Status of monument -> National monument
in the “Official Gazette of BiH”, no. 97/09.
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 7 to 10 July 2009 the Commission
D E C I S
I O N
historic site of the memorial complex of the Battle for the Wounded on the
Neretva in Jablanica, Municipality Jablanica, is hereby designated as
a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National
National Monument consists of the site and buildings forming a record of the
Battle of the Neretva: the museum building, an events area with an open-air
theatre and a meeting point on the right bank of the Neretva, the remains of a
bridge with access footpaths on both banks, an old Series 73 locomotive on the
right bank and the bunker on the left bank of the Neretva.
National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plots no.
1968/1; 1968/3 (new survey), Land Register entry no. 550, cadastral
municipality Jablanica, and c.p. nos. 11/1; 12; 13; 14 and 15 (new survey),
Land Register entry no. 190, c.m. Lug, Municipality Jablanica; and part of the
river Neretva (c.p. no. 2311, new survey) with the ruined iron bridge, from the
new road bridge to the north east downstream for a distance of 330 m; Municipality
Jablanica; Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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.
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, conservation, restoration, rehabilitation and presentation of 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 on-going protection of the National Monument on the area defined in Clause
1 para. 3 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby
restoration works are permitted, including works designed for the presentation
the National Monument, 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 (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority);
the National Monument may
be used for cultural and educational purposes;
the bunker may be used as
a catering establishment for the museum only, to generate income for the
maintenance of the museum;
the newly-built parts of
the bunker, which are detrimental to its authenticity, shall be removed;
routine maintenance works
to ensure the sustainable use of the National Monument are permitted, with the
approval of the relevant ministry and under the expert supervision of the
heritage protection authority;
all works that could endanger
the National Monument are prohibited, as is the erection of temporary
facilities or permanent structures not designed solely for the protection and
presentation of the National Monument.
following protection measures are hereby prescribed for the movable
heritage forming part of the National Monument (hereinafter: the movable
the Government of the
Federation shall provide suitable physical and technical conditions for the
safe-keeping of the movable heritage;
the display and other
forms of presentation of the movable heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be
effected under the terms and conditions stipulated by the Federal ministry
responsible for culture;
supervision of the
implementation of the protection measures pertaining to the movable heritage
shall be exercised by the Federal ministry responsible for culture.
executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the
provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.
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 rehabilitation thereof.
removal of the movable heritage from Bosnia and Herzegovina is
By way of
exception to the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Clause, the temporary
removal from Bosnia and Herzegovina
of the movable heritage for the purposes of display or conservation shall be
permitted if it is established that conservation works cannot be carried out in
Bosnia and Herzegovina.
for temporary removal under the conditions stipulated in the preceding
paragraph shall be issued by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, if
it is determined beyond doubt that it will not jeopardize the movable heritage
in any way.
granting permission for the temporary removal of the movable heritage from
Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Commission shall stipulate all the conditions under
which the removal may take place, the date by which the items shall be returned
to the country, and the responsibility of individual authorities and
institutions for ensuring that these conditions are met, and shall notify the
Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the relevant security
service, the customs authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the general
Government of the Federation, the Federal ministry responsible for regional
planning, the Federal ministry responsible for culture, 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 to VI of this Decision, and the Authorized
Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land
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)
to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
decisions of the Commission are final.
Decision shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the
Official Gazette of BiH.
Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep
Ahunbay, Martin Cherry, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana
Ševo and Tina Wik.
8 July 2009
E l u c i
d a t i o n
I – INTRODUCTION
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.
January 2009 Ćamil Cero, director of the Museum of the Battle
for the Wounded of the Neretva in Jablanica, submitted a petition to designate
the property as a national
monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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.
Statement of Significance
historic landscape in which the Museum of the Battle for the Wounded or Battle
of the Neretva in Jablanica is located is a memorial complex associated with
the fourth offensive, an event that took place in February and March 1943,
during which troops from the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army rescued more
than 4,000 sick and injured despite the concerted attacks by Axis forces. The
site is of great symbolic and historic significance, now including the
architectural ensemble of the Museum of the Battle for the Wounded or Battle of
the Neretva in Jablanica, consisting of the memorial complex of the Museum
building (an example of modern architectural design) and its exhibits. The
memorial bridge is the main museum exhibit, testifying to the specific tactics
of Partisan warfare and to a World War II battle that, more perhaps than any
other, was waged for humanitarian reasons. The museum itself, designed by
architects Branko Tadić, Zdravko Dunđerović and Mustafa Ramić and regarded at
the time as a major example of modernist brutalism, was opened on 12 November
1978 to mark the 35th anniversary of the Battle
of the Neretva.
II – PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DECISION
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
An inspection of the
condition of the property
Copy of cadastral plan
Copy of land register
and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography
forming part of this Decision.
findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of
the property are as follows:
1. Details of the property
National Monument is in Jablanica, on the right bank of the Neretva, beside the
demolished iron bridge on the Neretva. The road leading to the complex forks
off to the south-east from the main Konjic-Mostar road. Within the grounds, a
road leads to a car park, with an area of 1,850 m2. The road from the car park
southwards leads to the back entrance to the museum, to the south-west. A
footpath with steps and ramps leads from the car park to the entrance to the
main hall to the north-west and the museum entrance to the north-east of the
museum of the Battle
for the Wounded on the Neretva.
footpath forks off from the footpath to the museum, leading north-east to the
events area with open-air stage and on to the meeting point and eternal flame.
South-eastwards from the eternal flame, footpaths have been rebuilt along the
right bank of the Neretva to the site of the wooden bridge by which combatants
and the wounded crossed in March 1943.
footpath runs along the north-east boundary of the events area south-eastwards
to the remains of the demolished bridge on the right bank of the Neretva, with
the remains of a railway line.
remains of the demolished iron bridge lie on the steep left bank of the
Neretva. To the north-east of the remains of the bridge, also on the left bank
of the Neretva, is an early 20th century bunker. Also forming part of the
National Monument is the old railway tunnel on the left bank of the Neretva,
not far from the remains of the bridge.
The Battle of the Neretva,
fought in February and March 1943, was preceded by many military and political
events and operations. Since the summer of 1941, the organization and
increasing strength of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY), headed by Josip
Broz Tito, and of the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army and Partisan units of
Yugoslavia (YPLA and the Partisans)(1), had resulted in a new and unexpected front opening up in Europe.
series of military operations, the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army had
successfully repulsed in fascist troops from Bihać(2) by the end of 1942, and had
created about 48,000 km2 of free territory, extending from Banja Luka to Rijeka
and from Imotski to the approaches to Zagreb.
plan was for Axis troops to secure the main routes through the Balkans, both
for logistical reasons and to carve up the free territory under the control of
Yugoslav People's Liberation Army troops.
November 1942, recognizing that the YPLA troops were a serious threat, Hitler
had convened an emergency meeting with the commander of German forces in the
Balkans, General [Generaloberst] Alexander Löhr, and Ante Pavelić, with a view
to organizing a major winter offensive against the Partisans. The conclusions
of the meeting, which was held in Vinica, Slovenia, were that the objectives
were to annihilate the YPLA and Partisan forces, to deport the population of
the free territory to concentration camps, and to wipe out all means of
sustenance in the free territory(3).
of the offensive against the Partisans were agreed at the series of meetings
that followed. Hitler convened a meeting in Rastenburg,
East Prussia, on 18 and 19 December, attended
by the foreign ministers and chiefs of staff of Germany
The decision was taken for a joint German and Italian action to be launched
against the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army. The next meeting, held on 3
January 1943 in Rome, was attended by Mussolini,
Marshal Cavalerio (Mussolini's Chief of General Staff), General Löhr (now
raised to the status of Commander-in-Chief, South-East), General Roata
(commanding officer of Italy's
Second Army in Yugoslavia),
and high-ranking German and Italian officers. It was agreed at this meeting
that the offensive would be carried out in the winter [early months] of 1943,
in three phases, which the Germans code-named Operation Weiss I, Weiss II, and
Weiss III. The objective of the military operations to be conducted during
Weiss I and Weiss II was to annihilate the main strength of the YPLA of
Yugoslavia in the Bosnian krajina (frontier region) and Croatia.
Weiss III, the objective of which was to disarm the Chetniks in Herzegovina and Montenegro under Italian command,
was never carried out. The Germans feared that in the event of an Allied
invasion, the Chetnik formations in those areas could change sides, abandoning
the Axis and joining forces with the Anglo-American allies. As a result, the
Germans abandoned Weiss III and instead joined forces with these Chetniks in an
attempt to annihilate the YPLA troops on the Neretva(4).
January 1943, just before Operation Weiss I was due to begin, the German and
Italian commanders-in-chief, Löhr and Roata, met in Zagreb to fine-tune their strategy. The
offensive against the YPLA was scheduled to begin on 15 January, but for
reasons unknown was deferred to 20 January. The joint Axis forces, commanded by
Germany's General Lüters(5) and
Italy's General Gloria, were given two days to annihilate the Partisans in the
Karlovac – Ogulin – Gospić – Knin – Ključ – Sanski Most – Kostajnica – Glina
area. They would then form a demarcation line in the free territory along the Karlovac
– Slunj – Bihać – Bosanski Petrovac line, and “cleanse” the terrain.
since the beginning of the Fourth Enemy Offensive (as the operation called Fall
Weiss by the Germans against the YPLA is also known), four hospital centres had
been set up in western Bosnia and Croatia, with several buildings of various
sizes used for different purposes. These were wooden huts put together out of
old timbers, in secret locations, mainly in woodland(6), two of them in the Bosnian
krajina(7), one in
Lika and one in Kordun.
start of Operation Weiss I, these four hospitals already housed more than 3,000
sick and wounded. Since there was no doubt that German and Italian troops would
launch an assault on this territory, careful plans were laid for a general
evacuation of all the sick and wounded, who would otherwise have been killed.
January 1943, four days after the offensive began, the evacuation of the
hospitals to Drvar began, as directed by the Supreme Commander, Josip Broz
Tito. The plan was for the convoys of wounded were to leave the Drvar and
Mlinište area and make their way via the Glamoč plain to the Livno plain,
ending up in Prozorska Kotlina. After the first group of sick and injured
reached Drvar, on 30 January, Josip Broz Tito decided to redirect the evacuees
towards the Main Operational Group heading for Herzegovina.
Supreme Command had also learned, in early 1943, that German and Italian troops
were concentrating in Karlovac and Knin and assembling Chetniks in Herzegovina.
Since this was clear evidence that an attack could be imminent (Weiss I), plans
were drawn up for a counter-offensive. On 24 and 25 January, the Supreme
Command HQ was relocated from Ostrošac (near Bihać) to Drvar, and just two days
later, on 27 January, Josip Broz Tito issued the first preparatory orders for
the counter-offensive. Each stage of the counter-offensive was planned and
agreed between 28 January and 1 February at a series of meetings attended by
representatives of the Central Committee of the CPY and the Supreme Command.
The essence of the plan was for the 1st Bosnian and 1st Croatian corps to
defend the free territory and to hold up or at least slow the advance of the
German and Italian troops. This would enable the Main Operational Group to
embark on a counter-offensive on Herzegovina,
Montenegro and, ultimately, Serbia(8). In addition, to widen the area
from which the counter-offensive was to be launched, the 1st and 3rd Divisions were
ordered, in early February 1943, to redeploy from the Teslić – Prnjavor –
Kotorvaroš area and the Bosna and Lašva valleys respectively, where they had
been fighting, to Gornji Vakuf and Prozor.
February, as General Löhr and Italy's General Robotti were meeting in Belgrade
to discuss the completion of Operation Weiss I and the launch of Operation
Weiss II, Tito convened a meeting in Drvar of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd HQ and put
the counter-offensive plan to them. It was agreed that the counter-offensive
would be conducted in three stages. The first stage was to force the Neretva,
the second the Drina, and the last the Lim. The
counter-offensive was led by the Main Operational Group, consisting of the 1st,
2nd, 3rd, 7th and 9th Divisions(9).
Weiss I came to an unsuccessful conclusion on 17 February 1943, when YPLA
troops prevented the Axis troops from cutting the free territory in half and
then “cleansing” it. After Operation Weiss I, the German troops retreated from
Grmeč and began redeploying for Operation Weiss II. The plan was for Operation
Weiss II to begin on 25 February and continue until 20 March 1943. However,
hoping to avoid any unforeseen situation that could put the entire operation at
risk, military strikes began a few days earlier.
next few days, combined German and Italian troops managed to take some
important strategic positions. On 22 February, the Vogl group took Gornji
Vakuf, and the Anaker group captured positions on Ivan-Sedlo. The situation in
the area from Bosanski Petrovac to Ključ, Mrkonić Grad, Jajce and Livno was
particularly worrying, leaving the Main Operational Group of the YPLA very
vulnerable, despite their successfully resisting attacks by German and Italian
troops. The Vogl group continued to advance, taking Karaulica on 27 and 28
February and beginning to make its way down into the Dreševo area, where there
were wounded evacuees.
Josip Broz Tito's orders to the Supreme Command's sapper company, all the
bridges over the Neretva and the Rama from Karaula to Ostrošac were blown up
between 1 and 4 March, including the Jablanica bridge. The notes by the sapper
who laid the explosives on the Jablanica bridge read: “Jablanica bridge, 80
metres long, very high, more than 35 m; its old, out-dated “fish-belly” truss
construction of a design that was easy to demolish. Following a brief
calculation, I decided to place only 12 kilograms of kaminktite(10) on the Rama bridge and to use
all the TNT and the rest of the kaminktite for the Jablanica bridge.”(11)
the night of 5 to 6 March, on completion of their computations, a group of
engineers, sappers and soldiers placed various explosives on the bridge and
detonated them. Gojko Jokić relates the recollections of a member of the group:
“The explosion was a typical gunpowder explosion, with lots of black smoke and
not much noise, but enough to break the structure apart and collapse it into
the Neretva, where the strong current swept the structure, weighing many tons,
several metres downstream.”(12)
operational plan to force the river Neretva, begun on 6 March, was to consist
of the following actions:
the 2nd Proletarian
Division, with the 1st Proletarian Brigade, a howitzer division and tanks, were
to force the Neretva;
the 3rd Division was to
secure the left flank and repulse the 718th German Division to Konjic, and to
cross the Neretva at Ostrošac;
the 7th Banija Division
was initially to secure the right flank of the strike echelon, and then to
advance into the Nevesinje plain along with the 10th Herzegovinian;
the 9th Dalmatian Division
was to protect the south and south-east approaches to Jablanica;
the 1st Proletarian
Division was to secure the Gornji Vakuf – Prozor and Ravno – Prozor routes(13).
evening and night of 6 to 7 March, YPLA troops crossed via the demolished
Jablanica bridge, clashing with strong Chetnik forces on the left bank,
deployed in two well fortified battle lines (a bunker with Chetnik troops was
located near the demolished bridge). Following fierce fighting, the Chetniks
were routed and forced back; that same day the Partisans rapidly established a
substantial bridgehead about 8 km away(14).
At 8 p.m.
on 7 March, the Supreme Command's sapper company, with a strength of 35, began
erecting a temporary wooden bridge by the demolished iron bridge(15). The wooden bridge, which was 56
m long and 2.5 m wide, was erected in just 18 hours, the sappers completing it
at 3 a.m. on 8 March 1943.
On 8 March,
the 2nd Proletarian and 7th Banija Divisions crossed over to the left bank of
the Neretva, reinforcing the defence and enabling the convoy of some 4,000
wounded to cross, as well as refugees, troops, and finally the Supreme Command.
The crossing began on 8 March: “By the light of about a dozen burning car
tyres, the seemingly endless convoy crossed the Neretva and made its way along
the path to its destinations. A member of the Central Committee of the Yugoslav
Communist Party, Krsto Popivoda, and a group of sappers oversaw the crossing of
the bridge. That night the first seriously wounded were carried across. They
were taken along the steep zigzag path cut in the bank down to the bridge on
stretchers, each carried by two Italians and men from the Banija Division.
[...] The path [from the bridge] was cut into the cliff or followed the wet
rocks above the river itself. It took more than half an hour for the
stretcher-bearers to cover those few hundred metres and climb the steep slope
to the tunnel. The stretchers were accompanied by an escort, nurses and
doctors, who lent a hand, fearful that the wounded would end up in the river.”(16)
this, on 10 March German troops took Prozor and advanced onto Jablanica, which
they took on 17 March. The final battle for the wounded in the Battle of the Neretva was waged from 15 to 21
March by brigades of the 1st Proletarian Division, the 3rd Sanjak and the 3rd
and 7th Krajina Divisions. Though exhausted and half-starved, they heroically
protected the evacuation of the rearguard hospital echelons from the assaults
of German, Italian and Chetnik troops from Konjic and Jablanica, while at the
same time collecting up and transferring on all the remaining wounded and
burying many of those who had fallen in battle or died. After their final
withdrawal to Boračko
Lake, the enemy found
they had left not a single surviving YPLA combatant behind(17). General Löhr,
Commander-in-Chief for the Balkans, wrote in his report: “The Partisans
succeeded in crossing the Neretva and in retreating, to the last man, to the
northern part of Montenegro.
They broke through a section of the front held by the Italians and Chetniks. There
was no booty and no prisoners. Not one Partisan, wounded or even dead, was
found, though to judge from our own heavy losses, they must also have had a
great many losses.”(18)
crossing, the Partisans also destroyed their heavy weaponry, dumping cannon,
tanks and lorries in the Neretva.
stage of the Battle
of the Neretva was the defeat of the Chetniks. Though Draža Mihajlović had
mobilized a large number of Chetniks (about 18,000), his troops were defeated
in battle on 17 and 18 March on the Lipeta – Krstac – Zaborani route.
liberation of Nevesinje, Kalinovik and the region between these two towns marked
the end of the Battle
of the Neretva. At the same time, the hospital had been moved to a safer place
in the upper Neretva valley, where the medical corps was able to treat the sick
and wounded in relative safety(19).
2. Description of the property
historic site of the National Monument includes the museum building, an events
area with an open-air theatre and a meeting point on the right bank of the
Neretva, the remains of a bridge with access footpaths on both banks, an old
Series 73 locomotive on the right bank and the bunker on the left bank of the
Neretva. It covers an area of 4 17 42 ha on the right bank of the Neretva, and
1 10 55 ha on the left bank, together with 300 m downstream from the bridge of
the Neretva river itself.
Museum of the Battle for the Wounded (the Battle of the Neretva) is housed in a
three-storey building (basement, ground floor, first floor), designed by
architects Branko Tadić, Zdravko Dunđerović and Mustafa Ramić. The building has
a total floor area of 4,873 m2. The Museum was ceremonially opened by Josip
Broz Tito 12 November 1978. From the outside, the building forms a range of
Museum has three main entrances: a rear entrance to the basement, to the
south-west; the entrance to the main hall on the ground floor, to the
north-west; and the main entrance to the museum, to the north-east. The
building also has a service door to the buffet storeroom on the ground floor,
to the north-east, and the office entrance to the north-west. The emergency
exit is to the south-west, leading to the tradesmen's driveway.
houses utility rooms and plant, among them the boiler room and air-conditioning
plan, the stoker’s room and workshops, the theatre workshops, a photo lab with
dark room, the housekeeper’s and concierge’s rooms, a staff toilet block and
another toilet block for guests of the main hall. The basement has an area of
floor houses the museum exhibits and the main hall with its
entrance to the museum is on the north-east side of the building. Beside it, in
the outer portico, is an artificial water feature spanned by a wooden bridge
leading into a screen door space. Beside the water feature is a model of the Battle of the Neretva and
a fountain. The screen door space leads into the museum hall, which also
contains the doorman's office and a spiral staircase down into the basement and
up to the offices on the first floor. The entrance hall opens onto the
exhibition hall to the south-east, which is on three levels: the first at
-1'25, the second at -1'88, and the third at -2'50, with staircases leading
from one to the other. The north-east and south-east walls of the exhibition
hall are entirely glazed, with a view of the memorial bridge. To the
south-east, by the exhibition hall, is a loggia. The second level of the
exhibition hall leads into a small hall at the third level, at -1'88. A flight
of stairs leads to the second level at -1'56 and the first at -1'25. There is
also a door to the small hall from the entrance hall. The small hall has a
capacity of approx. 100.
entrance hall also leads into a room for special receptions to the north-east,
with sliding doors into the buffet. The doorway from the entrance hall of the
museum to the lobby of the main hall is in a glass partition wall. This part of
the entrance lobby of the main hall is also at a level of -1'25, and leads into
the buffet, with a storeroom and WC to the north. A separate service entrance
leads to the entrance to the buffet storeroom.
entrance to the lobby of the main hall is on the north-west side of the
building. A covered portico houses the ticket office and information desk and
the main entrance to the lobby of the main hall. The entrance and lobby of the
main hall are at a level of 0'00. The lobby of the main hall is entered from
the covered portico, through a screen door anteroom. The air space above the
anteroom and part of the lobby of the main hall is covered by a space truss. The
anteroom also leads into a stairwell with a steel spiral staircase up to the
library on the first floor. To the north-west, at a level of +1'20, is an
office with an outside entrance, and a small toilet block.
principal entrance to the main hall is from the entrance lobby to the
north-east, through a double-valved door, at a level of 0'00. The side doors to
the main hall are to the east and west of the principal entrance, at a level of
-1'25; beside the west entrance is a terrace. The entrance lobby of the main
hall has a visitors' cloakroom to the north-west, with a door to the ticket
office. The other cloakroom is to the north-east, by the lower-level part of
the hall, used for exhibitions, between the lobby of the main hall and the
museum hall. Next to the north-west cloakroom is a stairwell with a steel
spiral staircase leading down to the visitors' toilets in the basement.
hall has a seating capacity of about 500, on three levels (-0'00, -1'25 and -
2'50) with ramps between, forming the auditorium. The stage is to the south of
the hall, and incorporates a side stage to the south-west, with a spiral
staircase leading to the theatre workshops. The side stage leads into a
corridor, which opens onto the dressing rooms, a kitchenette and clubroom, and
the theatre wardrobe. The entrance to the stage is from the south-east wing of
the corridor where a double-flight performers' staircase leading to the back
yard at basement level. Another stage entrance is from the corridor by the
control room, which connects the stage and the small hall. The emergency exit
is to the south-west of the main hall, just by the stage. The main hall and
stage rise through two storeys.
floor has an area of 3,155m2.
spiral staircase leads from the entrance lobby of the museum to the corridor of
the office premises on the first floor (at a level of +3'12), which
consist of three curators' offices, the director's office with a terrace to the
south-east, the general office and toilets.
to the library, to the north-west, lead to the library corridor on the first
floor (also at a level of +3'12). The library consists of a lending section,
reference library (reading room), stack-room, a periodicals room, a disc and
tape library, toilet block and corridor. The reading room opens onto an
open-air terrace to the south-east. At the end of the corridor, to the south,
is the entrance to the projection room and lighting control room above the main
construction of the museum building is a combination of a reinforced concrete
framework and steel structure. The roof structure above the museum is a steel
Mero space truss resting on reinforced concrete beams around the edges of the
building, with a span of 22.5 m. The roof of the entrance lobby of the main
hall is also a steel Mero space truss, with a span of 9.8 m. The main hall
itself has a planar steel truss. The other interstorey structures consist of a
reinforced concrete frame slab and beams, walls and pillars. The spiral
staircases are of steel. The foundations consist of continuous footings and
piers. The light well is of rolled steel section over which the panels were
flooring consists of flagstones (entrance hall and museum), carpeting (the main
hall), parquet and decking, and floor tiles. The walls of the museum and buffet
are clad with stone slabs. The walls of the entrance lobby, the cloakroom and
buffet are clad with unglazed ceramic 40 x 40 cm tiles painted with emulsion
paint. The walls of the main hall are wood-panelled, with acoustic insulation.
are rendered with washed coulure(20) with river aggregate.
archives of the Museum of the Battle
for the Wounded contain original and copies of photographs, maps and documents
relating to the battle. Some of its exhibits (rifles, uniforms, model aircraft,
grenades, helmets etc.) are on loan from the Historical
Museum in Sarajevo.
exhibition hall contains two paintings showing the wounded being carried across
Ismet Mujezinović (Tuzla,
2 December 1907 – Tuzla, 1 January 1984), Carrying the Wounded, oil on canvas,
172 x 128 cm. Jablanica: Museum of the Battle
for the Wounded (original location: Sarajevo, Historical Museum).
composition of Carrying the Wounded is rectangular in format. Though it
includes some areas of landscape, the composition shows two full-length human
figures in close-up. The artist has shown great skill in the portrayal of their
bodies under the weight of their burden, testing them to the extreme. In the
foreground, the white dress and youthful face of a woman stands out against the
dark composition. Her body is bent under her double burden – that of the
wounded man she is carrying on her back, and of the rifle slung in front of
her. The body of the wounded man is as if coiled around the girl's body and
dress, seeming to merge with it so that for a moment they cannot be told apart.
Though she is stepping out strongly, creating perfect balance as she reaches
for the next piece of ground, her large black eyes are tired, and are focused
on the banks of the Neretva. The head of the wounded man, eyes closed, is
resting on the girl's right shoulder, resigned to his helplessness.
S. Gavrilović, Carrying
the Wounded, 1950, oil on canvas, 161 x 126 cm. Jablanica: Museum of the Battle for the Wounded (original location: Sarajevo, Historical
composition, also rectangular in format, deals with the same subject, carrying
the wounded, but differs from Mujezinović's treatment in that it depicts a
group of the wounded moving down the banks of the Neretva from the top of the
painting. Women and the wounded on stretchers form an indistinct, straggling
but continuous line of figures. This makes the painting harder to read, but on
the other hand compels the viewer to study each separate element. The convoy is
headed by two women, portrayed in the foreground, cut off at waist level by the
frame at the moment of leaving the composition with a wounded man on a
stretcher. Drawing on the legacy of cubism, the artist has constructed the
composition with the bold, sharp-edged black contours of the human figures and
The artist signed and dated the composition in the bottom left
area is to the north-east of the museum, by the entrance to the grounds. It
is used for special events and large gatherings, as well as forming an open-air
foyer for the museum building. It includes an open-air stage of white
flagstones surrounded on three sides by a five-tier auditorium. The events area
including the stage covers an area of 1,480m2; the stage itself has an area of
point to the north-east of the events area symbolically represents the
place where combatants and the wounded assembled before crossing the Neretva. It
includes an eternal flame with an area for laying wreaths and a flagpole. The
meeting point is paved with flagstones. From it runs a reconstruction of the
footpath used by the wounded and combatants to cross the demolished bridge to
the far bank of the Neretva. The meeting point is 180m2 in area. The footpath
on the right bank leading to the place where the combatants and wounded crossed
the Neretva is 1.20 m wide and 180 m long. Another footpath on the left bank
leads southwards up from the bridge; it is 1.20 m wide and 150 m long.
bridge is a symbol of the Battle of the
Neretva and the Battle
for the Wounded, and the central monument of the entire complex.
bridge, which was demolished in March 1943 during the battle for the wounded,
was built in 1888. The structure of the bridge was a linear truss with an
inverted arch on the underside. The span of the arch was 78 m, and the rise 10
m. The bridge rested on stone abutments on each bank. The bridge truss on its
abutments was 3 m in height.
1943 the Germans built a new bridge on the site of the demolished bridge. The
construction of this bridge was a space truss of rectangular cross-section. The
span of the bridge was 78 m and the height of the truss 8 m. The bridge, which
was 5 m wide, rested on the existing stone abutments. The height of the truss
at the abutments was lower than before, at 5 m at both ends of the bridge.
bridge was demolished again in 1968 during the filming of the film Bitka na
Neretvi (The Battle of the Neretva) produced by Veljko Bulajić.
of the project for the museum of the Battle
for the Wounded in Jablanica, a project was drawn up for the restoration of the
memorial bridge in May 1977. The opening ceremony for the museum and its
accompanying amenities was held in 1978. The restoration works were as follows:
the existing truss
structure of the demolished iron bridge, which had been left lying against the
left bank of the Neretva after its demolition in 1968, remained in the same
place, after being protected against the risk of further destruction;
the Neretva was bridged to
the existing bridge and between the footpaths with the same type of
construction as the surviving part of the bridge. The new section was placed
almost horizontally, with a slight slant to the section of the bridge on the
left bank. This new section of the bridge was mounted on new foundations in the
riverbed and on the banks;
upstream of the new
section of the bridge, wooden logs were laid crosswise with the footpath of the
wooden bridge laid over them. This bridge is used to cross from the right to
the left bank as a reminder of the battle;
a Series 73 locomotive
(express passenger train) is on display on the right bank of the Neretva, the
only surviving example of that series in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
on the left bank of the Neretva was built in the early 20th century. It is
rectangular in plan, with sides of 10 x 6 m and with 2 m wide chamfered
corners, and consists of a single room. The walls are approx. 6 m high. The bunker
has an octagonal roof. The entrance is through an arched doorway in the
south-west façade, where there is one window to the west of the doorway and
three below the roof. The south-east façade has three windows at the base of
the building and four below the roof, and the north-west façade two small
windows at the base, one large one facing south, and five small ones below the
roof. The north-east façade has one small and one large window at the base of
the building and three below the roof. The chamfered corners each have two
windows, one at the base and one below the roof.
windows at the base of the bunker are rectangular, the sides with a ratio of
1:2 on the outside, narrowing to the top on the inside to form a square
opening. The windows below the roof have sides with a ratio of 1:1.5 on the
outside, also narrowing to the top on the inside. All the windows are
accentuated on the outside with a simple rectangular moulding below and a frame
in imitation of a stone arch above. The entrance doorway to the bunker is also
surmounted by an imitation stone arch.
bunker was built of solid brick with quoins of interlocking stone ashlar. The
façades are rendered.
3. Legal status to date
1997 the Museum of the Battle for the Wounded (Battle of the Neretva)
was a state institution forming part of the Historical Museum of Bosnia and
Herzegovina (former Museum of the Revolution). Since 1997 it has been an
independent public institution by the name Museum of the Battle for the Wounded of the Neretva, Jablanica.
4. Investigative and conservation
is known of any investigative or conservation works on the historic site or any
of its buildings and facilities.
5. Current condition of the
buildings and contents of the architectural ensemble of the Museum of the Battle for the Wounded in
Jablanica have retained their authentic appearance to a limited extent,
depending on which part of the complex is in question.
museum building has not suffered any significant damage. The flat roof is
dilapidated and needs repair. The rest of the building is in relatively good
condition, considering it is little used and that it has only limited museum
events area and meeting point are in good condition, and are restricted to the
use for which they were originally designed.
remains of the memorial bridge on the banks – the footings of the bridge on the
right bank and the remains of the bridge on the left bank – are in good
condition. The horizontal section of the bridge (the steel grid and the
horizontal wooden footbridge) added during reconstruction in 1978 were twisted
at a right-angle and broken by a wave surge. This part of the bridge is still
attached to the vertical steel grid on the left bank, but cannot be restored to
its original position. Plans are in hand to make a replica of the horizontal
steel grid and wooden footbridge which was an integral part of the memorial
bunker is no longer part of the complex, but has been leased to a private owner
who has opened a restaurant there and built lean-tos on three sides. Reversible
alterations have been made to the interior. The present tenant has built a
horizontal structure inside the building, which impairs its original
III – CONCLUSION
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.
Decision was based on the following criteria:
B. Historical value
(documentary, scientific and educational value)
D.i. material evidence of a lesser known
D.ii. evidence of historical change
E. Symbolic value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.iii. the building or group of buildings is part
of a group or site
I.iv. undamaged condition
following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
the procedure to designate the monument as a national monument of Bosnia
and Herzegovina the following works were
1977 Institute for Architecture and Town Planning, Faculty of
Architecture and Town Planning, Sarajevo: outline project: Memorial Complex,
Jablanica, designers: Branko Tadić, BSc Arch; Zdravko Dunđerović, BSc Arch;
Mustafa Ramić, BSc Arch; 1977
1977 Institute for Architecture and Town Planning, Faculty of
Architecture and Town Planning, Sarajevo, working design: Memorial Complex,
Jablanica, Museum; designers: Branko Tadić, BSc Arch; Zdravko Dunđerović,
BSc Arch; Mustafa Ramić, BSc Arch; 1977
1977 Institute for Architecture and Town Planning, Faculty of
Architecture and Town Planning, Sarajevo:
outline project, interior: Memorial Complex, Jablanica, Museum;
designers: Branko Tadić, BSc Arch; Zdravko Dunđerović, BSc Arch; 1977
1977 Energoinvest Sarajevo: outline treatment: Memorial bridge in
Jablanica; Miloš Janjić BSc Civ Eng.; 1977
1977 Energoinvest Sarajevo: main building project: Memorial bridge
in Jablanica; Miloš Janjić BSc Civ Eng.; 1977
1979 Đonlagić, Ahmed. Bitka na Neretvi (The Battle
of the Neretva), 2nd ed.; Museum of the Revolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo;
NIU “Narodna armija” Belgrade,
1979 Jokić, Gojko. Neretva-Makljen Jablanica-Prozor, tourist
guide; Museum of the Revolution of Bosnia and
and NIŠRO Tourism Press Belgrade; BIGZ, 1979.
1985 Krzović, Ibrahim. Ismet Mujezinović. Yugoslav Portrait
Gallery Tuzla, Tuzla: 1985
(1) Since the
autumn of 1942, new brigades, divisions, corps and military logistics and
troops had been created as part of the YPLA and the Partisans. Bitka na
Neretvi, Sarajevo: Museum of the Revolution
of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
(2) After its
liberation, the first session of people's representatives was held in Bihać on
26 and 27 November 1942, and the Antifascist Council of the National Liberation
of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ) was formed.
(3) Gojko Jokić,
Neretva – Makljen. Jablanica – Prozor, in: Tourist Guide to Monuments of
the Revolution. Sarajevo:
BIGZ, 1979, 7.
Đonlagić, Bitka na Neretvi, Sarajevo:
Museum of the Revolution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1979, n. 1, 10.
offensive was to be headed by the 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz
Eugen, the 369th Infantry Division, reinforced by one regiment of the 187th
Reserve Division and the 3rd Croatian Home Guard Mountain Brigade, the 714th
and 717th Divisions with the 2nd Croatian Home Guard Mountain Brigade, and the
2nd Tank Battalion, commanded by Germany's General Lüters, and the 12th
Infantry Division Sassari, the 13th Infantry Division Re and the 57th Infantry
Division Lombardia with seven Ustasha battalions and [about 20,000] Chetniks
commanded by Italy's General Gloria.
(6) The Germany army
had special units whose job was to find concealed hospitals so as to destroy
them and kill the wounded.
(7) In late
1942, the hospital in Bosanski Petrovac and environs alone had 1,200 wounded.
There were hospitals in Grmeč, Lika, Banija and Kordun, and the sick and
wounded were also treated in towns that had been liberated. Gojko Jokić,
op.cit., 1979, 7.
Jokić, op.cit., 1979, 10.
(9) The orders
issued by Tito in Drvar gave each division a precise task:
the 1st Division was to take the enemy stronghold between
Ivan-Sedlo and Konjic to block the road to Sarajevo;
the 2nd Division was to secure the route south from Mostar
by eliminating the enemy between Mostar and Jablanica;
the 3rd Division was to take Prozor, Rama, Ostrožac and
Konjic and secure the Neretva crossing;
the 7th Division was to defend the Bihać – Bosanski
Petrovac – Drvar – Livno – Prozor route, and
the 9th Division was to protect the right flank of the main
forces on the Neretva, from Imotski to Vrlica and Ljubuški.
Gojko Jokić, op.cit., 1979, 11.
Translator’s note: this word could not be found on the internet or in any
dictionary available to me, and is perhaps a proprietary name for a type of
Jokić, op.cit., 16.
(12) Idem., 17.
(13) Idem., 18.
Đonlagić continues: “Smirnov had in fact made a long wooden terrace, fixed to
the demolished iron structure of the bridge by telephone poles. It was over
this terrace that the troops surged, soon followed by the convoys of the
wounded.” Ahmed Đonlagić. Bitka na Neretvi. Sarajevo:
Museum of the Revolution of Bosnia
and Herzegovina, 1979, 82.
(17) Idem., 97.
Jokić, op.cit., 1979, 19.
Đonlagić, op.cit., 101.
Translator’s note: the term “prani kulir” to describe the render on the
façades, where the first word literally means “washed” and the second I assume
to be the local-language phonetic transcription of the French word “coulure”,
has me baffled. “Coulure” has three meanings that I am aware of, none of which
seems to fit here except possibly the one that derives from the verb couler, to
run, as in paint, or to flow, as in a liquid; the second relates to
viticulture, and the third to fishing.