Status of monument -> National monument
Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH” no. 103/08.
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 9 to 15 September 2008 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the mosque in Međurječje with harem (the Maldovan pasha mosque), Municipality Čajniče, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument is located on part of the site designated as cadastral plot no. 87/6, title deed no. 467, cadastral municipality Batovo, Međurječje, 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. 9/02,70/06 and 74/08) shall apply to the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for ensuring and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation, presentation and rehabilitation 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.
The following protection measures are hereby stipulated for the site defined in Clause 1 para 2 of this Decision:
- the mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) shall be rehabilitated on its original site in its original form as it was prior to 1967, and later alterations and extensions to the building shall be removed, using the original or the same type of materials and building methods wherever possible, based on documentation on its earlier appearance, with the approval of the ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika srpska;
- all original fragments of the mosque found and assembled on the site or in other places to which they were removed after the destruction of the property shall be registered, catalogued and rebuilt into the reconstructed property. Until such time as they are reintegrated they shall be suitably protected;
- fragments that are too badly damaged to be reintegrated shall be suitably conserved and presented in situ;
- all tombstones found on the site or in other places to which they were removed after the destruction of the property shall be conserved and returned to their original positions wherever possible, on the basis of available documentation. Tombstones for which it is not possible to determine the exact position shall be conserved and suitably presented within the harem of the mosque.
The following measures are hereby stipulated in order to provide the conditions for the rehabilitation of the National Monument:
- the removal of waste matter and clearance of the harem area;
- the conservation and restoration of the remains of the harem wall;
- the removal of the surface layers of soil in order to find further remains of the property, nišan tombstones, and other buildings if any;
- the repair and consolidation of the original parts of the foundations and walls.
On the plots bordering the protected site of the National Monument, all construction is prohibited apart from properties the use of which shall not be detrimental to the meaning of the National Monument, with a maximum height of 6.50 m to the start of the roof frame, i.e. two storeys (ground + 1) and a maximum footprint of 10 x 10 m.
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 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, 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 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 and Ljiljana Ševo.
10 September 2008
Chair of the Commission
E l u c i d a t i on
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 22 May 2003 the Centre for Islamic Architecture of Sarajevo submitted a proposal to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to designate the Maldovan pasha mosque in Međurječje near Čajniče as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On 26 September 2005 the Goražde-based Sinan Pasha Sijerčić Society for the Preservation of the Natural and Civilizational Heritage submitted a proposal to designate the mosque in Međurječje as a national monument.
Pursuant to these proposals, 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.
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 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.;
- 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 site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) are located in the village of Međurječje near Čajniče. The village is about 15 km north of the town of Čajniče, with which it is linked via the river Janjina valley. The mosque stands to the north of the country road leading to the village of Batovo. To the north-east of the mosque, right by the harem wall, is the derelict property formerly housing the imam, and to the east is the primary school.
The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) with harem are located on part of the site designated as cadastral plot no. 87/6, listed under title deed no. 467, cadastral municipality Batovo, Međurječje, Municipality Čajniče, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Međurječje is a settlement in Eastern Bosnia at the confluence of two small mountain rivers, the Janjina and Batovka, which flow from the south towards the river Drina.
This isolated area is part of the former nahija (smallest administrative unit under the Ottomans) of Pribud, which was a župa (county) in mediaeval times, consisting of a group of rural communities of the same name.
There is reference to the nahija of Samobor or Pribud in 1469 by the name of Samobor; by 1477 it was known by both names. After the conquest of Bosnia, the Turks established a garrison in the mediaeval fort of Samobor, where it remained until 1818. References to the nahija of Pribud continue under the Ottomans until the 18th century.(1)
The erection of he mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) is associated with the history of the reconstruction of a different mosque (the Beyazit II mosque in Samobor), and with the name of Maldovan pasha(2), also known in historical records as Maldovan Ali pasha Čeljo.
In 1763 the mosque in Samobor was in very poor condition, almost entirely in ruins, and there was no money available to repair it. For this reason, Mula-Mustafa, imam of Samobor, hearing that a new vizier was coming to Bosnia, wrote an appeal asking for aid to rebuild the mosque.
The vizier responded favourably to the appeal, and sent money for the repairs via Maldovan Ali pasha Čeljo. However, instead of forwarding the money for the repairs to the mosque in Samobor, Maldovan Ali pasha Čeljo, a native of Međurječje, decided to spend it on a new mosque in Međurječje.
Mula-Mustafa of Samobor reported the case to the vizier, who punished Maldovan Ali pasha Čeljo by confiscating not only the mosque, but also some of his assets. The sultan himself used these funds to build a mosque in Samobor.(3)
The mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) was set on fire for the first time in 1914, during World War I, and was later rebuilt in its original form. In 1943 it was again burned down, and the stone minaret was destroyed.
After World War II, the mosque was again rebuilt in 1946, but this time it was given a wooden minaret.
In 1967 the wooden minaret was removed and a new minaret was built in stone.
Records show that the imams of this mosque never stayed long: there were twenty of them over a relatively short period.
The mosque was set on fire on 17 July 1992, and again damaged the following day.(4)
2. Description of the property
In terms of spatial organization, the mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) belonged to the group of single-space mosques with hipped roof and stone minaret.
The mosque was roughly square in plan, with sides 8.40 m in length and 9.00 m in width, until 1946, when a two-storey extension was added, 3.50 m in length and 8.40 m in width, giving the building an overall footprint of 8.40 x 12.50 m. In 1967, the extension on was removed from the frontispiece, but the entrance portico, consisting of covered sofas and brick walls to the sides, was retained.
The entrance portico was supported by wooden pillars on stone bases. To the north and west of the entrance to the mosque are the remains of sofas that were formerly clad with wood. The sofas were 50 cm above ground level and measured 3.03 x 3.50 m. Between them was a passageway 3.00 m wide leading to the place where the entrance portal once stood.
Until 1992 there was an inscription above the entrance portal, giving details of the erection of the mosque.(5)
The mosque was slightly less than 5.00 m in height to below the eaves. According to members of the congregation originally from Međurječje, the mosque had a wooden floor, and the inside walls were plastered and whitewashed. There were no wall decorations or murals.
The semicircular mihrab niche has survived in the central part of the south-east inside wall. The niche, which has a diameter of 80 cm, is 300 cm in height to the top of the mihrab crown. The opening of the niche is topped by four stepped rows of stalactite decorations, the rows narrowing to enclose the niche and ending in the mihrab crown. The niche is surrounded by a stone mihrab frame project out from the wall by 10 cm. The frame is 320 cm in height and 15 cm thick. The chromatic finish can still be seen on the damaged mihrab.
To the west of the mosque entrance, on the inside south-west wall, is a rectangular opening leading into the minaret, measuring 600 x 200 cm, with above it another rectangular opening measuring 50 x 200 cm, suggesting that the mosque formerly had a mahvil (gallery) above the entrance wall.
The entrance portal was in the middle of the north frontispiece, with a pointed-arched opening on either side on the north and west corners, with a parapet at sofa-height. Where the portal once was is now an opening measuring 160 x 200 cm above which is a horizontal wooden beam with an overall length of 415 cm.
The existing openings measure 110 x 150 cm, with the opening on the west corner framed by the wooden beam over the entrance opening, while the structure above the opening in the north corner has been completely destroyed. The surviving remains of the frontispiece are 235 cm in height at their highest point.
On the south-east façade, the construction of stone blocks and horizontal wooden beams is exposed, up to a height of 3.90 m. There are two rectangular openings measuring 110 x 150 cm at ground-floor level; the opening on the east corner still has the frame of its double-casement wooden window. The upper part of the wall has the remains of two openings each 60 cm wide.
The north-east façade consists of the original wall to the east, 9.00 m in length, and a later extension to the right, with a length of 3.50 m, built of brick.
The remains of the extension range in height from 2.50 m at the northernmost end to 4.50 m to the east. Traces of white rendering over brick can be seen on the outside.
The original part of the mosque was built of stone with horizontal wooden beams. This wall has four openings set equidistant from each other.
At ground-floor level are two rectangular openings measuring 110 x 150 cm. Directly above them are rectangular openings terminating in pointed arches, measuring 60 x 140 cm overall, of which the rectangular section measures 60 x 100 cm. The top north opening has a faded green wooden frame.
The south-west façade, like the north-east, consists of the larger original section to the south, and the brick-built extension to the west. The remains of this façade are no more than 3.90 m in height.
The remains of the stone minaret, with a height of 4.50 m, are on the west corner of the original building, while at the north corner, level with the upper openings on the east façade, is an arched opening measuring 60 x 140 cm overall, within which the arched wooden frame resembling the one on the north-east façade still survives. At ground-floor level on the original part of the building are two rectangular openings measuring 110 x 150 cm, of which the one to the south has been bricked up.
The upper part of the extension to the west has a rectangular opening measuring 60 x 90 cm, within which the wooden frame still survives.(6)
The base of the minaret, with a diameter of 2.40 m, is built of stone blocks measuring 50 x 25 cm. The minaret tapers between the heights of 2.10 m and 4.00 m, at which point it is 1.90 m in diameter. Above this are the remains of the shaft of the minaret, with a diameter of about 1.80 m; this section is built of stone and brick, with traces of white rendering on the outside.
The original materials used to build the mosque are stone laid in courses and timber for the walls and wood for the windows. The binder used on the bearing walls of the mosque is lime mortar.
The original outside stone walls are 60 cm thick, while the walls of the brick-built extension are 12 cm thick. The walls were plastered and whitewashed on the outside and whitewashed on the inside.
The mosque is surrounded by the undamaged harem wall, built of coursed stone, with a height ranging from 1.15 to 1.80 m. Within this boundary wall is the harem of the mosque. The harem walls are parallel to those of the mosque, and the harem measures 21.35 x 15.82 m.
The single-valve entrance gateway to the harem, measuring 120 x 210 cm, is in the north-east harem wall. The entrance to the harem is thus from the north-east, while the entrance to the mosque is from the north-west; a path led from the harem gateway to the mosque door, but no trace of this now survives.
The east end of the entrance wall of the harem forms a party wall with the derelict property, measuring 8.10 x 6.95 m in plan, which formerly housed the imam.
The south-east wall of the harem separates the harem from the macadam road leading to the village of Batovo.
The north-west wall(7) separates the harem from a small burial ground of no particular historical value, since the graves date from the mid 20th century, and the south-west wall separates it from an area where there are three nišan tombstones erected in the early 21st century.
Within the harem, by the north-west wall separating it from the mid 20th century burial ground, is a grave that tradition(8) ascribes to the founder of the mosque, Ali pasha Čeljo(9). The grave consists of a man’s nišan tombstone with a turban, with no epitaph. The tombstone is 73 cm in circumference and 65 cm in height. It is partly buried, and overgrown with rank vegetation. The footstone is also partly buried and overgrown with rank vegetation. It is 58 cm in circumference and 40 cm in height.(10)
3. Legal status to date
According to the available information, the mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) has not previously been recorded or entered in the register of cultural monuments at any level.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
The mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) was rebuilt after World War I. There are no documents or surviving photographs of this reconstruction. There are accounts by the residents, who say that older residents of Međurječje told them the mosque was rebuilt to look very like the original one. There is also a written account by residents of Međurječje dating from more than 100 years ago, claiming that the mosque had been set on fire, but that the outer stone walls had never been destroyed.(11)
The mosque was rebuilt for the second time in 1946(12), altering the original footprint by building on a two-storey extension to the frontispiece(13). The ground floor was masonry-built and the upper storey of timber. The ground floor housed a mekteb (Qur’an school) and the imam’s office; it is not known what was on the first floor. The stone minaret replaced by a wooden one, not where the original minaret was, but standing on the hipped roof frame.(14) The roof was clad with wooden šimpla shingles(15). These were replaced by tiles in 1955(16).
In 1967 a stone minaret was built in the original position (abutting onto the south-west façade), and the wooden minaret was removed. That same year the brick-built two-storey extension on the north-west frontispiece was removed, but the sides were bricked up. The exterior sofars remained covered by the portico, i.e. under part of the hipped roof of the mosque.
Between 1967 and 1992, the only works carried out were routine maintenance works.
Since the mosque was destroyed during the 1992-1995 war, no research or conservation and restoration works of any kind have been carried out.
5. Current condition of the property
The mosque in Međurječje (the Maldovan pasha mosque) was badly damaged in 1992, but not razed to its foundations: the massive perimeter stone-built walls have survived to a height of about 4.00 m, and some of the wooden window frames have also survived.
The walls have been completely stripped of their rendering, exposing the construction of coursed stone and horizontal wooden beams.
The hipped roof has been completely destroyed, with nothing remaining of it. Since the roof no longer exists, the interior is exposed to the elements, which has caused further damage to the outside walls. Despite this, the mihrab still survives in the interior, and traces of the wooden flooring of the mosque can be seen under a layer of soil and vegetation.
The minaret was knocked down, but the stone base has survived to a height of about 4.50 m. Part of the destroyed minaret is lying inside the mosque, where it is overgrown with dense vegetation.
The harem is badly neglected, and there are no signs of the wooden facing of the sofas, but one grave was found in the northern part of the harem. The massive harem walls are undamaged, and the metal entrance gateway to the harem has survived.
The nišan tombstones outside the harem to the north-west are undamaged, as are the nišans outside the harem to the south-west.
The former imam’s house, the south-westernmost wall of which is the north-east harem wall, is derelict but not in ruins.
Since there are no significant remains of the stone from the destroyed building apart from a sizeable piece of the minaret inside the mosque, the other remains were presumably removed from the site after the mosque was destroyed.
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
E. Symbolic value
E.i. ontological value
E.ii. religious value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people
G.vi. spirit and feeling
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of cadastral plans
- Copy of Land Register entry and proof of title
During the procedure to designate the property as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1892. Stevan Delić, Jnl of the National Museum of BiH, ed. Kosta Herman, Sarajevo.
1900. Safvet-beg Bašagić-Redžepagić, Kratka uputa u prošlost BiH od 1463 do 1850. godine (Brief Introduction to the History of BiH from 1463 to 1850), self-published, Sarajevo.
1953. Bejtić, Alija, Spomenici osmanlijske arhitekture u Bosni i Hercegovini (Monuments of Ottoman Architecture in BiH), offprint – Prilozi za orijentalnu filologiju i istoriju jugoslovenskih naroda pod turskom vladavinom (Contributions to Oriental Philology and the History of the Yugoslav Peoples under Turkish Rule), vols. III -IV, Oriental Institute in Sarajevo, Sarajevo, 1953.
1981. D. Kojić, V. Palavestra, Z. Kajmaković, “Drina u doba Kosača” (The Drina at the Time of the Kosačas), Naše starine, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of BiH, Sarajevo.
1984. Andrejević, Andrej, Islamska monumentalna umetnost XVI veka u Jugoslaviji – kupolne džamije (16th Century Islamic Monumental Art in Yugoslavia: Domed Mosques), Faculty of the Humanities in Belgrade, Institute for the History of Art, Belgrade, 1984.
1996. Periodical Mualim, March 1996, Article provided by Alija Pašalić
1998. Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic Epigraphics of BiH), bk. I, Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo.
(1) D. Kojić, V. Palavestra, Z. Kajmaković, “Drina u doba Kosača”, Naše starine, 131, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of BiH, Sarajevo, 1981.
(2) Maldovan Ali Pasha was briefly governor of Bosnia. He was appointed in 1763, the country's 183rd governor, but was replaced the following year by the sultan's son-in-law, Kapudan Mehmed pasha. - Safvet-beg Bašagić-Redžepagić, Kratka uputa u prošlost BiH od 1463 do 1850, 105, 181, self-published, Sarajevo, 1900.
(3) Stevan Delić, Jnl of the National Museum of BiH, ed. Kosta Herman, 259, 260, Sarajevo, 1892.
(4) Safet Muminović, last imam of the mosque in Međurječje, periodical Mualim, Sarajevo, March 1996.
(5) As related by Kasim Čeljo, a native of Međurječje, Sarajevo, 2008.
(6) Judging from a photograph of this façade taken in the latter half of the 20th century, the south-west façade had three upper openings in all, two to the south and another to the west of the minaret, in the brick-built extension.
(7) There was one nišan in the harem, between the north-west wall of the harem and the mosque, according to Kasim Čeljo, Sarajevo, 2008.
(8) There is no documentation that might corroborate this tradition.
(9) Hazim Numanagić, Report to the commission to Preserve National Monuments, the Mosque in Međurječje nr. Čajniče, 22 August 2008.
(10) Hazim Numanagić, Report to the commission to Preserve National Monuments, the Mosque in Međurječje nr. Čajniče, 22 August 2008.
(11) Written account by Mr Šaćir (Murat) Selimović, JMB (unique identity no.) 0504904130018, Goražde, 19 August 2008. Šaćir (Murat) Selimović is a resident of Međurječje aged 104. Written report by Mr Osman (Abaz) Prolaz, JMB 1011927130012, Goražde, 19 August 2008. Also a resident of Međurječje, Mr. Prolaz is 81 years old.
(12) According to residents of Međurječje, during the 1946 works on the wooden minaret, members of UDBA (the secret service of the day) twice arrested the works foremen and held them in custody for a month.
(13) Based on old photographs.
(14) According to Kasim Čeljo, Sarajevo 2008; account corroborated by old photographs.
(15) šimpla – type of finely-worked wooden shingle, known elsewhere in Bosnia as šindra or šimla
(16) According to Kasim Čeljo and others from Međurječje, Sarajevo 2008