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Clock tower, the historic monument

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Status of monument -> National monument

            Published in the “Official Gazette of BiH” no. 32/09.

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 4 to 10 November 2008 the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I.

 

The historic monument of the Clock tower in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje 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 no. 23/1 (old survey), corresponding to c.p. no. 1847 (new survey), Land Register entry no. 3676, cadastral municipality Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, Municipality Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, 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.

 

II.

 

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 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.

 

III.

 

To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the site defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          all works are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works designed to display the monument, 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;

           

On the adjoining plots (c.p. nos. 1844 and 1848), the only works permissible are remedial works on the properties, subject to the use of indigenous and traditional materials.

 

IV.

 

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

 

V.

 

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 thereof.

 

VI.

 

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.

 

VII.

 

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) 

 

VIII.

 

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.

 

IX.

 

On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 256.

 

X.

 

This Decision shall enter into force the day after its publication in the Official Gazette of BiH.

 

This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Martin Cherry Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, and Ljiljana Ševo.

 

No: 02-02-238/08-6

5 November 2008

Sarajevo

 

Chair of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović

 

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.

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the Clock tower in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, Municipality Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, to the Provisional List of National Monuments under serial no. 256.

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 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:

-          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.

-          Copy of Land Register entry and details of ownership

-          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 property are as follows:

 

1. Details of the property

Location

The Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje and Bugojno area is known as the Skopljansko Polje (Skoplje Plain), located in the upper Vrbas area. This very fertile area enjoys good natural communications along the Bistička, Ždrimačka and Dobroška river valleys.

Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje lies to the south-east of the Uskoplje valley, which extends from the source of the Vrbas to Donji Vakuf. Mts. Radiša and Vranica are very close to the town, which is part of the municipality known since 2001 as Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje.

The Clock Tower in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje is at the foot of Strmica hill, in the centre of the town.

The property is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 23/1 (old survey), corresponding to c.p. no. 1847 (new survey), Land Register entry no. 3676, cadastral municipality Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, Municipality Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

The upper Vrbas valley was already inhabited in prehistoric times. There are both prehistoric and Roman remains of mining activity on Mt Vranica and its foothills.(1)  

An important Roman way station on the Salona-Sirmium ad Matricem road is believed to have stood on the site of present-day Gornji Vakuf.(2)  

Uskoplje is referred to in the Chronicle of the Doclean Priest(3), along with Pliva and Luka near Jajce.  In his Naselja srednjevjekovne bosanske države, Marko Vego also gives a number of sources referring to Uskoplje, among them a charter issued by Stjepan Tomaš in 1446 to the Dragišić brothers, referring to the village of Gmići in Uskoplje.(4)   

The forts of Susjed, Vesela straža and Biograd (Prusac) were all located in Uskoplje, around the upper Vrbas. In mediaeval times this area was a major intersection where the roads from Split and the river Laška and Bosna valleys met.(5)  

There are 34 necropolises with about 591 stećak tombstones in the environs of the town, mainly chest-shaped tombstones.(6)  

           As an urban settlement, Gornji Vakuf dates from the late 16th century. Its very name indicates that its origins are associated with the institution of the vakuf (Ar. waqf, a pious endowment).(7) They are are closely linked with the endowment of Mehmed bey Stočanin, who built a mosque here in 1592-1593, in the centre of the town.(8)  

Clock towers are tall, slender buildings with a clock, usually square or more rarely octagonal in plan. They were usually erected in the centre of the čaršija, the trades and crafts zone of a town, alongside the mosque, and were endowed by individual vakifs (legators), though some are to be found elsewhere, like the clock tower in Maglaj, which was erected in the bailey of the Maglaj fort, or the ones in Tešanj, Gradačac and Počitelj, and the one in Donji Vakuf.(9) They first appeared in this part of the world in the late 16th century, initially in Banja Luka, followed later, in the 17th and 18th centuries, by clock towers in several other towns.(10)  

There are three accounts of the origins of the Clock Tower in Gornji Vakuf: The first relates that a descendant of the Hadžiabdić family was in the Ottoman diplomatic service in Italy, and that it was he who had the clock tower in Gornji Vakuf built. The bell was from Dubrovnik, and the clock mechanism was later procured in Austria.

The second account is associated with a legend from a lyric poem. According to the historian Ešref Karamustafić, in the late 18th century a young man from the Hadžiabdić family married a girl from Stolac, but it took the girl a very long time to get used to her new surroundings, and to the people and Bosnian customs of the area. When her father asked her what she missed most, she said it was the chiming of the clock tower. To fulfill his daughter's wish, her father built this tower.

The third account is again associated with the Hadžiabdić family, one of whose forebears, while on hajj, met two hajjis from Počitelj and Zvornik(11). The hajji from Počitelj introduced him to the hajji from Zvornik, who gave him his daughter in marriage; he in turn purchased three clock-tower bells in Italy and sent one each to Zvornik, Počitelj and Gornji Vakuf.(12)  

The clock tower has remained in the hands of the Hadžiabdić family, which have looked after it since it was built. One of the oldest known forebears of the family, Ahmed Hadžiabdić, maintained the clock tower for about forty years, until 1926. He was succeeded by Salih Hadžiabdić, who maintained it up to 1945, followed by Hasan ef. Hadžiabdić, until 1957. After him, Šefik Ridžial and Vahid Dželilović looked after the clock tower from time to time, until it was taken over at the end of the 20th century by engineer Sead Hadžiabdić, who adapted it and installed a clock mechanism.(13)   

The clock tower was built in the 18th century(14) (1710—1711).(15)  

Until 1949 it kept time „al la turca,“ but after that date it began to keep Central European Time („a la franca“), chiming each hour twice in succession. It was out of use from 1950 to 1953, while being restored by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.(16)  

The clock never had a clock face.(17)    

It is also referred to by Ivan Franjo Jukić in his travelogues, where he relates that the clock mechanism was procured in Dubrovnik.(18)     

         

2. Description of the property

The Clock Tower in Gornji Vakuf is a single-space building, square in plan with sides of 3.55 m and a height of about 9 meters; standing as it does on a slope, it is higher on the north-east side. The clock tower gradually tapers towards the top of the masonry part of the tower.

The entrance to the property is on the south-west side, and measures 0.63 x 1.17 m.  The doorway is arched, and has an iron door, not the original. There are no details of the appearance or material of the original door, but it was probably wooden. The doorway has a stone threshold raised 15 cm above ground level and plastered.(19)  

The Clock Tower was built of unevenly-sized limestone blocks, plastered on the outside during restoration and conservation works carried out in the 1950s and 1970s. The quoins consist of ashlar blocks of roughly equal size laid in alternate directions.

The walls are about 0.85 m thick at ground-floor level, gradually reducing in thickness towards the top of the masonry part of the tower to about 0.65 m at the topmost stage.

The topmost stage, where the clock mechanism and two bells are located, is reached via a steep wooden staircase set against the walls of the tower. A new staircase was installed in 2000, consisting of three flights of steps approx. 0.63 m wide and with a rise of approx. 0.23 m. the landing is 2.00 m long and about 0.52 m. wide.(20)   

The interior of the tower is lit by various windows. The south-west wall has one rectangular window measuring about 1.56 x 1.00 m, with the parapet at a height of approx. 1.00 m. The same wall also has an opening resembling a loophole, measuring 0.10 x 0.32 m on the outside and 0.35 x 0.40 m on the inside. On the south-east wall are windows measuring 1.59 x 1.00 m below the roof, and a loophole-style openings measuring 0.06 x 0.23 m, while the north-east wall has four loophole-style openings, one below the other, and the clock mechanism, measuring about 1.50 x 1.00 m. To the north-west is a rectangular window measuring 1.50 x 1.00 m and two loophole-style openings, one below the other. All three windows were fitted with mušebak lattice-work in 2000.(21)  

A new clock mechanism with a digital base station and satellite signal giving the exact time was installed in 2000.(22) There are two bells above the clock, one original and one new.(23)  

The roof of the clock tower is hipped and clad with shingles. The roof was destroyed during the 1992-1995 war, and a new one was installed in 2000.

         

3. Legal status to date

The property is recorded under the heading Clock Tower in Gornji Vakuf and was protected by the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina pursuant to Ruling no. 1039/51 of 15 December 1951.

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 02-749-3 of 18 April 1962, the Clock Tower in Gornji Vakuf was entered in the Register of Immovable Cultural Monuments under registration no. 218.

 

4. Research and conservation and restoration works

-          In 1950-53 the roof of the clock tower was reconstructed by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina;

-          In 1978, conservation and restoration works were carried out;

-          In 2000 the staircase and roof structure were reconstructed and a new clock mechanism and one bell were installed. Engineer Sead Hadžiabdić was responsible for all these works. There is no documentation on the works carried out.

 

5. Current condition of the property

It was found during an on-site inspection conducted in October 2008 that there is a risk of further deterioration of the structure of the Clock Tower, caused by the ravages of time, the elements and inadequate works.

The staircase added in 2000 was not built in line with the technical documentation of the condition of the building drawn up by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1975.

Cracks can be seen on the façade.

 

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.iii.      traditional value

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

F.         Townscape/landscape value

F.i.       relation to other elements of the site

F.ii.       meaning in the townscape

F.iii.      the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site

G.         Authenticity

G.i.       form and design

G.v.      location and setting

 

The photographic documentation and drawings listed below form an integral part of this Decision:

-          protected zone of the historic monument of the Clock Tower in Gornji Vakuf-Uskoplje,

-          copy of cadastral plan,

-          copy of title deed,

-          ground plan of the property;

Photographs

-          photographs of the Clock Tower and its surroundings taken in 2008.

 

Bibliography

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

 

1953.    Jukić, Frano Ivan, Putopisi i istorijsko-etnografski radovi (Travel Writings and Historical and Ethnographical Works), Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1953.

 

1957.    Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini” (Clock Towers in BiH), Naše starine (Annual of the National Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina) IV, Sarajevo, 1957.

 

1957.    Vego, Marko, Naselja srednjevjekovne bosanske države (Settlements of the Mediaeval Bosnian State), Sarajevo, 1957.

 

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

 

1960.    Pašalić, Esad, Antička naselja i komunikacije u Bosni i Hercegovini (Settlements and Roads of Antiquity in BiH), special publication by the National Museum, Sarajevo, 1960.

 

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

 

1988.    Arheološki leksikon Bosne i Hercegovine (Archaeological lexicon of BiH), Vol. 2, “Arheološka nalazišta regija 1-13” (Archaeological Sites of the Region 1-13),  National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1988.

 

1998.    Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic epigraphics of BiH), bk. II, 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998.

 

2004.    Haračić, A. Hajrudin, Gornji Vakuf u prošlosti, monografski prikaz života i rada Bošnjaka od Drugog svjetskog rata (Gornji Vakuf in the past, a monograph of the life and work of the Bosniacs since World War II), Sarajevo, 2004.

 

2006.    Dedić, Ismet, Sanjajući zavičaj, Gornji Vakuf-ljudi, godine, život, tradicija...(Dreaming of the Homeland, Gornji Vakuf – people, years, life, tradition), Bugojno, 2006


 

(1) Pašalić, Esad, Antička naselja i komunikacije u Bosni i Hercegovini, National Museum, Sarajevo, Sarajevo, 1960, 40 – 41

(2) Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 1998, 315

(3) A mediaeval chronicle of Slav rulers, dating from the 12th century

(4) Vego, Marko, Naselja srednjevjekovne bosanske države, Sarajevo, 1957, 121

(5) Kovačević-Kojić, Desanka, Gradska naselja srednjovjekovne bosanske države, Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1978, 125

(6) Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci – Kataloško-topografski pregled, Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1971, 129-131

(7) Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 1998, 315

(8) Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, Sarajevo, 1998, 315

(9) Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini,” Naše starine IV, Annual of the National institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1957, 17-31

(10) Until the 1992-1995 war there were 19 clock towers in Bosnia and Herzegovina: two in Travnik, and one each in Banja Luka, Donji Vakuf, Foča, Gornji Vakuf, Gračanica, Gradačac, Livno, Jajce, Maglaj, Mostar, Nevesinje, Počitelj, Prozor, Prusac, Sarajevo, Tešanj and Trebinje. In addition, there were another two in 1878, since demolished: one in Stolac and another in Sarajevo, by the White Mosque.

(11) There was no clock tower in Zvornik. (Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini,” Naše starine IV, Annual of the National institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1957, 28)

(12) Dedić, Ismet, Sanjajući zavičaj, Gornji Vakuf – ljudi, godine, život, tradicija.., Bugojno, 2006, 126

(13) Dedić, Ismet, Sanjajući zavičaj, Gornji Vakuf – ljudi, godine, život, tradicija.., Bugojno, 2006, 126

(14) The technique indicates that the building dates from the 18th century. (Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini,” Naše starine IV, Annual of the National institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1957, 28)

(15) Dedić, Ismet, Sanjajući zavičaj, Gornji Vakuf – ljudi, godine, život, tradicija..., Bugojno, 2006, 124; Haračić, A.Hajrudin, Gornji Vakuf u prošlosti, monografski prikaz života i rada Bošnjaka od Drugog svjetskog rata, Sarajevo, 2004, 99

(16) Haračić, A.Hajrudin, Gornji Vakuf u prošlosti, monografski prikaz života i rada Bošnjaka od Drugog svjetskog rata, Sarajevo, 2004, 99

(17) Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Sahat-kule u Bosni i Hercegovini,” Naše starine IV, Annual of the National institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments and Natural Rarities of NR Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Sarajevo, 1957, 28

(18) Jukić, F.Ivan, Putopisi i istorijsko-etnografski radovi, Svjetlost, Sarajevo, 1953, 99

(19) The lock was jammed – the key was broken, with part remaining in the lock, making it impossible to enter the clock tower. The lock was repaired on 16 December 2008.

(20) Once the lock was repaired it was possible to enter the building to see what the new staircase looks like.

(21) Until 2000 these three windows were boarded up.

(22) Engineer Sead Hadžiabdić procured and installed the clock mechanism, and reconstructed the staircase and roof.

(23) According to Sead Hadžiabdić.



Clock towerClock tower in Gornji VakufNortheast facadeSouth view
Southwest facadeRoofClockEntrance


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