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Vrnograč Castle in Vrnograč, the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the Official Gazette of BiH no. 24/10.           

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 1 to 4 December 2009 the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

The architectural ensemble of Vrnograč Castle in Vrnograč, Municipality Velika Kladuša, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

The National Monument consists of the ramparts and towers of the castle.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 168 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 34/1, 34/2, 19/1, 36/3, 36/4, 33, 35/1, 35/2, 35/3, 16/1 and 19/1 (old survey), Land Register entry nos. 66, 1033, 62, 683, 892, 1045 and 324; title deed no. 108/02; cadastral municipality Vrnograč, Municipality Velika Kladuša, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 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 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, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.

The Government of the Federation shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation 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. 3 of this Decision, the following protection measures are hereby stipulated:

-          conservation, structural repair and restoration works, including those designed for the presentation of the monument, shall be permitted 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;

-          the walls of the monument shall be cleared of vegetation posing a threat to their structure;

-          the damaged walls, the merlons of the towers and the ramparts shall be made good structurally and consolidated;

-          all works that could have the effect of altering the site are prohibited, as is the erection of temporary facilities or permanent structures not designed solely for the protection and presentation of the National Monument;

-          the demolition and removal of stone from the masonry structures are prohibited;

-          the dumping of waste is prohibited;

-          the site shall be open and accessible to the public;

-          the site may be used for educational and cultural purposes.

                         

The following protection measures are prescribed for plots c.p. 1983/1 and c.p. 1982, adjacent to the protected site:

-          the renovation of existing buildings shall be permitted subject to retaining their current footprint and height;

-          infills of residential properties of no more than two storeys (G + 1) with a maximum height of approx. 6.50 m to the roof cornice may be permitted;

-          he erection of industrial facilities, major infrastructure or potential environmental polluters as defined by law is prohibited in this zone.

 

IV

 

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

 

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. 757.                  

 

X

 

This Decision shall enter into force on the day following 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.: 06.2-2.2-40/09-67

2 December 2009

Sarajevo

 

Chair of the Commission

Ljiljana Ševo

 

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 Vrnograč Castle, Velika Kladuša, to the Provisional List of National Monuments of BiH under serial no. 757.

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.

 

Statement of Significance

Vrnograč Castle is in essence a fortified manor house. Its complex layout and abundance of accommodation on the one hand, and its solid fortifications on the other, enabled its residents to live in comfort, peace and safety.

The earliest reference to the fort in written documents dates from the mid 13th century.  Hungary’s King Bela IV issued a charter on 4 October 1264, granting lands to the Kreščić brothers in Topuski, Podzvizd and Vrnograč as feudal holdings, as a mark of gratitude. In 1456 Hungary’s King Ladislav granted the descendants of the Kreščić clan permission to build two forts, Podzvizd and Vrnograč. Podzvizd was erected as fortifications, and Vrnograč as a late mediaeval fortified manor house. It was to be the scene of constant battles between the Ottoman and the Austro-Hungarian garrisons that successively held and lost the fort.

A wooden mosque was built just by the entrance to the castle. It remained in use until 1875, when it was demolished, and a new one was built in the settlement of Vrnograč that had taken shape outside the ramparts.

 

II – PRELIMINARY PROCEDURE

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 the current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and Land Register entry);

-          Details of 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

Location

Vrnograč is on the road leading from Velika Kladuša to Bužim and Bosanska Krupa, about 16 km from Velika Kladuša, in the eastern part of Velika Kladuša Municipality, at an altitude of 163 m. Vrnograč Castle is on the summit of Pehova hill, surmounting its steepest flank, very close to the town of Vrnograč.

The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 168 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. 34/1, 34/2, 19/1, 36/3, 36/4, 33, 35/1, 35/2, 35/3, 16/1 and 19/1 (old survey), Land Register entry nos. 66, 1033, 62, 683, 892, 1045 and 324; title deed no. 108/02; cadastral municipality Vrnograč, Municipality Velika Kladuša, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Historical information

The fortified towns of mediaeval Bosnia date from the time when it was an independent state, from the 12th to the 15th century. The forts of western Bosnia, the Una valley region and the Cazin frontier region were primarily of a military defensive nature. Fortified or walled towns came into being as the administrative centres of various districts, and differ from forts in that within their walls were houses and other buildings to accommodate a military garrison. The principal walled towns of the area were Bužim, Bihać, Cazin, Podzvizd, Todorovo, Ostrožac, Velika Kladuša and Vrnograč, though there were also many others.

The earliest reference to Vrnograč in written documents dates from the mid 13th century, as belonging to the Kreščić clan(1). Hungary’s King Bela IV issued a charter on 4 October 1264, granting lands to the Kreši brothers, Kupiša and Rako, in Topuski, Podzvizd and Vrnograč as feudal holdings, as a mark of gratitude for their bravery in fighting the Mongols, and in particular in the battle of Trogir. In 1456 Hungary’s King Ladislav granted the descendants of the Kreščić clan permission to build two forts, Podzvizd and Vrnograč. Both were built over the remains of smaller forts. Podzvizd was erected as fortifications, and Vrnograč as a late mediaeval fortified manor house. 

Extant written sources and 16th century maps refer to Vrnograč by a variety of different names: Vrnograč, Vrnograd, Vranogreica and Vranić grad. There are two legends concerning the origins of the name Vrnograč: one that it was named after one Captain Vranić, who built it and served there as its captain for many years, and the other that a wealthy man by the name of Dobriša had three daughters, Bika, Soka and Vrana, who inherited their father’s property on his death and built three forts: Bika built Bihać, Soka built Sokolac, and Vrana built Vranograd.

In 1553 and 1558 Vrnograč came under attack by Ottoman troops, led by Malkoč bey. Two years later General Ivan Lenković reported to King Ferdinand that Novigrad (Todorova) had been captured by the Ottomans, who had also attacked Vrnograč, torching the settlement on the outskirts and the surrounding area. Ban Nikola Šubić Zrinski was in command of Vrnograč from 1563, when the defending troops consisted of 100 cavalrymen and 32 foot soldiers. Ferhad Pasha Sokolović took Vrnograč in 1577, leaving a garrison of 60 cavalrymen and 100 foot soldiers, but was forced to abandon it the following year.

The Austrian Council of War in Graz decided that both Podzvizd and Vrnograč should be demolished, which was duly done in 1580.

In 1636, Ottoman troops repaired the ramparts of Vrnograč, settling a garrison of 100 men there.

In 1696, during the great Ottoman-Austrian war of 1682-1699, Ban Adam Baćan took Vrnograč, but by 1697 it was back in the hands of the Ottoman army. The Ottoman garrison in Vrnograč came under the Krupa captaincy. In the first half of the 18th century the garrison had 100 border guards, and two large and two small cannon. A firman dated 2 Ramadan 1205(2) (5 May 1791) reveals that the Krupa captaincy consisted of the forts of Krupa, Otoka, Bužim, Jezersko, Vrnograč and Todorovo (Kreševljaković, Izabrana djela I, 96).

The castle was abandoned in around 1840. It also had a settlement on the outskirts, which is referred to as being set on fire in the 16th and 17th centuries.

A wooden mosque was built just by the entrance to the castle. It remained in use until 1875, when it was demolished, and a new one was built in the settlement of Vrnograč that had taken shape outside the ramparts.

 

2.  Description of the property

Vrnograč Castle

Vrnograč is an example of a mediaeval fortified feudal manor. It was built with solid outer defences to protect its occupants from enemy attack, while within it was provided with amenities that enabled them to live in peace and comfort.

The castle consisted of the manor house, which was rectangular in plan, and a large bailey surrounding it, measuring approx. 27 x 19 m(3). The interior stone walls of the manor house were substantial, ranging in thickness from 80 to 100 cm, while the outside walls were about 3 m thick. These were on the northeast side, and were defensive in nature. The manor house had three round towers and one rectangular at the corners, the latter to the southwest, measuring approx. 6 x 6 m on the outside. The largest of the round towers was to the northeast, and was approx. 7.5 m in diameter; the two smaller towers were 6 m in diameter. The manor house was designed around a central inner rectangular courtyard of approx. 13 x 8 m with a cistern in the middle, enclosed on three sides by halls to the southeast, northeast and northwest, and with the main entrance on the fourth, southwest side. A small wooden mosque stood just above the main entrance. There was also a smaller entrance gateway in the northeast wall of the bailey, over which was a wooden guardhouse.

The manor house had a cellar, ground floor and one upper storey. The upper storey had seven rooms, including the three halls where the lords of the manor lived, while the servants’ quarters were on the ground floor. These rooms led out into the courtyard. The hall between the two towers to the southeast measured approx. 10 x 7 m on the inside, and the great hall to the northeast approx. 13 x 4 m. The northeast wall was approx. 3 m thick, and had a large opening of approx. 3 m wide and 3.6 m high, serving both as a window and a doorway out onto a balcony providing a view of the surrounding countryside. These features show the influence of the Renaissance, providing both greater levels of comfort and grander, interconnecting rooms with large windows of the kind not seen in Gothic castles. The hall to the northwest measured approx. 13 x 3 m, and was known as the long gallery on account of its proportions. The ground-floor rooms were smaller; one of them, below the great hall, had a wide arched opening and a balcony, and its Gothic vaulting suggests it was used as a chapel.

The massive walls of the manor house merged into the ramparts surrounding the spacious bailey to the south and west and a forecourt or smaller bailey to the southeast of Vrnograč Castle. These ramparts were about 80 cm thick and 12 m high. The bailey was of irregular outline, with ramparts to the northwest of about 15 m in length, to the southwest of about 37 m, and to the southeast of about 42 m. The northeast section of the ramparts was about 10 m long, and included the entrance gateway into the forecourt forming part of the bailey. The ramparts were provided with numerous loopholes.

 

3. Legal status to date

Pursuant to the law and by Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR BiH no. 1291/59 of 9 October 1950, Vrnograč Castle was placed under state protection.

By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR BiH no. 02-713-3 of 23 October 1962, Vrnograč castle was entered in the Register of immovable cultural monuments under serial no. 1291/50 of 9 October 1950.

The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 listed Vrnograč Castle as a Category I monument.

Vrnograč Castle, Velika Kladuša, is on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina under serial no. 757.

           

4. Research and conservation-restoration works

In 1977 archaeologist Branka Raunig conducted initial excavations in Vrnograč Castle.  The upper section of a well or cistern was found during the excavations in the inner courtyard, as were sherds of pottery and glass and iron artefacts dating from the Ottoman period(4).

The results of these excavations have not been published.

Nothing is known of any conservation or restoration works on Vrnograč Castle.

 

5. Current condition of the property

The findings of an on-site inspection in October 2009 by Commission staff are that Vrnograč Castle is in poor condition. The walls and ramparts are overgrown with rank vegetation, making it very difficult to get to the castle. The remains of the walls and ramparts are in ruins, partly covered by soil or have been robbed out.

The wooden mosque referred to in historical sources has disappeared, as have the other parts of the castle built of wood. The walls have had no roof for many years, and exposure to the elements has damaged them, necessitating an examination of the structural stability of the walls and ramparts.

 

6. Specific risks

            The castle is overgrown with rank vegetation that has damaged the structure of the walls and ramparts.

            There is a real risk that the walls will fall into complete ruin if urgent measures are not taken to protect them.

 

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

C.         Artistic and aesthetic value

C.iii.      proportions

C.iv.      composition

C.vi.      value of construction

D.         Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

D.i.       material evidence of a lesser known historical era

D.ii.      evidence of historical change

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

E.         Symbolic value

E.ii.      religious 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

G.         Authenticity

G.i.       form and design

G.ii.      material and content

G.v.      location and setting

H.         Rarity and representativity

H.i.       unique or rare example of a certain type or style(5)  

 

The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan, scale 1:1000, plan nos. 7 and 2, c.p. no. 168,  c.m. Vrnograč, Municipality Velika Kladuša, Una Sana Canton, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, issued by the Department of Proprietary Rights and Cadastral-Geodetic Affairs, Section for Cadaster and Geodetic Affairs, Municipality Velika Kladuša, on 29.09.2009;

-          Copies of Land Register entries: LR: 66 for c.p.. 33 old survey; LR: 1033 for c.p. 35/2 old survey; LR: 62 for c.p. 22/2, 34/1, 36/2, 36/3, 36/4 old survey; LR: 683 for c.p. 34/2 old survey; LR: 892 for c.p. 16/1 old survey; LR: 1045 for c.p. 19/1 old survey; LR: 324 for c.p. 35/1 and 35/3 old survey; c.m. SP_Vrnograč,  issued by the Land Registry Office of Velika Kladuša Municipal Court on 11.09.2009;

-          Photodocumentation:

-         Photographs of Vrnograč Castle in Vrnograč taken in October 2009 by Commission staff architects Alisa Marjanović and Arijana Pašić;

-          Technical documentation:

-         Technical drawing of the ground plan of Vrnograč Castle surveyed in March 1975, scale 1:200, obtained from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and sport on 07.10.2009.

 

Bibliography

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

 

1904.    Dr. Truhelka, Ćiro, Naši gradovi, Opis najljepših sredovječnih gradova Bosne i Hercegovine uz 96 slika (Our towns and forts: description of the finest mediaeval forts of Bosnia and Herzegovina with 96 illustrations), Sarajevo, 1904.

 

1943.    Lopašić, Radoslav, Bihać i Bihaćka krajina (Bihać and the Bihać frontier region), (2nd ed.), Zagreb, 1943.

 

1952.    Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Prilozi povijesti bosanskih gradova pod turskom upravom” (Contributions to the history of Bosnia’s towns and forts under Turkish rule), 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) II, Oriental Institute in Sarajevo, Sarajevo, 1952.

 

1953.    Kreševljaković, Hamdija, “Stari bosanski gradovi” (Old Bosnian towns), Naše starine I, Sarajevo, 1953.

 

1988.    Arheološki leksikon Bosne i Hercegovine (Archaeological lexicon of BiH), Vol. II, Region 1, Sarajevo 1988.

 

2000.    Hilić, Hasan, Džamije Velike Kladuše (Mosques of Velika Kladuša), NIP Unsko Sanske Novine, Bihać, 2000.

 

2006.    Lovrenović, Dubravko, Na klizištu povijesti (sveta kruna ugarska i sveta kruna bosanska) 1387-1463 (On the Landslide of History [The Holy Hungarian Crown and the Holy Bosnian Crown] 1387-1463), Zagreb-Sarajevo, 2006.

 

2009.    Redžić, Husref, Srednjovjekovni gradovi u Bosni i Hercegovini (Mediaeval Towns/Forts in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Sarajevo Publishing, d.d. Sarajevo, 2009.

 

2009.    European Heritage Days – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport, Old Forts/Towns of Una-Sana Canton, Bihać Institute for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage, 2009.


(1) The Kreščić family were long-time residents of Podzvizd and Vrnograč. The most famous member of the family was Ivan Ljubić, a “very learned priest with a classical education, who attended schools of higher education and gained the degree of magister of the liberal arts, philosophy and theology.”

(2) Translator's note: not 1265, as given in the original (conversion from

http://prayer.al-islam.com/convert.asp?l=eng, consulted on 18 November 2009.)

(3) All measurements taken from the plan of Vrnograč Castle received from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport.

(4) Arheološki leksikon Bosne i Hercegovine, Vol. II, Region I, Sarajevo, 1988, 26, 27.

(5) Translator's note: the original of this decision has the heading “I. Completeness” rather than “H. Rarity and representativity,” to which “H.i. unique or rare example....” relates. It seems likely the error lies in the heading rather than the criterion (the criterion I.i. would be “physical coherence”).



Vrnograč fort - planVrnograč fort Vrnograč fort - old photoVrnograč fort - old photo
Vrnograč fort - old photoVrnograč fort - ostaci Ramparts Walls of the castle
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