Status of monument -> National monument
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 in Sarajevo from 26 to 28 March 2012 the
Commission adopted a
D E C I S
I O N
sepulchral ensemble of the harem and two (shahids’) nišan gravestones in
Slapovići, Municipality Srebrenica is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the
National Monument consists of the harem with nišan tombstones and two
National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 51,
title deed no. 39, Land Register entry no. 61, and c.p.no. 1/5 (part of holding
1/1), title deed no. 39/2, Land Register entry no. 61, cadastral municipality
Bučje, c.m. Bučje, Municipality Srebrenica, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and
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.
Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the legal,
scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary for the
protection, conservation and presentation of the National Monument.
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 measures are hereby
all works are prohibited
other than conservation-restoration works, routine maintenance works, and works
designed for the presentation of the monument, with the approval of the
ministry of Republika Srpska responsible for regional planning and under the
expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska;
the original use of the
protected site shall not be altered;
the nišan tombstones shall
be documented and a geodetic survey shall be conducted;
the epigraphic material of
the harem shall be documented and extant graves shall be identified;
damaged nišan tombstones
shall be conserved and presented;
the harem shall be
landscaped and damaged nišans shall be repaired;
the harem shall be
surrounded by a fence or wall;
the displacement or
removal of the nišan tombstones is prohibited.
executive and area development planning acts are hereby revoked to the extent
that they are not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision.
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.
Government of Republika Srpska, the ministry of Republika Srpska responsible
for regional planning and the heritage protection authority of Republika
Srpska, and the Municipal Authorities in charge of urban planning and land
registry affairs, shall be notified of this Decision in order to carry out the
measures stipulated in Articles II – V of this Decision, and the Authorized
Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land
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)
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, and
27 March 2012
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
(Official Gazette of Republika Srpska nos. 9/02, 70/06 and 64/08), 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.
February 2010 Hamdija Hasanović and Dr. Sabit Begić submitted a
petition/proposal to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments to designate
the necropolis with stećak tombstones and Turkish burial ground in Slapovići, Srebrenica Municipality
as a national monument
of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
to the proposal, 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
with nišan tombstones in Slapovići has a high degree of authenticity and is of
powerful symbolic value. The harem contains some thirty nišans, one of which,
judging from its shape, undoubtedly dates from the late 17th century (the
nišans have no epitaphs); the others date from the 18th and 19th centuries.
shahids’ nišans located about 500 metres from the harem are decorated with
hemispheres (“half apples”), and may date from the 16th century.
II – PRELIMINARY PROCEDURE
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
an inspection of the
condition of the property
a copy of the cadastral
the Land Register entry
and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography
forming part of this Decision
to Article V para. 2 of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Article 37 of the Rules of Procedure of the
Commission, before rendering a final decision designating a property as a
national monument, the Commission will provide the owner of the proposed
monument, the person submitting the petition, the institutions responsible for
heritage, professional and academic institutions, experts and scholars, as well
as other interested parties, to express their views. Accordingly, the
Commission sent a letters ref. 05.2-35.2-8/11-126 of 20 September 2011,
06.3-36.1-7/11-206 of 16 December 2011 and 06.3-36.1-7/11-218 of 28 December
2011requesting documentation and views on the designation of the Turkish burial
ground in Slapovići, Srebrenica Municipality, as a national monument to
Srebrenica Municipality, the Ministry of Regional Planning, Construction and
the Environment of Republika Srpska, the Institute for the Protection of the
Cultural and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska and the Institute for the
Protection of Monuments under the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport.
response, the Commission received the following documentation:
21.42/052-55-2/11 of 23 September 2011 from the Department of Geodetics and
Proprietary Rights of Republika Srpska of Banja
Luka, Srebrenica Branch, notifying the Commission that
an inspection of the cadastral records had revealed that the property is not
recorded in the existing cadastral plans;
Letter ref. 07/1.20/624-647/2011
of 28 September 2011 from the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural and
Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska, notifying the Commission to Preserve
National Monuments that it has no information on the property in question in
Letter ref. 01-014-449/11
of 30 September 2011 from Srebrenica
the Commission to Preserve National Monuments that it will work with the
Srebrenica Tourist Association to provide the documentation at their disposal;
Letter ref. 07-40-4-4070-1/11
of 17 October 2011 from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments under the
Federal Ministry of Culture and Sport stating that the said property (the
Turkish burial ground in Slapovići) was neither listed nor subject to statutory
Letter ref. 3-32-325-55/11
of 31 October 2011 from the Tourist Association supplying documentation (two
drawings and three records of an on-site inspection conducted by a surveyor
with a view to identifying the cadastral details);
Cadastral details supplied
on 26 December 2011 by the Department of Geodetics and Proprietary Rights of
Republika Srpska, Srebrenica Branch;
Letter of 25 January 2012
from the Land Registry office of the court of first instance in Srebrenica
supplying a copy of the Land Register entry;
31.42-952.1-INTERNO-24/2012 of 10 August 2012 from the Srebrenica branch of the
Department of Geodetics and Proprietary Rights of Republika Srpska, supplying
findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of
the site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
and two (shahids’) nišans are in the village of Slapovići(1), Srebrenica Municipality, which
is about 15 km south-west of Srebrenica(2).
is about 200 m from the mosque. The two (shahids’) nišans are about 500 m from
the harem, along a macadam path.
National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 51,
title deed no. 39, Land Register entry no. 61, c.m. Bučje, and c.p.no. 1/5
(part of holding 1/1), title deed no. 39/2, Land Register entry no. 61,
cadastral municipality Bučje, c.m. Bučje, Municipality Srebrenica, Republika
Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
a town in north-east Bosnia,
has been known by several different names over the centuries: Domavia,
Argentarija, Argentum and Bosnia Argentaria.
area was already famous for its silver in Antiquity. The ruins of the Antique
and Late Antique municipium of Domavia, which was also the centre of the
mining authorities for the provinces of Pannonia
and Dalmatia, were found nearby, at Gradina in
9th to the 15th century the Srebrenica region was part of the mediaeval župas
of Vratar, Birač, Osat and Trebotić. The earliest reference to Srebrenica
in historical sources dates from 1352.
earliest reference to Srebrenica is in the mid 14th century, 1352 to be
precise, in Dubrovnik sources.(4) Ragusan merchants leased mines
and customs posts from the rulers of Bosnia, and had their own colony in
Srebrenica. There was a mint in Bosnia
where Bosnian coins were minted, as were Ottoman coins later.(5) The Ottoman Empire took
Srebrenica for the first time in 1439 to 1440, but the permanent Ottoman
presence in Zvornik and Srebrenica began in 1462, when Srebrenica belonged to
the Smederevo sanjak, along with Zvornik, Kušlat and Šurbin on the left bank of
the Drina. This is clear from the first census of the Smederevo sanjak, compiled
the Ottomans founded the kadiluk of Srebrenica, and the town remained the seat
of the kadiluk until Ottoman rule came to an end in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
latter half of the 17th century (1660), Evliya Çelebi stayed in Srebrenica
while on his travels through the Balkan lands.(7) He relates that Srebrenica had a military fort with a dizdar (fortress
commander) and fifty soldiers. The town had six mahalas with eight hundred
houses, and each mahala had one mosque.
Ottoman period, the village of Slapovići was a busy place on the road linking the
larger settlements of eastern Bosnia
The road from Slapovići and Srebrenica to Sarajevo
was a branch of one of the main roads, which ran from Sarajevo
to Nova Varoš in Serbia,
passing through Hreša, Podromanija, Rogatica and Višegrad. Known as the Stamboul
road, this road joined the Dubrovnik
road at Novi Varoš.
before this, during the time of the independent Bosnian state, there was a road
and Vrhbosna, which was joined by another road running from the mouth of the
Neretva.(8) A branch
of this road forked off beyond Rogatica, running via Žepa to Slapovići and on
han (caravanserai) was located near Slapovići, and there were also a
number of other caravanserais in the wider Srebrenica region.(9)
2. Description of the property
The village of Slapovići has a burial ground with about
thirty nišans, none of which bears an epitaph, making it difficult to date
from the type or form of the nišans, the oldest (no. 12) could date from the
late 17th century. Most of the nišans are of local stone, which has become
greenish with age and is flaking away.
following nišans have been recorded in the harem:
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 12x13x77 cm. The nišan has no
epitaph. The remains of a stone santrač surround can be seen around the
man’s nišan with pleated turban measuring 13x13x48 cm.
with woman’s cap square in section 10x10 cm with a height of 43 cm.
nišan with mushroom-shaped pleated turban, measuring 13x12x66 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 12x12x65 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 12x11x50 cm.
with woman’s cap, sunken into the ground, measuring 11x11x32 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 11x11x65 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 15x10x63 cm.
10. Nišan in
the form of a stele measuring 19.5x6.5x31.5 cm, without epitaph.
with turban, so badly affected by the passage of time that it has become almost
formless, measuring 20x15x47 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, the oldest and largest nišan in the harem, measuring
20x20x90 cm, without epitaph. Its exact date cannot be determined. It stands
out among the other nišans in the burial ground in its form and the type of
stone from which it was made.(10)
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 13x14x73 cm. This nišan shares
a stone santrač measuring 186x326 cm with nišan no. 12
nišan with pleated turban, measuring 19x15x66 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, measuring 14x10x58 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 11x12x56 cm.
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, sunken into the ground, measuring
with woman’s cap, measuring 10x10x42 cm, without epitaph.
with woman’s cap, sunken into the ground, measuring 11x11x43 cm, without
nišan with pleated turban, top broken, measuring 13x9,5x47 cm.
21 and 22.
About half a kilometre from this burial ground along the old macadam road
leading to Srebrenica are two shahids’ nišans, which are almost
identical in size, square in section with sides of 28 cm and a height of 115
cm. They bear hemispherical protuberances or “apples” on all four sides, and
are topped by pleated turbans. The nišans are surrounded by a dilapidated
wooden fence. Basing his views on their appearance and workmanship, orientalist
Hazim Numanagić dates these nišans to the 16th century.(11)
3. Legal status to date
property has not been subject to statutory protection.
4. Research and
is known of any conservation-restoration works.
5. Current condition of the
findings of an on-site visit on 20 October 2011 are that the harem is in
good condition and well-maintained.
the nišans are made of a local stone that has turned greenish with age and is
is not fenced.
nišans near the harem are surrounded by a dilapidated wooden fence. They are in
6. Specific risks
the removal of old nišans.
III – CONCLUSION
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.
Decision was based on the following criteria:
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
C.i. quality of workmanship
C.v. value of details
(documentary, scientific and educational value)
D.v. evidence of a typical way of life at a
E. Symbolic value
E.i. ontological value
E.ii. religious value
E.iii. traditional value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of
G.i. form and design
G.iv. traditions and techniques
G.v. location and setting
G.vi. spirit and feeling
following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
Copy of cadastral plan
Copy of Land Register
(photographs of the harem and two shahids' nišans in Slapovići taken on 20
the procedure to designate the harem and two shahids' nišans in Slapovići as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following
works were consulted:
1954. Vego, Marko. Naselja bosanske srednjovjekovne države
(Settlements of the mediaeval Bosnian state). Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1954.
1977. Mujezinović, Mehmed. Islamska epigrafika BiH II (Islamic
epigraphics of BiH). Sarajevo:
1978. Bešlagić, Šefik. Nišani XV i XVI vijeka u Bosni i Hercegovini
(15th and 16th century nišans in BiH). Sarajevo:
Akademija nauka i umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine/Academy of Sciences and Arts
of B-H, 1978.
1982. Šabanović, Hazim. Bosanski pašaluk (the Bosnian pashaluk).
1991. Kreševljaković, Hamdija. Izabrana djela III, Hanovi i
karavansaraji u Bosni i Hercegovini (Selected works III, hans and
caravanserias in BiH). Sarajevo:
Veselin Masleša, 1991.
1996. Çelebi, Evliya. Putopis, odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama
(Travelogue, passages on Yugoslav lands). Sarajevo:
is on the River Zeleni Jadar, which is fed by Duboko Brook, on the north bank
of which stands the mosque.
is in the mountainous region of north-east Bosnia
and Herzegovina, in the River Krljevica valley, at an
altitude of 448 m, surrounded by the hills of Mt. Sušica.
Part of the municipality marches with Bajina Bašta in Serbia. The
town is about 160 km from Sarajevo and 120 km
accessed on 15.12.2011.
(3) See decision
designating the historic site of the lower fort in Srebrenica as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, adopted at a
session of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments at a session held from
7 to 9 November 2006 (Official Gazette of BiH no. 1/10).
(4) Marko Vego,
Naselja bosanske srednjovjekovne države, Sarajevo: Svjetlost, 1954, 108
Kreševljaković, Izabrana djela II – Esnafi i obrti u Bosni i Hercegovini
Veselin Masleša, 1991, 239
Šabanović, Bosanski pašaluk, Sarajevo:
Çelebi, Putopis, odlomci o jugoslovenskim zemljama, Sarajevo: Sarajevo Publishing, 1996
Kreševljaković, Izabrana djela, III dio, Hanovi i karavansaraji u Bosni i
Veselin Masleša, 1991, 313.
following caravanserais are also stated to be in the wider Srebrenica area:
Gođević han, Han Nesmotar, Han Polom, Mavrakin han and Milošev han, but it is
said that not all the caravanserais built in Bosnia during the Ottoman period
could be recorded. Hamdija Kreševljaković, op.cit., 1991, 306.
Hazim Numanagić says that for this reason a possible conclusion is that the
nišan dated from the time when the mosque was built.
(11) The most
common non-figural motifs on nišans of the 15th and 16th centuries are circles,
rosettes and crescent moons. Circles are also known as protuberances, knobs or,
most commonly, half-apples, and are of various sizes. Many authorities have
written about this motif, including Vejsil Čurčić (Ms on stećaks in the National Museum
Šefik Bešlagić (Nišani XV i XVI vijeka u Bosni i Hercegovini, Sarajevo: Akademija
nauka i umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine, 1978, 59) is of the view that these
motifs belong to military figures, and that they denote a cannoneer. Seid M.
Traljić says that they represent blood or gore, and that in folklore they
signify the war-wounds from which heroes died.(Šefik Bešlagić, Nišani XV i
XVI vijeka u Bosni i Hercegovini, Sarajevo:
Akademija nauka i umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine, 1978, 59-61). According to Šefik Bešlagić, the motif
suggests the sun or stars. Similar nišans are located in the Turkish burial
ground near Knežine, which Mujezinović dates to the 16th century (M.
Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH II, 108). There are few dated
nišans of this period. One such, similar to these in the appearance of the
turban and the way the neck of the nišan is placed on the shaft, which is cut
level at the top, is the nišan of Mustafa, son of Husrev pasha in Šetići near
Foča (M. Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH II, 104).