Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Old Prozor fort, the archaeological site and remains

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the „Official Gazette of BiH“ no. 75/07

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 22 to 28 May 2007 the Commission adopted a






The archaeological site and remains of the old fort in Prozor is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of a fortress dating from the late mediaeval and Ottoman periods.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no.668/1 (old survey), corresponding to c.p. 1012 (new survey), Land Register entry no. 344, cadastral municipality Prozor Grad, Municipality Prozor, 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 Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

Protection Zone I consists of part of the rockface below the tower to the relatively level rocky area facing south-east, on the plot defined in clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision as far as the rockface below the tower. 

The following protection measures shall apply in this zone:

  • archaeological investigative and conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed to display the monument shall be permitted, subject to the approval of the Federal Ministry responsible for regional planning (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
  • the site of the National Monument shall be open and accessible to the public, and may be used for educational and cultural purposes;
  • works of any kind to the infrastructure are prohibited unless with the approval of the relevant ministry and subject to the expert opinion of the heritage protection authority;
  • the construction of full-profile roads, houses or any buildings or facilities the construction or operation of which could be detrimentation of the National Monument is prohibited;
  • the dumping of waste is prohibited.

Protection Zone II consists of c.p. no. 1001/2, from which the National Monument may be reached, together with the area around the fort to the south over a distance of about 50 m, and to the sides following the natural lie of the land on plot no. 668/1.

In this zone north of the fort, on plot. no.1001/2, access to the monument should be provided in the form of a footpath.


The Government of the Federation shall be responsible in particular for ensuring that the following measures are implemented:

  • repairs to the monument;
  • drawing up and implementing a programme for the presentation of the National Monument.



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 relevant ministry, 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 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 no 485.




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


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


No: 05.2-02-83/07-3

23 May 2007



Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović


E l u c i d a t i o n




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

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the old Prozor fort to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 485.

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 (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 taken on 7 May 2007
  • Details 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 property are as follows:


1. Details of the property


The river Rama valley covers the area between Mts. Raduša and Ljubuša to the west, Vran to the south, and Vranica and Bitovnja to the north. Prozor is in the Rama valley, at the triple boundary into which the area is divided around the river Rama. Gornja Rama (Upper Rama) is a small valley to the north-west between Mts. Ljubuša and Raduša, the slopes of which enclose it on three sides, with the Prozor fort at the eastern boundary. To the south of Prozor is Donja Rama (Lower Rama), a hilly region running down to the river Neretva. To the east of Prozor is the remaining part of the Rama valley, which has no distinguishing name. Prozor thus stands on the boundary between the gentle Neogene landscape to the west and the limestone region to the south and east.

The old fort in Prozor stands at the exit from the gorge at the south-western edge of the narrow valley in which the centre of the town of Prozor now stands. It is about 2.2 km from the modern town, on the rocky summit of the hill known as Grad, on uneven ground bounded by the gorge, above and close to the confluence of the Prozorčica rivulet and the Kraljevac (or Krajevac) brook. The outskirts, Podgrađe, came into being a few hundred metres to the north of the fort on the chine of the slope.

Historical information

The Rama valley has always been important as a through route, linking the coastal regions with the interior of Bosnia. The road from Neretva county to Uskoplje and Lepenica led through Rama county. One road ran along the Neretva valley from the mouth of the Rama towards Prozor and over the Makljena pass (the watershed between the Vrbas and Rama and the Neretva) to Gornji Vakuf and Uskoplje county in the Vrbas valley. Another ran to the east of Prozor, branching off from the Rama valley at Gračanica and leading over the mountains through the villages of Kranjčići and Ljubunci to emerge at Mejnik (a low watershed between the Vrbas and Neretva), whence it descended to the Vrbas valley. A third road led from Split through Duvno and Prozor and, via the source of the Neretvica, to the central Bosnian mining basin around Kreševo and Fojnica (Filipović, 1932, 2).

In prehistoric and ancient times the area around the river Rama and its tributaries was inhabited and relatively well developed economically. In antiquity, the Rama area was inhabited by the Deretini.  In antiquity and the early mediaeval period the centre of the region was in the western part of Rama. Prozor, located on the edge of the fertile region of Gornja Rama, was the natural location to constitute the central region of the Deretini tribe.  Both in antiquity and later, Rama retained its status as an autochthonous, autonomous district, which probably affected the later course of history in regard to its importance in the early mediaeval period in this part of the world (Bojanovski, 198, 130-132). It is referred to in 12th century sources. The Doclean Priest refers to it as in the district of Podgorja. Where the centre of this county was located at that time is not known.Throughout, it formed part of the mediaeval Bosnian state. A charter of ban (governor) Stjepan II Kotromanić refers to the lord of Rama, Ostoja Pribojević. 

In the 14th and 15th centuries, Prozor was the centre of Rama county. A township took shape below the fort, even though Prozor was in a narrow valley, too small for a sizeable settlement to develop. Of crucial importance for the origins of both the fortress and the township on its outskirts was the transit nature of the river Rama valley. The Prozor fort guarded the approaches to the counties of Neretva and Uskoplje (Vego, 1957, 98).

The earliest reference to the outskirts of the Prozor fort dates from 1366. On 11 August 1633, ban Tvrtko issued a charter outside Prozor, bestowing holdings on Duke Vukac Hrvatinić for valour in the battle against King Ludovic I in 1363.  By the time the fort fell into Ottoman hands, the outskirts had developed into a market town. A defter for 1468/69 also refers to the township on the outskirts of Prozor.

The Grand Council of Dubrovnik noted on 13 February 1433 that their envoy was writing from Prozor in Rama.

The Prozor fort is not noted in any of the three charters issued between 1448 and 1454 by King Alphonse V of Aragon and Naples and King Friedrich II of Rome, confirming Stjepan Vukčić Kosača’s holdings. The river Rama valley clearly did not suffer the same fate as the entire Neretva basin. There is no written evidence that it ever belonged to the Kosača’s (Dinić, 1978, 253).

In mid 1463, the Ottomans conquered the greater part of Bosnia, but the counter-offensive by Hungarian troops, backed by local forces, liberated part of the occupied territory. King Matthias Corvin bestowed Prozor fort on Prince Vladislav Hercegović for his services in the war against the Ottomans in 1463. The wording of the charter differentiates between Duke Vladislav’s holdings as part of his father’s lands from the lands bestowed on him on this occasion together with the counties of Uskoplje and Livno, which are said to be have been subject to the Bosnian king until the collapse of the Bosnian state in 1463. According to Dinić, this would agree with the later division under which Rama county always belonged to Bosnia (Vego, 1957, 98; Dinić, 1978, 253 -254).

It is not known exactly when the Rama area was conquered. The 1468/69 defter [census records] lists the nahija [smallest administrative unit] of Rama with the Prozor fort as the centre of the nahija (with a garrison and a market below the fort). It then belonged to the Neretva kadiluk in the Crown lands vilayet, part of the Bosnian sandžak. The Ottomans maintained a garrison in the fort. A place in the near vicinity of the fort bore the name Solakovine (solak – a type of infantryman in the Ottoman army).

Under the terms of the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in 1530, the entire frontier region and its forts remained under Ottoman rule, including Prozor.  Administratively, they belonged to the Bosnian Bosanskom sandžak (Šabanović, 1982, 55, 80).

There are references to the Franciscan monastery in Šćit from 1514 on (Vego, 1957, 98 – 99).

With the formation of the Klis sandžak in 1538, the Neretva kadiluk came under this new administrative entity, but towards the end of the 16th century the Neretva nahija (Bosnian, together with Konjic) and Prozor were merged with the Sarajevo kadiluk and the Bosnian mulaluk. In the second half of the 17th century, Evliya Çelebi compiled a "list of forts in the seven sandžaks of the Bosnian eyalet," in which the Prozor fort belonged to the Herzegovina sandžak (Çelebi, 1979, 274).  However, the Bosnian Neretva nahija was soon restored to the Sarajevo kadiluk in the Bosnian mulaluk as part of the Bosnian pashaluk. The murdirluk (county) of Rama (Prozor) belonged to the Travnik kajmakamluk (district).  In the new territorial organization of 1865, there is no further reference to Prozor or Neretva (Šabanović, 1982, 120-128, 183, 213, 229, 233).  

The Ottomans maintained a garrison in the fort in Prozor until 1626, when the fort was abandoned.


2. Description of the property

Only a few details are known concerning the old fort in Prozor. No detailed description of the fort has ever been written. Most of the area on which the fort stood is now impassable, overgrown with dense scrub, so that it was impossible to confirm even the little that has been written about it. According to information dating from between the two world wars, there were extensive ruins from the walls of the fort, but they were earthed over (Filipović, 1932, 3).  In 1882 Fr. J. Vladić wrote that the fort in Prozor was called Studenac, but later this name was known to very few people (Filipović, 1932, 8). In the 16th century, Fr. Grgičević wrote of the fortress in Prozor that it was the "central fort of the Klis sandžak. The fort is surrounded by a wall, but contains not a single cannon, nor is anyone living there." (Filipović, 1932, 9). 

The ground plan of the fort is adapted to the lie of the land. The fort consists of two parts: the area surrounded by ramparts, of which only the rampart opposite the tower remained, as far as could be ascertained on site, over a distance of 50 m; and a free-standing tower. The tower is separated from the rest of the fort by a moat, 15 m wide and 4-5 m deep. The tower is D-shaped in plan, with the front wall measuring 11 m and the depth of the rounded section 9 m. Originally, the tower was at least one storey higher, plus the roof frame and the attic space below it. The entrance to the tower was to the south, opposite the other part of the fort. The tower probably had five levels, with the entrance at the second or third level, as was the case with other towers of that date. The door was in the south, front wall, opposite the plateau on which the rest of the fort stood. There was a moat about 15 m wide and up to 5 m deep, probably crossed by a wooden bridge, between the tower and the rest of the fort.  The tower had survived to the fifth level, where there was a loophole. The part of the wall around the loophole was in worse condition than the rest of the wall at that level. Towers similar to this one are tower C in Dobor and the Herceguša tower in Mostar (Bojanovski, 16, illus. 9; 26, illus. 24; 27, illus. 25; 29, illus. 27; Ratković, 1984, 76-77).

There is now a relay on the plateau of the fort to the south of the tower. The rest of the south plateau of the fort is so densely overgrown that it is inaccessible, as are the ramparts on the other three sides, west, north and east, which cannot be made out. The southern part of the plateau is relatively level, and was suitable for building within the ramparts. From the path leading from the north towards the ramparts, a natural passageway between rock faces, it would seem that the entrance to the part of the fort on the south plateau was in the east rampart.


3. Legal status to date

The fortress in Prozor has not previously enjoyed state protection.

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2000, Stage B, Natural, Cultural and Historical Values, drawn up in 1980, listed the old Prozor fort as a Category III monument.

The National Monument is on the Provisional List of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments as Prozor (Rama) – mediaeval Prozor fort, under serial no. 485. 


4. Research and conservation and restoration works



5. Current condition of the property

During an on-site inspection conducted in May 2007 it was found that the mediaeval fort is badly overgrown, apart from a free-standing tower, and that that part of the site is almost impassable.  The exterior revetments of the free-standing tower are in poor condition. The topmost part of the tower is missing. The entrance to the tower has been largely destroyed. Access to the tower is difficult.


6. Specific risks to which the monument is exposed

Natural factors




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

D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

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

D.ii. evidence of historical change

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

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:

-          Copy of cadastral plan

-          Copy of land register entry

-          Photodocumentation of the Commission, photographs taken on site in February 2007

-          Two maps



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


1932.    Filipović, Milenko, Prozor. Jnl of the Geographical Society, vol. XVIII, Belgrade 1932, 1-16.


1938.    Karanović, Milan, Istorijsko-etnografske crtice u župama Rami i Skoplju (Historical and Ethnic Sketches in the Parishes of Rama and Skoplje)  Jnl of the National Museum in Sarajevo, 1938, 73 -94).


1952.    Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Prilozi  povijesti bosanskih gradova pod turskom upravom. Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju i istoriju jugoslovenskih naroda pod turskom vladavinom (Contributions to the History of Bosnian Towns under Turkish Administration, Contributions for Oriental Philology and the History of the South Slavs under Turkish Governance), II/1951, Institute for Oriental Studies in Sarajevo, Sarajevo, 1952, 119-184.


1957     Vego, Marko, Naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države (Settlements of the mediaeval Bosnian state),  Sarajevo, 1957.


1978.    Dinić, Mihajlo, Srpske zemlje u srednjem veku  (Serb lands in the mediaeval period), Belgrade, 1978.


1978.     Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka, Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne Bosne (Urban Settlements of the Mediaeval Bosnian State). Sarajevo, 1978.


1979.      Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis – odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama (Travelogue – Excerpts on Yugoslav countries), ed. H. Šabanović, Sarajevo, 1979.


1981.     Bojanovski, Ivo, Dobor u Usori (sjeverna Bosna) (rezultati arheoloških istraživanja 1969.-1973.g.) (Dobor in Usora [N. Bosnia] [Results of Archaeological Investigations 1969-1973]) Naše starine  XIV-XV, Sarajevo, 1981, 11-38.


 1982.    Šabanović, Hazim, Bosanski pašaluk, postanak i upravna podjela. (Bosnian Pashaluk, origins and administrative division), 2nd. ed, Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1982.


1984.     Ratković, Aleksandar, Srednjovjekovni Mostar i problematika njegovog istraživanja (Mediaeval Mostar and the Issue of Its Study), Naše starine XVI-XVII, Sarajevo, 1984, 75-78.


1988.     Bojanovski, Ivo, Bosna i Hercegovina u antičko doba (Bosnia and Herzegovina in antiquity), Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Works, bk. LXVI, Centre for Balkan Studies, bk. 6, Sarajevo, 1988.









Old fort ProzorThe view on the room under the fortThe aaccess to the fortMain tower
The traces of the rampartThe gorge under the fortThe outskirts “Sotto Prozor”The location of the fort above the gorge

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