Status of monument -> National monument
Pursuant to Art. V. para. 4 of Annex 8 to the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Art. 39 para. 1 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, the Commission has at a meeting held from 4 to 11 March 2003 adopted the following
D E C I S I O N
The historic monument of St Clement's Church in Mostaći is proclaimed a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The church stands on cadastral plot no. 2/39, cadastral municipality Mostaći, Trebinje Municipality, Republika Srpska, 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 Republika Srpska no. 9/02) shall apply to the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for ensuring 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 Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing funds to draw up and produce the necessary technical documentation for the rehabilitation of St Clement's Church in Mostaći.
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 of the monument and the Decision to proclaim the property a National Monument.
For the purpose of the long-term preservation of the property, the following shall be defined:
Protection Zone I, covering the area defined in Clause 1 para 2. of this Decision. In regard to this zone the following protection measures are specified:
only works of conservation/restoration shall be permitted, to a design project approved by the relevant ministry and under the professional supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska,
the dumping of waste of any kind is prohibited,
any infrastructural works other than in exceptional cases, with the approval of the relevant ministry and under the professional supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska are prohibited,
the construction of plant or facilities for the exploitation of natural resources is prohibited,
The Government of Republika Srpska shall in particular be responsible for drawing up a Survey for the protection of the paintings of St Clement's Church, with the proposed measures for carrying out rehabilitation works thereon. Work on the survey shall include an analysis of the causes of damage to the frescoes and an analysis of the quality of plaster and other building materials used in previous restoration works, in particular on the roof cladding of the building.
All executive and area development planning acts not in accordance with the provisions of this Decision are hereby revoked.
Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska, 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.
This Decision shall be lodged with the Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry for Urban Planning, Civil Engineering and the Environment of Republika Srpska, and the competent heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska, and the municipal administration authorities responsible for urban planning and land registry issues, for the purpose of implementation of the measures set forth in Clauses II, III and IV of this Decision, and with the authorized municipal court for entry 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.aneks8komisija.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 Republika Srpska.
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
4-7 March 2003
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 30 June 1998 the Commission issued a Decision to place St Clement’s Church in Mostaći on the Provisional List of National Monuments under serial number 711.
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.
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 reviewed:
- documentation on the location of the property and the current owner and user thereof (transcript of list of holdings, Trebinje Municipality, dated 29 June 2001, with copy of cadastral plan),
- the current state and use of the property, including description and photographs, details of war damage, details of restoration and other works carried out on the property, etc.,
- historical, architectural and other documentary matter on the property, given in the list of documentation used as part of this Decision.
The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the current condition of the property are as follows:
1. Details of the site
St Clement's Church («Klimentica») stands some 2 km north-west of the centre of the town of Trebinje, on the right bank of the river Trebišnjice, in the Orthodox burial ground of the village of Mostaći, cadastral plot no. 2/39, cadastral municipality Mostaći, Trebinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
There is little data concerning the date of construction of St Clement's Church, other than the inscription over the west entrance to the church, which states when the church was painted. The inscription is written in standard form in white on a black ground. The effects of saltpetre and other damage make it hard to decipher. It recounts that the church paintings date from the period of Patriarch Pajsi of Peć (1614-1647) and Metropolitan Simeun of Herzegovina (1615-1630), and that the founder of the church was Radoje Mihaljević and that in 1623 the paintings were done «by the hand of the sinning artist Vasilije». This inscription is the only document known to date that refers to Radoje Mihaljević and the painter Vasilije (Miletić, 1954, p. 284, Kajmaković, 1971, p. 277).
The year of foundation of the present church has not been accurately determined, but it is certain that it was built in the early seventeenth century, or perhaps even earlier, as the burial-ground chapel of a prominent village family (Skarić, 1920, p. 255-256, Korać,1951, p. 220) or with the participation of the entire village, which was the case with most churches dating from this period (Ljubinković, 1951, p. 193, Korać, 220) during the period of Ottoman rule. The latter appears more credible, since the inscription does not refer to anyone in particular relating to the erection of the church, which could not possibly have been the case if there had been a specific founder.
The church is dedicated to St Clement of Rome, a saint with a strong following in the very region where the church was built, which remains true to this day and is the result of the powerful Roman tradition, as a result of the transmission of the memory of the fourth Pope and first century martyr of the Christian church. Traces of the cult of St Clement are still to be found throughout southern Dalmatia – Dubrovnik and Kotor.
St Clement's Church is first referred to in the literature in 1888, when V. Vuletić-Vukasović reproduced part of the inscription over the church doors in a contribution to the Herald of the Croatian Archaeological Society (Vuletić-Vukasović, 1888, p. 27). The same writer later reproduced the entire inscription with a brief note about the church and its paintings. The inscription was again reproduced by Lj. Stojanovića (Stojanović, 1890, p. 308) in 1890, when the name Temple of St Clement in Mostaći is referred to, without any further details. In a report by the Herzegovina-Zahum Orthodox diocese in 1901, St Clement's Church is mentioned along with others, with a few details from the inscription. That same year Ilarion Ruvarac (Ruvarac, 1901, p. 38) gave some details about the Herzegovinian Metroopolitan Simeon, giving the date on which the church was painted. In a description of the monasteries of Herzegovina (Ćorović, 1911, p. 519, 1922, p. 220, 1925, p. 170) V. Ćorović makes several references to the church, listing it among other monasteries and churches without according it any particular attention other than the date of the paintings, invariably cited as 1630.
Legal status and works on the monument to date
Land Registry entry Order no. 183/03 – no. of land registry entry 232 item C – charges, states:
Pursuant to a Ruling issued in Mostar, UP/I no. 3/3-68 dated 18 March 1968 the boundaries of c.p. no. 2/39 namely the said plot enjoy the protection of the Law on the Protection of Cultural Monuments. Under the terms of this Ruling no works are permitted that would alter the nature of the monument.
The regional plan of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 records the monument as a Grade I monument.
All the works carried out on the building, relating to repairs to the roof and treatment of the wall surfaces, have been conducted without a specific project or the supervision of a heritage protection authority. These works have not to any significant extent altered the original state of the church, but the wall paintings are at risk.
Between 1995 and 1998, conservation and restoration works were carried out comprising renovation of the vault construction and cleaning the surface of the wall paintings. In the southern part of the vault, over the iconostasis, deposits of saltpetre have broken out as a result of the use of inappropriate building materials during renovations to the roof.
2. Description of the Monument
St Clement's Church belongs to the style of church that took root in Dalmatia and the southern Littoral, whence it was spread inland by Dubrovnik builders. With these buildings, the Orthodox ideas of the persons commissioning the works mingle with the western stylistic treatment of those who built them. This led to the creation of a distinct group of monuments, particularly in eastern Herzegovina – churches with a simple ground plan and of modest dimensions, with stone roofs. In the interior, lateral arc-boutants abut onto the building's barrel vault.
St Clement's Church has a single nave with a semicircular apse at the eastern end externally and internally. It is of small size and was built on sloping ground. The internal length of the building excluding the apse is 5.40 metres, and the width is 3.35 metres. The longitudinal walls are some 0.52 metres thick. The walls are each reinforced by three equal pairs of arc-boutants on proportionately strong pilasters (square pillars). The arches repose at their extremities on corner pilasters, equal to approximately half the free-standing pilasters (Šuput, p. 155), thereby forming three niches on each wall. Niches for the proscomidia (the place where the communion wine and bread were prepared) and diaconicon (originally the place where the deacon stood during the liturgy, later used for the practical purpose of storing the clergy's vestments and the communion vessels) are built into the lateral walls. The upper construction of the church is composed of a longitudinally-placed semicircular vault resting on pillars. The walls of the church are constructed of quarry stone, massive square blocks laid horizontally. The entire church is roofed with stone slabs with characteristically overlapping stone slabs on the ridge. Light enters the church through a small window in the south wall and an opening that was subsequently made in the apse. The doors and windows are logically positioned.
Above the western wall of the church is a small belltower of the type known as «preslica» (generic term for a small belltower over the entrance door) of finely worked limestone which, to judge from way the stone is worked, is a later addition. A belltower of this shape is one of the main characteristics of small churches of this type in the regions referred to. In the graveyard a number of gravestones may be observed which closely resemble the belltower in the type of stone used, the way the stone is worked and their decorative elements.
The west door of the church has dressed stone doorjambs and lintel.
Both as to dimensions and form, St Clement's Church in Mostaći represents a type of building that is often encountered in Dalmatia and southern Herzegovina. This is a form of building that was adopted as long ago as the thirteenth or fourteenth century, and which soon took root along the southern littoral, whence it penetrated into the interior.
At that time, small village churches or monasteries of local repute were being built. Landowners and rulers were replacing local church dignitaries, village headmen and military leaders or village phratries as the founders of places of worship (Korać, Đurić, p. 562.). These buildings were commissioned by both Catholic and Orthodox, and built by masons from Dubrovnik who, apart from a brief period at the end of the sixteenth century, were always to be found in eastern Herzegovina. Details of these building works are preserved in documents in the Archives of the Republic of Dubrovnik, and shed light on this form of building activity by the craftsmen of Dubrovnik for the Orthodox population, which led to the Orthodox ideas of the persons commissioning the works mingling with the western stylistic views of those who built them. This led to the creation of a distinct group of monuments, particularly in eastern Herzegovina (Korać, Đurić, p. 563).
Modest in dimensions and architectural form, St Clement's Church in Mostaći is of interest for the paintings that cover every wall surface. The paintings originate from 1623, during the favourable, albeit brief period of flowering of the arts within the Serbian Orthodox Church under Patriarch Pajsi, and were the work of the painter Vasilije.
Layout of the frescoes in St Clement's Church, Mostaći:
Frescoes on the south wall (from west to east)
- St. Simeun the Serb (1),
- St. Jefrosina (2),
- St. Tecla (3),
- Ornamental band (4),
- Floral ornament (5)
- Red field (6)
- Black ground with text (7)
- St. Onofrio (8)
- Ornament in the form of gathered red drapes (9)
- Deisis (10)
- St. Sebastian (11)
- Unidentified saint (12)
- Christ Emmanuel (13)
- St. George (14)
- St. Demitrius (15)
- St. Procopius (16)
- St. Nikita (17)
- Border of double zigzag band (18)
- Ornamental band (19)
- St. Vukol, Bishop of Smyrna (20)
- St. Sava the Serb (21)
- St. Gregory the Miracle Worker (22)
- Vase or chalice (23)
- Blank black field (24)
- Nativity of Christ (25)
- Baptism of Christ (26)
- Visitation of the Virgin (27)
- Prophet Jonah (28)
- Prophet Aaron (29)
- Prophet Zacharia (30)
- Prophet Jeremiah (31)
- Prophet Avvakum (32)
- Prophet David (33)
Frescoes on the north wall (from west to east):
- St. Cosma (34)
- Emperor Constantine and Helena (35)
- St. Damian (36)
- St. Petka (37)
- St. Domentian (38)
- St. Panteleimon (39)
- St. Alexander (40)
- St. Aviv (41)
- St. Samon (42)
- Holy Trinity (43)
- St. Guria (44)
- St. Triphon (45)
- St. Clement (46)
- St. Simeun of Jerusalem (47)
- St. Stalije (48)
- St. Eutihije (49)
- St. John the Almsgiver (50)
- Descent from the Cross (51)
- Vision of St Peter of Alexandria (52)
- Christ crucified (53)
- Descent of Christ into Hades (54)
- Ascension of Christ (55)
- Prophet Joel (56)
- Prophet Sophronius (57)
- unidentified prophet (58)
- Prophet Isaiah (59)
- Prophet Moses (60)
- Prophet Elias (61)
Frescoes on the vault of St Clement's Church in Mostaći (from west to east):
- Christ Pantocrator (62)
- Christ Elder of the days (63)
- Christ Angel of the Great Council (64)
- Ornament of decorative band with central four-leaved cluster (65)
Frescoes on the east wall (from south to north):
- St. Nicandor (66)
- St. Gregory Doctor of the Church (67)
- St. Vasilije the Great (68)
- Christ the Lamb of God (69)
- St. John Chrysostom (70)
- St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker (71)
- St. Stephen (72)
- Six-winged seraphim (73)
- Ornamental frieze (74)
- Mother of God of the Blessed Heaven (75)
- Figure of the Cosmos (from the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles) (76)
- Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles (77)
Frescoes on the west wall (from south to north):
- Archangel Gabriel (78)
- Archangel Michael (79)
- Inscription of the founder (80), Ascension of the Mother of God (81) (Kajmaković, 1971, p. 370-373)
The confined space of the church imposed certain restraints on the artist as to the number and choice of compositions and saints, which Vasilije resolved by relying on the work of George Mitrofanović, the greatest Serb painter of that time, who gave shape to and established the basic, essential elements of fresco design for small churches. Mitrofanović himself had inherited the basic elements of his system from old craftsmen, but he developed it further (Kajmaković, 1971, pp. 218-219).
Vasilije divided the area of the walls to be painted into three zones: two wall zones, and the third consisting of the vault. The lower zone, featuring figures of saints, is separated from the floor by a wide band, decorated here and there with stylized palmettas and elsewhere with stylized gathered draperies in light tones. The upper zone shows scenes from the life of Christ. The series began on the south wall by the altar with the Nativity, and ended on the north wall by the altar with the Ascension. The figure of the Mother of God Oranta in the conch of the alter apse forms a counterpart to the composition of the Ascent of the Virgin on the west wall above the entrance door. This arrangement clearly represents the symbolism of the cross, which is not expressed by the architecture of the church. The vault is dedicated to heavenly images of Christ, by way of conclusion to the symbolic representation of scenes from Christ's life on earth (Miletić, 1954, p. 285).
It has been determined by iconographic analysis that Vasilije worked the frescoes by reference to various models. In the iconographic sense, he took as his role model Mitrofanović's paintings in Zavala, but his skills were considerably poorer. From the technical point of view, he relied on the patterns or illustrations from the «Feast-Day Menaion» printed in 1538 in Venice in the workshop of Božidar Vuković. This can most readily be observed by comparing the composition of the Visitation from the Menaion with that of the Mostaći Visitation, but also the frescoes of the Nativity, the Ascension of the Mother of God, the Baptism, and the figures of St. Clement and St. Sava. It is believed that he was also in close touch with western painting in Dubrovnik, or that he had been influenced by the frescoes of Vicko Lovrov in Tvrdoš (Ševo, 2002, p. 186, Kajmaković, 1971, pp. 280, 285).
Master-craftsman Vasilije's painting is monotonous in colouring, but easily recognizable from the strong contrasts between light and dark in the figures, by their thick, black, sickle-shaped eyebrows, cuneiform shadows under the eyes, clumsily painted hands with long fingers, dull ochre highlights on the draperies, drawn-out lettering in the inscriptions, and a characteristic form for the letter «T» (Kajmaković, 1971, p. 282). The inscriptions accompanying the figures are also written in pure Serbian with phonetic Herzegovinian localisms, which indicates that the painter originated and received his artistic training locally (Ševo, 2002, p. 186).
Vasilije introduced a new motif into his painterly repertoire, that of the Holy Trinity, in the shape of Christ with three heads. The iconographic motif of the Holy Trinity with three faces, which the painter Vasilije placed at the top of the arch abutting onto the west wall of the church, is comparatively rarely encountered in Byzantine art. It probably reached the repertoire of this known craftsman under Cretan influence or through links with older examples of Byzantine and Serbian mediaeval painting (the fourteenth century Mother of God Perivlepta in Ohrid and Mateić, St Saviour in Stip, St Nicholas in Podvrh, Bistric, Zrze, Seljcan in the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries).
Movable heritage items:
The doors originate from the seventeenth century, at the time the church was painted.
The artisan of the carved doors is unknown, as is the artist of the painted areas. The decorative style of the carving recall Mitrofanović's doors, made for Hilandar in 1616, and as such indicate the high standing enjoyed by Hilander among Serb artists of the seventeenth century (Rakić, 1998, pp. 49-50). The carving of the doors was later overpainted in silver. The artist of the painted elements of the doors also took the work of Georgije Mitrofanović as his model (Ševo, 2002, p. 186).
The Annunciation is represented on the door panels in tall triangular fields, the angel on the north panel and the Mother of God on the south. The paintings are bordered by barleysugar columns holding up a baldaquin. These elements are painted with gold. Above the Annunciation, there are the busts of two saints in medallions. The face of one is completely obscured, while the other shows an old man with dark hair on a gold ground. The text on the scroll is in Greek. The painted part of the doors is damaged and has been overpainted later with several layers of paint (Miletić, 1954, pp. 295- 296).
St Clement's Church in Mostaći used to own an icon of the Mother of God the Milkgiver, St. John the Baptist and the Apostle Peter, which are currently located in the Church of Christ Transfigured in Trebinje. The icon, which measures 60 x 85 cm, was made by a Dubrovnik artisan in tempera on wood in the mid fifteenth century, and was formly a triptych with a carved gothic frame.
In the central field of the icon is an image of the Mother of God giving the breast to the Christ Child, while in separate fields to the sides are St. John the Baptist holding an unrolled scroll and the Apostle Peter with keys. The icon is a superb example of the blend of Byzantine style and iconography and Dubrovnik renaissance artistic views (Rakić, 1998, p. 350, Ševo, 2002, p. 187)
3. Present condition of the site
The construction of St Clement's Church is in good condition. There is no constructional damage visible on the facades.
St Clement's Church is an example of the type of church that took root in Dalmatia and the southern Littoral, whence it was spread to the interior by Dubrovnik builders. In these buildings, the Orthodox ideas of the persons commissioning the works came to blend with the western stylistic views of those who built them. This led to the creation of a distinct group of monuments, particularly in eastern Herzegovina: churches of simple ground plan and modest dimensions, with stone slab roofs. In the interior, lateral arc-boutants abut onto the barrel vault,
The importance of the frescoes in St Clement's Church in Mostaći lies in the fact that even in hard times, modest people such as village headman Radoje Mihaljević commissioned and succeeded in adorning their pious endowments with paintings which, despite minor departures, to a large extent follow the tradition of mediaeval Serb painting (Ševo, 2002, p. 186). This is not some new or original achievement from the iconographic point of view, but as regards painterly skills, it is a sound artisanal creation (Miletić, 1954, p. 295). The Royal Doors, dating from the seventeenth century and based on Mitrofanović's Hilandar model, are no less significant, and the same is true of the valuable icon by a Dubrovnik artisan dating from the mid fifteenth century.
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, the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above. The Decision is based on the following criteria:
A. Age determinants
B. Historical value
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
C. i. quality of workmanship
C. v. value of details
D.iii. work of a famous artist or builder
D. iv. Evidence of a certain type, style or regional manner
E. Symbolic value
E ii. religious value
E iii. traditional value
E iv. relation to rituals or traditions
E v. significance for the identity of a group of people
G. ii. materials and content
G. iii. use and function
G. iv. traditions and techniques
G. v. location and setting
G. vi. spirit and feeling
I. iii. undamaged condition
The following form an integral part of this Decision:
- copy of cadastral plan,
- copy of land registry entry and ownership records,
- photo documentation,
During the process of proclaiming the historic monument of St Clement's Church in Mostaći a National Monument the following works were consulted:
- V. Korać-V. J. Đurić, Crkve sa prislonjenim lukovima u staroj Hercegovini i dubrovačko graditeljstvo XV-XVII vek (Churches with arc-boutants in old Herzegovina and Dubrovnik construction in the fifteenth to seventeenth century), Collected Papers of the Faculty of Philosophy VIII, Belgrade, 1964, 576.
- Kajmaković, Zdravko, Zidno slikarstvo u Bosni i Hercegovini (Wall Paintings in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Veselin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1971.
- Mazalić, Đoko, Miletić, Nada, Rad na čišćenju jedne ikone u crkvi sv. Klimenta u Mostaćima (Cleaning works on an icon in St Clement's Church in Mostaći), Our Antiques V, Sarajevo, 127-128.
- Miletić, Nada, Crkva sv. Klimenta u Mostaćima (St Clement's Church in Mostaći), Journal of the National Museum in Sarajevo (A) n. s. Vol. IX, Sarajevo, 281- 297.
- Rakić, Svetlana, Ikone Bosne i Hercegovine (16- 19. vijek), (Icons of Bosnia and Herzegovine [16th to 19th century]), Republican Authority for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Belgrade, Belgrade, 1999
- Ševo, Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878. godine (Orthodox Churches and Monasteries in Bosnia and Herzegovina to 1878), Serb News, City of Banja Luka, Banja Luka, 2002.
- Šuput, Marica, Spomenici srpskog crkvenog graditeljstva XVI-XVII vek (Monuments of Serbian Ecclesiastical Architecture, 16th – 17th Century), Begrade-Novi Sad-Priština, 1991, 155.
- V. Vuletić-Vukasović, Correspondence, 1888, Herald of the Croatian Archaeological Society, X, Zagreb, 1888, p. 27