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

Bridge over the Duman, the historic building

gallery back

Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH” no. 60/08.

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






The historic structure of the bridge over the Duman in Livno is 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 no. 4/271, Land Register entry no. 1, 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, 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, applicable to the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 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 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 protect the National Monument, the following emergency protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          clearing the bridge of self-sown vegetation;

-          removing the pipes from the upstream façade of the bridge;

-          removing the concrete parapet replacing the broken sections of the stone parapet;

-          removing the concrete topping added to increase the height of the parapet;

-          reconstructing the original parapet.


To ensure the ongoing protection of the property, a buffer zone is hereby prescribed, consisting of the plots immediately adjoining the National Monument and extending as far as the source of the river Bistrica, covering cadastral plots nos. 41 (part, over a length of 100 m downstream from the bridge), 43, 44, 45, 132 (part, over a length of 100 m downstream from the bridge), 133 (part, over a length of 100 m downstream from the bridge), 134, 150, 151, 197, 198, 201, 202, 258, 259, 260, 261, 269 (part, over a length of 100 m downstream from the bridge), 271, 273, 274 (part, over a length of 100 m downstream from the bridge), 299 and 300.

In this buffer zone, the construction of new buildings or any other works that could pose a threat to or be detrimental to the National Monument and its environs are prohibited.




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 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.


No: 09.2-193/04-5

13 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 24 June 2004 the Commission received a petition/proposal from Livno Municipality for the designation of the bridge over the Duman 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.



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 historic building of the bridge over the Duman in Livno is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 4/271, Land Register entry no. 1, cadastral municipality Livno, Livno Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

The Ottoman Empire had a military presence in the Livno plain as early as 1463, when Livno fell to the Ottomans for the first time, during the reign of Mehmed II. That same year troops belonging to Hungary's King Matthias Corvinus, assistaed by Duke Vladislav, son of Herceg Stjepan, succeeded in recapturing several towns in Bosnia, including Livno. Between 1463 and 1469 Livno changed hands several times, until it finally came under Ottoman imperial rule in late 1469.

At first Livno belonged to the Neretva vilayet and kadiluk, part of the Bosnian sandžak.  The headquarters of the kadiluk, founded in 1470, were in Konjic. With the formation of the Klis sandžak in 1537, the Neretva and Skradin kadiluks were removed from the Bosnian sandžak and merged with the Klis sandžak.

The year the Klis sandžak was founded, 1537, a small square pool, 3 metres deep, was excavated at the source of the Bistrica river known as Duman (from the Turkish duman – mist, dust). This pool still exists. An inscription was carved on the Duman cliffs recording the construction of the pool by Mustafa-aga. It is not known whether this was done to celebrate the conquest of Klis. Evliya Çelebi refers to the inscription in his travelogue. Mehmed Mujezinović did not find the inscription on the rocks when visiting Livno (Ahmed Burek, Kameno Hlivno, 39).

About a hundred metres from the source of the Duman is an old stone bridge over the river Bistrica, known as the bridge over the Duman. There is no written evidence of the bridge.  Though he describes Livno quite extensively and well, Evliya Çelebi does not refer to the bridge over the Duman in his travelogue, though he does mention the source of the Bistrica and records the text of the inscription on the rocks.

Given the absence of any mention in Evliya Çelebi's travelogue, and judging from its architectural features, it could be concluded that the bridge was built in the late 17th or early 18th century, but certainly during the Ottoman period.

Local tradition has it that the bridge was built by leatherworkers whose workshops were close to the bridge. The site downstream from the bridge is still called Tabaci, after leather tanners, but according to Kreševljaković there is no reliable information concerning the existence of tanneries on this site.

It can safely be said, however, that the bridge was built by local masons with only minor influences from Dalmatia. This is corroborated by certain deviations from standard details of Turkish bridge-building, and by the fact that Livno and its environs were traditionally a major centre of quarries, buildings and stonemasons.

The architecture of the bridge reveals similarities with bridges in Mostar and Klepci near Čapljina. (Džemal Čelić and Mehmed Mujezinović, Stari mostovi u Bosni i Hercegovini, 308).

            Local tradition has it that the bridge was built in the late 16th century by Balagi-pasha, who built the Balaguša mosque in Livno. There is no written evidence corroborating this, however.(1)  

            Later interventions, carried out after World War II, in the immediate vicinity of the bridge have diminished its architectural beauty.


2. Description of the property(2)

The initial impression of the bridge over the Duman is that it spans the river with a single arch. In fact, as well as its main course the Bistrica has a parallel branch at this point at a higher level, by the right bank; the bridge links the two opposite banks by spanning the main watercourse with one larger arch (with a span of 8.27 m) and the other at a higher level with a smaller arch (with a span of 2.16 m). These two sections of the bridge are so far apart (6.18 m) and so distinct, compositionally speaking, that the overall impression of a single-arched bridge is the one that matters, while the smaller arch seems to be more of an oversight.

The arch of the bridge is built of accurately cut stone, mainly limestone with a lesser quantity of tufa. The limestone and tufa are built into the bridge in no particular order, and the joints are arranged radially. The barrel is about 34 cm thick. The stones are laid in horizontal courses along the depth of the barrel.

The arches of both the larger and the smaller barrel appear to be semicircular. Accurate measurements and careful observation reveal that here, as in Mostar and Klepci, the curve approaches an oval or ellipse; the span of 82.7 m corresponds to a rise of 3.80 m. The overall height of the larger barrel from summer water level to the intrados is about 4.40 m, including the height of the springers of the barrel, made of more roughly cut blocks. At the top of the springers, a horizontal projecting course of blocks resembling a string course accentuates the start of the vault. A certain ovoid deformation of the line of the arch towards the right bank can also be seen, but this is obviously the result either of somewhat inaccurate work or of later subsidence. The arches of the smaller barrel are not semicircular either, but unlike the larger, they are more than half the diameter (1.19 m).

On the facades the arches of both barrels are framed on the extrados by secondary, moulded projecting arches 10-12 cm in height.  These are indubitably decorative, not structrural, forming a kind of cornice the only purpose of which is to add still greater emphasis to the line of the arches, separating them from the spandrels supported by the barrel.

The spandrels, built as usual of rather more roughly finished stone of the same kind and of unequal size, with rough joints, are almost flush with the arches, as a result of which the line of the secondary arches is the more prominent on both sides. This accentuated edging to the arches appears to be a specific feature, probably under the influence of nearby Dalmatia where, at the time the bridge was built, the influence of the Baroque led to the frames of arches being enriched with mouldings.

The width of the bridge, measured as the distance between the facade walls, is not the same over the full length of the bridge, and is about 3 m.

The peculiar nature of the Bistrica riverbed where the bridge was built dictated the construction of a long bridge (27.60 m), even though the openings are relatively small. The length also called for long approach ramps, along which the roadway rises gently to the middle of the main opening. The line of the original roadway is indicated on the bridge by a simply moulded, quite well finished stone cornice, to the top of which the korkaluk (parapet) is fixed.

The regular slabs of the parapet are about 72 cm high and vary in with from 58 cm to almost 3 metres. The parapet is fixed to the cornice in a rather unusual way: the parapet projects outwards at the extreme edge of the cornice, so that the top of the projection is not accentuated sculpturally, diminishing its independent visual impact.

            The spandrels of the bridge widen towards the footings on both upstream and downstream sides of the bridge, forming something resembling buttresses. This comes to an end about a metre before the main opening. A kind of wing wall was created by the right bank up to the main barrel. These components appear to have been an integral part of the bridge from the start, though it is not impossible that they were built during repairs at some time.


3. Legal status to date

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SRBiH no. 959/51, registry no. 222, the bridge over the Duman in Livno was entered in the Register of immovable cultural monuments.


4. Research and conservation and restoration works

Recent repairs have somewhat altered the appearance of the bridge.

The fall of the roadway has been reduced by resurfacing on both sides, covering the original cobbled surface. Parts of the parapet that had fallen off have been replaced by a concrete parapet, while elsewhere the parapet has been raised in height by adding a concrete topping to compensate for the loss of height resulting from the resurfacing of the roadway.           


5. Current condition of the property

The bridge over the Duman is in good structural condition. It is used only as a footbridge.

A very large diameter pipe has been laid right by the upstream facade of the bridge, level with the spandrels, spoiling the entire appearance of the bridge.

It was difficult to make a proper survey of the bridge not only because of this pipe, but also because of self-sown vegetation and newly-built houses in the immediate vicinity.



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

C.iv.      composition

D.         Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

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

E.         Symbolic 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

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


The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan;

-          Copy of land register entry;

-          Photodocumentation (photographs taken in August 2007 during preparations to adopt a final decision on the property)



During the procedure to designate the architectural ensemble of the bridge over the Duman in Livno as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:


1998.    Čelić, Džemal and Mujezinović, Mehmed, Stari mostovi u Bosni i Hercegovini (Old Bridges in BiH), Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998.


2007.    Ahmet Burek, Kameno Hlivno, Planjax, 2007.


(1) The tradition of the building of the bridge was recounted by Dževdet Vrebac, an elderly resident of Livno, while documentation was being gathered on the bridge in August 2007.

(2) The description of the property is taken from the description given by Džemal Čelić and Mehmed Mujezinović in their Stari mostovi u Bosni i Hercegovini, 308-311.

Bridge over the DumanLivno, Bistrica and bridge over the DumanPhoto of the bridge by Čelić and MujezinovićDownstream façade of the bridge
Upstream façade Bridge -  cobblestones  

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