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
The site of the Central (Sultan Ahmed) mosque with harem and nišan tombstones in Prijedor 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. 1696, Land Register entry no. 910, cadastral municipality Prijedor, Municipality Prijedor, 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 64/08) shall apply to the National Monument.
The mosque being built on the site of the Central mosque destroyed in 1992 is not subject to the protection regime prescribed by this Decision, since it is not being built in line with the condition of the property prior to its destruction and is not being rehabilitated in accordance with the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Commission, and thus does not meet the Criteria for the adoption of a decision designating the property as a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03).
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, presentation and rehabilitation of the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the funds for drawing up and implementing the technical documentation required for the 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 erecting signboards with basic details of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument on the site defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this decision, the harem of the mosque is subject to protection, and the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:
- the nišan tombstones shall be documented and a geodetic plan made,
- a petrographic analysis of the nišan tombstones shall be carried out,
- the epigraphic material of the harem shall be documented and surviving graves identified,
- the damaged nišan tombstones shall be conserved and presented,
- the area of the harem shall be fenced off and properly laid out/
All fragments of the mosque found on the adjoining plots or at the dump to which they were removed after the destruction of the property, and which belong to the authentic building, shall be recorded, catalogued and returned to the site of the mosque, where they shall be suitably presented within the mosque complex.
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 and rehabilitation thereof.
The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska, 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.
5 November 2008
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. 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 28 August 2007, representatives of the Majlis of the Islamic Community in Prijedor submitted a petition/proposal to designate the Central mosque in Prijedor as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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:
- Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and copy of 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 property are as follows:
1. Details of the property
Prijedor is on the river Sana, in the central part of Bosanska krajina (frontier region). The central mosque is in the part of the town of Prijedor known as Zagrad.
The property is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 1696, Land Register entry no. 910, cadastral municipality Prijedor, Municipality Prijedor, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The nucleus of the town of Prijedor was built on an island surrounded by the river Sana and Jendek (Berek-Žabljak). During the reign of Sultan Mahmud I (1730-1754) a fortress was built in 1747 on the island, with a mosque within it which came to be known as the Central mosque. The varoš or town formed around the fortress. Later another mosque, the Čaršija mosque, was also built in Prijedor.
The island of Svinjarice (Stari Grad), a branch of the river Sana, Berek and the division into the island-based “Turkish varoš” and the shore-based “Serb varoš” lead us to traditions of the origins of Pridor, of Suhi Pridor or “dry Pridor” on the left bank and Mokri Pridor or “wet Pridor” on the right bank, of the root of the word prodrijeti, to breach, and the river that altered its course near Hambarine. With time Pridor became Prijedor, with the mahalas of Grad, Zagrad, Ograde, Čaršija (around the bridge on the Berek), Majkovaca, Urije and Puharska (Prijedor i okolina, 1961, 8-11).
Evidence of the date when the Central mosque in Prijedor was built was provided by:
INSCRIPTION ON THE SULTAN AHMED MOSQUE
A stone plaque measuring 27 x 34 cm above the entrance to the mosque was carved with the following inscription in Arabic, consisting of two lines of bold naskh script:
The benefactor Sultan Mahmud-khan,
May his reign last for ever.
Year one thousand one hundred and sixty, in the month of Sha'ban.
(1160 = 1747)
(Mujezinović, 1998, 36-39)
The Central mosque in Prijedor was set on fire on 30 May 1992 and then razed to the ground, and the material was taken to various sites outside the town. The foundations and seven broken nišan tombstones remained on the site of the mosque.
In 2007 building works on a new mosque began.
2. Description of the property
The Central mosque belonged to the type of mosque with a hipped roof and wooden minaret.
It measured approx. 17.00 x 10.30 m on the outside, and consisted of an entrance area (enclosed sofas) and a central prayer hall. The entrance are measured approx. 8.50 x 5.00 m and had two storeys, a ground floor and a first floor on wooden joists. A single-flight wooden staircase in the north corner led to the first floor and the mahfil.
The main entrance to the mosque was in the north-west wall. The prayer hall was rectangular in plan, measuring 10.35 x 8.5 m. The mahfil was against the north-west front wall on the inside, and was about 4 metres long.
The mihrab and mihrab niche were of stone, with simple moulding.
The building had a steeply-pitched hipped roof with a wooden frame and tile cladding (it is not known what the original cladding was).
The building had two ranges of arched windows, ten in all.
The minaret, though built of wood, resembled a stone minaret in size and proportions. It was of the type of wooden minaret with an open gallery (Bećirbegović, 129)
The stone walls were approx. 90 cm thick, and were plastered and whitewashed inside and out.
Harem of the Central Mosque
There were about fifty elaborately decorated, large-sized nišan tombstones in the harem around the mosque. Two of them bore the names of the stonemasons who had made them. These were:
EPITAPH ON THE NIŠAN OF AGAN ČAJIĆ
The elaborately decorated nišan with turban bore the following epitaph:
Deceased Hajji Agan, son of Hajji Muharem Čajić. [Recite] Fatiha for his soul. Year 1282, 15 Rajab [3 December 1865]. Made by Bišćanin Osman Zulić.
EPITAPH ON THE NIŠAN OF HUSEIN-BEY KAPETANOVIĆ
The nišan on which this epitaph was carved was quite large, and elaborately decorated, with a sabre on one side and a plume on the turban.
He is the Eternal Creator. A well-regarded man, of Imperial acclaim, of a sharif family of the kasaba [small town] of Prijedor, decorated with the majidiyya of the fourth-degree of a kapudži-baša [grand chamberlain], a captain's son, Husein Hasan-bey, son of Hajji Captain Mehmed-bey Hadžipašić. [Recite] Fatiha for his soul and for the other dead. 14 Rabi' al-akhira of the solar year 1292 [20 May 1875]. Made by Bišćanin Sulejman Zulić.
Other nišan tombstones reveal that the following were also buried here:
- Sarajlija Mehmed, son of Mustafa, 1261 (1845),
- Sulejman-bey Kapetanović, 8 Safar 1279 (5 August 1862),
- Mitrovičanin Mustafa-bey, son of Salih-bey Kulenović, 1280 (1863),
- Agan-aga, son of Salih-aga Čirkinagić, 1281 (1864),
- Mustafa, barber, son of Mumin Čivić, 1281 (1864),
- Džindić Mehmed Tevfik-bey, son of Hajji Jakub-bey, brother of the mudir of Prijedor Hasan-bey, 1282 (1865),
- Bakir-bey, son of Mehmed spahija Hrgić, 1284 (1867),
- Hajji Alija, son of Murat Jahić, 1282 (1865),
- Hajji Junus-aga, son of Hasan Mandić, 1285 (1868),
- Hajji Alijaga, son of Mehmed Hrgić, 1292 (1875),
- Hajji Omer Jakubović, 1295 (1878). (Mujezinović, 1998, 36-39)
3. Legal status to date
The property was not under legal protection.
4. Current condition of the property
The findings of an on-site inspection conducted in August 2008 by Commission staff are that a new masonry structure has been erected on the site of the Central mosque in Prijedor. The new building has the same footprint as the old mosque, of approx. 17 x 10.4 m on the outside. The walls are of brick, and are 50 cm thick; the structural members are reinforced concrete. The entrance steps, mahfil and staircase leading to the mahfil are also of concrete. The minaret has been built of prefabricated concrete elements. We were told by a representative of the Prijedor Islamic Community that the foundations of the old building were dug out in their entirety and new concrete footings laid in their place.
To the south-east of the mosque are five old nišan tombstones in poor condition, some broken and some lying on the ground.
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.ii. religious value
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.i. relation to other elements of the site
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of cadastral plan;
- Copy of land register entry;
- Photodocumentation – photographs taken by a member of staff of the Commission.
During the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1961. Prijedor i okolina (Prijedor and Environs), published by Prijedor Council and the Književne novine publishing house in Belgrade, Kultura Belgrade (using the services of the library of the Bosniac Institute, Adil Zulfikarpašić Foundation, Sarajevo), 1961.
1998. Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic Epigraphics of BiH), bk 3, 3rd ed., Cultural Heritage Series, Sarajevo Publishing, 1998.
1999. Bećirbegović, Madžida, Džamije sa drvenom munarom u Bosni i Hercegovini (Mosques with Wooden Minarets in BiH), 2nd ed., Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1999.