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

Necropolis with stećak tombstones in the locality of Mramorje, Hrid settlement in Međurječje, the historic area

gallery back

Status of monument -> National monument


Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH”, no. 13/10.

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 11 to 17 September 2007 the Commission adopted a






The historic site of the necropolis with stećak tombstones at Mramorje in the village of Hrid in Međurječje, Municipality Čajniče is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot nos. 2806/1, 2806/2, 2806/3 and 2806/4 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 465, cadastral municipality Batovo, Municipality Čajniče, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The provisions relating to protection measures set forth by the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 9/02 and 70/06) shall apply to the National Monument.




The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the investigation, protection, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with 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 on the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-       all works are prohibited other than archaeological investigation works and conservation works, including those designed to display the monument, with the approval of the ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority);

-       the construction of new buildings is prohibited, as is the erection of temporary facilities or permanent structures not designed solely for the protection and presentation of the monument;

-       construction or other works that could have the effect of altering the site or its surroundings are prohibited;

-       infrastructure works are permitted solely subject to the approval of the relevant ministry and the expert opinion of the heritage protection authority;

-       the dumping of waste is prohibited;

-       the site of the monument shall be open and accessible to the public and may be used for educational and cultural purposes.


The following works shall be carried out in order to implement urgent protection measures on the National Monument:

-       clearing the site of weeds and self-sown vegetation;

-       making good the southern edge of the necropolis by the road at the crossroads where tombs can be seen;

-       improving the access to the necropolis;

-       drawing up a programme for the presentation of the National Monument




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




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




The Government of Republika Srpska, the relevant ministry and 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 – 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 day following its publication 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: 05.2-2-253/05-5

12 September 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 26 September 2005 the Sinan-pasha Sijerčić Society for the Preservation of the Natural and Civilizational Heritage of Goražde submitted a petition/proposal to designate the Mramorje necropolis with stećak tombstones in Hrid, Međurječje, Municipality Čajniče 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.



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 registry entry).

-       Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on restoration or other works on the property, etc.

-       Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.


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


1. Details of the property


The necropolis with stećak tombstones at Mramorje is in Hrid, by the bridge over the river Janjina, on the road in the western part of the village of Međurječje and environs. Works on the road carried out during the 1992-1995 war at the intersection of the Čajniče-Međurječje and Batovo-Ustiprača roads caused considerable damage to the necropolis. The best access to Međurječje is via the road from Čajniče, some 15 km away.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot nos. 2806/1, 2806/2, 2806/3 and 2806/4 (old survey), Land Register entry no. 465, cadastral municipality Batovo, Municipality Čajniče, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

In late mediaeval times this region belonged to the Upper Drina valley, which was on the borders of the Serbian state until 1377, when it became part of Bosnia as the result of the divisions of the lands of Nikola Altomanović between King Tvrtko I of Bosnia and Serbia's Prince Lazar. As the land-owning Kosača family gained in strength in the late 14th and 15th centuries the area came under the rule of Sandalj Hranić and Herceg Stjepan Vukčić Kosača. A number of Dubrovnik archive documents of that time contain numerous records of trade, artisanal and transit activities in Foča, Goražde and Ustikolina. Richly forested and with fertile valleys, the area was well suited to the development of animal husbandry, apiculture, grain crops and other agricultural produce.

The mediaeval history of the settlement in Međurječje is associated with the Samobor fort, some 4-5 km from Međurječje. The only good road suitable for conveying goods and people on horseback to Samobor was from Međurječje in the south. On 13 October 1461, Herceg Stjepan issued a charter in nearby Međurječje. This is the only reference to the settlement prior to the final Ottoman conquest of this region in the latter half of 1466.

Samobor was also one of the principal strongholds of Herceg Stjepan Vukčić Kosača, inherited from his uncle Sandalj Hranić in 1435. Documents dating from the first half of the 15th century refer to it mainly in reference to envoys from Dubrovnik staying with Sandalj Hranić. A document dating from 13 January 1423 containing the itinerary of a Dubrovnik legation also refers to Sottosamobor, the outskirts of the Samobor fort, where the Dubrovnik emissaries met Sandalj(1). Samobor is referred to again in similar contexts on 19 January 1428, 1430 and 1435(2). However, the fort and its outskirts were seldom the destination of trade caravans: prior to 1435, only three caravans whose destination was Samobor are recorded in historical sources(3).

Samobor is more frequently mentioned during the rule of Herceg Stjepan, but these documents are associated with Ottoman advances in 1465. In the late spring of 1465 the Ottoman army, led by the Bosnian sanjak bey, Isa-beg Ishaković, advanced into the lands of Herceg Stjepan. The first of the Herceg’s forts in the Upper Drina valley to fall into their hands was Samobor(4). Even during the last years of the Herceg's rule in the Upper Drina the outskirts of Samobor did not develop into a significant trade centre, and it was very rare for its inhabitants to incur debts in Dubrovnik, and only then for small sums(5). The exact location of the settlement on the outskirts of Samobor has not yet been identified, but it was presumably Međurječje. Later, along with Čajniče, Međurječje was of considerable importance for this region, right up to the 1992-1995 war.

Although there are only few or no references to places in this part of the world in mediaeval sources, the numerous necropolises with stećak tombstones, local tradition, and the earliest Ottoman sources provide evidence that it was inhabited east and south of Goražde and Ustiprača as far as Čajniče(6).

The area was occupied during the Ottoman offensive that began in the summer of 1465 in the Herceg's lands. First to fall were the eastern parts of his lands, including the forts of Mileševac and Samobor(7).

Between then and 1832, when the fort was abandoned, the Ottomans maintained a permanent garrison there under the command of a dizdar. Given Samobor's importance for the wider region, when nahijas (administrative district) were established, it became the centre of the nahija of Pribud or Samobor(8). Čajniče and Samobor were recorded along with other nahijas and places in the area: Pljevlja, Foča, Goražde, Bistrica with Ustikolina, Osanica and so on, in the defter (official records) of 1468/69 in the nahija of Samobor, in the Hercek Vilajet in the Bosnian sanjak. The nahija of Samobor or Pribud is referred to by its double name until the 18th century.

The nahija of Samobor or Pribud belonged to the Drina kadiluk, and in 1572 there is reference to Čajniče as a kasaba (small town) in the Foča kadiluk. In 1582, Čajniče became an independent kadiluk, to which the nahijas of Pribud and Samobor (formerly a single nahija), Dubštica (with its centre in Rudo) and Međurječje all belonged(9). A mosque was built in Međurječje in the second half of the 18th century.


2. Description of the property

The remains of the necropolis at Mramorje in Hrid in Međurječje now lie on both sides of the road, which was widened at this point and a crossroads made since the 1992-1995 war. The entire necropolis appears to have been on an elevation to the north of the road, while a number of stećak tombstones, of which three can now be identified, ended up on the opposite site of the road in a meadow by the little river Janjina. There is a considerable difference in height between the area to the north of the road and that to the south. The road runs along the Janjina valley, which naturally widens towards the south beside the necropolis, at the crossroads.

The necropolis extended along an elevation north of the road over an area of about 100 m west-east (along part of the road from Čajniče to the crossroads for Ustiprača and Batovo) and about 60 m north-south. Reference works state that 100 stećak tombstones were identified in the necropolis, 98 of them chest-shaped and two ridge-shaped (gabled)(10). The Report on the protective investigative works in 1998 states that there are 62 stećak tombstones in the necropolis, 19 slab-shaped, 27 chest-shaped and 16 gabled. The tombstones are of average workmanship, and were already in a poor state of preservation even when Bešlagić studied them, with many chipped, overturned or shifted out of position(11). They lie west-east. The site is now so overgrown that about 15 stećak tombstones can be seen in a small area. All lie west-east and are arranged in rows running from north to south. It is hard to describe them since only part of the gable can be seen of the occasional gabled tombstone, and only the flat surface of the chest-shaped tombstones. The average measured size of these stećak tombstones is 1 m long x 0.6 m wide.

When the road was widened the southern part of the necropolis was cut off. Stećak tombstones can be seen on the surface of the profile, while in the lower parts of the profile the slabs that formed covers can be clearly seen, often in two rows. The necropolis to the north of the road is on higher ground on which the profile indicates several strata of burials. During the 1998 investigations two test trenches were excavated (6 x 3 m and 5 x 1 m) with a total area of 23 m2, in the damaged area in the southern part of the necropolis. Twenty-seven skeletons were discovered. The deceased were buried in simple earth graves, the depth and bottom of which could not be ascertained because the site had been too badly disturbed. All the graves dated from late mediaeval times. Since the burials were quite closely packed here, the researchers assumed that this was the main area of the necropolis. Judging from the condition of the finds and the few finds of typical late mediaeval pottery, the necropolis dates roughly from the late 14th to the 15th century. Judging from the number of stećak tombstones previously recorded (about 100), it was the necropolis of a rural community.

During excavation of the graves, prehistoric pottery was found, suggesting a prehistoric settlement or burial ground on this high ground above the river Janjina.


3. Legal status to date

The Regional Plan for BiH to 2000, stage B – valorization, includes all the listed necropolises of Čajniče Municipality as a group, under category III.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

Protective and investigative archaeological works on the Mramorje necropolis were carried out from 20 September to 15 October 1998 headed by archaeologist Milka Radoja with a team from the Museum of Republika Srpska (the Report, with 20 attachments, is in the Commission’s documentation and has been transferred to digital form).


5. Current condition of the property

The necropolis is completely overgrown with grass and trees. To the north of the road only 15 or so stećak tombstones can be seen, overgrown with trees at the edge of the trees, to the south of the road, in the meadow by the Janjina, are three tombstones sunk into the ground. The entire site gives the impression of being neglected.


6. Specific risks

-       lack of maintenance

-       impact of 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

C.         Artistic and aesthetic value

D.         Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

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

E.         Symbolic value

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

G.         Authenticity

G.v.      location and setting


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-       Copy of cadastral plan

-       Copy of land register entry

-       Photodocumentation (77 photographs taken on site on 16 May 2007)

-       “Report on Protective Archaeological Investigations Conducted at Mramorje in Međurječje, Municipality Čajniče” compiled by Milka Radoja, architect from the Museum of Republika Srpska (3 pp. text, excerpt from cadastre and 19 drawings of graves and soundings)



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


1892.    Delić, Stevan. “Samobor kod Drine” (Samobor on the Drina), Jnl. of the National Museum in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1892, no. IV, 255-269.


1951.    Jireček, Josip. Trgovački drumovi i rudnici Srbije i Bosne u srednjem vijeku (Trade Routes and Mines of Serbia and Bosnia in Mediaeval Times). Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1951.


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


1971.    Bešlagić, Šefik. Stećci, kataloško-topografski pregled (Stećak tombstones, a catalogue and topographical survey). Sarajevo: Veselin Masleša, 1971, 142-143.


1973.    Petrović, Đurđica. “Arhivsko-istorijska istraživanja,” In: Various authors: Gornje Podrinje u doba Kosača (The Upper Drina Valley in the Time of the Kosačas), research programme no. III/1973. headed by Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. Sarajevo: 1973, 38-85.


1978.    Dinić, Mihailo. “Zemlje hercega Sv. Save” (Lands of Herceg St. Sava) In: Srpske zemlje u srednjem veku (Serbian lands in the mediaeval period). Belgrade: 1978, 178-269.


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


1981.    Kojić-Kovačević Desanka. “Arhivsko-istorijska istraživanja gornjeg Podrinja” (Archival and Historical Research into the Upper Drina Valley) In: Drina u doba Kosača (The Drina in the Time of the Kosačas), Naše starine XIV-XV. Sarajevo: 1981, 109-125.

1982.    Šabanović, Hazim. Bosanski pašaluk (The Bosnian Pashaluk). Sarajevo: 1982.

(1) Jireček, Josip, Trgovački drumovi i rudnici Srbije i Bosne u srednjem vijeku, Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1951, 63.

(2) Jireček, Josip, Ibidem, 1951, 63, 67; Kojić-Kovačević Desanka, Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države, Sarajevo: 1978, 101, n. 106

(3) Kojić-Kovačević Desanka, Ibidem, 1978, 101; Kojić-Kovačević Desanka, “Arhivsko-istorijska istraživanja gornjeg Podrinja”, In: Drina u doba Kosača, Sarajevo: Naše starine XIV-XV, 1981, 117-118.

(4) Dinić, Mihailo, “Zemlje hercega sv. Save”, in: Srpske zemlje u srednjem veku, Belgrade: 1978, 260.; Šabanović, Hazim, Bosanski pašaluk, Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1982, 44.; Vego, Marko, Naselja bosanske srednjovjekovne države, Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1957, 103.

(5) Kojić-Kovačević Desanka, Ibidem, 1978, 101, n.105 and 106, 243, n. 80.

(6) Petrović, Đurđica, “Arhivsko-istorijska istraživanja” in various authors: Gornje Podrinje u doba Kosača, naučnoistraživački program br. III/1973. Led by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Sarajevo: 1973, 38-42.

(7) Vego, Marko, Ibidem, 1957, 28, 97.; Šabanović, Hazim, Ibidem, 1982, 44.

(8) Šabanović, Hazim, Ibidem, 1982, 120.

(9) Šabanović, Hazim, Ibidem, 1982, 117, 120, 136, 139, 195.

(10) Delić, Stevan, “Samobor kod Drine”, Jnl of the National Museum in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1892, no. IV, 255.; Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci, kataloško-topografski pregled, Sarajevo: 1971, 269.

(11) Bešlagić, Šefik, Ibidem, 269-270.



The northern part of the locality of MramorjeThe group of stecak tombstonesStecak tombstoneTombstone

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