Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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60th session - Decisions

Stećak in Baljvine, the archaeological site

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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 6 to 12 May 2003 the Commission adopted a






            The archaeological site of the stećak in Baljvine is hereby designated as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).

            The National Monument is on a site comprising cadastral plot 173/1, cadastral municipality Baljvine, Mrkonjić Grad 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.




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

            The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the resources to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the rehabilitation of the National Monument.

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




            To ensure the on-going protection of the National Monument, Protection Zone I is hereby stipulated, consisting of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 2 of this Decision, i.e. the area of Ploče pasture, where the following protection measures shall apply:

-         all works are prohibited on the monument itself and in the protection zone other than research and conservation and restoration works, including those designed to display the monument,

-         the erection of any building or of temporary or permanent structures not designed solely to protect and present the National Monument is prohibited,

-         all works of any kind that could have the effect of altering the site or the landscape are prohibited,

-         the site of the National Monument shall be open and accessible to the public, and may be used for educational and cultural purposes.


            A protective zone 50 m wide from the outer boundary of Protection Zone I is hereby stipulated.  In this protectivezone all new construction is prohibited other than the rehabilitation of the houses located around Ploče pasture that were destroyed in the 1992-1995 war.




            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 Republika Srpska, and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska, 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 to V of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of registration in the Land Register.




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




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




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



            Chairman of the Commission

            Amra Hadžimuhamedović

No: 06-6-556/03-3

6 May 2003




E l u c i d a t i o n




             Pursuant to Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Law on the Implementation of the Decisions of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, established pursuant to Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “National Monument” is an item of public property proclaimed by the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) to be a National Monument pursuant to Articles V and VI of Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter referred to as Annex 8) and as property entered on the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of  BiH no. 33/02) until the Commission reaches a final decision on its status, as to which there is no time limit and regardless of whether a petition for the property in question has been submitted or not.

            On 22 July 2002 the Islamic Community of BiH, Office of the Banja Luka mufti, submitted a petition for the stećak in Donje Baljvine to be designated as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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




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

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

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

Ÿ         The current condition of the property.

Ÿ         Historical, architectural and other documentary material on the property, as set out in the bibliography forming part of this Decision.


            The findings based on the review of the above documentation and the condition of the site are as follows:


1. Details of the property


            The village of Baljvine is situated below Čemernica mountain high above the river Vrbas gorge at Crna Rijeka, some 15 km from Mrkonjić Grad to the north-east. The site of Baljvina is isolated by the contours of the terrain from, but is close to the Banja Luka-Jajce road. 

            The stećak is in the centre of the hamlet of Kocelji, village of Donje Baljvine, Mrkonjić Grad Municipality, on c.p. 173/1, with an area of 3200m2.

Historical data

            There is no documentary evidence concerning the stećak tombstone in Baljvine, which dates from the 14th to the 15th century.

Legal status to date

            In the Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 the monument is not specifically listed. All the monuments of this kind – stećci – in Mrkonjić Grad municipality are collectively treated as Category III.


2. Description of the monument

            The location of the stećak tombstone is distinctive.  Now surrounded by a fence, it stands along in a 3-hectare karst meadow or pasture.  This central village “common” is surrounded on three sides by houses and a macadam road, as a result of which the locals describe it as being “mid-village”.  It is probably for this reason that they treat it with particular care and concern.

            The stećak is in the form of a chest, and measure 1.6 x 0.70 x 1.25 m, narrowing somewhat to the base.  It is probably in fact somewhat higher, since the base has become buried in soil.  It is cut from the local hard limestone.

            It lies along a west-east axis.  The long sides are decorated: on the south face with a large crescent moon that almost forms a closed circle, and on the north a rather smaller crescent moon of the same kind.  On the south upper corner is a small rosette. The decorations are precisely cut in bas-relief on the upper half of the stećak.

            About thirty years ago the stećak was not fenced off, but the village community took care of it, protecting it from possible damage from livestock or the odd unruly local.  This care and respect for the monument continues to this day, as evidenced by the wooden fence around the stećak, measuring 5.30 x 3.50 x 1.2 m, which the local people have put up.

            Ivan Lovrenović has written that the local people say “it has been squatting in the middle of the village since the world began, so let it stay there now.”   “The local Bosniacs do not ‘usurp’ it as their own, but their saying is testimony to its antiquity and the obscure awe it inspires in the local people” (Lovrenović, 1981, 91)


3. Research and conservation and restoration works

            Ivan Lovrenović inspected it while visiting the stećci of Mrkonjić Grad municipality in the 1970s.  There have been no other works.


4. Current condition of the site

            The site is in the natural environment of pastures. Houses are being built around, but not too close to the monument, which the local people have fenced off.




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

            The Decision was based on the following criteria:

A. Time frame

B. Historical value

C. Artistic and aesthetic value

C. i. Quality of workmanship

C.v. value of details

D. Clarity

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

E. Symbolic value

E.ii. religious value

F. Landscape value

F.ii. meaning in the landscape

G. Authenticity

G.v. location and setting

H. Rarity and representativity

I. Integrity

I.iv. undamaged condition


            The following photographs and graphic documents form an integral part of this Decision:

-         plans;

-         photographs



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


Lovrenović, Ivan, Stećci okoline Mrkonjić grada.(Stećci of the Mrkonjić Grad area) Naše starine XIV-XV, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments, Natural Beauty and Rarities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 1981, 85-96.

Stećak tombstone in Baljvine , photo from seventies of XX century Detail, motif of the crescent moonWest and north side of the stećak with decorationStećak tombstone in Baljvine
Stećak tombstones in the village Baljvina   

BiH jezici 
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