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 necropolis of stećci at Radimlja near Stolac is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The site is located on cadastral plots 394/9, 363/19, 394/2, 394/174, 395, 396, 397, 363/8, 363/22, 363/23, 363/24, 363/25, 363/26, 693/1, 374/1,, Municipality Stolac, 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 carry out the Programme for the permanent protection of the site of Radimlja near Stolac – Principles of Complete Protection, adopted by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its 36th session, held on 15 March 2000, which provides for all planning documents and administrative acts on the basis of which planning permission for the erection of buildings or facilities has been granted to be set aside as null and void, and for the removal of all buildings and facilities from the central protected zone.
The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall be duty bound to draw up all the necessary planning documents of an executive nature for the historic site of Radimlja. The area as a whole comprises the cadastral plots within protected zones 1, 2 and 3, as defined by this Decision.
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.
Protected zone 1 covers cadastral plots 394/9 and 363/19
Ÿ all construction is prohibited
Ÿ any works other than those carried out for the conservation and presentation of the tombstones is prohibited
Ÿ all agricultural activities are prohibited
Protected zone 1 should be surrounded by a hedge. Within this zone the restaurant and pergola in the south-western sector of cadastral plot 394/9 may be restored to its condition prior to demolition.
Protected zone 2 comprises cadastral plots 394/2, 394/174, 395, 396, 397, 363/8, 363/22, 363/23, 363/24, 363/25, 363/26, 693/1, 374/1.
Ÿ construction is prohibited
Ÿ all construction and infrastructural works are prohibited.
Within protected zone 2, agricultural works shall be permitted (vineyards are recommended) subject to the preservation of existing vegetation (the group of cypresses on cadastral plot 394/2).
Protected zone 3 includes a protective zone of at least 2 km from the outer boundary of protected zone 1. The construction of buildings of no more than two storeys and maximum dimensions of 12 x 12 m is permitted. The construction of industrial buildings and facilities, major infrastructural facilities, quarries or the siting of potential environmental polluters is prohibited.
All legislation in force and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are to be revoked (executive urban plan «Gorica 2» in Stolac), pursuant to the provisions of Clause 16 of the Law on the Implementation of Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments.
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 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 and enforceable.
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 in Sarajevo the Commission issued a Decision to add the necropolis of the stećci of Radimlja near Stolac to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 605, 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 on the location of the property and the current owner and user thereof (letter from Stolac Municipality no. 07/2 – 151/02, dated 27 September 2002, with enclosed copy of land register entry, copy of cadastral plan, register of possession, and executive urban plan “Gorica 2” in Stolac)
Ÿ data on the present condition and use of the property, including description and photographs, data on war damage if any, data on restoration or other works carried out on the property if any, etc.
Ÿ historical, architectural or other documentary material on the property, as cited in the list of documents referred to as part of this Decision.
The Programme for the permanent protection of the site of Radimlja near Stolac, adopted by the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina at its 36th session, held on 15 March 2000, was also reviewed.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation are as follows:
1. Information on the locality
The area is designated by the toponym pasture “Stara grobnica" (old necropolis), cadastral plot no. 394/9, land register Street No. 156 cadastral municipality Ošanići, as used by Stolac municipality.
The Radimlja necropolis is located in Vidovo polje, 3 km west of Stolac, on the Čapljina to Stolac road.
Most of the tombstones, of the type known as stećci (sing. stećak) date from the fifteenth and sixteenth century. The most reliable evidence of the date of origin is an epitaph on one of the stećci, which suggests that the necropolis dates to the time when the Hrabren-Miloradović family lived in Batnoge or Ošanići. Radoje, brother of Duke Petar, sons of Duke Stipan, is buried beneath the tombstone. The names of Duke Stipan and Petar Miloradović are inscribed on the judge’s seat outside the church in Ošanići, providing a close link between the necropolis and this family, which used to live here in the fifteenth century, according to historical evidence and the inscription on the entrance to Ošanići church. The many Illyrian tumuli in the immediate vicinity are evidence of the perpetuation of the tradition of burials near old graves and of the continuity of burials.
According to the 1967 data (see below) there were 133 stećci in the necropolis. When the Čapljina to Stolac road was built in the Austro-Hungarian period, it cut through the necropolis, leaving eleven stećci to the north and the remainder to the south of the road. The assumption is that twenty stećci were destroyed on that occasion and used for macadamizing the road. During the late 1940s, A. Benac took some archaeological soundings, and determined that some of the graves beneath the most typical stećci had previously been excavated and robbed. Research conducted by A. Zelenika in the late 1950s when the road was widened and asphalted, produced similar results. These works prompted and hastened the legal protection of this 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. 7142=67 dated 22 December 1967 in Mostar, the necropolis of Radilmja near Stolac, on the site known as “Stara Grobnica“, a mediaeval necropolis, was accorded protected status as a cultural monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the same year it was entered in the register of monuments under two numbers: no. 70 – the Mostar Institute, and no. 536 – the Institute for the Protection of Culture of the People's Republic of BiH.
The historic site of the necropolis of Radimlja near Stolac was entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo on 22 July 1997.
2. Description of the monument
The stećci in this necropolis face north-west/south-east, with the head of the deceased to the north-west and the feet to the south-east. They are made of limestone from the quarry on the nearby Ošanići hill, some 800 m to the north-east of the necropolis, where one unfinished stećak still stands. The basic shapes were probably cut in the quarry, while the final treatment and decoration were carried out in the necropolis, to avoid damage during transport.
Following the customary classification of basic stećak forms, the necropolis consists of the following stećci: 36 slabs, 1 slab with plinth, 27 chests, 24 chests with plinth, 4 deep chests, 5 deep chests with plinth, 2 ridged, 31 ridged with plinth, and 3 crosses. A total of 63 stećci are decorated, making the Radimlja necropolis 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.
The decorations on the Radimlja stećci are executed in shallow relief by carving or a combination of techniques, with the emphasis on preserving the basic form of the stećak. The short scoremarks on the surface indicate the use of a hammer with a short cutting blade, while the flat surfaces were smoothed with hard stone.
The finest decorated forms are the ridge and the tall chest forms. The vertical sides of some of the monuments bear arcades with pillars and arches, indicating that the stećci represent the abode of “eternal repose”. The roof sections of the ridge shaped stećci and the gable are particularly salient, with prominent eaves, zigzag carving or a broad line or ropeweave decoration.
Among the motifs of a decorative nature, those that stand out both in quantity and quality of treatment are vine leaves in threes and twisted bands, as well as motifs of a symbolic nature such as the sun (circle), stars and crescent moon. There are also numerous motifs of the cross, often stylized, as well as shield, sword and bow-and-arrow motifs. Animal figures are represented on several stećci, and the necropolis is also rich in human figures. Those that stand out in particular are the figures of dukes, and the figures of men with their arm held aloft. There are also scenes of combat, of hunting and of games.
Five monuments bear epitaphs, naming certain members of the Vlach shepherd family of Hrabren Miloradović (Donji Vlasi), and indicating that Radimlja was where they buried their inhheritance “na Batnogah”. A further detail makes it possible to date the necropolis more exactly. Radoje Vukovič, nephew of duke Petar, and Radoje, a brother of duke Petar, belong to the class of high feudal lords. Duke Stipan is mentioned on the inscription above the portal on the church in Ošanići, as well as on the large stone outside the church. Duke Stiepan died around 1470 and duke Petar was mentioned in 1477 as a chief of the Vlach summer pasture of Hrabrena. According to Radoja’s epitaph the second son of Stipan died at a date later than the 1470s, while Radoja Vukovič, nephew of duke Petar, died in the 1480s or 90s. (Hrabak GZM,1953, 326-327).
Vlač or Vlađ Vlahovič and Stipnan are mentioned in two inscriptions. From the shields on their monuments it may be assumed that they belonged to the military while nothing definite can be said concerning Vukac Petrovič.
Clerks or blacksmiths named Bolašin Bogačič, Miogost and Ratko Brativo(-)nič /Brativojevič) put their signatures to these monuments.
3. Research and works of conservation and restoration
- In the late 1940s A. Benac took archaeological soundings
- A. Zelenika, an archeologist from the Regional Institute for the Protection of Monuments in Mostar, conducted minor archeological research in the late 1950s
- The necropolis was set in order in the late 1960s under the supervision of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of SR BiH. The cemetery area was cleared of vegetation and a hedge and line of cypresses were planted. A prefabricated café-restaurant, wholly inappropriate for the site, was erected; it was later burned down, during the 1992-1995 war.
- In the late 1980s the Restoration Institute of Croatia cleaned and carried out the chemical protection of the whole necropolis under supervision of the Institute for Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of BiH. These works carried a five year guarantee, which expired in 1994.
4. Present condition of the site
An on-site inspection conducted on 3 October 2002 found as follows:
- the site had suffered no war damage
- the site is at risk from the construction of buildings in the immediate vicinity
- the site is exposed to specific risks (traffic, pollution, weathering factors)
- the site is at risk of rapid deterioration as a consequence of failure to provide regular maintenance
In the number of monuments, the diversity and representativity of all the basic stećak shapes, the relatively high artistic quality of the work, the wealth of decorative elements, relief carvings and epitaphs referring to known historical persons, as well as in its unusual site and accessibility, the necropolis of Radimlja is one of the most valuable mediaeval monuments in BiH.
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), relating to the immovable and movable heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with regard to the age determinants (A), historical value (B), artistic and aesthetic value (C), clarity (D), symbolic value (E), landscape value (F), authenticity (G) uniqueness and rarity (H.i), and integrity (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 with protected zones duly indicated;
- Copy of land register entry and ownership certificate;
- Plan of the necropolis of stećci (A. Benac)
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 (The mediaeval Bosnian State, Cultural History of Bosnia and Herzegovina from ancient times to the beginning of Ottoman rule) Sarajevo, 1984, pp. 345-587
A. Benac, Radimlja. Sarajevo 1950.
B. Hrabak, Prilog datovanju hercegovačkih stećaka (Supplement to the dating of the stećci of Herzegovina). Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja (Journal of the National Museum), n.s. Vol. VIII/1953, Sarajevo, 325-328.
M. Vego, Zbornik srednjovjekovnih natpisa BiH (Anthology of medieval inscriptions in BiH), I. Sarajevo, 1962, 64-71, no. 42-46 (with relevant bibliography).
M. Wenzel, Ukrasni motivi na stećcima (Decorative motifs on tombstones). Sarajevo, 1964.
A. Zelenika, Prilozi za proučavanje srednjovjekovnih nekropola stećaka na Radimlji i Ošanićkoj Gorici kod Stoca (Contributions to the study of mediaeval tombstone necropolises at Radimlja and Ošanićka Gorica near Stolac). Naše starine (Our Antiquities) VIII/1962, Sarajevo, 172-174.