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60th session - Decisions

Church of the Holy Archangel and stećak necropolis in Veličani, 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 from 4 to 11 March 2003 the Commission adopted a

 

D E C I S I O N

 

I

 

            The architectural ensemble of the Church of the Holy Archangel and stećak necropolis is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The site is located on cadastral plot 3210, cadastral municipality Veličani, 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 specified in the preceding paragraph.

 

II

 

The Government of Republika Srpska 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 Republika Srpska shall be duty bound to ensure the funds required to draw up and implement the technical documentation needed for the rehabilitation of the architectural ensemble of the Church of the Holy Archangels and the stećak necropolis in Veličani.

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.

 

III

 

For the purpose of the long-term protection of the property, the following zones of protection are designated:

Protection Zone I, covering cadastral plot no. 3209 and 3210, comprising the building of the Church of the Holy Archangel in Veličani and the stećak necropolis.  Within this zone the following measures shall apply:

  • Only works of conservation or restoration with a design project approved by the relevant ministry and under the expert supervision of the Republika Srpska heritage protection authority are permitted,
  • The dumping of all kinds of waste is prohibited
  • Agricultural works are prohibited
  • All works to the infrastructure are prohibited other than in exceptional cases with the approval of the relevant ministry and under the expert supervision of the Republika Srpska heritage protection authority
  • the construction of buildings or facilities the operations of which could be detrimental to the National Monument specified in Clause I of this Decision is prohibited.

Protection Zone II covers a radius of 100 metres from Protection Zone I.  Within this zone the following measures shall apply:

  • only the construction of housing units with maximum dimensions of 10 x 12 metres and a maximum height of 6.5 metres to the roof cornice or no more than two storeys with is permitted
  • the dumping of all kinds of waste is prohibited
  • the construction of industrial facilities is prohibited
  • the siting of potential environmental polluters is prohibited
  • the construction of plant to exploit natural resources is prohibited

The Government of Republika Srpska shall be duty bound to ensure the drafting of a design project to protect the stećak necropolis and a design project to protect the Church of the Holy Archangel in Veličani.

These design projects must include all the measures on the basis of which the works of renovation of damaged gravestones and damage to the church building shall be carried out.

 

IV

 

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

 

V

 

Everyone, and in particular the competent authorities of Republika Srpska, 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.

 

VI

 

            The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry for Urban Planning, Civil Engineering and the  Environment of Republika Srpska, the Institute for Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska, 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.

 

VII

 

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) 

 

VIII

 

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 and enforceable.

 

IX

 

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: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović,  Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.

 

No.: 08.2-6-137/03-8                                                                  

4-7 March 2003

Sarajevo

 

Chairman of the Commission

Dubravko Lovrenović

 

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 in Sarajevo the Commission issued a Decision to add the architectural ensemble of the Church of the Holy Archangel in Veličani with stećak necropolis to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 733.

Pursuant to Article V of Annex 8 and Article 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, the Commission proceeded to carry out the procedure for reaching a final decision to designate the Property as a National Monument.

 

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 consulted:

  • Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of land registry entry, Trebinje Municipality, dated 29 June 2001, with copy of cadastral plan)
  • Data on the current legal protection of the property
  • Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, details of war damage, details of restoration or other works on the property, etc.
  • 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. Details of the site

Location

The village of Veličani lies in the central part of Popovo polje on the eastern side, alongside the Mostar-Ljubinje-Trebinje road, Trebinje Municipality, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is 15 km from the Adriatic coast by the route via Zavala.

Historical data

The Orthodox Church of Archangel Michael and the stećak necropolis lie within the modern Orthodox cemetery.  The entire complex is in the locality known as “Crkva” (“Church”) on a plain below the village, around the centre, alongside the road referred to above.

The name Veličani is not found in mediaeval sources.  Velika Vas is referred to in Popovo in 1388, and Velja vas in 1466 – these names no longer exist. The village of Velika Vas was close to Zavala, which is referred to in 1372: “Lupeži iz Popova od Zavale”, and in 1436:  Ljudi kneza Grgurevića (Nikolića) de villa de Sauala et Velichi Uast" (Jireček 1892, 285).

            Veličani was a minor cultural centre in the northern part of Popovo polje. The name of the village suggests the upper feudal class, which is corroborated by findings from the graves in the necropolis. Members of the Ćihorić – Drugović clan were buried here, and the clan probably also lived here. The Ćihorić clan were the hereditary district prefects of Popovo at the time of Sanković-Draživojević supremacy in the fourteenth century.

The stećak necropolis developed around a somewhat earlier church, the age of which has not yet been determined. Its remains are to be seen at the base of the exterior of the apse of the current church, on the south eastern side. It is interesting that the church is dedicated to St. Michael, one of the oldest patrons of this part of the world. Modern burials have disturbed the homogeneity of the mediaeval necropolis (Filipović, 1959, 176; Bešlagić, 1966, 22, 25; Anđelić, 1983, 73).

According to data from the epitaph to a nun, Polihranija, and the palaeographic features of the epitaph to Rađ Galčić, burials took place in the necropolis certainly from the mid fourteenth to the mid fifteenth century, and this continued later with the erection of the church of the Archangel Michael in the Ottoman period. All seven of the persons named in the inscription on her stećak are referred to in documents from the Dubrovnik archives with dates ranging from 1332 to 1399 (Jireček, 1892., 279-285). 

No archive details have yet been found on Radača Čihorić, the nun Polihranija, née Draživojević. There is considerable data on her husband Nenac Čihorić and his brothers, Vratko, Dabiživ i Stjepko, his son Dabiživ, and the members of the prominent landowning Čihorić family in the Hum and Trebinje area, as well as on her father Milten and her tax-collector brother Sanko, and the prominent Draživojević family into which she was born. Polihranija’s son Dabiživ, who “put the mark” on her, was the district prefect Dabiživ Nenčić or Čihorić who is mentioned in historical sources with dates ranging from 1383 to 1399, when he appears for the last time as a witness to Radić Sanković’s charter (Jireček 1892, 280-285).

A charter dated 2 November 1465 refers to the village of Galčić and a further two villages in Popovo.  Galčići, which is about 2 km north-west of Veličani, acquired its name from a feudal, one Galčić, who is buried in Veličani (Vego 1962, p. 226). Then, as now, the village of Galčić did not have its own church, but shared that of Veličani, where burials also formerly took place (Filipović 1959, str.178). 

The present-day church of the Holy Archangel was renovated in the nineteenth century, as evidenced by the date of 1863 carved above the entrance door to the church. The bell tower, too, probably dates from that period.

During World War II the building suffered considerable war damage. In 1990 a memorial chapel to the World War II civilian victims of Veličani was built by the church.

 

Legal Status to Date

The church of the Holy Archangel with stećak necropolis has not previously been placed under state protection or listed as cultural monuments.

 

2. Description of the site

The church of the Holy Archangel belongs to the single-nave type of church with a semi-circular apse and small «preslica» bell tower (a type of bell tower over the entrance to the church). The present-day church is very likely built on the site of an older, mediaeval building that stood there at the time the necropolis came into being. Remains of the older building can be seen in the eastern part of the church, where stone blocks of different size and treatment are noticeable in the lower part of the apse.

Like other buildings of its type in Herzegovina, the building material used to build the church of the Holy Archangel is limestone. In this instance the blocks are of regular rectangular form, ranging in size from 25 to 30 cm. On the outside the blocks are laid in regular horizontal rows. The horizontal and vertical joints are very narrow, indicating that the other sides of the blocks are finely dressed as well. The walls vary in thickness from 45 cm on the west side of the building to 80 cm on the east – measured on the wall by the apse. The blocks of stone are bonded with lime mortar.

The church is 9.72 m long on the exterior (excluding the apse) and 7.60 m wide. The apse is semicircular on the interior and exterior, and its exterior measures 7.90 m. In the axis of the apse is a small window of which the light is 0.20 m wide and 0.50 m high.

The entrance to the church is at the west end and is emphasized by a projection that follows the vertical lines of the bell tower. The projection extends 16 cm out from the flat wall, and is divided horizontally into four parts separated in the centre by a shallow cornice with rope-twist decoration. The first part is composed of the portal with a simple blind arch and rectangular door, the second of a part that narrows and bears the stone plaque with the date of renovation of the church (1863), the third of the part with a circular stone window or oculus, and the fourth is the bell tower «na preslicu», characteristic of this region, except that in this instance the bell tower has only one bell.

The width of the building inside is 6.25 m, measured at the west end, while the length measured along the east-west axis is 8.42 m. The apse is 2.4 m long and has recessed niches for the proscomidia and diaconicon.

There are two pairs of rectangular stone pillars in the interior, measuring 35 x 50 cm, with capitals on which repose longitudinal arches supporting the barrel vault of the nave. The intervals between these pillars, measured longitudinally, is 2.4 m, and laterally, about 3.45 m.

There is a wooden iconostasis with simple royal doors. The paving, pillars and capitals of the pillars are of more recent date. The square paving stones are laid diagonally to the east-west axis.

The church is entirely roofed with stone slabs, with the typical overlap on the ridge to the part by the bell tower and for a distance of 0.70 m at the east end of the building. The rest of the ridge is clad with clay ridge tiles, which to judge from their colour were laid quite recently. The apse is also roofed with stone slabs.

Light enters the church through three arched windows on the south and north walls and the window in the apse. The arrangement of the windows is logical and symmetrical in relation to the arrangement of the internal structural elements of the building. The lights of the windows are 0.40 m wide and 1.03 m high. The stone window frames are slightly cambered towards the exterior and each composed of four stone blocks. The entrance door is 80 cm wide and 1.75 m high.

The stećak necropolis

The state of the site between 1960 and 1964, when the systematic collection of material on the stećak necropolises of Popovo polje began, showed that the Veličani cemetery had sixty-two stečci, arranged in two main groups, one to the west and the other to the east of the church. Both groups were of regular west-east orientation.

Of the total of sixty-two stećci, thirty-one were of the slab type, twenty of the chest type and one of the ridged type. In addition, two cruciform and eight columnar examples were recorded. In the third row to the west of the church graves are to be seen with a low stone edging. In the western part of the necropolis, a few metres outside the entrance to the church, and to the north-western side of the graveyard beside the stećak necropolis, there is a greater concentration of modern graves.

The stećci are well made, but some have settled, and a significant number are damaged (Bešlagić, 1971, 394). Their orientation is regular: west-east.

A total of eighteen are decorated: one ridged, seven chest, six slabs, two cruciform and two columnar.  The most common decorative motifs are borders and friezes of slanting parallel lines (stećci 4 and 10 on the plan), or twining vine leaves, twisted bands (stećci nos. 6, 8, 9 and 10), rosettes (nos. 1 and 4) and crosses (nos. 7 and 12).  Some stećci have shields with swords, half-apples (no. 11), crescent-moons (nos. 2 and 11), twisted bands, and there are also the individual motifs of a sword (no. 11), fleur de lis (no. 8) and square (no. 12).

Stećak no. 1 is a large chest (2 x 1.33 x ? m) that has settled into the ground. It has five rosettes on its horizontal faces, one in the centre and one at each corner.

Stećak no. 2 is a chest (1.7 x 1.1 x 0.40 m), with a crescent-moon on the horizontal face.

Stećak no. 3 is a sizeable chest (1.93 x 1.10 x 0.53 m) with the horizontal face decorated with a border of slanting parallel lines and twining lines with leaves.  On the frontal, western face, looking at the church and any visitor, is a carved epitaph in three lines reading A SE LEŽI  RAC (RAĐ) GALČIĆ NA SVOJOJ PLEMENITOJ – “here lies Rac (Rađ) Galčić on his noble lineage”.  Certain palaeographic features of the epitaph are typical of the fifteenth century.  According to the meagre historical details of the formation of the village of Galčići in the second half of the fifteenth century, as well as the lettering, this epitaph was probably carved during the first half of the fifteenth century (Vego 1962, 226). The grave beneath the stećka has been excavated. Rađ Galčić was laid in a square vault surrounded by dressed stone slabs and covered with a stone lid, without grave goods (Kojić-Wenzel, 1968, 141-142).

Stećak no. 4 is a large slab (2.05 x 1.4 x 0.26 m) with a faintly visible border of slanting parallel lines on the horizontal face.

Stećak no. 5 is a slab (2.1 x 1.23 x 0.25 m) with an eight-petalled rosette on the horizontal face.

Stećak no. 6 is a chest (1.85 x 0.92 x 0.6 m) with an arcade on all the vertical faces, with twisted, pointed arches and twisted bands above the arcade.

Stećak no. 7 is a slab (1.9 x 1.16 x 0.18 m); it is damaged, and has settled.  A vertical slab is fixed to the east end (by the head) on which there is a cross on the western frontal face.

Stećak no. 8 is a high ridged stećak on a pedestal (1.78 x 0.72 x 1.32 m), which is chipped and cracked.  There is a twisted band on the edges of the tympanon and the vertical sides, as between the roof and the chest. The vertical sides bear arcades with graphic pillars and arches. On the western gable there is a graphic fleur de lis, and beneath it, on the west side of the chest, between the arches of the arcade, is a small feather-like addition. Beneath the stećak there was a sunken slab that served as a pedestal. In the vault, some 1.40 m deep, surrounded and covered with dressed stone slabs solidly fixed with pure lime mortar, the deceased lay buried in a long robe with silver-gilt ribbons. To the right of the skull, by way of grave goods, a tapering glass was found with a wide protruding rim. The body of the glass, of thin white glass, 8 cm high, is decorated with small applique’d droplets, and the rim of the base with a wavy band. The workshop where this glass originated has not yet been identified. Glasses of similar type, with thick stems and of different colour, have been found in Sarajevo, Gacko and Bobovac, and have been reliably dated to the fifteenth century. The grave also contained a coin from  Dubrovnik issued sometime between the mid fourteenth and mid fifteenth century. Stylistic parallels with the decoration of grave 8 and 9 provide grounds for dating this grave to the second half of the fourteenth century (Kojić-Wenzel 1968, 143-150).

Stećak no. 9 is a tall chest (185 x 80 x 108 cm) on a 30 cm thick pedestal. All the vertical faces bear semi-circular arcades, with below them a border of twisted bands. The arcades have a bifurcated finish. On the intercolumnar surfaces, reading from the western, frontal, face via the southern lateral face and so on, an epitaph is carved, reading:

† V IME O [T]CA I S[I]NA I S[VE]T[A]GO D[U]HA. SE LEŽI RABA B[O]ŽIA POLIHRANIJA A ZOVOM’ MIR’SKIM’ GOSPOJA RADAČA, ŽOUPANA NEN’CA ČIHORIĆA KUĆNICA, A NEVJESTA ŽUPANA VRAT’KA I SLUGE DABIŽIVA I TEP’ČIJE STIPKA, A KĆ’I ŽUPANA MIL’TJENA DRAŽIVOJEVIKA A KAZN’CU S’N’KU (SANKU) SESTRA. A POSTAVI S’ BJILJEG NE S[I]N’ DABIŽIV’ S B[O]ŽIOM’ POMOŠĆIJU SAM’ SVOIM’ LJUDMI A V’ DN[I] G[OSPODI]NA KRALJA TVR’KA. (Bešlagić, 1966., 82).

In translation, this reads:

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, here lies the servant of God Polihranija, whose worldly name was Radača, wife of district prefect Nenac Čihorić, and sister in law of district prefect Vlatko and the servant of God Dabiživ and the intendent Stipko, daughter of district prefect Milten Draživojević, and sister of the tax collector Sanko. This mark was placed by her son Dabiživ with the help of God and with his people in the reign of King Tvrtko I.” (Vego, 1964, no. 102).

Her husband is referred to in documents with dates ranging from 1336 to 1375.

Three leading scholars who have read the epitaph agree that the scribe was a skilled craftsman.  According to the invocation, the use of certain words (raba božja, kućanica) and certain other features, it has been determined that it was written under the influence of the ecclesiastical scribes’ offices of Raška and Zeta, with which members of the Čihorić and Sanković families had political and religious connections during the reign of Emperor Dušan and King Tvrtko I from 1373 onwards (Jireček, 1892, 279-285; Vego, 1962, 229-230; Bešlagić, 1966, 83). Both epitaphs, Polihranija’s earlier one and Rađ Galčić’s later one, are written in old Bosnian Cyrillic (Bešlagić,1966,24).

A thick layer of earth, stone slabs and gravel was found beneath the stećak, and it was only below this that the vault was formed of stone slabs. The deceased was buried in a wooden coffin.

The nun Polihranija was buried in her family vault alongside the church, not in the separate monastic burial ground. She was buried in Veličani, although it does not state that she was on her noble lineage, that is her clan, the Čihorić’s. Like the nun Marta in Ošanići, the nun Polihranija, too, was buried in her family vault by the church, not in the separate monastic burial ground. By way of confirmation that certain monks lived in their own houses, there is the section of the text that reads: “and her son Dabiživ set the mark”, as well as the epitaph to the servant of God Marija from Vidoštak near Stolac and probably that of the servant of God Georgije from Aranđelovo. Polihranija’s epitaph includes the geneaology of the Čihorić family. From its content it may be determined with fair certainty that there was a principal Orthodox church in Veličani serving as a place of worship for all the Orthodox inhabitants of the parish of Popovo, and that the Čihorić family’s clan heritage was in Čihorići (Vego 1962, 230). The grave has been excavated archaeologically. Beneath the stećak was a stone slab to provide stability for the gravestone. Polihranija was buried in a wooden coffin placed in a vault more than a metre and a half deep, built of stone slabs, with no grave goods.

Stećak no. 10 is a tall chest (1.60 x 0.67 x 1.05 m). On the vertical faces it has arcades with double columns and arches with some parallel reinforcing. Above these is a frieze of bands with slanting parallel lines.

Stećak no. 11 is a low incomplete cross (1x0.82x0.23 m). On the western face (towards the living) a sword in a hand is carved within a graphic border, with above, in the central arm of the cross, is a crescent moon, with a half apple on the transverse arms.

Stećak no. 12 is a small chest (1.35 x 0.62 x 0.22 m). On the horizontal face it has a graphic cross, and beneath it a graphic square.

Stećak no. 13 is a slab (196 x 124x 34 cm). There is a barely visible border of slanting parallel lines on the horizontal face.

Stećak no. 14 is a slab (190 x 105 x 25 cm), with a small graphic rectangle on the horizontal face.

Stećak no. 15 is a column in the form of a parallelopipede (140 x 40x 30 cm) with a slab. (195 x 134 x120 cm). On the frontal faces of the column is a graphic cross.

Stećak no. 16 is a tall cruciform monument (188 x 64 x 18 cm) with a massive slab (240 x 240 x 26 cm).  There is a graphic cross on the western face (facing the public), while the eastern face is decorated with a border of slanting parallel lines. There is a border of the same motif on the horizontal face of the slab. Within it is a rectangular escutcheon with a border of slanting parallel lines, and an octagonal rosette in the centre.  There is a sword below the escutcheon.

Stećak no. 17 is a poorly dressed slab (no dimensions). On the horizontal face there is a barely visible rectangular shield with a sword.  There is a rosette on the shield. There is a graphic cross on the southern corner of the slab.

Stećak no. 18 is a tall column (195 x 40 x 38 cm)  On the broad frontal faces there is a graphic cross. On the eastern face there is another smaller graphic vent (threshold). On the upper half of the column is a graphic apple.

 

3. Research and works of conservation and restoration

In 1963 a team from the National Museum in Trebinje excavated three of the graves (no. 3, the grave of Rađ Galčić, no.8, and no.9, the grave of the nun Polihranija). These are the three most representative graves, two because of their epitaphs, while the third was beneath the tall, highly decorated ridged stećak lying to the south of Polihranija’s grave. That same year the split stećak above the grave of Rađ Galčić was bound.

The items found in the graves are in the Museum of Herzegovina in Trebinje.

 

4. Present condition of the site

            The building of the church of the Holy Archangel in Veličani is in good condition. Some minor damage is observable to the building, the result of artillery fire, taking the form of cracks to stone blocks and damage to some of the stone decoration.

During the last visit to the site it was observed that the old bell tower, which was probably damaged during the war, had been replaced by a new one. Parts of the old bell tower are still in the church burial ground.

In the interior of the building works have been carried out on several occasions, comprising repaving the building, replacing the columns, whitewashing the walls and sealing the stone slabs of the roof with cement mortar, which has perhaps led to increased damp in the walls. These works were carried out without the competent protection service, and have not been to the detriment of the building's authenticity.

By comparison with a drawing of the arrangement of the stećci made in 1966 by Š. Bešlagić and the current situation, differences in the arrangement of the stećci in relation to the church are observable.  Probably as a result of the construction of a concrete cistern 8.60 m south-east of the church, a group of seven stećci were moved to a position five metres from their earlier position. It was also observed that there were a greater number of new interpolated gravestones, since the church graveyard in Veličani is still in use. This presents the greatest threat to the western and central parts of the necropolis. It is also significant that a large number of the stećci have settled and sunk into the ground (those to the east of the apse of the church) and that the decorations and epitaphs are deteriorating as a result of weathering.

 

III - CONCLUSION

 

            The church of the Holy Archangel belongs to the single-nave type of church with semi-circular apse and a small «preslica» bell tower.  It is important to note that the present-day church was built on the foundations of an older building the remains of which are visible in the lower parts of the apse.

In the number of specimens, diversity and representativity of all basic forms, quality of workmanship and the two epitaphs that give certain historical data of relevance for this region and beyond, and in its outstanding location alongside the main road through Popovo polje and its accessibility, and given the continuity of interments from the late middle ages to the present day, the necropolis and church in Veličani constitute valuable monuments of the mediaeval and later periods.

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 is based on the following criteria:

A. Age determinants

B. Historical value

C. Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i. quality of workmanship

C. iv. composition

C. v. value of detail

D. Clarity

D.ii. evidence of historical changes

D. iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner

E. Symbolic value

E. ii  religious value

E. iii. traditional value

E. v. significance for the identity of a group of people

F. Landscape value

F.iii. the building or group of buildings is part of a group or site

G. Authenticity

G.i. form and design

G.iii. use and function

G. iv. tradition and techniques

H. Rarity and representativity

H.i. unique or rare example of a certain type or style

 

            The following documents form an integral part of this Decision:

o        Copy of cadastral plan

o        Copy of land register entry and ownership certificate;

o        Photodocumentation;

o        Drawings

 

Bibliography

During the proceedings of designating the architectural ensemble of the church of the Holy Archangel in Veličani and stećak necropolis as a national monument the following works were consulted:

 

Anđelić, Pavo, Srednjovjekovna župa Popovo. (The Mediaeval District of Popovo) Tribunija 7, National Museum Trebinje, Trebinje, 1983, 61-79.

 

Bešlagić, Šefik, Popovo srednjovjekovni nadgrobni spomenici. (Mediaeval gravestones of Popovo) Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monunents of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo, 1966.

 

Bešlagić, Šefik, Stećci, kataloško-topografski pregled. (Stećci, a catalogue and topographical survey) Veselin Masleša. Sarajevo, 1971.

 

Filipović, Milenko – Mičević, Ljubo, Popovo u Hercegovini. (Popovo in Herzegovina) Scientific Society. Sarajevo, 1959.

 

Kojić Ljubinka - Wenzel, Marian, Veličani - srednjovjekovna nekropola i pregled srednjovjekovnog stakla Bosne i Hercegovine.  (Veličani – mediaeval necropolis and survey of mediaeval glass of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Starinar n.s. XVIII/1967, Archaeological Institute of the Serbian Academy of Sciences, Belgrade 1968, 139-155.      

 

Jireček, Konstantin, Vlastela humska na natpisu u Veličanima. (Hum landowners in the epitaphs in Veličani) Journal of the National Museum IV, Sarajevo, 1892, 279-285.

 

Ševo, Ljiljana, Pravoslavne crkve i manastiri  u Bosni i Hercegovini do 1878 godine, (Orthodox churches andmonasteries in Bosnia and Herzegovina to 1878) Glas srpski, Banjaluka, 2002,. 217/218.

 

Vego, Marko, Novi i revidirani natpisi iz Hercegovine. (New and revized epitaphs of Herzegovina) Journal of the National Museum (Archaeology) n.s. Vol. VII, Sarajevo1962, 191-243.

 

Vego, Marko, Zbornik  srednjovjekovnih natpisa Bosne i Hercegovine II. (Anthology of mediaeval epitaphs of  Bosnia and Herzegovina II) National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo 1964.

 

 

 



Church of the Holy ArchangelChurch of the Holy Archangel and stećak necropolis in VeličaniWest facadeEast facade
South facadeThe Church and the ChapelNew ChapelNecropolis, stećak tombstones
Interior of the church, iconostasisRosetteWindow 


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