Decisions on Designation of Properties as National Monuments

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Musa pašina Mosque in Nova Kasaba/Dušanovo, the site and remains of 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 21-27 January 2003 the Commission adopted a






            The site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Musa pašina Mosque in Nova Kasaba/Dušanovo, Milići Municipality, is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

            The property was built on c.p.no. 224, c.m. Nova Kasaba, corresponding to c.p.no. 1/1 and ˝ of the old land survey in c.m. Nova Kasaba, Milići 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 specified in Clause I of this Decision.

            The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing resources needed to draw up the technical documentation for the rehabilitation and for the rehabilitation itself of the national monument specified in Clause 1 of this Decision.

            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.




            The Government of Republika Srpska shall in particular be responsible for ensuring that the following measures are implemented:

Ÿ          the mosque building together with the surrounding area of the courtyard shall be reconstructed in its original form, with identical horizontal and vertical dimensions,

Ÿ          all the original fragments of the property that may be found either on the site or at some other place to which they were transported after the building was demolished, shall be reintegrated into the property using the method of anastylosis with the use of traditional construction materials and mortar and construction techniques. Until such time as they are so reintegrated they shall be adequately protected.

Ÿ          the surface layers of soil shall be removed to uncover the original foundation walls,

Ÿ          the original parts of the foundations and walls shall be renovated and consolidated,

Ÿ         fragments that are too badly damaged to be reintegrated shall, after laboratory examination, be appropriately conserved and presented within the mosque courtyard area.

Ÿ          all usable materials shall be reintegrated into the mosque building,

Ÿ          parts that are missing, if there is documentation on their original condition, shall be made based on the existing documentation from materials identical or similar to the original ones, using the method of repristination,

Ÿ          the mosque courtyard, including the entrance and the surrounding wall, shall be reconstructed based on the data on its previous appearance,

Ÿ          all the gravestones shall be conserved and returned to their original places, based on the documentation available and to the extent possible. Gravestones for which it is not possible to determine exactly the previous location shall be conserved and appropriately presented within the mosque courtyard area.

Ÿ          on the neighboring plots 227/2, 227/3 construction shall be permitted exclusively for residential buildings of a maximum height of 6.5 metres to the base of the roof structure, of a ground floor plus one upper floor, and maximum size of 12 x 10 meters.

Ÿ         no construction shall be permitted within the park area.




            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 specified in Clause I of this Decision or jeopardize the preservation and rehabilitation thereof.




            The Government of Republika Srpska, the Ministry of Urban Planning, Housing Construction and the Environment of 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 to carry out measures stated in Articles II, III and IV of this Decision, and the Authorized Municipal Court shall be notified for the purposes of for registration in the Lady 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 (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 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 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

Dubravko Lovrenović


No.: 08.2-6-479/03-2

January 23, 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.

            Pursuant to a petition filed on August 30, 2002, by the Council of the Islamic Community in Vlasenica, the Commission proceeded to conduct the procedure for rendering 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 land registry entry, Milici Municipality, no. 29-952-6-253/01, dated 29 June 2001, with copy of cadastral plan )

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          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. Information on the site


            The Musa pašina Mosque is located on the left bank of the Jadar river and the main M-19 road from Vlasenica to Zvornik, c.p.no. 224, c.m. Nova Kasaba, owned by the Islamic Community of Vlasenica, Milici Municipality, Republika Srpska.

Historical Information

            The origins and development of Nova Kasaba on Jadar in East Bosnia were closely associated with the name of the Great Vizier and Governor of Buda, Musa Pasha, as evidenced by the following two documents:

Ÿ          Firman (Imperial Order) by Sultan Ibrahim dating from early Jumada al akhira 1051 AH (7-16 September 1641), and

Ÿ          Deed of Endowment by Musa Pasha made in early Rabi ul awwali 1053 (20-25 May 1643) (Bejtić, 1960, pp. 225-230)

            The firman states that Musa pasha had approached the Sublime Porte with a request to build a mosque and a han (inn) and found a small town (kasaba) in the Bosnian sanjak, in the Birač district, in the area of the village of Gojkovic. The firman also states that there was a han there before which had burned down, causing difficulties for travellers seeking accommodation and compelling them to spend the night in the houses of poor people together with the household members. This disturbs the poor and leads to violence, and therefore people have started to move out of this area. The firman grants Musa pasha approval to found a kasaba on this site.

            Once Musa pasha had obtained approval, he embarked on the building of the property on land he had previously purchased. His endowments were built and completed in May 1643, when his deed of endowment was made. The deed of endowment provides the following data: - The Great Vizier of the Sultan Ibrahim-khan, son of Ahmad-khan, and the guardian of the Buda border area (serhadi budim muhafazasinda olan), Musa pasha, erected and endowed the following

Ÿ          a mosque at the boundary of the villages of Kovačić and Gojković in the area (mahalla) of Jadar in the Birač kadiluk (district under the jurisdiction of a kadija/qadi or judge), in the vilayet of Bosnia, in Urumelia.

Ÿ          in the mosque he bequeathed and endowed two large gilded volumes of the Qur’an and thirteen other bound works of tafsir (Qur’an interpretation), hadith, fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Arabic, to be held in safekeeping by the vaiz and hatib of this mosque, and to be borrowed by the residents of the town for reading and transcribing. He  also bequeathed and endowed thirty copies of juz (sections of the Qur’an).

Ÿ          a mekteb (school, muallam-hana) next to the mosque.


            He also built and endowed the following revenue-generating buildings to maintain the above endowments:

Ÿ          two caravanserais, opposite one another, on the same site.

Ÿ          the caravanserai was to be leased out each year, and the new lessees were to receive a loan of 4000 akchas from the endowed funds each as initial working capital.

Ÿ          Twenty-five shops in the same place. The rental for these was to be 2 akchas per day. The new lessees were to be entitled to a loan from the endower in the amount of 5000 akchas as initial capital.

Ÿ          One tannery with five work-places along its long axis, on the bank of the Jadar river.

Ÿ          A water mill with four mill-wheels on the river flowing through the place.

Ÿ          One stamping mill in the same place.


            He further endowed the following properties:

Ÿ          150,000 akchas.

Ÿ          2 gardens and a field and surroundings in the vicinity of the upper place (Jadar), granted to him by the Sultan, and

Ÿ          a place to plant vines, also near Jadar.

Ÿ          forests in Jadar.

Ÿ          land called Čifluk (a type of feudal holding) of Prince Gojko, in the above mentioned village of Gojkovići, specifically the parts of this Čifluk that Musa pasha held as his property, and a garden and forests with all that accompanies them. (Bejtić, 1960, p. 228).


            Musa pasha’s deed of endowment for the endowments in Jadar, later known as Nova Kasaba, has been preserved in the original, and is now in the Gazi-Husref beg library in Sarajevo, in the file of vakufnamas or deeds of endowment, as no. 194. It was written in the form of a book bound in leather. It was dated in Buda, in the first decade of Rabi ul awwali 1053 (20-29 May 1643). Pages 27, 28, 29, and 30 of the original contain contemporary transcripts of two firmans of earlier date on Musa pasa’s possessions in Jadar, included in this endowment. The first is a firman from Sultan Ibrahim allowing Musa pasha to establish the kasaba and to build the mosque and the han, and granting the town-to-be exemption from taxes. The second firman was issued by the same Sultan, but is of somewhat later date, and is a royal firman that the provisions from the previous firman must be correctly executed. The authenticity of the text in the whole manuscript is guaranteed with the seal of the Buda judge. (Bejtić, 1960, pp. 226, 227).

            Once the buildings endowed by Musa pasha had been built, new life started up in the kasaba, which gradually acquired the features of an artisans’ quarter and houses.  Some twenty years after it was founded, M. Quiclet, who was passing through this part of Bosnia en route from Venice to Istanbul, wrote about the life and degree of development of the place: “... and from there on we passed through a plain called Kraljevo field, and we twice crossed the Jadar river, that can be crossed on foot anywhere, we had dinner and stayed overnight, to rest ourselves a little from our burden and its price in some market place called Jadar, after the name of this river flowing through the middle under a fine stone bridge, in some inn called Musapasino Inn.” (Truhelka, 1905, p. 435).

            Until 1992, the Musa pasha mosque was the only surviving property of all those built by this endower in Nova Kasaba.

            Musa pasha was a local man, born in Vikoč near Foča to the Vehabegović family. The earliest reference to him is as the guardian of arms of Sultan Murad IV, and in 1630 he became a prefect of Egypt. Later on he was a member of the royal council and thrice a prefect in Buda, where in 1643 his deed of endowment was made for the endowments in Nova Kasaba. In 1645 he was appointed admiral in the Turkish navy, and was killed on January 22, 1647 while serving in this capacitz. He left endowments in Buda, Belgrade and Tuzla as well.


Legal status to date and works carried out on the monument

            By Ruling of the Institute for the Protection of the Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina no. 1044/51 issued in 1951, the property was placed under governmental protection.

            Works on the monument were carried out by the inhabitants of Nova Kasaba on their own initiative, without the involvement of the heritage protection authority, but these works did not markedly affect the authenticity of the building.  In the 1960s the stone quoins of the façade were whitewashed over as was the interior of the mihrab, the mimber and the entrance portal.


1. Description of the Monument

            The Musa pašina Mosque in Nova Kasaba belongs into the typological series of mosques with solid stone walls, hipped roof, porch and stone minaret. After mosques with a wooden minaret, this is the second most common type in Bosnia and Herzegovina of the period from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century.

            The interior of the enclosed space of the Musa pašina mosque in Nova Kasaba had a roughly square ground plan the sides of which measured 11.35 metres (interior measurement) and walls of up to 95 cm thick. The mosque also had sofas with a  width of some 4.70 meters. The mosque porch (sofa) was previously held up by four wooden pillars (Bejtić, 1960, p. 239), although based on the survey made by the Institute for the Protection of Monuments in 1956 there were in fact ten (six from the front side). In between the pillars, there was a low decorative wooden railing with mouldings where two adjoining sections of railing met and where the railing abutted onto the pillars. The entrance into the mosque, the opening of was 122 cm wide, was emphasized by its treatment with stone blocks projecting somewhat more markedly from the surface of the wall.  The segmented arch was topped by a carved motif of a crescent moon and star.

            The interior height of the mosque was 5.65 m from floor to ceiling. The ceiling was wooden, with beams of 25/20 cm section, set every 80-90 cm.

            In the interior of the building, above the entrance porch and running along the whole length of the northeast wall, there was a mahvil accessed through the minaret staircase. The mahvil rested on six wooden pillars.

            The mihrab was made of stone and was decorated with a rich stalactite ornament. The minbar and the window niche elements were also richly decorated, however, their completion was assigned to another stone carver, which is evident from the workmanship of the stone – the arches are more richly and precisely decorated. Special attention was given to the treatment of the wooden elements of the window shutters, both exterior and interior, where the moulding is very rich and gives a highly ornamental effect. Both the minbar and the windows were made of cut stone.

            The main feature of this mosque was its minaret. In terms of its construction, the minaret was characterized by its barrel-like or polygonal basal section, which did not rise from the ground, but from a special stone quadrangular pedestal gradually rising towards the centre. The minaret had no stalactites below the balcony, nor did it have any decorative treatment.  The base of the minaret bore ornamental carving in the form of a series of ogee arches carved on the sides of the barrel, as often seen on other minarets dating from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The total height of the minaret was 26.50 metres. (Bejtić, 1960 p. 239).

            What gave it its particular character was the material from which it was partly made: stone of particular green colour. In petrographical terms, this is a type of andesite tuff, quarried near Nova Kasaba from a quarry that was still working in the 1960s. The minaret was made of this stone from top to bottom, as were the cut stone parts of the windows, gates, mihrab, minbar and particularly, all the four corners of the mosque itself from top to bottom (the quoins or corner stones). The quarry, together with a stonemason’s yard for this type of stone, is located near Nova Kasaba, in the village of Rajici, two hours’ walk from Vlasenica. Nišans (pillar-like headstones) and building stone were quarried there for centuries.

            Prior to 1992, the mosque was roofed with factory-made tiles, which was carried out prior to the 1890s: originally the building was roofed with stone shingles. A record survives noting that this older roof of stone shingles had been destroyed in 1873 by high winds, following which it was renovated.

            There are no inscriptions on or in the mosque concerning its erection, but based on the 1641 firman, and Musa pasha’s deed of endowment dated May 1643, building probably started in the spring of 1642, and ended in the spring of the next year of 1643.

            Evlija Ćelebi provided the following description of the mosque: “The Musa pašina Mosque is worth seeing. This is a mosque whose doors and windows, mihrab and minbar and the archway over the gates are quite beautifully executed artistically, and all of it is made of marble green like emerald. And when the sunshine falls upon it, green rays gleam from the doors and windows. There is no other such mosque made of green marble anywhere in this country.” (E. Ćelebi, p. 480). This is explained today by the fact that this type of andesite  tuff from Nova Kasaba contains a large quantity of biotite in the form of hexagonal flakes that light from their surface.

            He also stated that in his day, that is to say 23 years after the establishment of Nova Kasaba, there were three more masjids there in addition to the Musa pašina Mosque.

            There are several headstones alongside the mosque made of this type of green andesite. Among them is one made of Sarajevo limestone, which to judge from the way it is dressed,  and by its form, method of carving the inscription and other ornaments, was done by a Sarajevo master. The oldest dated monument has only the hijra year 1118 (1706/1707) engraved on it.


3.  Current Condition of the Site

            The property was completely devastated in 1992. Part of the material was dumped alongside the Jadar river, and part was taken away to an unknown destination.  The assumption is that a part of the foundation and lower wall zones have been preserved.



            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. Time frame

B. Historic value

C. Artistic and aesthetic value

C.ii. quality of materials

E. Symbolic value

E.i. ontological value

E.ii. sacral value

E.iii. traditional value

E.iv. relation to rituals or traditions

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

F. Townscape/landscape value

F.ii. meaning in the townscape

G. Authenticity

G.ii. material and content

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:

-         Copy of cadastral plan

-         Copy of land register entry and proof of title;

-         Photodocumentation;

-         Drawings



            During the procedure to designation the site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Musa pašina mosque in Dušanovo/Nova Kasaba as a national monument, the following works were consulted:


Annual of the Society of Historians of BH, yr. XI, 1960


Bašagic, Dr. S., Znameniti Hrvati Bošnjaci i Hercegovci u turskoj carevini (Prominent Croats Bosniaks and Herzegovinians in the Turkish Empire), Zagreb 1931, p. 52


Bejtić, Alija, Nova Kasaba u Jadru (Nova Kasaba in Jadar) Sarajevo 1961


Mujezinović, M., Islamska epigrafija Bosne i Hercegovine (Islamic Epigraphy of Bosnia and Herzegovina) Volume I, Sarajevo Publishing 1998, pp. 139-141.


Ćelebi, E., Putopis (Travelogue) Sarajevo Publishing 1996, pp. 479-480.


Herald of the Islamic Religious Community 1952, p. 277


Truhelka, Dr. Ćiro, Opis Dubrovnika i Bosne iz god. 1658 (Description of Dubrovnik and Bosnia from the year 1658), GZM XVII/1905.

Musa-paša Mosque in Dušanovo, photo from 1968.The site and remains of the Musa-paša MosqueThe remains of the Musa-paša Mosque, photo from 2002.Nišans (tombstones) in the harem(graveyard) of the Musa-paša mosque
Base of the mosque, technical record from 1956Cross section of the mosque, technical record from 1956Northwest facade and southwest facadeDetails of the mosque: Window and portal
Mimber and mihrab   

BiH jezici 
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