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60th session - Decisions

Čurčinica mosque with harem, the site and remains of the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the „Official Gazette of BiH“ no. 97/07.

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

           

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Čurčinica mosque with harem in Livno are hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument stands on a site designated as cadastral plot nos. 1/60, 1/61 and 1/62, Land Register entry no. 221, cadastral municipality Livno, Livno Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation 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.

 

II

 

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 the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.

 

III

           

To ensure the on-going protection of the property, the following measures are hereby stipulated, applicable to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision.

Site of the Čurčinica mosque:

  • the erection of a mosque in a contemporary architectural expression, using modern materials and building methods, is permitted,
  • when designing and building the new mosque, the interpolation of new elements appropriate to the needs of the owner of the property shall be permitted, provided that the entire harem of the mosque is preserved and the surviving nišan tombstones in the harem are suitably presented,
  • all original fragments of the original building and of nišan tombstones found on the site or on other sites to which they were removed after the demolition of the building must be registered and recorded.  All original fragments shall be appropriately conserved and presented withing the architectural ensemble.

Site of the harem of the Čurčinica mosque:

  • conservation and restoration works on the graves, including the tombstones within the architectural ensemble, must be carried out, 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 Bosnia and Herzegovina.  All tombstones the approximate date of which cannot be determined shall, following suitable conservation, be displayed appropriately.  Any interpolation of a new structure must be wholly subordinate to the neds of the proper protection and presentation of the harem;
  • a conservation and restoration project shall be drawn up for the damaged nišan tombstones in the mosque harem, and their conservation and restoration shall be carried out.

IV

 

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

 

V

 

Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of 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 conservation thereof.

 

VI

 

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

 

VII

 

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

 

VIII

 

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

 

IX

 

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:  09-02-657/03-5                                                                         

23 May 2007

Sarajevo                                                                                        

 

Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović

 

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.

On 17 March 2003 the Commission received a petition from the Centre for Islamic Architecture for the designation of the Čurčinica mosque in Livno as a national monument.

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 and current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and copy of proof of title)
  • 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

Location

The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Čurčinica mosque with harem in Livno are located on a site designated as cadastral plot nos. 1/60, 1/61 and 1/62, Land Register entry no. 221, property of the Majlis of the Islamic Community of Livno, cadastral municipality Livno, Livno Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The National Monument stands at the corner of Gabrijel Jurkić and Marko Marulić streets.  Access to the National Monument is from the north-west, from Marko Marulić streeet.

The main axis of the Čurčinica mosque lies north-west/south-east, with the entrance to the north-west. The mihrab wall is to the south-east.

The harem of the mosque is at the north-western or entrance part of the site.

Historical information

The Čurčinica mosque in Livno was the last mosque to be built in the town.

There is no precise information as to the date when it was built. Local tradition has it that it was built in or around 1870. It acquired its name from its builder, one Ćurčić. A forebear of the Ćurčić's of Livno, one Salih-aga, moved to Sarajevo in1696 and settled in the Jahja Pasha mahala. The Ćurčić family of Sarajevo took care of the maintenance of the mosque in Livno.

Salih-aga Ćurčić, a prominent buljukbaša (Janissary captain) at the time of the great war of 1683 to 1699, rebuilt the Jahja Pasha mosque in Sarajevo, which had been damaged in the great fire of 1697. After this, the mosque and mahala were named the Ćurčić mosque and Ćurčić mahala after him.

During the 1992-1995 war, on 24 March 1994 to be precise, the Čurčić mosque was mined and totally destroyed(1).

The remains of the mosque were removed from the site in October 2006.

 

2. Description of the property (2)

In terms of layout, the Čurčinica mosque in Livno belongs to the type of single-space mosque with stone minaret. The mosque had no portico, and had a hipped roof.

The exterior dimensions of the mosque were apperox. 7 x 11 m.

The mosque was built of stone blocks. The stone walls were whitewashed on the inside and plastered on the outside.

The interior is formed by four walls bearing the load of the hipped roof.

The hipped roof was clad with tiles.

The openings in the entrance facade of the building were in two rows.

The first row consisted of two rectangular windows, one on each side of the entrance door.  The windows had simple frames made of stone blocks on the outside, painted blue, and were fitted with grilles.

The entrance also had a frame of simply moulded stone blocks, also painted blue.

The top row consisted of a single window directly above the door, identical to those at ground-floor level but without a grille.

The interior of the mosque contained a mihrab and mimber.

Burial ground beside the Čurčinica mosque

When visiting the mosque in the 1970s, Mehmed Mujezinović recorded that the harem of the mosque contained ten or so nišan tombstones of fairly recent date, very finely decorated with plant designs.

On 27 March 2007, during preparations for the adoption of a final decision on the property, an associate of the Commission, the calligrapher Hazim Numanagić, visited the harem of the mosque and identified and described the following nišan tombstones:

1. Man’s headstone nišan with pleated turban, square in section 48 x 48 cm with a height of 225 cm, on a grave with a stone surround measuring 220 x 114 cm. The nišan bears an epitaph in thuluth Arabic script, written in Turkish Arabic, inscrbed in nine panels. The footstone is rectangular in section, 42 x 45 cm, with a height of 215 cm.

اثر كاب جنان ارجعي الي ربك ندا سنه لبيك يا رب ديه رك دلر فنا دن دار بقايه رحلت ايدوب كل شيء هالك الا وجهه هو الحي الباقي الذي لا يموت المرحوم و المغفور له المحتاج الي ربه الغني المنان الحاج محمد اغا ابن اسماعيل اشكة روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1290

He responded to the call of eternity, “Return to thy Lord,“ and passed away from this transient abode to the Eternal Abode. All things perish but the face of God.  He is the Living, the Eternal, who dieth not.  Deceased hajji Muhamed-aga, son of Ismail Šćeto, rest his soul in need of the mercy of the Lord who hath and giveth. [Recite] Fatiha for his soul.  Year 1290 (1873/74).

 (M.Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH-III, p. 112)

2. Headstone nišan with damaged woman's cap, square in section 26 x 26 cm with a height of 143 cm, on a grave with a stone surround measuring 198 x 100 cm. The footstone nišan is rectangular in section 25 x 21 cm with a height of 140 cm. The epitaph on the nišan, in Arabic, is damaged in part.

هو الحي الباقي المرحومة و المغفورة لها المحتاجة الي رحمة ربها الغفور مريم بنت الحاج مصطفي جرجيك.

He is the Living, the Eternal. Deceased Merjema, daughter of hajji Mustafa Čurčić, rest her soul, depending on the mercy of her Lord who forgiveth..................(damaged).

(M.Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH-III, p. 112. Mujezinović reads the surname as „Čatić“ and the year of death, which is now indecipherable, as 1278 = 1861/62)

3. Headstone nišan, octagonal in section with sides of 15.5 and 16.5 cm , with a height of 230 cm. The grave has a high stone surround measuring 232 x 118 cm with a height of 55 cm. The footstone nišan is also octagonal in section, with sides of 18 and 14 cm and a height of 200 cm. The epitaph has been eroded with the passage of time.

(M.Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH-III, p. 112. This may be the nišan of Zejneba, daughter of Mahmud efendi, 1278-1861/62)

4. Headstone nišan, octagonal in section with sides of 20.5 and 13.5 cm and a height of 193 cm. The grave has a high stone surround measuring 232 x 108 cm with a height of 32 cm. The footstone nišan is also octagonal in section, with sides of 19.5 and 16.5 cm and a height of 193 cm. The epitaph on the nišan is in thuluth Arabic script in the Turkish language.

اثر طاب جنان ارجعي الي ربك ندا سنه لبيك يا رب ديه رك دلر فنا دن دار بقايه رحلت ايدوب كل شيء هالك الا وجهه هو الحي الباقي الذي لا يموت المرحوم و المغفور له المحتاج الي ربه الغني المنان المرحوم و المغفور له المحتاج الي ربه الغني محمود بن اسماعيل اشكة روحيجون لله الفاتحة سنة 1295

He responded to the call of eternity, “Return to thy Lord,“ and passed away from this transient abode to the Eternal Abode. All things perish but the face of God. He is the Living, the Eternal, who dieth not.  Deceased Mahmud, son of Ismail Šćeto, rest his soul in need of the mercy of the Lord, which he hath and giveth. [Recite] Fatiha for his soul. Year 1295 (1878).

(M.Mujezinović Islamska epigrafika BiH-III, p. 113)

5. Man’s nišan with pleated turban with a single fold, measuring 30 x 30 cm in section with a height of 194 cm. There is no epitaph on the nišan. The grave has a stone surround measuring 229 x 121  cm.

6. Headstone nišan, octagonal in section with sides of 15.5 cm and a height of 144 cm. The grave has a high stone surround measuring 212.5 x 122.5 cm with a height of 54 cm. The entire length of the surround is carved with a floral ornament painted blue and red. The footstone nišan, which has fallen to the ground, is also octagonal in section, with sides of 15 cm and a height of 131 cm. The epitaph on the nišan is in thuluth Arabic script, so minute that it is hard to decipher, and is damaged in part.

ارجعي االي ربك ........................ خليل اغا بن خليل اغا غفر الله له و لوالديه و لمن .......... روحيجون الفاتحة سنة 1267

„Return to thy Lord“.............Halil-aga, son of Halil-aga, Allah has forgiven him, his parents and he.............[Recite] Fatiha for his soul. 1267 (1850/51).

(M.Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH-III, p. 112. Mujezinović reads the surname that I was unable to decipher as Ćato)

7. Damaged stone nišan in the form of a stela, measuring  34 x 17 with a height of 100 cm. The stone surround of the grave measures 205 x 109 cm. The nišan has no epitaph.

8. Headstone man’s nišan with turban measuring 34 x 31 cm with a height of 214 cm, on a grave with a stone surround measuring 242 x 117 cm. The turban is both handsome and unusual.  The vertical pleats of the turban are bisected in the middle, forming a panel on which is carved a floral ornament with fleur de lis. The neck of the nišan is moulded, and there is also a floral ornament with a fleur de lis above the epitaph, which is written in a combination of Arabic and Turkish.

اثر طاب جنان ارجعي الي ربك ندا سنه لبيك يا رب ديه رك دلر فنا دن دار بقايه رحلت ايدوب كل من عليها فان و يبقي وجه ربك هو الحي الذي لا يموت المرحوم و المغفور له المحتاج الي رحمة ربه الغني الحاج حسن بن الحاج خليل جيزميك روحيجون لله الفاتحة سنة 1271 غره ش

He responded to the call of eternity, “Return to thy Lord,“ and passed away from this transient abode to the Eternal Abode.  All things perish but the face of God.  He is the Living, the Eternal, who dieth not.  Deceased Hasan, son of Halil (Mujezinović reads this as Salih) Čizmić,.rest his soul in need of the mercy of the Lord which he hath and giveth. [Recite] Fatiha for his soul.  Year 1271, at the beginning of the month of Sha'ban (April 1855).

(M.Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH-III, p. 111)

9. and 10. Two graves with no nišan tombstones, but only the remains of surrounds.

11. Nišan dug up and left on the ground during excavations of the site where the new mosque is to be built. The headstone nišan with turban is square in section, 33 x 33 cm with a height of 170 cm. The nišan has no epitaph. The footstone nišan is also square in section, 30 x 30 cm with a height of 190 cm. Parts of the stone surround are also lying beside the nišan.

 

The harem also contains the remains of nišan tombstones that were apparently dug up during excavations of the area where the mosque formerly stood.

The nišan tombstones recorded by Mujezinović are still in the harem, except that we were unable to find that of Nuraga Šćeto, son of hajji Muhamed-aga.

 

3. Legal status to date

There is no information pertaining to legal protection of the property.

 

4. Research and conservation and restoration works

There is no information pertaining to works on the property to date.

 

5. Current condition of the property

The Čurčinica mosque in Livno was extensively damaged during the 1992-1995 war. It was destroyed by dynamite in 1994. In late 2006 all the remains of the mosque were removed from the site in order to begin building a new mosque.

In order to rebuild the mosque, the Majlis of the Islamic Community in Livno initiated the process of drawing up project documentation for the new mosque to be built on the site of the old one. Two alternative designs were drawn up, one by architect Kemal Zukić and the other by architect Salih Teskeredžić.

During an on site inspection in late March 2007, the following was ascertained:

  • the entire remains of the mosque, including the foundations, have been removed from the site,
  • in order to remove the remains of the mosque, two graves alongside the north-east and south-east mosque walls were also demolished,
  • the south-west area of the site contains the remains of broken nišan tombstones which Majlis representatives claim were discovered in the foundations of the mosque. Carefully executed decoration can be seen on these remains, which bear no signs of any plaster,
  • the north-west part of the mosque site contains eight (8) graves with nišan tombstones.

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.iii. proportions

D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

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

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.ii. meaning in the townscape

 

            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

o        Copy of cadastral plan no. 230 CXVI 910

o        Copy of land register entry no. 221

o        File on the property forming part of the Register of Mosques in BiH compiled by the Centre for Islamic Architecture

o        Outline design by architect Teskeredžić

o        Report by calligrapher Hazim Numanagić on the identification of the nišan tombstones in the mosque harem

o        Photodocumentation (photograph of the property prior to destruction and photographs taken during preparations to adopt a final decision on the property)

 

Bibliography     

During the procedure to designate the architectural ensemble of the Čurčinica mosque with harem in Livno as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:

 

1998.    Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic epigraphics of BiH), Bk III, 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998.

            Documentation received from the Centre for Islamic Architecture and the Majlis of the Islamic Community in Livno

 


(1) Source: file of the monument enclosed with the petition form to designate the property as a national monument, submitted by the Centre for Islamic Architecture, Sarajevo.

(2) The description of the property is taken from the description by Mehmed Mujezinović and a photograph of the property prior to its destruction.



Čurčinica mosque before destruction Livno - The site of the Čurčinica mosqueThe site of the mosqueThe remains of the harem
Remains of nisan tombstonesDemolished tombstoneDetail on the tombstone  


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