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 30 August to 5 September 2005 the Commission adopted a
D E C I S I O N
The architectural ensemble of the Emperor’s mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II [Bayezid Veli]) in Nevesinje is hereby designated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereinafter: the National Monument).
The National Monument consists of the site and remains of the mosque and hajjis’ sofa within the harem wall, the harem wall itself, and the maktab building beside the harem wall.
The National Monument is located on a site designated as cadastral plot no. 513 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. nos. 37, 38/1 and 38/2 (old survey), title deed no. 455, Land Register entry no. 14, cadastral municipality Nevesinje, Municipality Nevesinje, 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 and providing the legal, scientific, technical, administrative and financial measures necessary to protect, conserve, and display the National Monument.
The Government of Republika Srpska shall be responsible for providing the resources needed to draw up and implement the necessary technical documentation for the rehabilitation of 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 protection zones are hereby designated:
Protection Zone 1 consists of the area defined in Clause 1 para. 3 of this Decision. In this zone the following protection measures shall apply:
Emperor's mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II)
- The Emperor’s mosque and the other buildings constituting the architectural ensemble shall be rehabilitated on their original site, in their original form, using original or the same type of materials and building methods wherever possible, based on documentation on the original appearance of the property, with the approval of the Ministry responsible for regional planning in Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the relevant ministry) and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority of Republika Srpska (hereinafter: the heritage protection authority),
- In the event of the absence of documentation on the previous appearance of the property making it impossible to draw up a rehabilitation project based on existing technical documentation, when the project documentation for the rehabilitation of the Emperor’s mosque is being compiled it shall comply with the original size and footprint of the property, and with the original materials and fenestration. Prior to compiling the project documentation, investigative works shall be carried out on the site to identify the exact dimensions of the property, the condition of the foundations, and the way in which the original walls were built,
- All original fragments of the demolished building found on the site or on other sites to which they were removed after the demolition of the building must be collected up, recorded, catalogued and reintegrated into the reconstructed building. Until such time as they are so reintegrated they shall be properly protected,
- Fragments that are too badly damaged to be reintegrated shall be conserved and displayed appropriately within the building,
- All tombstones found on the site or other locations to which they were removed after the destruction of the property shall be conserved and returned to their original positions on the basis of available documentation, wherever possible. Tombstones of which the previous location cannot be accurately determined shall be conserve and presented appropriate within the mosque harem
In order to ensure that the National Monument can be rehabilitated, the following urgent protection measures shall be taken:
- fencing off the area of the National Monument,
- removal of litter and waste material and clearing the area of the National Monument,
- removal of garbage containers from the site of the National Monument,
- conservation and restoration of the remains of the harem wall,
- excavation of the surface layers of soil in order to find the original foundation walls,
- repair and consolidation of the original parts of the foundations and walls.
- All works are prohibited other than conservation and restoration works and works designed to present the National Monument, with the approval of the relevant ministry and under the expert supervision of the heritage protection authority,
- The extension built onto the south-west façade of the building shall be removed,
- The building shall be restored,
- The building shall be returned to its original use as premises used by the Islamic Community (maktab – primary religious school – and imam's lodgings).
Protection Zone II consists of the zone in direct contact with the National Monument, consisting of cadastral plots nos. 830, 831, 833, 515, 516 and 517.
Alterations in height to the buildings around the National Monument are prohibited, and the height of new buildings shall not exceed two storeys (ground floor and one upper floor) with a maximum height of 6.5 m to the roof cornice and maximum dimensions of 10 x 8 m.
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 and restoration thereof.
The Government of Republika Srpska, the relevant ministry responsible for regional planning and the heritage protection authority, 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.
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.
31 August 2005
Chair 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.
On 17 March 2003 the Commission to Preserve National Monuments received a petition from the Centre for Islamic Architecture to designate the property of the Emperor’s mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II) as a national monument.
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:
- Documentation on the location and current owner and user of the property (copy of title deed, cadastral plan and copy of land registry entry)
- 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 architectural ensemble of the Emperor’s mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II) in Nevesinje is located on the edge of town, on a site consisting of c no. 513 (new survey), corresponding to c.p. nos. 37, 38/1 and 38/2 (old survey), title deed no. 455, Land Register entry no. 14, cadastral municipality Nevesinje, Municipality Nevesinje, Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The approach to the National Monument is from the north-east, south-east and south-west, from Braće Derviškadić, Marshal Tito and Omladinska streets (former street names). The entrance to the maktab and imam’s lodgings is from the courtyard of the Emperor’s mosque, to the south-west.
The main axis of the Emperor’s mosque is north-west/south-east, with the entrance to the north-west and the mihrab wall facing south-east.
Nevesinje came under Ottoman rule between 1465 and 1466. On his way from Belgrade to Herzegovina in 1774, the Turkish travel chronicler Evliya Çelebi passed through the small provincial town (kasaba) of Nevesinje, noting that it was a kadiluk of three hundred akčas(1), with seventy villages(2). He also noted that Nevesinje had six mahalas, of which two were Christian. He named and described three mosques, the clock tower, two madrasas, a dār ul-hadīs (school for the study of Islamic traditions), a daru'l-kurrā (school for training in the proper manner of Qur'anic recitation), and six primary schools, one imaret (public kitchen), a han (hostel), a hammam and a tekke.
One of the mosques mentioned by Evliya Çelebi was the Emperor's mosque, in a mahala on the edge of the town of Nevesinje. The mosque was built between 1481 and 1512(3), and is regarded as one of the oldest mosques in Bosnia and Herzegovina(4).
The mosque was built in the name of Sultan Bayezit II (1481-1512), a mild and pious man, on account of which he was given the nickname “Veli“ – the holy or good (Hivzija Hasandedić). A maktab, madrasa and šadrvan fountain were erected alongside the mosque. A han (caravanserai) with an imaret (public kitchen) by the Bazaar linked to the čaršija were endowed to provide for the maintenance of the religious complex. The legator also endowed a certain sum of money. Since neither the vakufnama (deed of endowment) nor any other document referring to it has survived, the size of the endowment is not known(5). It is not known when the madrasa closed down or when the madrasa building and the šadrvan fountain were demolished. The maktab was housed in a separate building by the mosque and continued operating until 1992. The han and imaret were nationalized after World War II(6). Some idea of the size of the endowment of the Emperor's mosque may be gained from the fact that an entire mahala in Nevesinje was known as Vakuf.
At some time prior to 1635 Ali Ćafi ef. Nevesinjac built two educational establishments on the left-hand side of the harem of the Emperor's mosque (probably where the maktab building now stands): a school for the study of Islamic traditions (dār ul-hadīs), and a school for training in the proper manner of Qur'anic recitation (daru'l-kurrā). It is not known when these establishments closed down nor when the domed building in which they were housed was demolished, but it was certainly before 1866, since there is no reference to them in the oldest Bosnian salnama (yearbook) for that year(7).
The mosque was renovated several times over the centuries. Major works to enlarge the prayer space were carried out in the late 16th century (1578(8)) and the late 17th century(9). The mosque was also renovated in the late 18th and 19th century, and at the end of the 20th century (1989/91(10)), when the mosque was restored. The tarih recording the original erection of the mosque has not survived; the only surviving inscription is the one recording one of the renovations to the mosque(11).
The last imam of the mosque was Adem effendi Omerika.
The Emperor's mosque was the only one that continued in use as an Islamic religious building in Nevesinje after World War II.
The Emperor's mosque, Hajjis' sofa and gasulhana (premises for washing and laying out the dead) were dynamited and totally destroyed in 1992. All fragments were removed from the site. All that remained of the architectural ensemble of the Emperor's mosque was a small section of the west and north-east harem wall and the maktab building.
2. Description of the property
The architectural ensemble of the Emperor's mosque is on the western edge of Nevesinje, in a mahala. It is surrounded by a stone wall with a height of up to 3.0 m on the north-east side, with no windows.
The architectural ensemble can be entered from three directions. There is an entrance known as the small gateway in the north-eastern part of the courtyard wall, where steps lead into the courtyard through a simple, unroofed entrance way. Another entrance, known as the large gateway – the main entrance to the courtyard – is in the south-western part of the courtyard wall. This gateway, which is 1.5 m wide, terminates in a shallow stone arch. The courtyard can also be entered via a passageway in the south-eastern part of the courtyard wall, which leads to the imam's lodgings, the Islamic Community premises and the maktab, and is thus used mainly by maktab pupils and the imam's family.
The maktab, as it now looks, was built during the Austro-Hungarian period, after 1900(12). Given that records exist of the maktab and its operations prior to 1900, as well as the marked difference in the building method and the use of material on the building, and the difference in height of the window openings, it is possible that the old maktab was renovated and considerably enlarged after 1900.
The maktab building stands in the north-eastern part of the mosque courtyard. It is rectangular in plan, with a gabled roof.
The building measures 24 x 8 m on the outside. As a result of the sloping terrain and the difference in height of about 2 m between street level and that of the mosque courtyard, the maktab is single-storeyed with an attic space as seen from the courtyard but has two storeys and an attic space as seen from the street.
It was built of evenly hewn stone blocks (the south-eastern part of the building) and brick. The walls are rendered with lime or cement plaster, and the roof is tiled.
There are two rows and one row of window openings respectively on the north-east, street front of the building(13). The rectangular openings are partly framed by stone window jambs.
There is a single row of rectangular window openings, some blind and some walled-up at some point, along the side walls of the building.
The entrances to the building, three rectangular openings framed by stone door jambs, are in the south-west courtyard façade.
Since 1992 a wooden shed with a pent roof has been added to the west side of the courtyard façade.
The maktab building houses the Islamic Community’s premises, maktab and imam’s lodging.
Emperor’s mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II) (14)
In layout, the Emperor’s mosque in Nevesinje belongs to the type of single-space mosque with open portico and stone minaret. It has a hipped roof.
The steeply sloping site meant that the mosque was built on a retaining wall which, like the foundations of the mosque, was built of large stone blocks.
The building measures approx. 19.0 x 13.0 m on the outside, including the portico; the sides of the building itself are 13.0 m long.
The mosque has stone walls about 70 cm thick, plastered on the inside but with the stonework left visible on the outside. It was built of evenly-hewn stone blocks.
As the 1989/91 restoration revealed, the walls of the mosque consist of three parts. The inner face was of rough-cut stone which was then plastered. The middle infill consisted of rubble and rockfill, and the outer face of evenly-hewn stone blocks.
The cornice was separately cut and moulded.
The interior space is surrounded by four walls that take the load of the interior dome and hipped roof.
The portico (hayat) of the mosque has a flat wooden ceiling. The entire wooden structure of the portico is unusually massive, with certain components specially cut for this mosque, such as the purlin, which was cut from a single piece 12 m in length.
The exterior sofas of the mosque, which were made of stone and measure 13.0 x 6.0 m, aew covered by a three-paned roof. The portico roof trusses rest on ten oak posts set on stone bases.
The roof of the mosque, like that of the portico, was clad with lead(15), but is now tiled.
The base of the minaret is square in plan, and the shaft is slightly tapering. The minaret is about 20 m in height overall.
It was built of evenly-hewn blocks of the same stone(16) as that used to build the mosque. The stone is left exposed. The minaret is decorated with stone mouldings in the form of two simple string courses accentuating the points at which the diameter changes. The transition from the shaft of the minaret to the šerefe (balcony) is also accentuated by two simply-moulded string courses.
The minaret has a pyramidal roof clad with sheet copper(17).
The mosque has two rows of windows. The first row on each façade consists of two rectangular openings aboaut 2.20 m in height, framed on the outside by simple stone window jambs. The six-paned (2 x 3) wooden casements are set flush with the wall face on the outside.
The window openings in the second row are set directly above those of the first row. These too have stone frames, and terminate in pointed arches. The arches are accentuated on the outside by being set back from the wall face. The eight-paned (2 x 4) wooden casements are set flush with the wall face on the outside.
The entrance portal consists of a rectangular openings with simple stone door jambs and an arch. The door jambs are fitted with iron hooks designed to hold a leather curtain.
Over the doorway is an inscription recording the renovation of the mosque. According to Mujezinović, the inscription reads: “O [Lord] who openeth every door, open the finest door to us. Year 1204 [1789/90] of the year of the Hijra of him [the Prophet] to whom belong glory and honour.“ (18)
The floor level of the mosque is about 40 cm higher than that of the portico. The mosque has a wooden floor. During the 1989/91 restoration, parts of the paving stones of the floor of the original (small) mosque were found under the wooden floor boards (according to the then imam, pieces of paving stones measuring 8 x 8 m were found), along with the remains of the stone walls used to level the ground beneath the mosque.
The main prayer space is a regular cuboid, measuring 11.75 x 11.75 m on the inside(19), and covered with a twelve-sided wooden dome.
The entire ceiling structure of the mosque is of timber. Wooden 40x40 cm rafters set at an angle of 45° to the walls of the mosque reduce the ceiling area to a rectangle; further rafters set on these, again at an angle of 45°, reduce the area still more to a roughly 6 x 6 m square, on which the twelve-sided dome was set.
The dome is painted green. A large light-fitting with candles hangs from the centre of the dome(20).
All the interior walls of the mosque are plastered and painted. Members of the Čupina family were responsible for the painting, for which purpose they made special stencils for the Emperor's mosque. Geometric arabesques(21) were used as decoration.
Only fragments of the old decoration can be seen.
The interior of the mosque contains three almost illegible levhas (calligraphic inscriptions), and two that were donated to the mosque by pupils of the madrasa.
The wooden mahfil inside the mosque was set along the entrance wall, in the right-hand corner (as seen when facing the mihrab). The mahfil is reached via a stone staircase in the minaret.
The mimber is of masonry with a wooden handrail, without any particular decoration.
The mihrab is unusually tall and deep (approx. 90 cm).
The hajjis’ sofa is a stone sofa (platform) measuring 5 x 5 cm, in the north-eastern part of the mosque courtyard. It was used as a meeting place for people setting off for the hajj, and also as a stage on various formal occasions or festivals (the Eids, visits by senior dignitaries, etc.).
Burial ground by the Emperor’s mosque
The courtyard of the Emperor’s mosque contains a small burial ground, in which all the nišan tombstones but one are of recent date. A few are in the north-eastern part of the courtyard, outside the mosque, with the majority in the south-eastern part of the courtyard, behind the mosque. One nišan stands very close to the minaret. According to local tradition, it marks the grave of a workman who fell from the minaret when it was being renovated.
When visiting the mosque in the 1970s, Mehmed Mujezinović identified only one old nišan tombstone, marking the grave of Luftullah-beg Redžepašić (1850/51), grandfather of the renowned Safvet beg Bašagić.
3. Legal status to date
The Regional Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina to 2002 lists the Emperor's mosque in Nevesinje under serial no. 21 as a Category II property.
4. Research and conservation and restoration works
No research or conservation and restoration works have been carried out on the property under the supervision of the heritage protection authority.
Over the centuries, however, the mosque underwent numerous repairs and renovations.
The time when the first known intervention on the mosque was carried out, with a description, is given by Evliya Çelebi in his travelogue(22). He says that the muteveli (vakuf manager) of the mosque carried out the following works in 1568:
- The south-west wall of the building was knocked through to make two aisles, so widening the prayer area,
- The ceiling of the mosque was redesigned as a hexagon and painted in polychrome,
- The exterior sofas were fitted with imitation domed ceilings painted in polychrome, instead of domes.
As Evliya says, in the mid 17th century the mosque was clad with pure lead. This and his observation that the exterior sofas were domed suggest that the mosque was originally domed(23). Another hypothesis, based on the area of the stone slabs of the paved floor found during the 1989/91 works, is that the mosque originally measured about 8 x 8 m.
Describing the mosque, Evilya goes on to say that unlike the minaret, which was not very symmetrical or artistically executed, the mihrab, mimber, mahfil and ćurs were of a very high artistic standard.
Evliya’s description also notes that the mosque courtyard contained a šadrvan fountain, madrasa (darut-tahsil) and surrounding rooms(24). The two educational institutions endowed by Ali effendi were said to have been to the left of the courtyard, below the steps(25).
In the late 17th century, there was a serious fire in Nevesinje which damaged the Emperor’s mosque(27). The mosque was probably rebuilt in the late 17th or early 18th century. The small mosque with its surrounding wooden aisles was replacd by a rather larger mosque without aisles. The assumption that a new, larger mosque was built is based on the facts that:
- photographs taken in the early 20th century, corroborated by accounts from people who used the mosque up to 1992, show no signs of any extensions or assymetricality, which must have been visible after the two aisles were added in the 16th century,
- the fixtures – mihrab, mimber, mahfil and ćurs – that were in the mosque until 1992 were of no particular artistic value, unlike those to which Evliya Çelebi refers,
- the minaret is tall and slender for the time and place when the original mosque was built.
It is not known whether the madrasa, šadrvan fountain and two educational establishments were damaged in the fire. The educational establishments are known to have continued in operation in the 18th century, since one Derviš effendi is referred to as muteveli of Ali effendi’s vakuf in 1770.
According to the inscription given by Mehmed Mujezinović, renovations(28) were carried out in 1789/90. The extent of the works is not known.
According to the inscription given by Hivzija Hasandedić, renovations were carried out in 1886. Hasandedić says that it was then, perhaps, that the minaret was rebuilt. It is not known why Hasandedić refers to this supposed intervention, since he says that the Emperor’s mosque was the only mosque in Nevesinje that was not damaged during the incursion by insurgents of the Herzegovina uprising on 29 August 1875.
It is a fact that after the introduction of Austro-Hungarian rule in this part of the world, the Emperor’s mosque was restored. It is not known exactly when this was carried out, and nor therefore is it known whether the translation of the inscription given by Hasandedić refers to these restoration works.
The full extent of the restoration works on the mosque at that time is not known. It is known that the ceiling structure was renovated, and the roof cladding was replaced, using societa veneta type tiles from Venice.
At this time, but after 1900, the building by the north-east courtyard wall was either built or extended and renovated(29).This building houses the maktab, the imam’s lodgings, and premises used by the Islamic Community.
Between 1989 and 1991, the Emperor’s mosque was restored and structural repairs were carried out. These were not conducted under the supervision of experts from the Institute for the Protection of Monuments, because the jamaat (congregation) of the mosque did not agree with the interventions proposed by the experts.
Structurally, the mosque was in extremely poor condition. Lack of routine maintenance had left the structure of the hayat in a state of near-collapse. The lime mortar in the mosque walls was so desiccated that, according to the former imam and the works foreman, ”it ran out like sand so that any stone could be pulled out of the wall.” Experts from the Institute proposed reinforcing the walls with steel ties set through the walls. Rather, however, the restoration was carried out by making a detailed survey of all the façades, marking all the blocks (course number and position in the course) and taking them down. Three of the mosque walls were thus dismantled down to the foundations, and rebuilt. The stone blocks were replaced in their original positions, laid in cement mortar. The roof trusses were made of new timbers to match the old.
During the 1989/91 restorations, no remains of any stone structures were found outside the mosque foundations.
During these renovations, the stone courtyard wall of the mosque and the large gateway were also restored, as was the maktab building, which was fitted with a concrete ceiling structure.
During the 1980s, a gasulhana was built in the south-western part of the mosque courtyard.
5. Current condition of the building
Emperor's mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II)
The Emperor's mosque, Hajjis' sofa and gasulhana were dynamited and completely destroyed in 1992. All the fragments were removed from the site. Part of the fragments, along with the remains of the Catholic church in Nevesinje, are believed to have been disposed of in Ždrijela near the village of Čitluk. All that remained of the architectural ensemble of the Emperor's mosque was a small stretch of the west and north-east harem walls and the maktab building.
The site of the National Monument is now derelict.
In the harem
- temporary timber structures have been erected on the site of the mosque and by the maktab,
- the northern part of the courtyard has been divided into plots and is being used as allotments,
- vehicles are parked and around the plot,
- garbage containers have been placed on the edge of the plot.
Maktab and imam's lodgings
Structurally, the building is in relatively good condition. Lack of maintenance, however, has resulted in:
- damage to the façade,
- the erection of sheds against the south-west wall of the building,
- damage to the woodwork on the building.
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:
A. Time frame
B. Historical value
C. Artistic and aesthetic value
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. 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:
- Copy of cadastral plan no. 7, title deed no. 455 and copy of Land Register entry no. 14,
- Photodocumentation (photograph of the building taken in 1900, photographs of the building taken in the 1970s, photographs of the building during restoration works in 1989/91, and photographs of the state of the building at the time of adoption of a final decision on the property by the Commission, June 2005)
- Drawings (geodetic map of relevant area of Nevesinje)
During the procedure to designate the site and remains of the architectural ensemble of the Emperor’s mosque (mosque of Sultan Bayezit II) as a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina the following works were consulted:
1990 Hasandedić, Hivzija, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, (Muslim Heritage in eastern Herzegovina) El Kalem, Sarajevo, 1990.
1996 Çelebi, Evliya, Putopis (Travelogue), Sarajevo Publishing, Sarajevo, 1996.
1998 Mujezinović, Mehmed, Islamska epigrafika Bosne i Hercegovine, (Islamic epigraphics of BiH) bk III, Sarajevo-Publishing, Sarajevo, 1998.
Statements and documentation provided by Adem efendi Omerika, imam of the mosque from 1975 to 1992
(1) The lowest denomination Turkish silver coin
(2) “The earliest reference to the Nevesinje kadiluk dates from 1467. At the end of 1567 the Gabela ferry belonged to it, as did the kasaba of Sopot in 1582 – this is now a village 12 km to the east of Nevesinje, which could therefore have had 70 vilages But it could not possibly have been a kadiluk of three hundred akči, but only of a hundred and fifty.“, note by Hazim Šabanović, translator of «Evlija Čelebi, Putopis», p. 414.
(3) This dating is based not on the tarih (chronogram) on the building of the mosque, which has not survived, but on the reign of its founder and the dating given by Hivzija Hasandedić.
(4) “This is the oldest and most spacious Islamic religious building erected during the Turkish period in Herzegovina.” Hivzija Hasandedić, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, p. 131
(5) Hivzija Hasandedić, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, p. 131
(6) Adem Omerika, imam of the Emperor’s mosque from 1975 to 1992
(7) Hivzija Hasandedić, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, p. 135
(8) Details of renovation taken from Hivzija Hasandedić, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, p. 131
(9) Details of renovation taken from inscription over the entrance door: Hivzija Hasandedić, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, p. 131
(10) Details of renovation based on conversations with the last imam of the mosque, Adem ef. Omerika.
(11)According to Mujezinović’s transcription, this renovation was carried out in 1789/90, while Hasandedić gives 1886.
(12) It must have been built after 1900, since it does not figure on a photograph of the mosque taken at that time.
(13) translator’s note: the use of the word ”odnosno” (with various meanings including ”respectively” and ”that is”) suggests that this sentence in fact refers to two different sides of the building, as does the reference to ”two rows” and ”one row”, though it specifies only the north-east street front of the building.
(14) The description of the Emperor’s mosque is based on historical details from reference works and information gathered in conversation with people who looked after the mosque, particularly the present secretary of the mufti of Mostar, Adem ef. Omerika, who was imam of the Emperor’s mosque from 1975 to 1992.
(15) “This building is clad with pure lead.” Evliya Çelebi, Putopis, p. 416
(16) According to Adem effendi, the stone used to build the mosque and minaret was quarried in the Vranjevići quarry. A characteristic of this stone is that it is extremely hard.
(17) The minaret was originally clad with stone slabs, and then with flat sheet metal. After the 1989/91 restoration it was clad with sheet copper.
(18) M. Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika u BiH, p. 347
(19) Mehmed Mujezinović, Islamska epigrafika BiH, p. 347.
(20) According to the former imam, Adem ef. Omerika, the light fitting was a gift from a Jewish resident of Nevesinje. In 1943 the Ustasha occupied Nevesinje and ordered everyone to convert to Catholicism or Islam. This Jewish resident did not wish to convert, but fearing for his life he turned to the imam of the Emperor’s mosque for advice. The imam told him he could openly say he had converted to Islam, and that he would back him, but that he could in fact retain his faith. Seeking to convince the authorities that he had indeed converted to Islam, he donated a large iron lightfitting with candles to the mosque.
(21) It is not known when the interior of the mosque was painted. Details of the painted areas were provided by the former imam, Adem ef. Omerika.
(22) Evliya Çelebi, Putopis, p. 416
(23) Hivzija Hasandedić claims that the mosque was originally smaller, with lead-clad domes. Hivzija Hasandedić, Muslimanska baština u istočnoj Hercegovini, p. 131
(24) Adem ef. Omerika says that “surrounding rooms” refers to timber-walled rooms abutting onto the three free walls of the mosque.
(25) In view of the sloping site, the building housing these educational establishments probably stood where the present-day maktab is.
(26) Details of the second intervention obtained from Adem ef. Omerika
(27) According to Adem ef. Omerika, the large quantities of molten lead found over an area 4 m wide around the mosque during the 1989/91 works are evidence of the damage caused by the fire
(28) Mehmed Mujezinović and Hivzija Hasandedić visited Nevesinje and the Emperor’s mosque in the 1970s and 1980s respectively. It may be deduced from the description of the inscription recording the renovation of the mosque (Mujezinović notes that it was above the entrance to the mosque, and was written in black ink on a limewashed ground, while Hasandedić says it was written in a poor hand) that both saw and read the same inscription. Mehmed Mujezinović gives the following transcription in his book: ”Oh [Lord] who openeth every door, open the finest door for us. Year 1204 [1790/90] of the Hijra of him [the Prophet] to whom belong glory and honour.” Hivzija Hasandedić gives no transcription of the tarih, but only the year 1304 AH (1886). It is not known why two authorities who must have visited the mosque in Nevesinje within a time span of 10 to 15 years (since they were contemporaries) give two different dates for the renovation of the mosque. Probably, since the dates differ by only one digit (1204 or 1304 AH), one of them transcribed the inscription incorrectly or there was a printer’s error.
(29) The dating is based on a photograph of the Emperor’s mosque taken in 1900 which does not show the present-day maktab building, and on stylistic features and comments made by Adem ef. Omerika.