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Orthodox church of the Nativity of the Virgin with old cruciform tombstones in Dračevo, the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

Published in the Official Gazette of BiH, no. 53/11.

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 on 26 October 2010 the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

The architectural ensemble of the Orthodox church of the Nativity of the Virgin in the village of Dračevo, Popovo polje, Trebinje Municipality, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument). 

The National Monument consists of the church and old cruciform tombstones, two dating from the 15th-16th century and 32 dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The National Monument is located on part of the site designated as cadastral plot no. 757 (old and new survey), title deed no. 221, cadastral municipality Dračevo, Municipality Trebinje, 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.

 

II

 

The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the protection, conservation, restoration 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:

-          all works are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works, including works required for the maintenance of the church and burial ground and works designed to ensure the sustainable use of the property, with the approval of the ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority);

-          the site of the monument shall be open and accessible to the public, and may be used for educational and cultural purposes;

-          the relocation of the old tombstones is prohibited, as are new burials within 5 m of the old tombstones;

-          infrastructure works shall be permitted only in exceptional cases approved by the relevant ministry and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority;

-          the dumping of waste is prohibited.

 

To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, a buffer zone is hereby stipulated, with a radius of 50 metres from the boundary of the protected site of the National Monument. In this zone, the erection of buildings the use of which is not detrimental to the National Monument, with a maximum foot print of 10 x 12 m and a maximum height of 6.50 m to the start of the roof frame, i.e. two storeys (ground + 1), is permitted.

 

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 Republika Srpska 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 Republika Srpska, the relevant ministry and the heritage protection authority, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the measures stipulated in Articles II – V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.

 

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.kons.gov.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. 682.

 

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: 02-02.3-71/10-21                                                                                         

26 October 2010

Sarajevo                                                                                               

 

Chair of the Commission

Amra Hadžimuhamedović

 

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 (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) 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 (hereinafter referred to as Annex 8) and as 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 church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Dračevo, Popovo polje, Municipality Trebinje, to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 682.

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 of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.

 

Statement of Significance

The church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Dračevo belongs to the type of single-aisled church with barrel vault and arches abutting along the side walls. These churches are simple in plan and small in size, and have a semicircular apse at the east and a bellcote at the west end.  This type of church originated in a synthesis of various stylistic ideas, was adopted in Dalmatia and the southern coastal regions, and spread from there into the continental mainland, becoming typical of Popovo polje.

Alongside the Orthodox church of the Nativity of the Virgin is a burial ground still in use, in which there are 34 old cruciform tombstones, two of which are about two metres in height and date from the 15th-16th century, judging from their carved decorations, and the other 32 date from the 19th and 20th centuries.

 

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:

-          data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description, architectural survey and photographs,

-          details of interventions to and other works carried out on the property, etc,

-          an inspection of the current condition of the property,

-          a copy of the cadastral plan,

-          a copy of the Land Register entry(1),

-          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 are as follows:

 

1. Details of the property

Location

The church of the Nativity of the Virgin with a burial ground containing old cruciform tombstones is about thirty kilometres west of Trebinje, on the road to Ljubinje, in the Orthodox burial ground of the village of Dračevo.

The National Monument is located on part of the site designated as cadastral plot no. 757 (old and new survey), title deed no. 221, cadastral municipality Dračevo, Municipality Trebinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The entrance to the churchyard is to the south-east, from the main Trebinje to Ljubinje road.

Historical information

Little is known about Popovo polje in prehistoric times. The earliest historical sources refer to an Illyrian presence in the area from the 10th century BCE.  Popovo and the wider region were for most of the time part of the Illyrian land of the Ardiaei. The Daorsi held the lands to the west and north-west of Popovo, and perhaps in part of Popovo itself. Numerous hill forts and tumuli attest to the presence of these tribes (Kotezi, Drijenjani, Hutovo, Poljice and so on).

The earliest details of Popovo itself date from the 12th century, when it is referred to as a župa (county) in Hum land. Hum was then ruled by Prince Miroslav, brother of Stevan Nemanja, lord of the county of Rascia. For a short time herceg (duke) Andrija of Croatia and Dalmatia wrested power from him, and after Andrija's death Prince Petar seized power. He in turn was forcibly toppled from power by Nemanja's son Stevan the First-Crowned, who divided up the rule of the land between his son Radoslav and the former Prince Petar, granting the Ston coastal region and Popovo to Petar's brother Andrija. In or about 1219 Andrija is referred to as "Gran conte di Clitovo,“ since his main holding was Hutovo, but it seems that his capital was in Ston, where he was buried.

            Popovo is referred to on several occasions as a župa: it features in a charter of King Uroš I (1254-1264); in 1284 there is a reference to the standard-bearer of lord of the county Tvrtko in Popovo; in 1312 there is a reference to lord of the county Bogdan and, somewhat later, to lord of the county Nikola, his descendant. The Nikolići, who ruled this county for a long period, are descended from the latter.

Much more is known about the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, when the area was ruled by the landed Sanković, Čihorić and Nikolić families, and in particular about the time of Sandalj Kosača, herceg Stjepan and his sons.

The necropolises with stećci, which the people of Popovo call “Greek” burial grounds, date from this very period. Stećci are to be found at 88 sites in 47 settlements, a total of 1559 tombstones in all in a more or less good state of preservation, suggesting that Popovo was quite well inhabited at the time.

The number of surviving monuments from the 16th and part of the 17th century that are identical in form to the churches in Grahovo and Lug is evidence that a standard type of church was being built at that time, with arches abutting along the side walls, and that it was widespread in these regions. There are two variations on the type: the simple, single-aisled subtype, and a triple-aisled subtype. The single-aisled subtype is much the more common; all, single and triple-aisled alike, may be fairly reliably dated to the period between the 15th and early 17th century(2). 

Dračevo is mentioned in Dubrovnik sources in 1421 as a holding of voyvoda Vuk Hranić(3). The name of knez Radič is carved on a stećak in the necropolis. Together these are evidence of the mediaeval history of the village and suggest that the present-day church in Dračevo replaced an earlier one, probably dating from the 14th or 15th century(4).

The church was rebuilt in 1892, as recorded on an inscription over the entrance to the building.

 

2. Description of the property

The church belongs to the type of single-aisled church of rectangular plan and modest size, with a semicircular apse at the east end and a bellcote at the west end.

The church lies east-west on a slight rise, and stands on a low plinth 25 cm in height. It measures 9.5 m in overall length (excluding the apse) on the outside, and 6.0 m wide at the west end.

The entrance to the church is at the west end, through a stone portal consisting of two massive jambs, the left 1.65 m in height and the right 1.66 m, a rectangular lintel with a height of 37 cm, and a threshold stone with a height of 16 cm. The lintel is decorated in relief with two stylized animal figures affronted, and a cross in the centre, decorated with a medallion in geometric interlace reminiscent of a star of David, on an arched plinth. The metal door is 85 cm wide and 170 cm high.

Above the lintel is a carved inscription of 56 x 60 cm recording the reconstruction of the church, reading:

THROUGH THE BENEVOLENCE OF THE FATHER, THE URGING OF THE SON AND THE COMPLETION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THIS HOLY CHURCH WAS BUILT WITH THE EFFORTS OF THE ORTHODOX PEOPLE OF THE VILLAGE OF DRAČEVO IN 1892.(5)

The inscription is surmounted by a rosette in a 60 x 60 cm square, decorated with a floral medallion in each corner.

The church consists of the nave and sanctuary. The nave measures 4.50 x 6.80 m in the interior, excluding the apse.

The sanctuary consists of the semicircular apse and the stone altar table. It is separated from the nave by a wooden iconostasis raised 15 cm above floor level and reaching almost to the vault of the church, which is 5.55 m in height. The simple ambo on the floor of the church in front of the iconostasis measures 98 x 104 cm and is decorated with a circle in the centre and four smaller ones in the corners. The floor of the church is paved with evenly-cut flagstones, with the middle part of the floor accentuated by larger flagstones and the ambo in front of the sanctuary.

The semicircular apse measures 6.65 m in length along the arc, about 4.20 m in width on the outside, and about 2.0 m deep and 3.0 m wide on the inside. It is covered by a hemispherical vault, considerably lower in height than the barrel vault of the nave. On each side is a small wall niche about 30 cm in depth. 

The nave is barrel-vaulted. The side walls of the church are reinforced on the inside by quite shallow abutting arches resting on pilasters with moulded stone capitals 10 cm in height. The load of the vault is transferred straight to the massive side walls, with additional reinforcement of the side walls in the form of three transverse ties, the middle one exposed, the ones at either end set in the walls and visible only on the outside. In addition, four longitudinal ties can be seen on the outside, also running through the walls. These probably date from the late 19th century.

Light enters the church through four arched windows, two in each side wall, of 0.43 m in width and 1.10 m in height. The arched wooden windows are painted brown and set in casings consisting of four blocks of cut limestone with a slight splay towards the opening, visible on the façade of the church. The windows are wider on the inside, narrowing towards the outside.

The apse has a single small window with stone window jambs and an arched lintel.

The bellcote, which has a single opening, rises above the entrance at the west end of the church. In form it is typical of churches of this type. With a width of about 1.00 m, it consists of two stone posts decorated with a floral medallion, with the transition to the arch accentuated. The arched part of the bellcote is moulded in bas-relief with several circular medallions forming two bands, mainly with floral motifs, and is surmounted by a stone cross. The bellcote is made of dressed stone. The height of the church including the bellcote is 8.60 m.

As in the case of other buildings of this type in Herzegovina, the church was built of limestone cut into even rectangular blocks. The walls are about 56 cm thick.

The church has a gabled roof clad with stone slabs, with a tiled roof ridge, and has been fitted with modern guttering.

Description of the iconostasis

The church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Dračevo has a simple wooden altar partition with thirteen icons arranged in two tiers. The icons were executed in oils on canvas and then glazed. The lower tier consists of four icons, two of which are larger and flat-topped (Jesus Christ and Mary with the Infant Jesus, roughly of the same size at 92 x 44 cm), and two smaller and arched (St George the Great Martyr and Baptism of Our Lord, 33 x 44 cm). Since this is a relatively small iconostasis of only 314 cm to the cross x 380 cm, with a simplified iconographic programme, the scene of the Annunciation that usually features on the Royal Doors and other scenes (the Tree of Jesse and in some cases the Evangelists or Prophets) are missing.

- Anonymous artist, Jesus Christ, late 19th or early 20th century, 92 x 44 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The composition is in close-up, with a landscape and monastery in the background. Jesus Christ is portrayed in the foreground, holding an open book with a text in Church Slavonic in his left hand, and his right arm bent in a gesture of benediction.

- Anonymous artist, Virgin with the Infant Christ, late 19th or early 20th century, 92 x 44 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The composition, in close-up, portrays the Virgin in a landscape with a mediaeval fortress, holding the Christ Child on her left arm and pointing to him with her right hand. Christ is holding an orb which, like the circle, is a symbol of infinity and totality.

- Anonymous artist, Baptism of Our Lord, late 19th or early 20th century, 33 x 44 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

Light descends from the top of the composition, framing a white dove – the symbol of the Holy Spirit. St John the Baptist is portrayed on the river-bank, holding in his left hand a cross with a white banner bearing a text from the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 3.2) in Church Slavonic: “Repent ye: (for the kingdom of heaven is at hand).” He is pouring water from the River Jordan over Christ’s head in the act of baptism.

- Anonymous artist, St George the Great Martyr, late 19th or early 20th century, 33 x 44 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

St George is portrayed on a galloping white horse as he slays the dragon with his sword. The foreground is dominated by a skull, while in the background, right, is the maiden said by tradition to be the king’s daughter, due to be sacrificed to the dragon.

 

Above the Royal Doors is the scene of the Last Supper, flanked on each side by four icons with Old Testament and New Testament figures.

- Anonymous artist, Last Supper, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 50 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The composition is framed by architectural scenery. Christ is seated at a table in the middle of the composition, surrounded by the disciples, six on each side.

- Anonymous artist, St John the Baptist, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The saint is portrayed in close-up in the foreground, against a landscape, his right arm raised aloft in a gesture announcing the coming of the Son of God, and holding a cross in his left hand with a banner completing the text from Matthew 3.2.

- Anonymous artist, St Sava, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

St Sava, first Serbian archbishop, is portrayed half-length, giving a blessing with his right hand and holding the book of Gospels open in his left.

- Anonymous artist, St Luke the Apostle, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

St Luke is portrayed in the foreground in a landscape, with a winged ox, his attribute.

- Anonymous artist, St Stephen, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The saint is portrayed indoors in close-up, wearing his archdeacon’s vestments, his arms widespread, holding a three-branched candlestick in his left hand and an icon lamp in his right.

- Anonymous artist, St Thomas the Apostle, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

St Thomas is portrayed in the foreground in a landscape, standing on a road, leaning on a long staff with an arrow, reading from an open book.

- Anonymous artist, St Nicholas, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The icon is divided into three registers. In the foreground is the figure of St Nicholas, wearing his bishop’s mitre, holding a bishop’s crosier in his left hand and giving a blessing with his right. The background depicts the sea and a monastery, in reference to an event in the saint’s life when, legend has it, he calmed a stormy sea on the way to the Holy Land.

- Anonymous artist, SS Joachim and Anne, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The Virgin’s parents, SS Joachim and Anne, are portrayed in an architectural setting. St Joachim, who tradition has it lived to the age of 90, is portrayed as an old man with a white beard and hair. St Anne is wearing a red maphorion.

- Anonymous artist, SS Cosmas and Damian, late 19th or early 20th century, 50 x 30 cm. Dračevo, church of the Nativity of the Virgin.

The icon portrays the brothers Cosmas and Damian who, tradition has it, were twins, raised in the Christian faith, who dedicated their lives to healing the sick, asking for no payment, hence their nickname “the silverless ones.” In this icon they are portrayed holding unguent vessels, a cross and medicinal plants.

A study of the icons has revealed that they date from the late 19th or early 20th century, and were based on models obtained in Russia.

Description of the burial ground

The churchyard of the Nativity of the Virgin in the village of Dračevo is in a mediaeval necropolis of which two cruciform tombstones about two metres in height survive. The motif carved on the tombstones – a hand holding a sword – is typical of the decoration on stećak tombstones, suggesting that they date from the 15th-16th century. It is likely that the original church rebuilt in 1892 also dated from that period(6). The burial ground is partly surrounded by a stone wall, and covers an area of approx. 5600 m2. The entrance to the burial ground is from the south-east, from the main Trebinje to Ljubinje road. The burial ground is still in use, and in addition to the two 15th-16th century tombstones, also contains 32 cruciform tombstones dating from the 19th and 20th centuries, standing to the north, north-east and east of the church.

Most of the old tombstones are of limestone, crudely worked into a cruciform shape.  Some of them are decorated, with the arms usually terminating in a pyramid. Some bear carved epitaphs in Cyrillic, giving the deceased’s name and the year; some also bear the name of the person who erected the tombstone. The earliest date on these old tombstones is 1893, suggesting that the burial ground dates from the 19th century.

Old cruciform tombstones:

Tombstone no. K1

Tombstone in the boundary wall of the churchyard, not far from the entrance, on the north-west side of the plot. Measuring 165 x 75 x 22 cm, it is in the form of an elongated cross, widening towards the arms and levelled [sic], in relatively good condition. The front bears a relief decoration of a spear with a triangular banner, and a number of panels(7);    the back is decorated with four hemispheres, one on each cross arm and one on the upright, with the fourth in the middle.

Tombstone no. K2

Well-preserved tombstone a few metres north of tombstone K1, in the form of a cross 195 cm in height and 17 cm thick, with cross-arms 77 cm wide overall. It is decorated on both sides: the front is carved with a crescent moon near the top of the tombstone and a sword or sabre in an open hand below, and the back is decorated with a sword running diagonally from the left; the top of the tombstone, the end of which is the hilt, in the form of a circular garland.

Tombstone no. K3

Cruciform tombstone cruciform, 97 cm in height with cross-arms 44 cm wide overall, terminating in a pyramid with a height of 6.5 cm. It is set in the ground with no plinth, and is now leaning off true and sunken. It has no visible decoration on either side, and is covered with lichen.

Tombstone no. K4

Tombstone just to the south of no. K3, consisting of a cruciform tombstone 82.5 cm high and 14.5 cm thick and a slab which is completely overgrown. The arms of the cross end in pyramids with a height of 14.5 cm and an overall width of 42.5 cm. It has no decoration on either side, and is covered with lichen.

Tombstone no. K5

Tombstone in good condition, in the form of a cross with identical top arms, ending in pyramidal decorations with a height of 10.5 cm. The cross is 127 cm high and the cross-arms are 66.5 cm wide overall. The front is decorated in bas relief echoing the cruciform shape of the tombstone. Each arm of the cross has a projection ending in a circular medallion with a geometric interlace; the top arm extends into a vertical foliar shape. The entire tombstone is on a circular plinth or medallion also filled with geometric interlace, to left and right of which is a crescent moon. The tombstone is surrounded by a 3 cm frame.

Tombstone no. K6

Cruciform tombstone 109 cm high and 15 cm thick, with cross-arms 45.5 cm wide overall, terminating in pyramidal decorations with a height of 7.5 cm. The tombstone bears an epitaph in Cyrillic, damaged by the passage of time and only partly decipherable. The cross is set in the ground with no plinth, and is now leaning off true and sunken.

Tombstone no. K7

Tombstone is close to the church, to the north, in the form of a cross with equal top arms, surmounted by a hemisphere. The tombstone is 60 cm in height and 20 cm thick, with cross-arms 47 cm wide overall. The only decoration is on the front, in the form of a simple carving echoing the outline of the tombstone.

Tombstone no. K8

Tombstone in poor condition, consisting of a cross broken in two, and a sarcophagus composed of six interconnected blocks overgrown with vegetation. The cross is 96.5 cm in height, including the broken-off section, and is 17.5 cm thick, with cross-arms 47.5 cm wide. The front is decorated with an elongated cross with the longer arm each [sic] decorated with a slender projecting terminating in a medallion, the shape and position of which suggest a leaf. A stylized floral motif is carved in bas-relief in the medallion.

Tombstone no. K9

Tombstone in good condition, in the form of a cross 74.5 cm in height and 14 cm thick, with cross-arms 40 cm in width overall. It is set in the ground with no plinth. There is no decoration on either the front or the back.

Tombstone no. K10

Tombstone standing to the east of no. K9, in the form of a cross and sarcophagus. The cross is 83 cm in height, with cross-arms 38.5 cm wide overall, and is 13 cm thick. There is no decoration on either the front or the back. The cross-arms end in pyramidal decorations. The sarcophagus measures approx. 160 cm long x 65 cm wide; the cover, which is damaged, is carved with a framed epitaph.

Tombstone no. K11

Tombstone in the form of a cross, 60 cm in height and 13 cm thick, with cross-arms 48 cm wide overall. It is set in the ground without a plinth, and is sunken and tilted forward. There is no decoration in either the front or the back; the only decoration is a hemisphere at the top.

Tombstone no. K12

Cruciform tombstone to the north of tombstone K12, 65 cm in height and 18 cm thick, with cross-arms 56 cm wide. The only decoration consists of hemispheres on the arms.  Much of the tombstone has sunk into the ground.

Tombstone no. K13

Cruciform tombstone, 50 cm in height and 21 cm thick, with cross-arms 47.5 cm wide. The only decoration consists of three hemispheres at the ends of the arms. Most of the tombstone has been concreted in as part of a newer tombstone.

Tombstone no. K14

Cruciform tombstone in good condition, 61 cm in height and 16.5 cm thick, with cross-arms 52.5 cm in overall width, set in the ground with no plinth. The front bears a simple relief decoration of a cross over which is an epitaph, eroded and hard to decipher. A 2 cm frame echoes the outline of the cross, the arms of which terminate in pyramids.

Tombstone no. K15

Cruciform tombstone 57 cm in height and 20 cm thick, with cross-arms 59.5 cm wide. The only decoration consists of three hemispheres at the ends of the arms. The tombstone is leaning off true and overgrown with vegetation; much of it has sunk into the ground.

Tombstone no. K16

Tombstone consisting of a cross and sarcophagus. The cross is 85 cm in height and 13 cm thick, with cross-arms 49 cm wide. The front is decorated with a carved cross framed in a spiral border echoing the outline of the cross; the back bears the spiral border only. The arms of the cross terminate in hemispheres with a height of 2 cm. The sarcophagus is in poor condition and overgrown with vegetation.

Tombstone no. K17

Tombstone in good condition, standing to the east of the church, consisting of a cross and slab. The front of the cross bears no decoration; the back bears a carved epitaph in Cyrillic reading HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD STANE WIFE OF PERO MUNIĆ DIED 1899. The cross is 111.5 cm in height and 15 cm thick, with cross-arms 44.5 cm wide overall. The arms terminate in pyramids. The slab is in good condition, and consists of two sections with an overall length of 150 cm and width of 70 cm.

Tombstone no. K18

Tombstone standing to the south of tombstone K17, consisting of a cross and slab. The cross is 114.5 cm in height and 15 cm thick, with cross-arms 43 cm wide. The decoration on the front is in bas-relief, echoing the outline of the cross. At the end of each arm of the cross is a projection terminating in a circular medallion with a geometric interlace, while vertical foliar forms project from the upright, with a small cross over which is a crescent moon carved on each side. The entire structure stands on a circular plinth or medallion also filled with geometric interlace, above which to left and right is a crescent moon. The cross has a border of 2.5 cm. The back bears the monogram of Christ (IS/HS/NI/KA, short for Iēsoũs Khristòs Nīkā, Jesus Christ Victorious), below which is an epitaph in Cyrillic: VICTORY HEAR LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD JEROMAH WHO DIED AT THE AGE OF 100 IN 1899. [TOMBSTONE] ERECTED BY HIS SONS. The arms terminate in pyramids. The slab, which is in good condition, is in four sections, measuring approx. 170 x 70 cm overall.

Tombstone no. K19

Cruciform tombstone, 78 cm in height and 13.5 cm thick, with cross-arms 43 cm wide. The front is decorated with a simple 3 cm border echoing the outline of the cross and a horizontal band through the middle of the tombstone; the back bears the border only. The arms of the cross terminate in hemispheres.

Tombstone no. K20

Cruciform tombstone, 92 cm in height and 16 cm thick. The cross-arms are 46 cm wide overall and terminate in pyramidal decorations 6 cm in height. It is set in the ground with no plinth.

Tombstone no. K21

Cruciform tombstone, 89.5 cm in height and 16 cm thick. The cross-arms are 41.5 cm in overall width and terminate in pyramidal decorations 6.5 cm in height. It is set in the ground with no plinth.

Tombstone no. K22

Tombstone in good condition, in the form of a cross with equally-shaped top arms, terminating in pyramidal decorations. The cross is 72 cm in height, with cross-arms 43 cm wide overall. The front bears a decoration in bas-relief of a crescent moon surrounded by four hemispheres echoing the cross-shape of the tombstone. The tombstone is set in the ground with no plinth.

Tombstone no. K23

Cruciform tombstone with plinth. The cross is 96 cm in height and 14 cm thick, with cross-arms 39.5 cm wide. The front bears the monogram of Christ (IS/HS/NI/KA, short for Iēsoũs Khristòs Nīkā, Jesus Christ Victorious), below which is an epitaph in Cyrillic: HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD, DIED 1900. The back is undecorated. The arms of the tombstone terminate in pyramids with a height of 4.5 cm. The slab is sunken and covered with vegetation, making it impossible to measure.

Tombstone no. K24

Tombstone in good condition, facing east-west, consisting of a rectangular sarcophagus with cover and a cross bearing an epitaph in Cyrillic on the front reading: VICTORY HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD .... (8)ERECTED BY HIS SONS VASO LUKA DODIN 1910. The back is decorated in bas-relief echoing the cruciform outline of the tombstone. At the end of each arm is a projection terminating in a circular medallion with a geometric interlace; the same motif appears on the top upright. Where the three medallions intersect is a larger one containing a star of David. On the lower, longer arm the projection terminates in two medallions filled with geometric interlace, the uppermost of which is on an arched plinth; the lower is decorated with a small cross. The arms of the tombstone terminate in pyramids. The cross is 116 cm in height and 18 cm thick, with cross-arms 45 cm wide. The sarcophagus under the cross is 163 cm long and 55 cm wide, with an overlapping cover of 162.5 x 71 cm. The combined height of the sarcophagus and cover is 65 cm. The sarcophagus is undecorated; the edges of the cover are chamfered.

Tombstone no. K25

Cruciform tombstone with slab. The cross is 124 cm in height and 14.5 cm thick, with cross-arms 42 cm wide. The front is decorated in bas-relief. At the end of each arm of the cross is a projection terminating in a medallion within which is a stylized floral motif in bas-relief, suggesting a cross. The entire decoration is surrounded by a simple border echoing the outline of the cross, below which is an epitaph in Cyrillic reading: HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD ... MARE WIFE OF LUKA ... 1904 .... The arms of the cross terminate in pyramids. The slab, which is in two sections, measures 71.5 x 169 cm, with a height of 15 cm.

Tombstone no. K26

Cruciform tombstone 121 cm in height and 16 cm thick, with cross-arms 44 cm wide. The only decoration consists of three pyramids at the ends of the arms. There is no decoration on either the front or the back. The tombstone, which is set in the ground with no plinth, is completely overgrown with vegetation, and almost inaccessible.

Tombstone no. K27

Tombstone in the form of a cross and sarcophagus. The cross is 114.5 cm in height and 16 cm thick, with cross-arms 48 cm wide. The front bears an epitaph in Cyrillic reading HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD ... DIED 1904 ERECTED BY HIS SON SAVA IN 1911. The letters are separated by horizontal bands in bas-relief, and the entire decoration is surrounded by a 2 cm border echoing the outline of the cross. The simple rectangular sarcophagus is 59 cm wide and 158 cm high, with a cover of 68.5 x 174 cm. The overall height of the sarcophagus is 71 cm.

Tombstone no. K28

Tombstone in good condition, facing east-west, consisting of a rectangular sarcophagus with cover, a plinth and a cross. The cross is set on the plinth on the front of which is an epitaph in Cyrillic reading: ERECTED IN MEMORY OF RISTO SON OF MARKO AND SAVA SETENIĆ BY THEIR DESCENDANT LAZAR MARKOV OF AMERICA 1939. The plinth is arched above the epitaph, where the cross is set. The arms of the cross terminate in trefoils. The overall height of the cross including the plinth is 163 cm; it is 53cm wide and 22 cm thick. The simple rectangular sarcophagus is 180 cm long and 76.5 cm wide, with an overall height including the cover of 60.5 cm. 

Tombstone no. K29

Cruciform tombstone, 73 cm in height and 18 cm thick, with cross-arms 53 cm wide overall, terminating in pyramidal decorations. The tombstone is set in the ground with no plinth.

Tombstone no. K30

Tombstone in good condition, facing east-west, consisting of a rectangular sarcophagus with cover and a cross bearing an epitaph in Cyrillic on the front, beginning with the monogram of Christ (IS/HS/NI/KA, short for Iēsoũs Khristòs Nīkā, Jesus Christ Victorious), below which are the words HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD MIŠA ŠOŠO ... PASSED AWAY ON 19 OCTOBER 1893. The back of the cross is decorated in bas-relief echoing the cruciform outline. At the end of each arm of the cross is a projection terminating in a circular medallion with geometric interlace. The same motif features on the top upright. In the middle, where the three medallions intersect, is a larger one with two crescent moons below. On the lower, longer upright the projection terminates in two medallions filled with geometric interlace, the upper of which is on an arched plinth, while the lower is decorated with a small cross. The entire composition is set in a 2 cm thick border echoing the outline of the cross. The arms of the cross terminate in pyramids. The cross is 125.5 cm in height and 19.5 cm thick, with cross-arms 47 cm wide. Below is a slab in two sections, measuring 65 x 170 cm.      

Tombstone no. K31

Tombstone consisting of a cross and sarcophagus. The cross is 92 cm in height and 18 cm thick, with cross-arms 43 cm wide. The front of the cross bears an epitaph in Cyrillic reading IS HS NIKA HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD TOMA ŠOŠO. The arms of the cross terminate in pyramids 6 cm in height. The sarcophagus is in poor condition and overgrown with vegetation.

Tombstone no. K32

Tombstone consisting of a cross and sarcophagus. The cross is 114.5 cm in height and 16.5 cm thick, with cross-arms 44 cm wide. The front of the cross bears an epitaph in Cyrillic reading IS HS NIKA HERE LIES THE SERVANT OF GOD TOKA WIFE OF ŠTEPAN ŠOŠO DIED 1899 ERECTED BY HER SONS. The arms of the cross terminate in pyramids 6 cm in height. The sarcophagus is in poor condition and overgrown with vegetation.

Tombstone no. K33

Cruciform tombstone 31.5 cm in height and 8 cm thick, with cross-arms 26 cm wide. The only decoration consists of three pyramids at the ends of the arms. The tombstone is leaning off true and overgrown with vegetation; much of it has sunk into the ground.

Tombstone no. K34

Tombstone behind the church, concreted into the stone wall, consisting of a cross with a height of 40.5 cm and 10 cm thick, with cross-arms 43 cm wide. Just beside another tombstone is lying, the remains or part of a cross.

 

3. Legal status to date

The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a Decision to add the church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Dračevo, Popovo polje, Municipality Trebinje, to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 682.

 

4. Research and conservation-restoration works

No information is to hand on investigative or conservation-restoration works on the church, nor on repair works.

The following works have been carried out on the church:

-          the church was rebuilt in 1892(9), 

-          ties were fitted, probably at the end of the 19th century.

 

5. Current condition of the property

The findings of an on-site inspection conducted on 2 March 2010 are as follows:

-          the church of the Nativity of the Virgin in Dračevo is in good condition;

-          stone paving set in concrete has been laid around the church;

-          there are cracks on the lintel of the portal, running through the decoration;

-          plants are growing in places in the mortar at the base of the apse and plinth and on the church itself, as well as lichen;

-          inside the church, the base of all the walls, the window openings, the abutting arches, the wall above the portal and the vault all show signs of damage from damp;

-          the roof structure is in good condition. There is damage to the binder between the roofing slabs, which is drying out and falling away, and the roof ridge is of modern tiles. Metal guttering has been installed.

 

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.i.       quality of workmanship

C.iii.      proportions

C.iv.      composition

C.v.       value of details

D.         Clarity (documentary, scientific and educational value)

D.ii.      evidence of historical change

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

E.         Symbolic value

E.i.       ontological value

E.ii.      religious value

E.iii.      traditional value

E.iv.      relation to rituals or ceremonies

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

F.         Townscape/ Landscape value

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

G.         Authenticity

G.i.       form and design

G.iii.     use and function

G.iv.      traditions and techniques

G.v.      location and setting

G.vi.      spirit and feeling

 

The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-          Copy of cadastral plan;

-          Photodocumentation, Canon Powershot XS10IS 10.0 megapixel, Arijana Pašić;

-          Drawings, Arijana Pašić BSc Arch.

 

Bibliography

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

 

1964.    Korać, Vojislav, J. Đurić. “Crkve sa prislonjenim lukovima u Staroj Hercegovini i Dubrovačko graditeljstvo XV-XVII vijek,” (Churches with abutting arches in 15th-17th century old Herzegovina and Dubrovnik architecture), Zbornik Filozofskog fakulteta broj VII (Proceedings of the Faculty of the Humanities VII). Belgrade: 1964.

 

1966.    Bešlagić, Šefik. Popovo-srednjovjekovni nadgrobni spomenici (Popovo – mediaeval tombstones). Sarajevo: 1966.

 

1971.    Korać, Vojislav J. Trebinje II - period od dolaska turaka do 1878. godine (Trebinje II – period from the arrival of the Ottomans to 1878). Trebinje: 1971.

 

1982.    Vego, Marko. “Izvori o Trebinju i okolini u srednjem vijeku” (Sources on Trebinje and environs in mediaeval times), Tribunia 6. Trebinje: 1982, 119.

 

1983.    Anđelić, Pavo. “Srednjovjekovna župa Popovo” (Mediaeval County of Popovo), Tribunia 7. Trebinje: Regional Museum of Trebinje, 1983, 61-79, map between 64-65.

 

2002.    Ševo, Ljiljana. Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine (Orthodox churches and monasteries in BiH to 1878). Banja Luka: Glas srpski, 2002.

 

2005.    Jovanović, Zoran M. Azbučnik pravoslavne ikonografije i graditeljstva (A-Z of Orthodox Iconography and Architecture). Belgrade: Dina, 2005

 

(1) A letter ref. 02-35.2-23/09-174 from the Land Registry Office of the Municipal Court in Trebinje notified the Commission to Preserve National Monuments that the Land Register for the cadastral municipality of Drijenjani was destroyed during World War II and that a new register has not yet been set up.

(2) V. Korać-V. J. Đurić, “Crkve sa prislonjenim lukovima u staroj Hercegovini i dubrovačko graditeljstvo XV-XVII vek,” Zbornik Filozofskog fakulteta VIII, Beograd: 1964, 569.

(3) Marko Vego, “Izvori o Trebinju i okolini u srednjem vijeku,” Tribunia 6, Trebinje: 1982, 119.

(4) Ševo, Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Banja Luka: 2002.

(5) Transcript of the inscription from Old Slavonic made with the assistance of jerej Mladen Žulović, parish priest of Ljubinje.

(6) Ševo, Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine, Banja Luka: 2002. (7) The typology and motif of the tombstone are based on Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci – kultura i umjetnost, Sarajevo: 1982.

(8) This part of the epitaph is illegible.

(9) As recorded on the inscription over the entrance portal.



There is no picture for this monument.

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