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Uzunovićka Mosque (the Ismail-kapetan Šarić Mosque), the architectural ensemble

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Status of monument -> National monument

             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 21 January 2003 the Commission adopted a






            The architectural ensemble of the Uzunovička Mosque in Stolac (the Ismail-kapetan Šarić Mosque) is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The national monument covers the land designated as cadastral plots III/272, III/273, and III/274, cadastral municipality Stolac, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The national monument includes the mosque, the mosque graveyard and surrounding walls, two wells, a fountain, and a mekteb (Islamic school).

            The provisions relating to protection and rehabilitation 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 and 27/02 shall apply to the National Monument specified in the preceding paragraph.




            The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be responsible for providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, display and rehabilitate the National Monument.

            The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be responsible for providing financial and technical resources needed to draw up the technical documentation for the rehabilitation and for the rehabilitation itself of the national monument.

            The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the Commission) shall determine the technical requirements and secure the funds for preparing and setting up signboards with the basic data on the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.




            Protection measures:

            Protection Zone I includes c.p. III/272, c.p. III/273, and c.p. III/274, land registry entry no. 1187, cadastral municipality Stolac.

            In this Protection Zone the following measures shall apply:

            The group of buildings of the Uzunovići Mosque and its surrounding area, encompassing the school building, two wells, a drinking fountain and a fountain (Protection zone I – c.p.III/272 and c.p. III/273, land registry entry no. 1187, c.m. Stolac), including the surrounding walls, shall be conserved and restored, and the missing parts shall be reconstructed in their original form, to the same size, of the same or similar type of material, with the use of the same techniques wherever possible, based on the documentation on the original form which is an integral part of this decision The rehabilitation project shall use the methods of reconstruction (anastylosis and repristination), restoration, structural renovation and consolidation, as well as conservation.

            For the purpose of preserving and ensuring the conditions for the rehabilitation of the mosque, two stages for the works are stipulated, as follows:

            Stage I – urgent protection against further deterioration:

  1. Conservation of the walls and wall decorations in the mosque;
  2. Survey and statistical analysis;
  3. Renovation and structural consolidation of the walls;
  4. Protection of the interior of the mosque interior, in particular the walls, from the elements.

            Stage II – rehabilitation of the group

            During Stage II the following works shall be carried out:

  1. All the sections of the original minaret (which was taken down in 1964 and taken to the mosque in Crnići, where it was reconstructed as part of that mosque) that now survive in Crnići after the destruction of the mosque there in 1993 or are found on adjacent plots or on the dump to which they were taken after demolition, shall be photographed, conserved and rebuilt into the minaret of the Uzunovići mosque using the anastylosis method, and those parts of the minaret that are missing shall be made of the materials of the same type or similar as the original, using the method of repristination.
  2. Based on available photographs and architectural survey of the condition of the building before and after demolition, a project shall be drawn up for the reconstruction and restoration and reintegration of the plastered wall surfaces as well as the decorative polychromatic wall decorations in the interior and exterior of the mosque, which shall also be based on the results of stratographic tests on the remains of the original plaster and paint, in order to establish the identity of the original colour palette, chemical composition, and nature of the plaster, in the light of its granulometry and the materials used;
  3. All the elements for which there is no reliable documentation shall be resolved as part of the the project so as to ensure that their interpolation is evident;
  4. The roof and pillars that have been added to the fountain shall be removed and the fountain restored to its 1992 condition;
  5. The unfinished building of the reconstructed mekteb erected on the plot north-east of the mosque (cadastral plot III/274, cadastral municipality Stolac) on the foundations of the old school shall be subject to the following treatment:

a. remove the existing concrete stairs giving access to the roof area;

b. erect a pent roof above the reinforced concrete attic, with a gentle pitch towards the south-east, roofed with stone slabs 2.5 to 4 cm. Thick;


            Protection zone II (protective strip) includes c.p.no. III/278, c.p.no. III/302, c.p.no. III/303, c.p.no. III/304, c.p.no. III/305, c.p.no. III/306, c.p.no. III/281, c.p.no. III/282, c.p.no. III/283, c.p.no. III/130, c.p.no. III/131, c.p.no. III/132, c.p.no. III/133, c.p.no. III/134, c.p.no. III/886, c.p.no. III/265 and the cadastral plot located between plots c.p.no. III/265 and c.p.no. III/270.  

            In Protection Zone II (c.p.no. III/278, c.p.no. III/302, c.p.no. III/303, c.p.no. III/304, c.p.no. III/305, c.p.no. III/306, c.p.no. III/281, c.p.no. III/282, c.p.no. III/283, c.p.no. III/130, c.p.no. III/131, c.p.no. III/132, c.p.no. III/133, c.p.no. III/134, c.p.no. III/886, c.p.no. III/265, and the cadastral plot located between plots c.p.no. III/265 and c.p.no. III/270) no new building is permitted. Only the rehabilitation of destroyed or damaged buildings shall be permitted, restoring them to their original form with the use of original materials and roofed with stone slabs.  The stone courtyard walls shall be retained or reconstructed on all the residential ensembles in Protection Zone II, with arched stone doorframes leading into the courtyards.

            Protection Zone III – an extended protective strip, including c.p.no. III/127, c.p.no. III/128, c.p.no. III/264, c.p.no. III/271, c.p.no. III/574, c.p.no. III/307, c.p.no. III/277, c.p.no. III/278, c.p.no. III/279, c.p.no. III/285, c.p.no. III/287, c.p.no. III/288, c.p.no. III/289, c.p.no. III/290, c.p.no. III/291, c.p.no. III/292, c.p.no. III/293, c.p.no. III/294, c.p.no. III/295, the cadastral plot located next to c.p.no. III/277 to the south-west of c.p.no. III/277, the cadastral plot located next to c.p.no. III/272 to the north-east of c.p.no. III/272.

            In Protection Zone III, the rehabilitation of destroyed or damaged buildings and their on-going maintenance shall be permitted, as may the  interpolation of residential buildings of no more than two storeys (ground floor plus one upper floor), in their original form, with the use of original materials and roofs (stone and whitewashed plastered wall made of bricks, stone slab roofs or the use of light-grey roof tiles, pitched roofs, wooden rafters, with a maximum pitch of 300, and all the apertures on the facade fitted with windows and doors made of unpainted wood).




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



            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 specified in Clause I of this Decision or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federal Ministry responsible for town 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, III and IV of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




            The elucidation and accompanying documentation form an integral part of this Decision, which may be viewed by interested parties on the premises or by accessing the website of the Commission (http://www.anek8komisija.com.ba) 




            Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission are final.




            This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH and the Official Gazette of FBiH/RS


            This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović,  Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.


No.: 07-6-532/03-1        

21 January 2003


Chairman of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović



E l u c i d a t i o n



            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 issued a Decision to add the Uzunovićka Mosque in Stolac to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 587, designated as the Ismail kapetan Šarić Mosque.

            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.



            In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:

Ÿ          Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry)

Ÿ          The current condition of the property

Ÿ          Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage if any, data on restoration or other works on the property if any, etc.

Ÿ          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. Information on the Site


            The Uzunovićka Mosque is located in the Uzunovića Mahala quarter of Stolac. The group of buildings of the Uzunovićka Mosque in Stolac was built on c.p.no. III/272 and c.p.no. III/273, land registry entry no. 1187, c.m. Stolac, as noted on the copy of the land registry entry and copy of the cadastral plan which are integral parts of this Decision (Annex 1).       

Historical Information

            The Uzunovićka Mosque was built in 1154 AH (1741 CE), by Ismail-kapetan Šarić, as noted on carved chronogram on a plaque above the entrance door of the mosque (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 373; Hasandedić, 1990, p. 31). The second chronogram records that extensive repairs to the mosque were undertaken in 126 AH (1791/92) (Mujezinović: 1998, pp. 374 and 375). The mosque was built as the focal point of the Uzunovići mahala, among family houses of considerable architectural value, some of which were already in existence when it was built. The mosque site borders on the family residences of Fildićevina, Serdarevina with the Hromića tower, Repkovina, and the tower and manor of the Mahmutćehajić family, while the tower and manor of the Grljević family is close by.  The specific feature of the immediate environs of the Uzunovićka Mosque is the predominance of a particular type of residence, consisting of manors with towers, a style common to the feudal way of life and here transferred to an urban environment, but rare in other urban environments.  The gable or threesided, stone-tiled roofs also create a powerful visual element in the urban landscape. Each of the residential ensembles in the vicinity of the mosque had a courtyard door set in a stone-arched frame.  Parts of the towers and all the arches have survived to this day.

            The mosque was built at the time when the residence of the Šarić family, a kapetan family, was erected  in the immediate vicinity of the Čaršija Mosque.

            There are two water wells in the mosque courtyard. H. Hasanefendić says of the first that it “was built by the vakif (endower) Šarić, as can be seen from the vakufnama (deed of endowment), which specified that it should be cleaned each year.” (Slovo Gorčina, 97, p. 97, Hasandedić, 1990, p. 32); the second, according to the inscription engraved on the stone plaque at the gully south of the well, was built in 1225 AH (1810 CE), by Salih-ćehaja of the Mahmutćahajić family of Stolac (Mujezinović, 1998, p. 375). However, given the location of the first well, hard by the northeast wall of the mosque, and the treatment of the material processing and building techniques, the well is most probably older than the mosque and would have belonged to an even older residential complex on whose land the mosque was subsequently built. The deed of endowment could have stipulated that an existing well also be cleaned.

            After the completion of the mosque, a sibjan-mekteb or kindergarten was built some metres to the north-east (Slovo Gorčina 97, p. 97). The kindergarten was destroyed, though until 1991 its northeast wall survived to its full height, showing some traces of a chimney hearth, as did the other walls to a height of 50-60 cm. In 1991, documentation was prepared for the conservation of the walls and reconstruction of the school, which was halted by the war. Following the war, the school was inappropriately rebuilt, and the surviving original sections of wall are no longer recognizable.

            The fountain that stood in the mosque courtyard outside the entrance porch of the mosque was built around 1912 by Alibeg Šarić (Slovo Gorčina, 97, p. 98).

            In 1964, the stone minaret of the mosque was dismantled and transported to the Crnići mosque where it was rebuilt (the Crnići mosque was demolished in 1993).

            For a long period of time, the function of imam at the mosque was performed by imams from the Hromić family, who were prominent among the more learned residents of Stolac, scribes and owners of a large number of manuscripts, books and documents. The last imam of the Uzunovićka Mosque from this family was Salih-efendija Hromić, son of Ibrahim, killed by the Chetniks in 1941. Before him his father was imam, and before him again, Salih-efendija’s grandfather, Abdullah hodža, also known as Abdi-hodža. Following the murder of Salih-efendija Hromić, the duty of imam was taken over by hafiz Halil Repak who performed it until the mosque was closed in 1951. On several occasions after the mosque was closed, attempts were made to renovate it and bring it back into use.  In 1964, after the removal of the minaret, the mosque was converted by decision of the municipal authorities into a warehouse for funerary materials. In 1990, the mosque was restored to its original function and research work began for the purpose of restoring it.

            The Uzunovićka Mosque and the residential ensembles around it were destroyed in 1993 by phosphorous-filled incendiary projectiles. The roof and porch of the mosque were completely burned down, and the walls and painted and stone-engraved decorations were seriously damaged by the fire.


Legal Status to Date

            The Uzunovićka Mosque was entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments as designated by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, under 587, as the “Ismail-kapetan Šarić Mosque in Stolac”.


2. Description of the Monument


            The Uzunovicka Mosque in Stolac belongs into the typological series of mosques with centralized space, pitched hipped roof and stone minaret, which is the second most common type of mosque in Bosnia and Herzegovina after those with a wooden minaret.  The sofas and interior of the mosque were roofed over by a single hipped roof.

            The building, with external dimensions of 10.22 x 10.32 metres, was built of rough-cut limestone. The exterior of the wall, 65-80 cm thick, was of rough-cut stone in lime mortar, with the interior filled with quarry stone and lime mortar. The corners were made by joining large pieces of dressed stone, fixed with iron clamps. There are visible traces of wooden joining beams at the base of the windows, as well as at the transition point where the windows changed from rectangular to broken arches.  The mosque had a hipped roof covered with stone slabs over a wooden truss, which most closely correspond in description to a roof structure with angled chairs resting on a somewhat rounded beam with a diametre of 30 cm which in turn rested on the north-east and south-west walls (the latter dividing the porch from the central space).  The wooden rafters varied in size from 9 x 9 cm to 12 x 12 cm and were close-set at distances of 37 to 50 cm, given the weight of the stone roofing.  The wooden purlines, 10 x 10 to 12 x 12 in section, were set very closely, some 130 to 180 cm apart at rafter level.

            The eaves were deep and fixed with wooden brackets; on the north-west or entrance façade they were even more deeply set and fixed with wooden bracket handles resting on the wooden pillars of the forward projecting porch and on the four wooden pillars of the porch with corbels.  The eaves had no guttering.

            The building consisted of the entrance roofed porch (the entrance to the prayer space from the north-west) measuring 2.86 x 9.03 metres, with two exterior sofas, the left measuring 2.86 x 3.75 and the right 2.75 x 3.82 metres; the central prayer space measured 6.07 x 9.08 metres.  The light height of the central prayer space, measured from floor to ceiling, of 3.96 metres.  The mahfil stood in the western corner of the mosque, to the right of the entrance door, and measured 1.30 x 2.17, with a height from the floor of the mahfil to the ceiling of 1.65 metres.  The mahfil was reached via a steep wooden staircase, with strings and steps, but no risers, with a wooden railing about 58 cm high.  This stair was also used to access the spiral stone staircase of the minaret, through a roofed aperture in the wall of the base of the minaret.

            The base of the minaret was of rectangular section and built of regular ashlar stones.  The barrel of the minaret is dodecagonal in section.  The material from which the minaret was built was tenelija stone (a local variety of limestone), finely saw-cut.  The railing of the šerefe or balcony is solid stone, with a moulded balcony case.  Some 60 to 80 cm below the balcony case was a cut stone moulded ring-shaped cornice.  The cap was faced with tenelija and reinforced with wrought iron rings.  The minaret was about 15 m. in height (Slovo Gorčina, 97, p. 96).

            The windows of the mosque formed a single horizontal row, with a rectangular window in the north-east wall topped by a semi-dome in the interior of the mosque.  Each of the other exterior walls had two windows.  The windows had plain rectangular miljevina (a local variety of limestone) frames without mouldings, topped by a relieving arch made of four sections of stone, visible on the façade.   In the interior these windows were vaulted.  The windows on the south-east and south-west façades had miljevina transenna lunettes beneath depressed arches, with various geometric motifs.  All the windows had wrought iron bars.

            The entrance door frame, measuring 1.59 x 2.55 metres on the exterior, with a shallow arch of three sections, was made of miljevina with moulding.  The door itself was topped by a shallow arch, with the opening measuring 0.97 x 1.82 metres on the exterior.  The stone threshold was 15 cm high.

            The stone mihrab in the south-east wall of the mosque has a hemispherical hollow niche 93 cm wide and about 3 m high with four horizontal bands near the top.  The frame of the niche, which is 1.75 m wide and about 3.9 metres high, projects some 34 cm from the wall and is finished with a decorative semicircle.

            On the inner side of the north-east wall, near the corner to the left of the entrance, was a niche 66 cm wide and 35 cm deep.

            The interior of the mosque and the entrance façade were decorated with polychrome painted motifs.  The artist used floral and stylized geometrical motifs.  In 1991 two layers of polychrome wall decorations were discovered, and the assumption is that the mosque had already been decorated in 1741.  The second layer, probably dating from 1791, revealed rich decorations to the entrance door, mihrab, window niches and interior wall surfaces, as well as all visible wooden elements, including the pillars of the sofas.  At various levels above the windows there were calligraphic inscriptions of the names of Allah, Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Omar, Othman, Ali, Hassan and Hussein.  On the facing surfaces of the projecting porch walls orange trees were painted.  On the right hand forward-projecting porch wall was a sundial at a level below that of the sofas, and on the south-west façade of the same wall, towards the minaret, there were crescent moon motifs.  Stone-carved crescent moons were a sign of a building with a sundial, since the calendar used was the lunar calendar.

            At some time in the past there were several graves in the mosque courtyard, which were either destroyed or succumbed to the ravages of time.  There was a public drinking fountain outside the mosque, one of the famous Stolac fountains made of cast iron that were set up at the beginning of the century.  In the 1990s the fountain was removed.

            Two wells, a fountain recently re-roofed with a wooden structure similar to a simplified sebilj, a school, offices and toilet premises interpolated to the left of entrance to the mosque courtyard, a cobbled path leading to and around the mosque, and conifers growing in the courtyard, form an integral part of the ensemble.


3. Research and Conservation and Restoration Works

            In late 1991, the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina conducted an architectural survey and drew up technical blueprints of the current condition of the mosque building (Annex 4). The revitalization project for the whole Uzunovićka Mosque group was drawn up in 1991 by Amra and Fehim Hadžimuhamedović.

            At the same time, a team of conservators from the Institute (Nihad Bahtijarević, Enes Bahtijarević, Nihad Ćengić) conducted some short-term studies of the wall surfaces and the polychromatic wall decorations of the mosque.


4. Current Condition of the Locality

            The mosque was set on fire by phosphorous filled incendiary projectiles in 1993, resulting in the destruction of the roof, porch and majority of the decorations.  The harmful effects of the elements have caused the deterioration of the stone walls and plastered wall surfaces, and only traces of the decorative polychromatic work are now visible.

The mekteb has been inexpertly reconstructed without the use of professionally approved methods, and the same is true of the new roof to the fountain.



            Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument, adopted at the fourth session of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (3 to 9 September 2002), 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

            C.VI. Value of construction

            D. Clarity

            D. IV. Evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

            D. V. Evidence of a typical way of life at a specific period

            E. Symbolic value

            E.I. Ontological value

            E II Religious value

            E III Traditional value

            E IV Connection with rituals or ceremonies

            E V Significance for the identity of a group of people

            F. Landscape value

            F.II  Meaning in the townscape

            G. Originality

            G. IV. Tradition and technique

            G. VI. Spirit and sentiment


            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

1. Documents relating to property rights:

- Copy of cadastral plan of Uzunovića mosque

- Copy of land register entry of Uzunovića mosque

2. Map showing protection zones

3. Photographs taken prior to the destruction of the building

4. Photographs taken following the destruction of the building

5.  Architectural blueprint and technical survey of the building prior to destruction (drawn up by the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina

5.1. Ground plan

5.2. North-east façade

5.3. South-west façade

6. Drawings and technical survey of the building, the property of Amra Hadžimuhamedović.


            The documentation annexed to the Decision is public and available for view by interested persons on written request to the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.



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


Hadžimuhamedović, Amra, drawings and photographs, private ownership


Hasandedić. Hivzija, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini (Muslim Heritage in Eastern Herzegovina), El-Kalem, Sarajevo, 1990


Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, (Islamic Epigraphy in Bosnia and Herzegovina)  Volume III, 3rd edition, Cultural Heritage Library, Sarajevo Publishing 1998.


Slovo Gorčina 97, Presidency of the Stolac Municipality, Mostar, 1997


Uzunovićka mosque in StolacPorch and harem of the Uzunovićka mosqueUzunovićka mosque, photo from 2002Porch of the Uzunovićka mosque, photo from 2002
Minaret of the Uzunovićka mosqueMihrabFragment of decoration on mihrab Entrance portal, photo from 2002
Inscription - tarihMihrab’s wall, aquarelle Interior of the Uzunovićka mosque, photo from 2002 

BiH jezici 
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