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 19 to 25 January 2006 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The historic monument of the Arslanagić bridge in Trebinje is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument is located on the river Trebišnjica, in Gradina, municipality Trebinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The provisions relating to protection 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 and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, and display the National Monument.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments (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, the following measures are hereby stipulated:
Protection Zone I consists of the bridge itself and a strip 50 m in width upstream and downstream of the bridge. In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:
- all works are prohibited other than research and conservation and restoration works and works designed to display the monument, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
- the construction of buildings/facilities is prohibited,
- the dumping of waste is prohibited,
- infrastructural works shall be permitted subject to the approval of the relevant ministry and under to the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority
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 and urban and municipal authorities, shall refrain from any action that might damage the National Monument or jeopardize the preservation 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 – 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.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.
On the date of adoption of this Decision, the National Monument shall be deleted from the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH no. 33/02, Official Gazette of Republika Srpska no. 79/02, Official Gazette of the Federation of BiH no. 59/02, and Official Gazette of Brčko District BiH no. 4/03), where it featured under serial no. 659.
This Decision shall enter into force on the date of its adoption and shall be published in the Official Gazette of BiH.
This Decision has been adopted by the following members of the Commission: Zeynep Ahunbay, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Dubravko Lovrenović, Ljiljana Ševo and Tina Wik.
20 January 2006
Chairman of the Commission
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 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 and 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.
The Commission to Preserve National Monuments issued a decision to add the Arslanagić bridge in Trebinje to the Provisional List of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, numbered as 659.
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 inspected:
- Data on the current condition and use of the property, including a description and photographs, data of war damage, data on 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 site are as follows:
1. Details of the property
The present location of the Arslanagić bridge is within the inner urban area of the town of Trebinje, in a quarter known as Gradina, municipality Trebinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The original location of the Arslanagić bridge was five kilometres upstream of Trebinje, very close to the mediaeval Mičevac fort.
From the end of the 12th century to 1373 the Trebinje district was a Nemanjić holding, after which it came into the hands of Đurđe Balšić. In 1377 it became part of the Bosnian state. Until 1392 Trebinje was ruled by the Sanković’s, after which it was held by the Pavlović’s. In 1438 Stjepan Vukčić conquered Trebinje. Radoslav Pavlović regained Trebinje in 1439, but no longer felt secure in his coastal holdings. In 1441 he offered to sell Trebinje to Dubrovnik. He died later that same year. Stjepan Vukčić and Radoslav Pavlović’s widow and sons entered into an agreement under the terms of which the remainder of the Pavlović’s lands, which included Trebinje, finally came under the rule of the Kosačas.
In 1466, Trebinje came under Ottoman rule, and in the mid 16th century it became the headquarters of a kapetanija (captaincy) (Kreševljaković, Kapidžić, 1954, p. 15).
In the 16th century, the road leading through the Balkans as the shortest land route between Istanbul, Vienna and Venice acquired major strategic and economic importance. The road was known as the Stambol road. At that time many bridges were built along the road, the largest and most important of which is in Višegrad, the Mehmed Pasha Sokolović bridge.
The Arslanagić bridge in Trebinje was on the old road linking Dubrovnik and Herceg Novi with the Stambol road.
The Arslanagić bridge dates from the 16th century, as an endowment of Mehmed Pasha Sokolović(1), Grand Vizier to three sultans – Suleyman the Magnificent, Selim II and Murat III. Written records dating from 1575 in which Mehmed Pasha Sokolović is referred to as the endower of the Arslanagić bridge are to be found in the Dubrovnik archives, in Italian, in the book Lettere e comissioni di Levante XXXIII, folio 19 (2) (Čelić, 1969. p. 243).
Notes by two 16th century French travel writers(3) who passed through Trebinje suggest that the bridge was built in 1573/4.
Before the Arslanagić bridge was built over the Trebišnjica, a han (hostel) was built to house the workers building the bridge.
It is not known exactly who built the Arslanagić bridge, but it was presumably someone from the school of Mimar Sinan, the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire (Čelić, 1969. p. 243). It is likely that Mimar Hajrudin, the architect of the Mostar bridge, also worked on this bridge, and that Dubrovnik masons were hired (Čelić, 1969. p. 243).
The bridge probably acquired its name after Arslan-aga, who came to Trebinje from Herceg Novi in the late 17th century and received from the sultan a permit for him and his heirs to charge a toll for crossing the bridge (Čelić, 1969. p. 241).
The bridge used to have a guardhouse, built by Arslan aga, with a passageway with solid gates on the ground floor and a guardroom on the first floor. The guardhouse was demolished during repairs to the bridge in 1890 (Defterdarević, 1969. p. 62).
In 1943, during World War II, part of the bridge was destroyed, namely the arch on the left hand side of the bridge, over a length of eight metres, which was initially reinforced with a timber structure, and in 1956 this section was remade in concrete.
The construction of the hydroelectric power system on the river Trebišnjica, upstream from Trebinje (with a reservoir covering an area of 2800 ha) placed the survival of a number of villages and cultural properties in jeopardy. The most important of these were the cultural and historical monuments of the Arslanagić bridge and the Dobrićevo monastery(4). After a trial filling of the Gorica reservoir in 1965 the bridge was under water, where it remained until August 1966.
In consultation with a wide range of experts from former Yugoslavia, art historians, architects, conservators and construction engineers, the highly complex but only possible concept to save this extremely valuable cultural monument was proposed – the relocation of the Arslanagić bridge to a new site.
After emptying the reservoir, the bridge was dismantled over a two-month period, from August to September 1966. Each stone was marked and laid out on the new site.
The project for the reconstruction of the bridge was drawn up by Energoinvest corporation of Sarajevo.
The reassembly of the bridge began in 1970 and lasted until 1972.
2. Description of the property
”There are few bridges in our country to compare with it for beauty of line and imaginativeness of form. The Višegrad bridge over the Drina is much larger, and considerably more important for economic history, the famous bridge over the Neretva in Mostar is appreciably more daring in structure and slender as a rainbow, but the Trebinje bridge is better proportioned, richer in forms, more picturesque. It occupies a very prominent place in the history of our architecture, and is of particular importance for 16th century Balkan architecture.” (Đurić, 1965. Politika).
The Arslanagić bridge in Trebinje is of outstanding cultural, historical and aesthetic value, and is one of the most valuable architectural monuments (along with the Višegrad and Mostar bridges) of the 15th to the 19th century in Bosnia in Herzegovina.
The bridge is approx. 92.25 m in length, with the roadway approx. 3.60 m wide. The bed of the river Trebišnjica is spanned by a massive stone bridge structure with two large and five smaller arches and three river piers. The larger arches are 15 m in height from the normal water level of the river. The bridge has a parapet of stone slabs.
In both the original and the present location of the Arslanagić bridge, the profile of the river is markedly asymmetrical, with a steep right bank, and the structure of the bridge is adapted to the profile of the river.
The bridge was conceived in an unusual manner, dominated by the substantial central pier, approx. 3.60 m wide and 9.00 m long. The spans between the central pier and the bankside structures are approximately equal. These spans are divided by secondary piers in the approximate ratio 1:2, so that the span to the central pier is twice as wide as that from the bankside structure to the first pier. These piers, with spans in the ratio 1:2:2:1, carry four round arches with a total span between the bankside piers of approx. 62.50 m. (Čelić, 1969. p. 246).
Given the asymmetrical profile of the river bed, the bankside structures of the bridge are markedly different. On the right bank, the bridge has protective wing walls, over which the access section to the bridge extends over a length of approx. 8.00 m. On the left bank, the access ramp is approx. 22 m long, and here the roadway of the bridge extends in a continuous line to the ground. Here the bridge has two levels, on the lower of which are three small overflow apertures to allow for high water, with a length of approx. 8.5 m.
The specific arrangement of the piers and openings gives the Arslanagić bridge a distinctive appearance.
The two accentuated central round arches differ by approx. 1.00 m in width and height. The point at which they rest on the central and side piers also differs in height.
The roadway of the bridge is laid so as to be almost tangential to the large arches above the apex, falling away gently towards the lower left bank. The line of the roadway alters above the centre of the large arches to fall away more steeply towards the banks. In the middle of the bridge the slope of the roadway is approx. 3%, while on the sides it is 17% and 20%. The roadway of the bridge is accentuated on the spandrel walls by a moulded string course level with the roadway ovedr the bridge; above the string course is a massive parapet of stone slabs approx. 20-22 cm thick.
On account of the unusual proportions of the central and side arches of the bridge, along with the slope of the roadway, there is a small semicircular relieving aperture with a span of approx. 5.5 m above the smaller arches on each side of the bridge.
The bridge is not of the same width over its entire length, but is roughly 4.00 m including the parapet.
There was formerly a stone-built guardhouse over the central pier of the Arslanagić bridge; this was removed in 1890. The guardhouse had a ground and a first floor and was approx. 5.00 m in height. There was a passageway at ground level with two arched gates with massive doors, and a guardroom on the first floor (Čelić, 1969. p. 248).
3. Legal status to date
In the procedure preceding the adoption of a final decision to proclaim the property a national monument, documentation on the protection of the property was inspected and the following was ascertained:
The Regional Plan for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists and classifies the Arslanagić bridge as a Category II monument.
The Arslanagić bridge in Trebinje is on the Provisional List of National Monuments of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments under serial no. 659.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
The first repairs to the Arslanagić bridge were carried out in 1890, when the guardhouse was removed and minor repairs carried out (Defterdarević, 1969. p. 62).
In 1943, during World War II, the arch on the left hand side of the bridge was destroyed over a length of eight metres, which was initially reinforced with a timber structure, and in 1956 this section was remade in concrete.
The construction of the hydroelectric power system on the river Trebišnjica, upstream from Trebinje (with a reservoir covering an area of 2800 ha) placed the survival of the Arslanagić bridge in jeopardy.
After a trial filling of the Gorica reservoir in 1965 the bridge was under water, where it remained until August 1966.
After emptying the reservoir, the bridge was dismantled over a two-month period, from August to September 1966. Each stone was marked and laid out on the new site, in Gradina in the inner urban area of the town of Trebinje.
The project for the reconstruction of the bridge was drawn up by Energoinvest corporation of Sarajevo, under the management of graduate engineer Branko Kujović.
“During reconstruction of the Arslanagić bridge, the principle adopted was that all visible surfaces be executed appropriately to the primary, dismantled structure, while the demolished section of the bridge (destroyed in 1943), which had been replaced on the old site by a reinforced concrete structure, was to be reconstructed as it appeared prior to being destroyed. All remaining structural elements not visible to the observer should be executed in every regard as is done in contemporary bridge-building. The main project provided for the visible surfaces of the bridge to be made using the dismantled stone, using cement mortar, with an infill of non-reinforced concrete” (Gojković, 1989. p. 95).
The reassembly of the bridge began in March 1970 and lasted until 1972. The works contractor was the Partizanski Put corporation of Belgrade. Supervision of the works was entrusted to Prof. Dr. Milan Gojković of Belgrade.
”All the foundations were set on bedrock and made of reinforced concrete. The masonry of the visible wall surfaces used the stone that had been marked and laid out. In so doing, the methods used were in line with the principles of conservation practice, along with photogrammetric survey. In building the arches, all the necessary laboratory tests were conducted. At the same time, non-reinforced concrete was used as the infill for the bridge. The parapet, string course and roadway structure of the bridge were executed with some minor changes, in the form of a small extension to the parapet for traffic safety reasons” (Gojković, 1989. pp. 97-100).
5. Current condition of the property
An on site inspection in December 2005 ascertained that the bridge is in good structural condition.
III – CONCLUSION
Applying the Criteria for the adoption of a decision on proclaiming an item of property a national monument (Official Gazette of BiH nos. 33/02 and 15/03), the Commission has enacted the Decision cited above.
The Decision was based on the following criteria:
B. Historical value
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
D. iv. evidence of a particular type, style or regional manner
E. Symbolic value
E.iii. traditional value
E.v. significance for the identity of a group of people
F. Townscape/ Landscape value
F.ii. meaning in the townscape
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:
1954. Kreševljaković, Hamdija, Kapidžić, Hamdija, Stari hercegovački gradovi (Old forts of Herzegovina), Naše starine II, Sarajevo, 1954, 15-17.
1964. Ćirković, Sima, Istorija srednjovekovnje bosanske države (History of the Mediaeval Bosnian State), Belgrade, 1964
1969. Defterdarević, Aziz, Pravni aspekti spasavanja starih mostova na Trebišnjici, Žepi i Drini (Legal aspects of saving old bridges on the Trebišnjica, Žepa and Drina), Naše starine XII, 1969., 61-91
1969. Čelić, Džemal, Mujezinović, Mehmed, Stari mostovi u BiH (Old Bridges in BiH), Veslin Masleša, Sarajevo, 1969.
1966. Dr. Đurić, Vojislav, Most na Trebišnjici (The bridge on the Trebišnjica), Politika,1966.
1972. Arslanagića most Trebinje, Povodom prenošenja mosta 1970-1972. godine (Arslanagić bridge Trebinje on the occasion of the relocation of the bridge, 1970-1972), Trebinje 1972.
1989. Gojković, Milan, Stari Kameni mostovi (Old stone bridges), Naučna knjiga, Belgrade,
(1) Mehmed Pasha Sokolović was born c. 1505 in the village of Sokolovići near Višegrad, whence he was taken to Turkey as a young man. On 28 July 1565 he was promoted to the post of Grand Vizier. Grand Vizier Mehmed Pasha Sokolović was killed on 11 October 1579 and buried in Istanbul.
(2) The amount of the toll and the method of collecting it were the occasion for the Dubrovnik authorities to write to the Herzegovina sandžak-beg on 10 April 1575: ”We should like to tell the lord of Herzegovina sandžak to order those people that they shall not take money nor behave badly towards those who cross the bridge and cause them trouble, since the honourable lord Mehmed Pasha gave an endowment for the bridge to be built, and in his honour the edifice should not be misused…”
(3) The first to cross the river «Trebigna» (Trebišnjica) in a boat and to come to the caravanserai was Philippe Dufresne Cannay, travelling from Dubrovnik to Istanbul in 1572. The second, a Parisian, Pierre Lescalopier, noted in his diary: “On eleventh march 1574 we travelled on foot almost all day, arriving quite late in Trebinje, named for the eponymous river that flows there and over which there is a stone bridge. On the other side is a caravanserai with a lead roof, built by Mehmed, pasha of Sultan Suleyman. Mehmed Pasha’s son died as governor of this district. His father built this hostel so that travellers might pray for his son.” (Dinić, 111)
(4) In 1965 the monastery was moved to a new site in the village of Orah. ( Z. Kajmaković, Prenos manastira Dobričevo, Naše starine XI, Sarajevo 1967, 67-68.)