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

Old wooden mosque in Miljevići, the site and remains of the historic monument

gallery back

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 3 to 9 July 2007 the Commission adopted a






The site and remains of the historic monument of the old wooden mosque in Miljevići, Municipality Olovo, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the site where the mosque stood and the harem. 

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 558, cadastral municipaltiy Gurdići, title deed no. 78/02, 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, display and rehabilitate the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the rehabilitation and preservation 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 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, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision.

  • the National Monument shall be rehabilitated in its original form, with identical dimensions, with the use of the original or the same type of material and the original building methods wherever possible, on the basis of the documentation on its original form constituting an integral part of this Decision, 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;
  • during the rehabilitation project, the methods of conservation, reconstrution (anastylosis and repristination) and restoration shall be used;
  • the reconstruction of all parts for which there is no reliable documentation shall be treated during the project by analogy with similar properties in this part of the world (wooden mosques and wooden churches) in a manner that ensures their interpolation is clearly identifiable.



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 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.




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.



4 July 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.

On 29 June 2007 the Majlis of the Islamic Community in Olovo submitted to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments a proposal to designate the old wooden mosque in Miljevići as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On the basis of this proposal, 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, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.

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 village of Miljevići is about 8 km to the east of Olovsko Luka, and 12 km from the centre of Olovo Municipality. The mosque is at the very edge of the village, on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 558, cadastral municipaltiy Gurdići, title deed no. 78/02, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

There is no reliable information concerning the date when the mosque in Miljevići was built.  According to the information provided by the Olovo Islamic Community, it was built in 1598, but there is no specific evidence of this.  What is certain is that it was renovated in 1936.

The mosque may be dated on the basis of its architectural resemblance to the mosque in the village of Karići near Vareš(1) which, according to Fr. Bernardin Matić and Prof. Dr. Fr. Ignjacije Gavran, was built in 1716 by one Šerif pasha(2). Since the mosque in Miljevići had similar features to those of the Karići mosque, it too could date from the 18th century.

Juma prayers (congregational Friday prayers) were performed in the mosque, which was of great importance for the residents of the surrounding villages since it was the only religious building in a radius of several kilometres.

In 1936 the property was renovated and, according to the locals, it was then that it was plastered.

In 1992 the property was set alight and burned down to the ground.


2. Description of the property

The powerful influence of traditional building in Bosnia and Herzegovina gave rise to the distinctive architecture of wooden mosques, seen nowhere else. Whereas in other parts of the Ottoman Empire, particularly Istanbul, familiar systems consisting of a timber frame faced on the outside with weatherboarding were used, leaving only the lines of the facing visible and concealing the frame, this system was not used in Bosnia ande Herzegovina. The buildings to be found in Istanbul and some places in Romania have shallow-pitched roofs clad with hollow tiles, but there are none such in Bosnia, where all the mosques have steeply-pitched roofs usually clad with shingles (Bećirbegović, 1999, p. 90).

Wooden mosques were widespread in the central regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, primarily because of the abundance of high-quality timber as building material. Only a few survive to this day, their numbers further reduced since the recent war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before the war there were 30 such mosques listed, of which only a few were actually in existence; now only three survive(3).

In terms of layout, the mosque in Miljevići belonged to the type of wooden mosque with open portico, hipped roof and wooden minaret. The entrance portico and central prayer space formed a single entity under the same steep hipped roof. The mosque measured roughly 10.60 x 7.00 metres on the outside.

The portico with its sofas was on the north-west side of the building. A feature of this mosque was that the central passageway, usually at mid point, was offset to the west, as a result of which the sofas were unequal in size, that to the north larger than the one in the west corner. The central passageway was about 1 metre wide.

Although the mosque was built on a steeply sloping site, the level of the sofas is almost the same as the ground level, whereas the passageway was sunken. The sofas had a high board surround on three sides.

The central prayer space, measuring 7 x 7 metres, was entered through double wooden doors with prominent decorated door jambs and a round-arched lintel. According to accounts heard by the locals, until 1936 there was a wooden tarih (chronogram) or, as they call it, a levha, over the entrance door, but someone threw it away.

A small wooden mahfil was erected by the north-west wall in the northern corner of the building, supported by two solid wooden uprights with decorated headtrees. The usable height of the interior, from floor to ceiling, was about 4.50 m. The mosque had ceiling joists laid longitudinally, clad with slats more than 4 cm thick.

A light fitting hung from the middle of the ceiling, called an orah (walnut) by the locals, a gift from a hajji and presumably made of walnut wood. The entrance to the minaret was by the western corner of the mosque. The floor consisted of wooden boards 40-50 mm thick.

The mihrab on the south-west wall of the mosque had no particular decoration. The mihrab niche terminated in a semidome and had no stalactite decorations.

A simple wooden ćurs (pulpit) stood by the eastern corner of the mosque, as well – according to the locals – as a chest containing archives, or minutes kept by the imam of the mosque. Sadly, all this documentation was burned in 1992.

A simple wooden minaret was built by the southern corner of the mosque. A single row of small rectangular windows with iron grilles could be seen on the outside.

Long beams were used to build the mosque, overlapping at the corners. In the middle (around the windows) were posts to add rigidity to the structure of the walls. The topmost beam also formed the eave purlin. The facades of the mosque were plastered and whitewashed, and the woodwork was painted with green oil paint.

The minaret was also wooden, octagonal in plan, and protruded from the roof to a height of about 4.5 m. The šerefe (balcony) of the minaret was a regular octagon, with eight wooden uprights. The parapet of the šerefe was about 80 cm in height. The minaret had a polygonal roof with eaves projecting by 25 cm, clad with galvanized iron. The shaft of the minaret was clad with pine boards.

The roof structure of the mosque was extremely simple, consisting of rafters joined by struts.  The very steeply-pitched roof was clad with wooden shingles.

There is a small harem around the mosque with twenty or so old nišan tombstones. Members of the Dedić family, who lived by the mosque, are buried there. The tombstones are of recent date, with only three of any age.

  1. Man’s stone nišan with turban, pleated vertically. The tombstone has no epitaph, but the workmanship indicates that it is the oldest in the harem. It is rectangular in section, measuring 15 x 12.5 cm, with a height of 56 cm. The footstone measures 14 x 12 cm in section and 67 cm in height.

There are also two nišan tombstones in the harem with epitaphs in Arabic script.

  1. Damaged concrete nišan measuring 13 x 11 cm in section with a height of 86 cm, with an impressed epitaph in arebica (Bosnian written in an adapted form of the Arabic script), partly legible. The epitaph reveals that this is the grave of Dedić Pašan, who died in 1323 AH (1905).
  2. Concrete nišan with turban, measuring 18 x 22 cm in section and 80 cm in height, with the following epitaph:

المرحوم المحتاج الي رحمة الله احمد اغا دهديج ابن مه ميش ولد 1288 و قد وفي في شوال 1379 روحيجون الفاتحة

Deceased Ahmed-aga Dedić, may God have mercy on his soul, son of Memiš, born 1288 (1871/72) and died in Shawwal 1379 (April 1960).  [Recite] Fatiha for his soul.


3. Legal status to date

The property was not on the Register of Immovable Monuments, but it has been confirmed by letter from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport, ref. 07-40-4-1386-1/06, that it was recorded.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

No conservation or restoration works have been carried out on the property. Most of the works previously carried out on the property have been on the initiative of the residents of the village.


5. Current condition of the property

During an on-site inspection the following was ascertained;

  • the property was completely destroyed in 1992
  • foundations have been laid and a concrete slab poured, since it is the wish of the local residents to rehabilitate the property
  • timber has been laid out on the plot to dry, which the local residents intend to use to build the property.



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. 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

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.iv. relation to rituals or ceremonies

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

F. Townscape/ Landscape value

G. Authenticity

G.i. form and design

G.ii. material and content

G.iii. use and function

G.iv. traditions and techniques

G.v. location and setting

G.vi. spirit and feeling


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan

-          Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-          Photodocumentation – photographs of the building provided by Olovo Municipality

-          Plan of ground floor

-         Photodocumentation from Olovo Municipality and the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of BiH



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


Fr. Bernard Matić and Prof. Fr. Ignjacije Gavran, Kraljeva Sutjeska Bobovac, Zagreb, p. 70.


1999.   Bećirbegović, Madžida, Džamije sa drvenom munarom u Bosni i Hercegovini (Mosques with Wooden Minarets in BiH) 2nd ed, Sarajevo-Publishing, Sarajevo, 1999


2007.   Mirzah, Fočo, Report


(1) The mosque in Karići is a small mosque with projecting portico and a prayer space measuring 6.3 x 7 metres.  The prayer space was built as a self-contained unit. Long pine planks were used to built the mosque, joined by overlapping at the corners. The planks were 25-30 cm high and 6 cm thick. Uprights were set at intervals on the inside and outside to add rigidity to the structure. The top beam also served as the eave purlin. The mosque had joists over which 4cm thick šašavci laths were laid. The floor of the wooden minaret rested on a substantial wooden beam running across the middle of the building over the joists. The roof structure is simple, consisting of rafters joined by struts. There were rectangular windows in the outer façades. The most was originally clad with shingles. It was totally destroyed during the war, and reconstructed after the war (Bećirbegović, 1999, pp. 75, 76).

(2)  Fr., Bernard Matić and Prof. Fr. Ignjacije Gavran, Kraljeva Sutjeska Bobovac, Zagreb, p. 70.

(3) The best-known wooden mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina were in Karići, Podzvizd, Priluk, u Poljice and Bužim. The mosque in Bosanska Kostajnica, which was octagonal in plan and made of wooden planks with wooden uprights, was demolished in 1929.

Mosque in Miljevići before devastation Site of the mosque after destructionSite, 2007.Harem of the mosque

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