls is at risk from the elements;
  • rising damp was observed;
  • vertical cracks were observed in the upper part of the tower;
  • stone blocks have fallen away from the string course in the northern part of the church;
  • there is serious deformation to the stone blocks, which have split apart vertically, at the northern corner of the church on the steps leading to the upper plateau.

Tomb of the Croatian aristocracy – tomb of the Bihać nobility

  • given the major damage to and continued deterioration of the tomb, it has been surrounded by a wooden case as an interim measure until such time as repair works on the damage and conservation and restoration works begin;
  • an inspection of the photodocumentation submitted by the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Una Sana Canton revealed major damage to almost all the slabs and serious deterioration of the inner contents of the tomb.



Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision to proclaim 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

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

E.iii.traditional value

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

F.i.  relation to other elements of the site

F.ii. meaning in the townscape

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


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

o        Copy of cadastral plan

o        Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

o        Photodocumentation;

1. Photodocumentation of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Cultural Heritage Protection Authority:

§          photograph by S Podhorski, architects

§          photograph by S Podhorski, working meeting

§          postcard with model of St Anthony's church, 1939

§          St Anthony's church prior to works

§          St Anthony's church prior to works

§          St Anthony's church prior to works

§          St Anthony's church following works – 1943

§          St Anthony's church prior to restoration, 1939

2. Photodocumentation of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Una-Sana Canton

§          30 colour photographs of the tomb before and during works

o        Drawings:

1. Documentation of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of Una-Sana Canton

§          report on condition and proposed protection measures for the physical protection of the tomb in Bihać, 2005

2. Documentation of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia, Cultural Heritage Protection Authority


§          site plan, austrohungarian period

§          cross section and facade 

§          cross sections 1910

§          cross section of church

§          ground plan and cross section of tower

§          facades


§          east facade of the church with interventions on the tower

§          south facade with interventions post-1939

§          blueprint of foundations of extension

§          south facade with interventions post-1939

§          cross-section of extension post-1939

§          ground plan of ground floor of extension

§          ground plan of entire church, 1939

§          cross-section of dome

§          entrance portal

§          ground plan of dome

§          plinth of dome, ground plan

§          vaults outside apse

§          alternative design of dome

§          roof truss of extension

§          roof truss of extension 2

§          lateral cross-section of roof truss

§          vault and arch of apse

§          confessional

§          drawing of main altar

§          drawing of side altar

§          cornices of apse and gable

§          layout of reinforcements in dome

§          detail of window

§          ceiling of old nave

§          detail of window

§          detail of door

§          sacristy

§          decorative concrete ceiling

§          facade of tower

§          ground plan and facade of tower

§          pulpit

§          confessional

§          cross

§          alternatives for church

§          roof profiles

§          cross sections

§          south facade

§          site

§          alternative for facade



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


1890.   Lopašić, Radoslav, Bihać i Bihaćka krajina (Bihać and the Bihać frontier region), Zagreb 1890.


1942.   Truhelka, Ćiro, Sredovječni spomenici Bosanske Hrvatske (Mediaeval monuments of Bosnian Croatia), Hrvatsko kolo XXIII, Zagreb, 1942.


1963.   Raunig, Branka, Butić, Fikreta, Bokan, Branko, Bihać i okolina (Bihać and its environs), Una Bihać Tourist Association, 1963.


2000.   Radić, Nikola, Bihać sa starih razglednica (Bihać on old postcards), Bihać, 2000.


(1) For further historical background on Bihać, see the Decision designating the historic building of the Fethija mosque in Bihać as a national monument of BiH.

(2) He was unsuccessful, due to the traders of Bihać (his report to Provincial Fr. Anto Ćurić, dated 11. 11. 1885). At the request of the Provincial Government, an enquiry into the work of the church building committee was also conducted by the Bishop of Banja Luka, Fr. Marijan Marković, on 23 – 25.10. 1885, who found that the chairman of the committee had had a stamp made with the figure of St Anthony identical to the parish stamp, and that there was disagreement between the building committee and the local inhabitants. On 6 August 1885 the district prefect tried unsuccessfully on two occasions to resolve this dispute.

(3) Owner of the manor in Ostrošac near Bihać

(4) Stjepan Podhorski (21. 12. 1875 - 13. 10. 1945), a Croatian architect, was one of the first year's graduates from the Royal Trades School founded in 1882, which had a Civil Engineering School «to train architects and their ancillary staff». Alojz Bastl and Josip Marković also belonged to this same year of graduates. It was this very group of architects, later to be joined by architects Viktor Kovačić and Edo Šen, that would become the core of the well-known Croatian Architects' Club. He worked for H. Bolle on the restoration of the Cathedral of Zagreb. From 1902 on he studied at the Academy in Vienna.  In 1908 he was awarded 2nd prize in a competition to design Kaptol square in Zagreb. With effect from 1920 he was a professor at the newly-established Faculty of Engineering. He was mainly concerned with the conservation and restoration of religious buildings, on the principle of respecting existing styles and intermingling of styles. This stance led to a clash with Bolle, who stood for purification tendencies in the protection and restoration of monuments. He carried out major works on the Gothic churches in Oštarije and Križevci (1912-13), the parish church in Krašić (1910), and the baroque parish ahll in Pribički Strmac (1910). In his own designs he strove to create his own expression based on elements from Byzantine and old Croatian architecture: the Church of the Annunciation in Pribićki Strmac dating from 1911, Bihać, Duvno (1925), the monastery church in Makarska (1938), the Arcade of the central town cemetery in Križevci. Among the secular buildings he designed are the residential corner building at Kačićeva 2 in Zagreb, the town hall in Osijek, the Croatian People’s Centre in Križevci, and a number of smaller residential properties in Zagreb.

(5) Building works on the Orthodox church in Bihać began in 1926 and ended in 1930. It was a historicist building with neo-baroque and neo-classical features, with a prominent altar area, two side apses, a bell tower and domes. It occupied an area of approx. 700 sq.m., including a spacious walled churchyard. It was very close to the Medresa (to the west) and the Catholic church (to the east), on the site of the west wing of the present-day Bihać council building. It was built of bihacite, and was elaborately decorated and frescoed in the interior.

(6) The century of the industrial revolution and the advance of science, engineering and technology brought new materials and structures to architecture, such as cast iron and, towards the end of the century, steel and concrete. Prefabricated structural components were given historical decorative forms. The outward appearance of buildings, with their richly decorated frontispieces, often concealed the structural and spatial solutions. There was also a lack of harmony between the representative street fronts and the lack of attention paid to the inner courtyard areas of the blocks. The choice of a certain historical style, or combination of styles, had a certain symbolic significance associated with function and with the body commissioning the work.

(7) There are many similar examples of this type of architecture in north-western Croatia.

(8) Bihacite is a very soft, light-weight stone, similar to Bosnian moščanica and Mostar's tenelija stone.  Bihacite was used to build many edifices, not only in Bihać but also throughout the Bosnian Krajina – churches, mosques, minarets, the typical Krajina nišan tombstones with epigraphics, crosses, tombs, inscriptions on mosques, many different types of stone decoration, frames and arches, floor tombstones, steps and other decorative features. Bihacite is easy to cut and work, rapidly absorbs moisture, and is sensitive to high temperatures.  It varies in colour, but is usually greyish.

(9) Prior to World War I, nine tombstones from the Fethija mosque in Bihać were taken to the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo (inventory no. of the Mediaeval Collection of the National Museum 5780-5788). The stones had been set face-down into the floor at the entrance to the building.  As a result, they were very well preserved.  Before the church was altered to a mosque some were probably built into the right-hand wall of the church, and some into the left-hand, more visible side (Vego, 1954, 269). The tombstones dated from 1519 to 1565. Most of them came from the tombs of members of the Croatian aristocracy who had been in service in Bihać and its environs. They are made of Bihać bihacite, an easily-worked stone. The nature of the tombstones reveals that some were made by the same craftsmen or came from the same artisans' workshop.  All the epitaphs are in Latin, in Humanistic and Gothic script.


Parish church of St. Anthony of Padua in BihaćBihać, archival photograph Bihać, archival photograph Bihać, archival photograph
Church of the second phase Church of the third phase before destruction Church of St. Anthony of Padua in 2006 View from Una river
Mausoleum and the church in seventies of twenty century Remains of the church, tomb of the Bihać nobility, tower and mausoleum Remains of the church Remains of the church
Bell towerRemains of the church, detail  

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