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 from 5 to 11 November 2002 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic site of the Boljuni necropolis of tombstones I and II is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The site is located on cadastral plots 510 and 518/5, cadastral municipality Bjelojevići, Stolac Municipality, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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 duty bound to ensure and provide the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, display and rehabilitate the National Monument specified in Clause I of this Decision.
The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be duty bound to draw up a plan for and implement a Programme for the permanent protection of the archaeological site of the Boljuni necropolis of tombstones I and II.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina 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.
The clearance and removal of walls, erection of buildings or facilities, agricultural works, wood cutting and felling, grazing of livestock or other works that might adversely affect the site are prohibited.
Within a protective zone of a minimum of 100 m from the outer limits of the protected site all construction or other works other than those relating to archaeological excavations or the presentation of the site are prohibited.
Within a protective zone of a minimum of 2 km from the outer limits of the protected site all construction of industrial buildings and facilities, major infrastructure, quarrying, and the siting of potential environmental polluters are prohibited.
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 services, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument specified in Clause I of this Decision or jeopardize the protection and rehabilitation thereof.
The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federal Ministry of Urban Planning and the Environment, the Institute for the Protection of National Monuments within the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, 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 to Preserve National Monuments.
Pursuant to Art. V para 4 Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina 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
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.
Chairman of the Commission
6 November 2002
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.
At a session held on 22 July 1997 the Commission issued a Decision to add the historic site of the Boljuni necropolis of tombstones I and II near Stolac to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 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.
II – PROCEDURE PRIOR TO DECISION
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, the following documentation was inspected:
Ÿ Documentation of the location and present owner and user of the property (ruling of the Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments, No. UP-I-03-74-2/71 dated June 22, 1971 in Sarajevo, land register No. 41 and 98),
Ÿ Data on the present condition and use of the property, including a description and photos, data on war damage if any, data on restoration or other works on the property if any, etc.
Ÿ Historical, architectural and other documentation on the property
The findings based on the review of the above documentation are as follows:
1. Information on the Site
The Boljuni necropolis of stećci tombstones I and II is registered as cadastral plot no. 510 (Greek cemetery 270 m2), as public property (erar) and 518/5 (Pašnjak, 800 m2), in joint ownership largely of the Šutalo family, land register st. no 98 and 41, cadastral municipality Bjelojevići, Stolac Municipality.
The necropolis is located in the hamlet of Boljuni, part of the village of the village of Bjelojevići, 15 km southwest of Stolac, alongside the Stolac - Hutovo Blato road. It lies on a level site below the village houses, and forms two groups some 400 m apart. There are remains dating from the Illyrian period (a hillfort and tumulus) in the surrounding area, and the site of Ckrvina, probably dating from late antiquity, and the remains of an early mediaeval (?) cemetery are not far from the site.
Legal status to date
Pursuant to the provisions of the law, and by ruling of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, no. UP-I-03-74-2/71 dated 22 June 1971 in Sarajevo, the Boljuni stećci necropolis was accorded protected status as a cultural monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On 22 July 1997 the Boljuni necropolis I and II was entered in the Register of Monuments by decision of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments Sarajevo.
2. Description of the site
The Boljuni stećci have many features in common with those of eastern Herzegovina, and in particular with those from the Stolac and Čapljina areas – Radimlja, Opličići and Nekuka. They are aligned in rows and invariably face west/east or with minor deviations therefrom.
Following the customary classification of basic stećak forms, the necropolis consists of the following stećci: 82 slabs, 176 chests, 12 ridged, and four cruciform. A total of 29 stećci are decorated: 29 slabs, 57 chests and 6 ridged. This make Boljuni one of the most highly decorated necropolises in BiH. Its artistic features make it one of the most valuable and important necropolises as a whole.
Among the most frequent relief motifs are twining vine leaves as a border on the horizontal faces or a frieze on the vertical faces of the chest-shaped stećci. This is a typical Herzegovinian motif, but occurs in relatively large numbers here. Shields with swords and rosettes are also common, occurring in several forms: as heraldic symbols on shields, combined with a half moon, or alone. They also occur as stylized rosettes with twisted encircling garlands, or as the rose-cross. Next most common are ribbons, various borders, crosses (ordinary or stylized), half moons, fleur de lis, stylized floral motifs with spirals and bunches of grapes, arcades, and swords. There are also numerous representations and compositions with figures: deer-hunting scenes, tournaments and kolos, fantastic animals, and figures of lions and horsemen.
Motifs original to Boljuni are the lion, a woman with a child in her arms, stylized rosettes, fantastic lizard-like animals and a kolo with the leader riding a deer.
In the number of its epitaphs, nineteen in all, Boljuni provides important historical data and information on the cultural history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The epitaphs give the names of the people buried there: Bogavac Tarah Boljunović shepherd, died before 1477; Radić Vladisalić; Herak and Radoslav Heraković at rest “on their noble birth”; Petar Vukić and his brother, and others. There is historical evidence for some of these people. In short, members of the Boljuni Vladisalić group, who belonged to the Donji Vlasi or Lower Vlachs, are buried there. Several of the stećci are signed by master-craftsman Grubač, who is recognizable by his artistic style and motifs, scribe Semorad and others (master-craftsmen Milić, Zelija and Dragiša and two scribes, Radoje and Vuk). Boljuni is believed to have been an important artistic stonemasonry center.
Most of the stećci in the necropolis originate from the period when master-craftsman Grubač was active (approximately 1440 to 1460), and that of his apprentices, in other words the second half of the fifteenth century. At that time the region around Stolac was one of the main centres of epigraphic tombstones, their epitaphs written in the Cyrillic script, with the palaeographic features typical for this script in mediaeval Bosnia and Hum (later Herzegovina), so that palaeographs “refer with good reason to Bosnian Cyrillic” (P. Anđelić 1984, 559).
Although there is no precise data to this effect, the number of tombstones indicates that burials took place here from the second half of the fourteenth to the early sixteenth century.
There were formerly two quarries near the necropolis, one 200 m to the northwest and one 200 m to the east, where the stones were probably quarried to make these stećci.
The Neveš well is 20 m from the necropolis; the locals call it the Greek well. It is circular in shape, with a diameter of 12 m. Round wells are to be found in the Stolac and Hrasno region, and were all still in use in 1960. Their date in this area is unknown.
3. Research and works of conservation and restoration
- Archaeological excavations conducted by Šefik Bešlagić in May 1957 and July and August 1958.
- Preparation of the site for the presentation of the Boljuni necropolis was carried out in 1958, according to a Report by the Republic Institute for Protection of Cultural Monuments of BiH
- According to the same report, the second stage of these works was carried out in 1959.
4. Present condition of the site
An on-site inspection on 9 October 2002 revealed the following:
- The site has suffered no war damage.
- Deterioration of the stone was noted, the result of weathering
- The site is neglected and overgrown with weeds. There are no visible signs of recent maintenance of the grassed areas. Part of the fenced area between the entrance to necropolis I and the first stećci has been ploughed up, which hinders access
- There is no evidence of any measures undertaken since 1959 to preserve the site
- The necropolis is at risk from the absence of on-going concern to preserve the site.
The Boljuni necropolis has 274 stećci, of which 92 are decorated and nineteen bear epitaphs. In the numbers and forms of its stećci, the decorations and symbols they bear, and the relatively large number of epitaphs, the Boljuni necropolis thus provides valuable historical data and a wealth of artistic material. The artistic originality of the many and diverse motifs is attributed to Grubač, the most productive master-craftsman working on stećci, who is also buried here. Other work is that of the scribe Semorad, who probably composed and engraved the epitaphs on the tombstones.
Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02), relating to the immovable and movable heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with regard to the historic value (B), artistic and aesthetic value (C), clarity (D), symbolic value (E), landscape value (F), authenticity (G) and uniqueness and rarity (H.i) of the site in question, the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.
The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:
- Copy of cadastral plan
- Copy of land register entry and ownership certificate;
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.
P.Anđelić, Doba srednjovjekovne bosanske države, Kulturna istorija Bosne i Hercegovine od najstarijih vremena do pada ovih zemalja pod osmansku vlast, (Era of the mediaeval Bosnian state, Cultural History of Bosnia and Herzegovina from ancient times to the start of Ottoman rule) Sarajevo 1984, 435-587,
Š. Bešlagić Boljuni. Starinar XII /1961, Belgrade, 1961, 175-205 with complete bibliography.
B. Hrabak, O hercegovačkim vlaškim katunima (On the Vlach summer pastures of Herzegovina). Journal of the National Museum (volume for ethnology and history) XI, 1956, 29-39
S. Pudarić, Program zaštite i uređenja nekropole stećaka u Boljunima (Programme of protection and arrangement of Boljuni necropolis). Slovo Gorčina, Stolac 1988/89, 16-17.
M. Vego, Zbornik srednjovjekovnih natpisa Bosne i Hercegovine (Anthology of mediaeval inscriptions in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Vol II, Sarajevo 1964, 18-31.