Status of monument -> National monument
Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH” no. 75/08.
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
D E C I S I O N
The architectural ensemble of the Milošnik (Bušatlija or Milosnik) mosque with harem in Livno is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument consists of the mosque, the harem with burial ground and mejt-taš (stone for where the deceased is laid during funeral prayers) and mekteb, with the fountains to the south-east of the mosque.
The National Monument stands on cadastral plot no. 5/552, Land Register entry no. 539, title deed no. 720, property of the Majlis of the Islamic Community of Livno, cadastral municipality Livno, Livno Municipality, 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, 6/04 and 51/07) 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 providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, restoration, 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 the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
To ensure the on-going protection of the property, the following measures are hereby stipulated, which shall apply to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision.
- all works on the property are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works and renovation/reconstruction works, including works designed to display the property, with 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,
- all works that could be detrimental to the National Monument, including the erection of temporary or permanent structures not designed solely for the protection and presentation of the National Monument, are prohibited.
In order to restore the National Monument and restore it in part to its original condition, the following emergency protection measures are hereby stipulated:
- restoration of the stone sofas in the mosque portico,
- conservation and restoration of the painted decoration in the mosque portico,
- conservation and restoration of the painted decoration on the mihrab,
- removal of the wooden partition in the mahfil,
- removal of the panelling on the walls of the main prayer space and mahfil,
- removal of the carpeting from the paving stones of the main prayer space,
- painting the flat ceiling inside the building and the mahfil ceiling in colours appropriate to the interior of the mosque,
- removal of self-sown vegetation from the ground floor of the mekteb where the fountains are located and of moss from the walls of the fountains.
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 conservation thereof.
The Government of the Federation, the Federal ministry responsible for regional planning, the heritage protection authority of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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.
13 September 2007
Chair of the Commission
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 Milošnik (Bušatlija) 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
The architectural ensemble of the Milošnik (Bušatlija or Milosnik) mosque with harem in Livno is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 5/552, Land Register entry no. 539, title deed no. 720, property of the Majlis of the Islamic Community of Livno, cadastral municipality Livno, Livno Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The main axis of the Milošnik mosque is north-west/south-east, with the entrance to the north-west and the mihrab wall to the south-east.
The burial ground by the mosque is beside the north-east wall.
The mekteb and fountains are to the south-east of the mosque.
Members of the Bušatlija family became leading figures in Livno after the decline in power of the former leading family, the Firdus. The Bušatlija family is descended from Ali-pasha Skopljak, vali of Herzegovina in the late 17th century. The family produced some outstanding warriors who succeeded one another in the post of alajbeg (spahi commander) of the Klis sandžaka. (Ahmed Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 110, 191).
During the occupation of Livno by the Austro-Hungarian army, Mahmut-beg, Derviš-beg, Muhamed-beg and Ali-beg of the Bušatlija family, together with a number of prominent people from Livno, were at the forefront of the insurrection movement. After the fall of the town in August 1878, Derviš-beg was executed by firing squad and his family moved to Turkey, to his brother Osam-beg. His son Ibrahim-beg built him a turbe (mausoleum) on the spot where he was executed. Muhamed-beg, Derviš-beg's brother, and his family also went to Turkey. Mahmut-beg, Derviš-beg's cousin, and Muhamed-beg, with his son Ali-beg and his other children, moved to Bugojno, where he died.
After they left Livno there were no more members of the Bušatlija family there (Ahmed Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 191-200).
According to the inscription over the entrance, the Milošnik mosque was restored by Muhamed-beg Bušatlija in 1875. Despite this reference to a restoration, there is no written evidence of a religious building on this spot before the Milošnik mosque was built.
Local tradition has it that the mosque was built by the brothers Derviš-beg and Muhamed-beg Bušatlija. The name Milošnik or Milosnik derives from the fact that they built the mosque on a site that had no place of worship nearby.
The chronogram over the entrance to the mosque, written in verse in Turkish, is carved on a stone plaque measuring 1.60 x 0.50 m. The calligrapher used a special kind of jali script to write the chronogram, making it hard to decipher in places.
The right-hand corner above the inscription contains the basmala ("In the name of God....") in the form of a tughra, and the left hand corner the words ma sha'Allah ("As God wills"), also as a tughra.
The tarih (chronogram) on the Milošnik mosque reads:
"That which had become decrepit/ was restored by Emir Muhmed Bušatlija, the fortunate/ so as to become like a pearl/O One and only [God], our Refuge, protect the benefactor.../and bestow on him long life/.../Paradise Firdaus.../O Lord, make this mosque eternal/ and may it always belong to Muslims.../ For those who pray in this mosque/ open for them the gates of paradise/.../.../.../Mujawhar tarikh in fine words...
(trans. M. Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH, bk.III, 110).
Calculating the numeric values of the letters in the last hemistich gives the year the mosque was built. According to Mehmed Mujezinović, it was built in 1292 AH, or 1875 CE.
Beside the mosque, to the south-east, a mekteb was built with fountains with running water on the ground floor. The five spigots, fed by a source above Livno via special waterpipes, have never run dry (Ahmed Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 192,193).
To provide for the maintenance of the mosque, a house and a shop were endowed; these disappeared before World War II. The vakuf (pious endowment) also included, as well as the mosque, four of Livno's burial grounds, the harem by the mosque and three smaller harems as well, including the harem with Derviš-beg's turbe, where three residents of Livno were buried who were executed by firing square in 1878 by representatives of the Austro-Hungarian authorities. The vakufnama (deed of pious endowment) of the mosque has not survived (Ahmed Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 192).
The mosque remained in use until World War II, when it was badly damaged by shelling. The roof, flat ceiling, mimber and minaret were damaged. The minaret was removed on account of the damage at the end of the war.
The mosque has twice been renovated, in the 1970s and in or around 2000. The first renovations entailed certain changes to the interior of the mosque. The works were carried out under the supervision of members of the heritage protection authority, the City Institute of Mostar.(1)
After the 1992-1995 war, right up until 2007 the mosque was used for two of the five daily prayers, and a mekteb (Islamic primary school) was held in the mahfil.
Though now restored, the building is not currently in regular use.
There is a small burial ground by the mosque, with only one nišan tombstone – a small octagonal nišan, damaged and with no epitaph.
There is also a mejt-taš by the mosque. This is a stone on which the body of the deceased is laid before being taken to the burial ground and buried.
2. Description of the property(2)
The architectural ensemble of the Milošnik (Bušatlija or Milosnik) mosque is inside the Bistrički fort. It has no surrounding wall, and is entered direct from the street, from the north-west.
In layout the Milošnik mosque in Livno belongs to the type of single-space mosque with open sofas and a wooden minaret, which no longer exists.
The mosque has a rectangular ground plan with the sides measuring 7 x 10 m on the inside.
The mosque has stone walls about 85 cm thick, plastered on the outside and whitewashed on the inside.
The interior of the mosque has a wooden ceiling. The hipped roof is clad with tiles.
Until 1944 the Milošnik mosque had a wooden minaret, which was then removed as a result of the damage it had suffered during World War II.(3)
When the mosque was built, the Pirija family tower stood by the south-west wall of the mosque. Local tradition has it that the Bušatlija brothers offered the Pirija family two houses anywhere in the town in exchange for the tower by the mosque, so that they could build a stone minaret. However, the Pirija family refused to sell their tower, so a wooden minaret was built. It is said that the Bušatlija brothers stipulated in the vakufnama that a stone minaret be built beside the mosque if the Pirija family ever agreed to sell the tower. After some time the tower was demolished, but the stone minaret was never built.(4)
The façade of the mosque has two rows of windows. The first has rectangular windows on each side except the north-east façade. They are framed on the outside by simple stone casings. The north-west entrance façade and the south-east façade each have two windows, and the south-west façade has four. The windows are 88 cm in width x 130 cm in height, or 130 x 170 cm including the casings.
According to Dževdet Vrebac, the top of the bottom row of windows was accentuated on the inside by shallow ogee arches until the building was renovated in the 1970s.
The top row of windows consists of two each on the north-west entrance façade and the south-east façade, and four on each of the side façades. These windows are arched, and have simple stone casings. The windows are 88 cm in width x 115 cm in height, or 130 x 160 cm including the casings.
The most representative façade of the mosque is the north-west entrance façade, with a portico open on three sides. Although the portico does not reach the full height of the building, the entrance façade was designed as a single entity. Elements of the historicism that appeared on some buildings in this country in the mid 19th century can be seen in the treatment of the entrance façade. In Livno historicist elements, in this case neo-baroque, feature on the entrance façade of the Zavra mosque.
The portico of the mosque is covered by three small domes, regular hemispheres in shape, supported by stone columns and half-columns joined by round arches made of evenly-cut stone. All the arches are interlinked by thin double iron ties. The transition from the square base to the dome is effected by trompes. All three domes were painted with floral motifs in shades of blue. The central dome had the most representative decoration. After the damage suffered during World War II the domes were restored, and the middle and south-west dome (the one to the right facing the entrance) were not repainted.
The stone columns are circular in section and the half-columns are semicircular. They stand on moulded stone bases. The capitals are double, with relief decoration and mouldings. Judging from the remaining traces, the columns and half-columns were painted with ferrous-red pigment. The same colour was also used for the moulding on the capitals, whereas the relief foliar motifs were painted dark green.
The columns of the mosque are visually extended on the façade by shallow pilasters directly above the columns. These pilasters, which are rectangular in section, are of regular-cut stone and topped by capitals with mouldings.
The wall bearing the portico columns is decorated with octagonal medallions in the axis of the arches. The medallions consist of stone plaques with mouldings, and feature the Star of David with an inscription carved in Turkish and Arabic between the points of the star. The north-east plaque (to the left facing the entrance), which probably bore the inscription Muhammad a.s., fell off some years ago and broke. The place where it was can clearly be seen on the wall. The south-west plaque (to the right facing the entrance) bears the inscription Allah be praised. The inscription on the central plaque is illegible.
The sofas are made of stone(5), framed on all three sides by stone slabs consisting of a single piece of stone on which a moulded stone rail about 20 cm high is mounted. An iron railing is mounted on this low stone rail. The remains of the fixings of the iron entrance gate which no longer exists can be seen on the central columns.
The entrance wall of the mosque is entirely built of stone and, like the rest of the portico, was carefully conceived architecturally and in terms of decoration.
A moulded string course level with the top capital of the half-columns divides the entrance front of the mosque into two levels. The half-columns themselves are divided into three sections. The entire surface of the entrance front of the mosque, regardless of the sections, shows traces of light blue paint.
The lower level has an opening in each section, measuring 195 x 150 cm. The end sections have arched windows measuring 135 x 87.5 cm, in rectangular panels accentuated by a moulding. The upper level has round-arched panels immediately above the windows. Within the panels, with a moulded border and relief decoration, are relief carvings of floral motifs. Traces of dark blue paint can be seen on these panels.
The middle section of the mosque wall has a simple round-arched portal set in a rectangular panel defined by a moulding. The portal is fitted with iron hooks, formerly used to hang a heavy curtain as protection from the wind. Traces of dark green paint can be seen around the arch of the portal.
The arched terminal panel is directly above the portal. Within this panel, which is accentuated by a moulding, is the chronogram recording the renovation (erection) of the mosque.
The wooden doors are also arched.
The interior of the mosque is divided into two sections, the interior sofas leading to the mahfil and from there to the minaret, and the main prayer area. The floor is paved with stone flags.
All the interior walls of the mosque are plastered and whitewashed.
Until the renovations carried out in the 1970s the walls of the main prayer area were painted with plant motifs. One Faginović painted Mecca and Medina on the north-east wall, with Mecca closer to the mihrab and Medina closer to the entrance. Damage to the roof and ceiling during World War II left the building with a leaking roof, and failure to take urgent steps to protect the painted decoration on the walls meant that they were badly damaged, so that it was decided during these renovations to remove the plaster completely, right down to the stone walls.
The lower part of the walls of the mosque is now clad with green-painted panelling.
Between the windows on the upper part of the walls are octagonal medallions with inscriptions in Turkish and Arabic. According to Mujezinović these levhas, which are in excellent calligraphy, date from 1875, when the mosque was built.(6)
Reading clockwise from the mihrab, the inscriptions are as follows: Allah be praised (on the mihrab wall), Abu Bakr, Uthman, Hassan and a medallion with an illegible inscription (on the south-west wall). Reading anticlockwise from the mihrab, the inscriptions are as follows: Muhammad a.s. (on the mihrab wall), Umar, Ali, Hussein, and a medallion with an illegible inscription (on the north-east wall). The mouldings of the medallions and the inscriptions themselves are painted gold and the medallions black.
The interior sofas to the left and right of the entrance are raised above the main prayer area floor by about 20 cm and separated from it by a wooden railing.
An L-shaped wooden staircase leads from the left-hand sofa (when facing the mihrab) to the mahfil. (7)
The wooden structure of the mahfil was formerly supported by two wooden pillars and two semi-pillars against the walls of the building. This structure was altered during the 1970s renovations, when the mahfil was widened somewhat and supported by two concrete piers faced with wooden panelling.
The mahfil is a front mahfil, meaning that it extends along the full length of the entrance wall of the mosque. Half way along the mahfil is a semicircular projection for the muezzin.
The mahfil railing is made of wood.(8)
The mimber, also made of wood, consists of three sections: the portal with steps and balustrade, a top pyramidal section supported by four square uprights, and the triangular side areas below this and the stair railing. The present mimber was made during the 1970s renovation, replacing the badly dilapidated old one, and is rather larger than the original.
According to Manđeral, the mihrab in the Milošnik mosque is a representative work by the artisan Bajo who also made the portal of the Zavra mosque in Livno.(9) Elements of historicism are to be seen in the design of the mihrab.
The mihrab area projects outwards from the wall face by about 40 cm, and may be divided into three vertical and four horizontal sections. The horizontal divisions are effected by moulded string courses. The string courses between the first and second and the third and fourth sections are accentuated by their height and mouldings.
The two identical side sections set symmetrically around the mihrab niche consist of square stone pillars.
The bottom section of shaft of the pillars is plain and has no base. It ends in a capital with relief foliar decoration and mouldings. The second and third sections of the pillars are decorated with geometric relief designs in the form of rectangles. The fourth section of the pillars is bisected by a narrow relief moulding. According to Dževdet Vrebac, the pillars were topped by stylized stone finials with three orbs, now housed in a private museum opposite the mosque. These finials were removed when the mosque was renovated in the 1970s.
The central section of the mihrab contains the semicircular mihrab niche, which extends across two horizontal sections. The remains of a calligraphic inscription in gold can be seen below the moulded string course of the first section.
The mihrab niche ends in an ogee arch, with stalactite decoration painted in three shades of grey.
In the third horizontal section is a circular column directly above the arch, decorated with relief floral designs. To the left and right of this are carved inscriptions on rectangular moulded plaques: Allah be praised (right) and Muhammad a.s. (left).
The fourth horizontal section contains a model of the entrance façade of the Milošnik mosque, on which the building is depicted with a dome.
Colour as well as elaborate relief decoration was used in the design of the mihrab. All the edges and mouldings are painted gold, the relief decoration on the string course between the first and second sections is painted dark green, and that between the third and fourth sections is dark blue.
Within the mihrab niche itself are vertical panels painted alternately light blue and gold. The rectangular within which the arch of the mihrab is set is painted dark red. Traces of light blue pigment can be seen on the pillars.
Burial ground by the Milošnik mosque
There is a small burial ground by the mosque, with only one nišan tombstone – a small octagonal nišan, damaged and with no epitaph.
There is also a mejt-taš by the mosque. This is a stone on which the body of the deceased is laid before being taken to the burial ground and buried. The mejt-taš is 80 cm in height and 230 cm in length. The stone slab of the mejt-taš is finished with mouldings.
Mekteb with fountains
The mekteb is to the south-east of the mosque. It is rectangular in plan, has two storeys, and a hipped roof. The ground floor is stone-built and the first floor is platered.
The ground floor contains five spigots with constant running water. The entrance to the ground floor is from the south-west, through two shallow stonearches. The interior is plastered. Two of the spigots are on the south-west wall and three on the south-east. The latter are set within pointed-arched niches, with the arch accentuated by being set back from the wall face.
This room also contains a simple stone trough.
3. Legal status to date
There is no information concerning legal protection of the property to date.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
According to Dževdet Vrebac, the Milošnik mosque was quite badly damaged during World War II, when shelling damaged the wooden minaret and roof. Over the next three decades the leaking roof resulted in damage to the painted wall decorations, mimber and mahfil of the mosque.
The wooden minaret was removed in 1944 because of the damage it had suffered and the risk that high winds might result in its inflicting greater damage on the mosque itself.
In the 1970s renovation works were carried out under the supervision of members of the heritage protection authority, the City Institute for the Protection of Monuments, Mostar. The works carried out were:
- the flat wooden ceiling was restored, rather higher than before because of sagging,
- the mimber was replaced,
- the mahfil was replaced,
- the painted wall decoration was removed,
- the exterior sofas were restored with concrete.
During the 1992-1995 the property suffered minor damage. Before and immediately after the war the following works were carried out on the mosque:
- wood panelling was mounted on all the inside walls,
- the interior woodwork was painted green,
- the mosque was plastered on the outside,
- the mahfil area was enclosed by wooden partitions.
No technical or written documentation one these works is available, having been burned during the 1992-1995 war in the premises of the City Institute in Mostar and also because the works carried out in the late 20th century were conducted without supervision by members of the heritage protection authority.
5. Current condition of the property
The Milošnik mosque in Livno ceased to be used for prayer in early 2000. Between 2000 and 2007 a mekteb was held in the property.
Although in very good condition, the mosque is being used as a temporary store for property belonging to the Majlis of the Islamic Community.
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
D. Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)
D.i. evidence of historical changes
D.iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner
D.v. evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period
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
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
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
H. Rarity and representativity
H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style
I.i. physical coherence
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of cadastral plan;
- Copy of land register entry;
- Photodocumentation (photograph of the property prior to renovations in the 1970s and photographs taken in August 2007 during preparations to adopt a final decision on the property);
- Architectural drawing of the current condition of the Milošnik mosque, February 2008 (by Commission to Preserve National Monuments).
During the procedure to designate the architectural ensemble of the Milošnik (Bušatlija or Milosnik) 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.
2007. Ahmet Burek, Kameno Hlivno (Stones of Livno), Planjax, 2007.
Information received from Mr Dževdet Vrbac, a resident of Livno
(1) Information on the history of the mosque and its renovation was provided in August 2007, in the course of gathering documentation on the property, by Dževdet Vrebac, an elderly resident of Livno living in his family house very close to the Milošnik mosque.
(2) The description of the property is based on a tour of the building while gathering documentation on the property in August, without the assistance of any technical documentation, which has been lost.
(3) Ahmet Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 192.
(4) Ahmet Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 193, and also stated by Dževdet Vrebac
(5) When the property was renovated in the 1970s the sofa was concreted over.
(6) Mehmed Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH, 110.
(7) According to Dževdet Vrebac the steps leading to the mahfil were originally different from this.
(8) In order to provide a place to hold classes in the mekteb, after 2000 the mahfil was enclosed by wooden partitions, which could easily be removed.
(9) Ahmet Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 192.