Srpska - No 3

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Year I  No 3, 2013  price 7 KM

Njegoš in Srpska





Publisher “Princip Pres” Cetinjska 6, 11000 Belgrade Tel.: +381 (11) 322 70 34, 322 16 92 Director and Editor-in-Chief Mišo Vujović Editor Branislav Matić Technical Editor Aleksandar Ćosić Photography Editor Dragan Bosnić Header and Cover Design Jovan Željko Rajačić Associates Milovan Vitezović, jerej Jovan Plamenac, Nebojša Jevrić, Dragan Lakićević, Bojan Mandić, Jovo Bajić, Dejan Bulajić, Dejan Đorić, Đorđe Srbulović, Mihail Kulačić, Zoran Pejašinović, Slobodan Krstić, Sandra Kljajić, Boris Čikić, Senka Trivić, Sandra Josović, Vanja Tepić, Ljubiša Trivić, Dajana Korolija, Radmila Đević, Vesna Kapor, Aleksandra Rajković Marketing Mirko Vujović, Irena Stolić Secretariat and Distribution Jelena Jović, Dragana Dimitrijević, Milenko Vasilić Print “Portal”, Belgrade Office for the Republic of Srpska “Princip Pres RS” Aleja Svetog Save 7, 78000 Banjaluka Tel/Fax: +387 (51) 304 360 Dijana Petković, Director


A Guide to Oneself


here are those places that make us calm and recuperated, illuminated and rejuvenated, that return us to our original innocence. For this reason, recently we visited Janjski Otoci again. There are places where our lives and lives of our ancestors and offspring, really and imaginarily, have been archived. By discovering those places, we discover ourselves. That is why we visited the Museum of Herzegovina in Trebinje and Film Archive of Srpska in Pale. Certain voices come from the depth of time, from the vast heavens, and keep bringing us the truth that all human knowledge is only a form of memory. Therefore, we bring before you Serbian Singing Society “Unity” and abundance of heavenly voices, so you can hear by reading. There are certain places rarely visited by contemporary people, those senile Barbarians and self-indulgent nihilists, so many endangered species and creatures have found refuge there. That is how we found ourselves in Gromiželj Marshland near Bijeljina and Govještica cave near Rogatica. Somewhere underneath the cloak of beautiful nature we feel how pass generations of heroes and martyrs of our nation walk in our shoes and see with our eyes, and this strengthens the inner ties and responsibilities. A testimony to this is our account from Kozara. In certain buildings the history was taking place, novels were being unfold, destiny of cities and countries were being decided. And so, in Banski Dvor in the capital, we are reading the ideas of Tisa Milosavljević, the creator of modern Banjaluka. The best units of measure are our great people and their work, and that is why we talk about Njegoš, Andrić, Princip, as well as Sreten Stojanović and Radoslav Bratić. These stops are not only our relation with the Homeland, they also represent a guide through ourselves. Searching for wisdom of the heart, which is more than understanding and feeling. It is the secret of Love with which God holds the world. 

Sponsor of the Publication:

Office for Australia “Princip Press Australia PTY LTD”, 12/24 Loch Street, 3182 St Kilda West, VIC Jelena Janković, Director

Cover page: Njegoš Monument (in Belgrade, Podgorica and Višegrad), work by sculptor Sreten Stojanović CIP - Каталогизација у публикацији Народна библиотека Србије, Београд 008(497.6 Република Српска) ISSN 2334-850X, COBISS.SR-ID 199401228


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Partners of the Publication:
















NE WS S T RE AM >> On the occasion of 200th anniversary of the birth of famous Serbian poet and bishop Petar II Petrović Njegoš, a round table was recently held in the City Library in Bijeljina (organized by the local Serbian Educational and Cultural Society “Prosvjeta”) and the presenters included, among others, professor Milo Lompar, writer Zoran Živković and Ljubomir Zuković, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts. >> “Days of Srpska in Serbia”, the event that took place at he end of November, was closed with the program “Evening of contemporary short film of Republika Srpska” at the Museum of the Film Archive of Belgrade. >> “Get to Know Srpska, Get to Know Your Own” is the title of an academic gathering at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade, which took place within the “Days of Srpska in Serbia”, and a lecture about Srpska gave its president Milorad Dodik. >> Serbian writer Vojislav Lubarda (Rogatica, 1930), author of The Ascension and The Transfiguration, a member of the Senate and corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Srpska, passed away recently in Belgrade, at the age of 83. >> Famous open call “Golden Letters” for the best unpublished novel in Serbian language, which is organized by the Institute for Textbooks and Teaching Aids of Srpska, will be opened until May 6, 2014, and the winner will be announced on September 4 next year, on the Day of this Institute. >> A ndrić’s Bridge, an anthology of works from the international symposium on the great Serbian writer which had taken place in the National and University Library of Srpska, was presented recently in Banjaluka, a and this voluminous


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To Tell You with the Film On the occasion of the 900th anniversary of the birth of Stefan Nemanja (1113-1199), the founder of the holy Nemanjić dynasty and the Serbian Golden Middle Ages, as well as the 200th anniversary of the birth of Petar II Petrović Njegoš (18131851), famous Serbnian writer, bishop and ruler of Montenegrro, a very interesting film program was organized in Pale on December 4 and 5. Among others, it presented films History of Old Cities (1965) and The Valley of the Centuries (1968) by Ratomir Ivković, Hilandar on the Atos (1975) by Ratomir Ivković and Miodrag Milošević, Dorotej (1981) and To Njegoš with Pilgrimage (1964) by Zdravko Velimirović, Njegoš (1951) and False Tsar (1955) by Velimir Stojanović... The program was organized by Film Archives from Pale and Belgrade, and the sponsor was the Ministry of Culture of Srpska.

Painting of Identity The fourth International Festival of Ethnological Film, organized by the Museum of Semberija and Ethnographic Museum from Belgrade, will take place in December in Bijeljina. Every Wednesday in this month there will be film presentations, six films in the official program of this year’s Belgrade Festival of Ethnological Film and two from the special program. The festival will present excellent filmmakers from China, Germany, Serbia, Japan, Ireland… Special attraction is drawn by Chinese Departure of the Last Mountain God (1992) and Serbian When Lime Flowered (2010) and Bald Jesus (2012). Entrance to all projections in Museum of Semberija is free of charge.

Greeting Card with an Action “Culture is the essence of a university.” “Happy 38th anniversary of the University. We wish you Student Cultural Centre, Stage and the Gallery of the Academy of Arts. We wish you bring culture to the University and Republika Srpska.” These are some of the slogans on the banners in the student campus with which young people from the Academy of Arts congratulated their colleagues for the 38th anniversary of the University in Banjaluka. All messages were written in Cyrillic, in beautiful and big letters. Just like in a kind of social acupuncture, decisively and medicinally they aim at the painful spots of Serbian and all other societies in the region, and much beyond that. The action attracted great attention of the citizens and the media. Think about that.

Painted with Nostalgia Like Once at Eight O’clock, in the Notes of Memories, a great ball took place on Decvember 6 in Banski Dvror in Banjaluka, very modern and very old-fashioned. Musicians from the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, presented in book Notes of Memories – Sketches from the Musical Life of Banjaluka by Radmila Kulundžija, played, sang and talked about the musical life of Banjaluka. In addition to professional dancers from clubs “Gema” and “Bolero”, the audience also danced to the rhythms of that time. The ball was organized by the Cultural Centre “Banski Dvor”, Academy of Arts of the University in Banjaluka, and National Theatre of Republika Srpska.

book (over 1,000 pages) was the topic of presentations given by Branko Tošović, professor of the University of Graz, and director of the National Library of RS Ljilja Petrović-Zečić. >> T o Knit the Wreath Already Started, a panoramic collection that includes twenty poets from Srpska (the editor is Nenad Grujičić, publisher “Brankovo kolo”), was presented in early December in Novi Sad. >> M etamorphosis Constantiniana, a monumental work by sculptor, professor Dragan Radenović, PhD, about five meters high, was unveiled recently at the Niš Quay in the vicinity of the City Hall, and it is a gift from the Roman Catholic Church for the celebration of the 1799th anniversary of the Edict of Milan. >> M ultioriginals, exhibition from the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Republika Srpska, which includes twenty three representative examples from the collections of graphics and new media created in the 1960’s and 1970’s, was opened on December 1, in the gallery in Nevesinje, and will last until December 20. >> Production of Dear Jelena Sergejevna by Ljudmila Razumovska, of the Youth Drama Studio “Živko Desnica”, premiered on December 6, in the Theatre in Prijedor. >> “Holiday Concert” of the Association of Music Artists of Srpska took place on December 3 in Banski Dvor, in the capital, and it featured the String Orchestra of the Academy of Arts in Banjaluka, under the baton of the conductor Branka RadoševićMitrović, with soloists.

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NE WS S T RE AM >> International Theatre Festival of small theatre forms and monodrama took place from December 2 to 7 in Eastern Sarajevo, for the eighteenth time, and in that way this beautiful event has marked its adulthood.

Seriousness Approaching one hundredth anniversary of the beginning of World War One, the History Department of Andrić Institute in Višegrad established the Scientific Board for celebration of this great event. The truth about these horrifying events will be reaffirmed in numerous exhibitions and scientific gatherings, publishing and film projects – as opposed to lavishly financed campaigns of historical revisionism. Members of the Board are director Andrić Institute

>> Production of Lost in Brooklyn by Joe Moller (Milan Kneselac) will be staged on the Small Stage “Petar Kočić” in the National Theatre of Srpska in Banjaluka, and the audience will have an opportunity to see talented actors, Željko Erkić and Vladimir Đorđević, who is also the director. >> “Coral Festival”, the event that represents the enormous cultural treasures of Russia, was opened on December 2 in Eastern Sarajevo by deputy ambassador of Russia in B&H, Alexei Kerestedžijanc. >> J ovan Dučić in Diplomacy, exhibition of archive documents dedicated to the great Serbian poet, was opened on December 2 in the gallery of the Cultural Centre “Filip Višnjić” in Ugljevik, and will last for twenty days. >> “Position of the writer, book, publishing” is the title of the round table which was organized in early December in the National and University Library of Srpska in Banjaluka, and it presented many disturbing facts, which profoundly reflect this unfortunate era. >> This year’s “Guitar Fest”, which took place from November 29 to December 1 in Banjaluka, was opened with a concert of Marek Pšječni from Poland, and closed with the performance of jazz trio of Mata Matišić. >> A Tale of the Knight without a Horse, directed by Jaroslav Antonjuk and produced by the Theatre of Youth from Novi Sad, was presented on December 7 and 8 in the Children Theatre of Srpska in Banjaluka.


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Emir Kusturica, Oleg Ajrapetov from Moscow State University, Svetozar Rajak from London School of Economy and Political Science, director of Serbian Archive Miroslav Perišić, Miroslav Jovanović from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade...

Serbian Film in Chicago Serbian Film Festival organized in prestigious Chicago movie theatre “Muvico Theater”, between December 6 and 8, presented to American audience the most popular and most awarded films. Among others, the festival featured Circles by Srdan Golubović, Ravna gora by Radoš Bajić, Mamaroš by Momčilo Mrdaković, State by Olivera Šaranović, The Counterfeiter by Goran Marković, When the Day Breaks by Goran Paskaljević. There were also attractive side programs, gala evening, socializing with guests, audience voting. Sponsor of the festival was the government of Serbia, and organizers were the paper Serbian Mirror, General Consulate of Serbia in Chicago and SerbianAmerican Museum “Saint Sava”.

Sisters One hundred and tenth anniversary of the “Circle of Serbian Sisters” was celebrated recently in a ceremony in Belgrade. Founded in 1903, based on the idea of Nadežda Petrović and with the name given to it by Branislav Nušić, the “Circle” is one of the oldest women humanitarian, patriotic and cultural-educational associations in Southeast Europe. It has always provided assistance where it was the most difficult and the most important, in war and peace , in home country and in other Serbian countries, in Old and New Serbia, educating us with immortal examples of how one’s Homeland is defended with virtue. The communist government after World War Two prohibited the “Circle of Serbian Sisters”, and their activities were resumed in 1990.

Temple and Monograph The Congregational temple of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica, consecrated in October 2013, in the presence of church dignitaries from the Christian Orthodox world and thousands of believers, was given its representative monograph, which was recently promoted in Belgrade. Built from 1993. in Momišići in Podgorica, nearby the remains of the Church of Holy Apostles, an appendage of Hilandar Monastery (from the period of Serbian King Milutin Nemanjić), this magnificent temple is one of the pillars of the Church in Montenegro. The preliminary design was prepared by architect Predrag Ristić, PhD, engineering and construction activities were conducted by the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Podgorica, “Projekt-inženjering” and “Montaža inženjering”... All this is seriously and substantially documented in the representative monograph edited by publicist Jovan Markuš.

>> E xhibition Why the Faces Have No Heads? by painter Davor Ružić, was opened in the gallery of the Centre for Culture and Education in Laktaši. >> The National Library in Gradišca enriched its collection by 600 titles, and it now has almost 66,000 of them, we have learned from Snježana Miljković, acting director of this institution. >> For the third consecutive time, Bulgaria takes the lead in the list of countries whose citizens “suffered the most in the past year because of existential conditions”, published on December 3 American agency “Galup”, while B&H placed thirteenth in that unfortunate list, Macedonia seventh, and Serbia twenty third. >> “Business Forum Hungary-Srpska” took place in early December in Budapest, and was opened by prime minister of Srpska Željka Cvijanović. >> Agency for mediation, informatics and financial services has announced that as of December 2, a dingle-point registration of business entities in Republika Srpska began, which will shorten this procedure from previous twenty six to only three days. >> Boriša Simanić, a fifteen years old power forward from Bijeljina (208 centimeters), cadet representative of Serbia and the winner of European silver at the Championship in Kiev, is a new player of the “Red Star” from Belgrade. >> A wooden “Volkswagen Beetle” by carpenter Momir Bojić from Čelinci, into which he assembled over 20,000 oak-tree tiles, was an attraction at the International Automobile Fair in Essen, Germany, which ended on December 8.

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Welcome, My Lord


Illustrations: Olja Ivanjicki, from cycle “For Njegoš – The Night More Precious than a Century”, paintings and details, 1997 (© Olga Olja Ivanjicki Foundation)


ith miraculous and precise geometry of fate, as Andrić would say, the circle was completed in Andrićgrad, on the square in front of the Church of the Holy Prince Lazar. For the 200th anniversary of the birth of Petar II Petrović Njegoš (1813-1851), the holy poet and bishop of Serbia, the lord of Montenegro, a big monument to him was unveiled juts there. This masterpiece by sculptor Sreten Stojanović, from Prijedor and a member of Young Bosnia, a copy of the same one that stands in Belgrade and Podgorica, will remain the worthiest act of celebrating the great anniversary in all Serbian countries. It will delete from the face of this Serbian generation three shames, the incomprehensible sin against its great man, “three measures for the misery that befell us”. But now, everything is in its place. “The tragic hero of the Kosovo thought” is in front of the sanctity dedicated to the Great Martyr of Kosovo, in the city of the magnificent writer who connected them again with his golden quill, in young republic which increasingly often has to assume the role of the old and weak parent country. The illegitimate usurpers who were fighting, shamelessly, to get to the podium were put to their rightful place, as well as those who wanted to fulfill their duty in secrecy and with soft voice, as if being burglars in their own house. Even the mice are in their holes, current robbers on future arrest warrants, and the masterpiece of Sreten Stojanović is also on the cover page of National Review. For all this, in one stroke, the Great Director was necessary, to his glory and honor. By joining the celebration of two centuries of the birth of Njegoš, we dedicate the “Album” in this edition to him. By courtesy of the Foundation of Olja Ivanjicki, we are able to share with you some paintings from series of portraits of Njegoš, painted by this great painter in 1997. 

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Twelve Rowers,

Two Rivers,

One Goal

That day will be remembered. For the first time people at the Sava Port in Belgrade ceremoniously welcomed the regatta from fraternal city of Banjaluka. After fourteen days and 504 kilometers of navigation, overcoming all challenges, both internal and external, twelve of them showed that two Serbian capitals are connected and not disconnected with two rivers with great potentials. New ventures are to come next year By: Rada Popović

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S A I L I N G Photographs: Rafting Association of Srpska


n Sunday, before departure, a small s small but selected crowd in the yard of Church of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, in Banjaluka settlement of Karanovac, attends the service and receives priest’s blessings. The sunny day afterwards and farewell ceremony, with presence of numerous city officials of Banjaluka and friends of the rafting sport. Many local rowers, following the regatta, rowed the first section. All this gave “wind into the sails” of the participants, ready to spend fourteen days rowing down the lower flow of the Vrbas River and 427 kilometers long flow of the Sava, all the way to Belgrade. And they rowed, a lot and hard. Ten or more hours every day, passing, when the weather would allow it, as many as 56 kilometers per day. The weather was not easy on them. The first four days of sun and clear skies made the journey easier, but the following six days of rain and wind posed an additional burden. Still, nobody thought about quitting. Sunsets were observed and greeted from the water. In the evenings, in tents and borrowed facilities of local rafting clubs, rest and recuperation. Strength to continue. TEST OF WILL AND CHARACTER

 On a section of the road down the Vrbas On the landing: Eleven of them and the twelfth on the other side of the camera

Two rivers connected by nature have opposite temperaments. The Vrbas is winding and fast, a typical mountain river. The Sava is big and slow, like a dreamy beauty. Heavy rafting boats do not play well with both of these extremes. For this regatta, rowing structures and protective awnings were built on them. Still, all the power came from the rowers themselves. At this time of year, the Vrbas is shallow, unfriendly, and the Sava sits still, as if it is frozen. In the last days of the regatta, wind, rain and frost “penetrated the bones”. – I assumed that some of the participants would give up. These are days of strenuous rowing, difficult weather conditions – says Aleksandar Pastir, president of Kayak-Canoe

Support Organizers of the regatta are Rafting Club “Canyon” from Banjaluka and Nautical Club “Liman” from Belgrade, with support from the Rafting Association of Serbia, Kayak-Canoe and Rafting Association of Republika Srpska, tourist organizations of Belgrade, Banjaluka, Srpska and Serbia. The project was also supported by the Consulate General of Serbia in Srpska, and the Office of Srpska in Serbia.


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and Rafting Association of Republika Srpska and Rafting Club “Canyon”. – But, strangely enough, nobody did. There were no other surprises. The Sava and the lower part of the Vrbas are not extreme rivers, but the rowing was extreme. People were divided into groups and everybody cheered everybody. We had strong motivation to reach Belgrade, because it is an important personal achievement and test of endurance, even character. There were two girls, they didn’t complain, they endured everything, so the men didn’t have the right to complain. The project itself was maturing and waiting for five years. For the first time in his ten years long experience, says Pastir, it occurred that competent ministries and other competent institutions enthusiastically embraced the idea at the same time. Everybody did their share of work, leaving for the participants to do what they know best: to row, and take care of the logistics and organization of the event itself. An important part was played by Vladimir Nikolić, General Consul of Serbia in Banjaluka, to whom the idea about the regatta was first presented. Later, institutions from Serbia also joined, as well as Mlađen Cicović, director of the Representation of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade. Almost all the cities along the river route also joined. – The regatta was a trial one, more sports than recreational. They rowed between ten and fourteen-fifteen hours per day, which is not for those who row recreationally. A serious feat for each one of us. Nine participants are members of Rafting Club “Canyon”, two are from Priboj, father and son from Eco Club “Lim”, one participant from Sremska Mitrovica, a member of association “Zlatna ribica” – continues Pastir. The goal of this venture, he says, is preservation of both rivers, promotion and development of rafting, kayak and canoe sports, as well as establishment of rafting clubs in all municipalities in the Sava basin. IT IS POSSIBLE, SO HELP YOURSELF Among the participants in this adventure were Irena Karlaš and Milena Kolobarić. Everybody singles them out as a model for strong will and spirit. – There were moments when one kilometer seemed like eternity to us – says Milena Kolobarić. – We believed in each other, we rowed with all our strength. The desire to reach the destination was stronger than we thought.

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Below the Bridge on Ada in Belgrade


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 A little bit of sunshine in the boat, in the current: Irena Karlaš and Milena Kolobarić And for lunch – baked fish

In such moments you think more about whether it is going to rain, whether you will arrive before dark and build a tent, whether you will have enough food and water on the boat, whether in the morning you will wake up dry. We never rowed in a regatta longer than 40 kilometers, and now we would row 56 kilometers in one day, or for 13 hours, which is an incredible feeling. She says that the two of them, on the same boat, rowed backwards for thirteen out of fourteen days. – Time was passing by with various stories and anecdotes, but in the most difficult moments we would sing, for as long as three and a half hours. Four times we rowed in pitch dark. It is a wonderful feeling when you row under the sky full of stars, and the moon guides you and illuminates the way. Nenad Ivanić from Sremska Mitrovica does not hide his excitement about the achieved feat. His friends - kayakers on

Links Rafting regatta Banjaluka–Belgrade was organized under the agreement on special links between Serbia and Srpska, within the activities for development of tourism and sports on the Vrbas and Sava rivers.


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calm waters were telling him that such a feat would be impossible for them, although their kayaks are much more suitable for long distance rowing. – If anybody had tried to prepare us mentally for this, I believe that half of us would have quit before the beginning. It is strenuous, but in conversation with the crew, and in constant changing of landscapes, time goes faster, less noticeably. One thinks about the goal, counts kilometers, the person who first notices the sign for inland waterway would yell the number, then everybody would repeat it out loud, and so on for 427 kilometers of the Sava – adds Ivanić. He has made new friends, he says, and with them he could do anything. – If necessary, it would not be difficult to go to the end of the world with them. Father and son, Dejan and Uroš Puzović, from Eco Club “Lim” from Priboj, were also a part of this regatta. Although they were prepared for great physical efforts, says Dejan, they were surprised by the level of difficulty of this venture. – Uroš arrived to Banjaluka with a cold, and it was a question whether he would row at all. My task was to make him feel better. And his decision to row was strong. He rowed for days while taking medications, fighting counter-currents and waves, wind and rain, still water, and he succeeded, just like the rest of us. He replaced an excursion to Italy with participation in the regatta, which says enough of how much this

meant to him. For days he would talk about the moment when he would pass under the new Bridge on Ada. When, on the thirteenth day in the evening, we arrived there, we were overcome with emotions and satisfaction. The motivation to endure all this was a personal one. Mine was to see whether I am still good for something. Uroš is young. When an eighteen year old endures such a physical and mental strain, then it is a special motivation for the future and other life challenges. Now we know more about the Sava and human strength in rowing, concludes Dejan Puzović. – Rowing for more than ten hours, for days, is possible. It means stretching the boundaries of expectations. Tourists can now come to the tested terrain and enjoy the beauty of the clean Vrbas and hypnotic Sava basin. Rowing, fishing, camping, spending time with friends and adventure, it is all there. DOWN THE SAVA, FROM THE SPRING TO THE CONFLUENCE That day, October 6, 2013, will be remembered. For the first time people at the Sava Port in Belgrade ceremoniously welcomed the regatta from fraternal city of Banjaluka, which had successfully overcome all obstacles and proved that the two cities are connected and not disconnected with two rivers with great potentials. Just like the farewell ceremony, the event had great media coverage, and the gathered crowds were overcome

with joy for the success. After the welcome ceremo ny, they organized presentation of tourist offer of Banjaluka and people had an opportunity to taste its gastronomic delicacies. For the next year, the team is planning to  On the organize a regatta down the Sava, from its finish line: Below Branko’s Bridge spring (Slovenia) to the confluence (Serbia), in Belgrade and 940 kilometers long. with the flag in – The idea is not to use heavy rafting Sava Quay boats next time, but to start with kayaks. Eight rowers, two from every state that the Sava belongs to, should jointly embark on this journey, and then others would join them on designated points created in towns in the Sava basin. In this way, some would be rowing fro twenty days, others ten, five, two... Everybody can join this expedition in accordance with their abilities, physical strength and available time – says Aleksandar Pastir. The plan is that the regatta next year will be joined by small ships and true lovers of the river. The first contacts with regional rafting associations have already been made, and representatives from Belgrade expressed their wish to organize the closing ceremony again. The regatta will begin in June, and end in July.  SRPSK A  No 3  2013


П У ­Т О­К А З




Ли­је­па остр­ва у би­гре­ној ри­је­ци ЈАЊ­СКЕ ОТО­КЕ, БИ­СЕР ШИ­ПО­ВАЧ­КОГ КРА­ЈА


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Beautiful Islands in Tufa River

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About four kilometers from its spring and twelve kilometers from the centre of Šipovo, travertine river Janj is intersected by rocks and soil, it branches out and forms a bigger group of islands, only to regroup together into its single flow. This group of islands and about a dozen powerful creeks, popularly called Janjske Islands since ancient times, is a natural phenomenon and the major excursion grounds in the surroundings of Šipovo. To pass by but not stop by would be a big mistake


oor karst areas were not generous for our ancestors. Constant battle for survival, which brought them to these mountains, has marked the lives of highlanders on Janjska plateau. Centuries-old desire for freedom and the preservation of their religion, traditions and identity brought for the population of this region more hunger and misery than material well-being. Hence the old saying: “Janjanine, purin dušmanine”. The happiness taken away on one side, has been returned through the great beauty and natural resources. The Janjska plateau is today one of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes of Republika Srpska. To mention only Janjska rainforest, one of three of its kind in Europe, then Glogovac Monastery, the spiritual center of the Orthodox population of Janjska region, spring of the Janj River, a powerful water spring from the deep karst, Vaganska Cave, a secret hidden in the depths


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of the earth... And finally, the most beautiful of the most beautiful, Janjske Islands. BRANCHING OUT AND UNITING The Janj River from its spring builds a powerful canyon whose sides, created from rocks of monumental appearance, rise up to 200 meters above the water. In its upper flow it shows temper and strength. Only two kilometers from the spring, Janj makes a makes a beautiful waterfall in the canyon, not easily accessible to visitors. The charms of this natural attraction were experienced by felt rare locals and hikers, descending the steep cliffs of the canyon and trampling through cold water. (This is the coldest river in Srpska. In all seasons the water temperature does not exceed 6 degrees Celsius.) The water enriched with tufa or travertine, the deposits of which create the finest cascades, and gives beauty to the water course of the Janj.

About four kilometers downstream from its springs, the travertine river Janj runs into obstacles. There it deposits travertine, and at the same time it branches out, intersected by rocks and soil, and then unites again in a single, powerful stream. This is how a big group of islands is created, popularly called Janjske Islands since ancient times. The murmur of crystal clear waters around the islands and lush vegetation, waterfalls and tufa cascades, dozens of powerful streams, all these are Islands. The islands are actually limestone valley next to the river Janj, about a kilometer long and 300 meters wide. This group of islands crisscrossed with numerous backwaters, with many waterfalls and lush vegetation, is the most attractive excursion grounds of Šipovo region. EASY TO COME, HARD TO LEAVE The beautiful landscapes of Janjske Islands can be reached from Šipovo, from the center of which they are only about 12 kilometers away. They are a mandatory station for all nature lovers, tourists and passers-by. The site can be approached from the road Šipovo - Kupres. In the summer months, especially on weekends or holidays, Janjske Islands become the major excursion grounds of Šipovo region. People

Waterfalls Janjske Islands are one of the many phenomena created by karst. In addition to a large number of islands covered with beautiful vegetation, mostly alder groves, this gift of nature is especially adorned by waterfalls. At the exit from the islands and re-entrance into the canyon, the Janj builds a ten meters high waterfall over which the water descends down the cliff as an arrow. Visitor can follow with awe the violent roar and the foaming of the water that is getting lost in the rapids.

from all over come here. With the inevitable barbecue and naturally cooled drinking water in the backwaters of the Janj, one can taste specialties of Serbian cuisine on the Islands. Trout from the Janj is famous far and wide, and the locals say also the best in the Serbian areas. In some backwaters there are old mills, which complement the landscape. In this way, this natural phenomenon receives its ethnological value. Janjska plateau is a “source of life” and the place of origin of many of our people. Today, searching for themselves and their own essence, people are slowly coming back to their roots. To go over these peaks, and not stop to visit some of the natural and cultural attractions, would be a big mistake. Janjske Islands, so close and so affordable, and so fascinating, must be seen.  (

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П У ­Т О­К А З





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Imperceptible Walk

on Water

There is no bottom to Gromiželj nor end of stories abut it. Water here comes from the Drina, and it empties into the Sava through unknown canals. At the cross of these two rivers, in the territory of Bijeljina, this natural reservation is one of the east habitats of European mudminnow fish (umbra krameri), popularly called “black” or “grouch”, which is one of the oldest vertebrates on the planet. Do not go there alone and do not mock the legends you hear By: Ana Pandurević


t is not known definitely what Gromiželj is: a fresh water spring of the extinct Pannonian Sea, a geyser, moorland or a deep whirlpool, but among people inhabiting the plains between the two rivers it is n inexhaustible source of stories, secrets and legends”, says publicist Tihomir Nestorović who was born on the edge of the marshland.

Legends say that there used to be a village of infidels in Gromiželj, a cursed village, which sank into the ground, and on its former location a bottomless whirlpool appeared. They also say that on this place a betrayed girl cursed the wedding guests. That the water swallowed a grain thresher, that treasures of royal armies which were present and then disappeared in the plains SRPSK A  No 3  2013



 Experts from Bijeljina during recent explorations Gromiželj Marshland

without a trace was sunk in the whirlpool. There are many stories, but in each one of them Gromiželj is a cursed neighborhood and in each one, once a year, at dawn of August 14, on the Orthodox holiday of Makivije, a long lost world emerges from the vast depths of clear water. “Old people used to say that on Makivije’s Day one can hear voices of shepherds from Gromiželj, cries of cattle, bleating of sheep, barking of dogs, girls’ song, shouting of workers, noise of grain thresher. There are no living people in the village to testify that they have heard this sunk world”, says Nestorović. In 40 years of working as a journalist and through 10 published books of fiction, this chronicler of Semberija has immortalized the Drina impetuous and wild, and all

Moorland and Its Birds Experts say that Gromiželj is one of the rare preserved moorlands in the plains. The surface area in the first degree of protection is 67 hectares. Along with the grouch, which is included in the red list of the most endangered living beings on the planet, there are numerous rare and endangered species discovered in Gromiželj, such as marsh turtle, marsh harriers, black storks, red herons and small white herons.


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unusual fates connected with its course, through times past and present. In the times that wore us out and in which no one believes in miracles any more, says Nestorović, in 2008 in Srpska they made the life-saving discovery of mrguda (“grouch”), a tiny lungfish which had survived for millions of years only in the waters of Russian rivers Dnieper and Dniester and in the neighboring Mačva, where the Special Natural Reservation “Zasavica” was established last year. SMILE OF THE OLD GROUCH Gromiželj is no longer a secret. It was betrayed by the grouch, the tiny dark fish not bigger than an index finger, which is included in the red list of the most endangered species on the planet. Scientists, travel writers, adventurers, city fathers, they have all been looking for something in Gromiželj these past few years. Only to the local villagers this does not seem strange. Rado Krstić from Velino Selo, in the municipality of which the marshland is situated, says that he swamp has always been as it is, only in the old times the water was bigger and deeper, and there were more

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birds and fish. As a child he used to fish the grouch, and at that time they called the unknown fish “tiny”. “We, the children, would throw a trap, reed basket or metal mesh, and then catch the fish with our hands from the mud. There used to be two meters long spikes in Gromiželj, and one can still find them. And this small one, grows ten centimeters. We throw it away, what would we do with it? Maybe that is why it has survived for so long. Had it been big, it would have been eaten”, Rado is convinced. He says that the marshland and its riches have been disappearing since they built 500 kilometers of reclamation canals in Semberija in the last century. Pumps are pumping water into the Sava, and it has been a long time since one cannot sail on a boat. And the marshland used to be a water ring around solid grounds on which, since the times remembered, only one host has lived, Trišo Martić. Rado says that Trišo used to fell trees for centuries and to bring soil with construction carts, building the road over the water to the estate on the river island. To date, this is the only road to reach the fertile farmland owned by about a dozen families from Bijeljina. “In recent years, since there has been less water in Gromiželj, the road has more or less survived, but every year it must be filled with a thick layer of gravel. The rule is that no one should go over this road without a companion and without a long stick which, god forbid, one can use to stay on the surface until assistance arrives”, explains Rado. In his words, the water of Gromiželj comes from the Drina, because it rises and falls together with this river, but the marshland is also connected with the Sava, which is three kilometers away, where it empties through invisible underground canals. Only the Laketića vir, which never drains out, has remained under water, almost grown into sedge, reeds water lilies and thick marchland vegetation. Willows, alders and ash trees are thriving in its basin, about one hundred meters wide.

Plants This list of flora of Republika Srpska for the first time included the marsh nettle discovered in Laketića vir, as well as water violet, marsh fern and yellow lily, which are also rare and sensitive species.

city descended five meters down and when they resurfaced they said that there are two funnels in the middle, with no end. Gromiželj water is crystal clear. And freezing. The locals say, when everything is frozen, the water bubbles around Laketića vir. Milorad Panić is trying to take the famous grouch fish from the mud with his bare hands. But we are not equipped with traps. He says that there is a lot of fish, and vegetation, but the birds no longer nest in the marshland. “Black storks used to live here, herons and black-crowned night herons, but since the water has been drained out with pumps, it has been going on for twenty years, they cannot bring the offspring, they have no food. Bit hey still fly over us”, says Panić. Since Gromiželj became a protected area, hunting and fishing in the marshland have been prohibited, as well as felling of trees, picking plants, extracting gravel... Yellow signboards with prohibitions and warnings are the only thing that a traveler who wants to find the secret of Gromiželj can see from this prohibition. On the way back through Velino Selo, Rado and Milorad recount: an old lady lives in this house, this one is empty, an old lady lives here, empty, empty, empty.... There is only one grandchild living in the village. And the village around the marshland is disappearing. If the care for natural reservation is reduced, like now, only to prohibitions and the locals, the grouch will also become only one of the legends from the secretive Gromiželj. 

 Publicist Tihomir Nestorović, our guide through Gromiželj Locals, Rado Krstić and Milorad Panić

 European mudminnow (umbra crameri), an image from Bijeljina by T. Nestorović

GRANDCHILDREN ARE THE MOST ENDANGERED SPECIES “The soil is unstable, one can easily sink through it. We are actually walking on water”, says Rado, skillfully advancing through thick vegetation to Laketića vir. On the way he tells us that depth of the water cannot be seen by naked eye. No one has ever measured it, and attempts have been made. The last time, divers from the SRPSK A  No 3  2013






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Discovered in the early 20th century, today it is a true underworld explored for a length of almost ten kilometers. Important explorations were conducted from 1960 to 1970, and from 2010. Rich cave ornaments, bones of animal species extinct 20,000 years ago, bat colonies, crystals, insects and fossils make this speleological site extremely interesting for both the science and tourists


nly 21 kilometers from Rogatica, in the Prača river canyon, there is Banja Stijena Cave, an important destination on speleological and tourist map of Republika Srpska. This cave is called by many the Dark Cave, because only one meter from its entrance it is im-

possible to move without artificial light. In the early 20th century it was discovered by Austro-Hungarian explorers. Maps of 1,200 meters long cave passages were drawn and speleological and biological explorations were conducted in the period from 1960 to 1970. “The cave is SRPSK A  No 3  2013






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Toward a Natural Park “During the expedition, biological and other explorations were conducted in the cave”, says Golić. “Special attention was dedicated to exploration of specific colonies of bats, which exist in the cave as well as in the wider area of the Prača River. The explorations will provide the basis for local authorities and the Republic Institute for Preservation of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska to recognize the Prača canyon, with this and other caves, as a protected natural park.”

Photographs: Milanolo Simone


branched out and consists of the entrance channel, several larger galleries and several smaller channels that connect them”, the expert accounts say. “It is rich with attractive cave ornaments composed of tufa basins, stalactites, stalagmites and cave pillars. Based on richness and diversity of ornaments, it is one of the most beautiful caves of Srpska. There is an interesting phenomenon of the appearance of a rare type of ornament in the form of a sticky white paste, called ‘cave milk’. Remains of cave bear have been found in the interior of the cave.” However, speleological and tourist offer of Rogatica municipality is not only based on the Dark Cave. We learn more about this from Nebojša Golić, director of the Tourist Organization of Rogatica: “In immediate vicinity of the Dark Cave there is also Govještica cave, also called Dugovještica by the locals. It was not the subject of explorations for a long time, because of its inaccessible entrance where there is a lake up to two meters deep. In 2010, a more in-depth exploration of this cave was conducted by a group of speleologists from Italy (Bologna, Novara, Massa, Reggio Emilia) and B&H (Sarajevo and Visoko).” The exploration continued in the following three years. From August 11 to 26, 2012, a large international speleological camp was organized in the cave. Forty speleologists from Italy and B&H participated and, on this occasion, the cave was explored for a total length of 7,000 meters. They discovered underground passages and several large halls with priceless cave ornaments. “There are a large number of stalactite and stalagmite pillars, made of quartz and lime, in white and yellow color. There are also numerous draperies, crystals and insects, such SRPSK A  БРОЈ 3  2013

as beetles, centipedes, colonies of bats, crabs and moths”, says Golić. Many bones of prehistoric cave bear were found in the cave (Ursus spelaeus), the species which, based on experts, was extinct 20,000 years ago. There are still unidentified fossils on the cave walls, probably from the period of formation of these rocks. EXPLORATIONS WILL BE CONTINUED In August of the following year, 2013, international exploration expedition was organized in Govještica by speleologists from Bologna and Sarajevo Karts Center, under the auspices of Italian Speleological Association and with consent of the Republic Institute for Preservation of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska. Fifty speleologists participated in the expedition, groups from Bologna, Novara, Massa, Forli, Faenza, Siena, as well as from Banjaluka, Mostar, Sarajevo, Visoko. “The speleologists built a camp inside the cave and they would stay there for several days at a time, completely dedicated to the explorations”, continues Golić. “We were lucky to join them for a day and see for ourselves the priceless value of this natural phenomenon. Overcoming difficult slopes and passing through sunken parts of the cave, during the last exploration, led to discovery of additional two kilometers of underground galleries. In this way, Govještica with its total explored length of 9,682 meters is currently the longest cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina.“ This is certainly not the end of the explorations. Parts of the cave explored thus far are not interesting only because of their size, but also as natural, scientific and aesthetic values. The cave is currently not developed for tourist visits, but the Tourist Organization of Rogatica Municipality, on the Day of Tourism September 27 of this year, organized a daily free of charge excursion to Govještica and Dark Cave, for all interested nature lovers. About 30 lovers of nature and speleology participated, which contributed to further promotion of this unique natural resource, as well as tourist offer of Rogatica Municipality. 

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Let’s Rejoice for We Belong to Her According to a legend, it was painted by Luke, the apostle and Evangelist, the first icon painter. In the 13h century it was donated to the Nemanjić dynasty, during their visit to the Holy Land. In the 14h century, it was donated to Banja Monastery near Priboj by King Milutin, as a sign of gratitude for miraculous healing. In the 15th century, it was saved from the burnt Banja, brought to these mounts of Čajniče, so close to the heavens and deep inside the people. Its history is a continuous series of miracles, up to this day, and beyond

Text and photographs: Radmila Đević

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P I L G R I M A G E S  Icon of the Holy Virgin of Čajniče


acing a terminal illness, Svjetlana Siridžanski, a middle-aged woman from Novi Karlovci, prayed by kneeling before the miraculous icon of the Holy Virgin from Čajniče, in the Church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God. She had only a few days left before the surgery, when the doctors would try to remove the malignant tumor which had already metastasized. In her prayers, left to the hand of the Mother of God, she cried for cure. A prayer for her was also read by the priests of this temple. On the day of surgery, powerlessness and weakness were replaced by a miracle. On the place where tumor had been, there was no trace of an illness. All organs were healthy. Indi belief, the doctors asked answers from the woman, convinced that she had undergone traditional treatment. Her medicine was actually the answered prayer to the Holy Mother of God and the Lord in the temple of the Heavenly Empress in Čajniče, as Orthodox people call it. Similar miraculous healings and spiritual comforts, based on accounts of priests and people in Čajniče, were and are happening in front of the icon of the Mother of God, famous worldwide. – There were those who would speak here for the first time, walk or see for the first time. Once a woman came here because her thirteen years old child had eye problems. Muscles holding eyelids were weakened, and doctors suggested surgery. Here we read a prayer, gave her oil from the incense holder, she applied that oil on child’s eyes, and soon the child began to lift and lower the eyelids independently – says Zoran Kalajdžić, the priest of Čajniče, remembering only some of the miraculous healings. – A man from Pale had a problem with his leg. Because of poor circulation, his leg was blue. Doctors suggested amputation, but he came here. We read a prayer, gave him oil from the incense holder which is burning in front of the icon. He came home and applied oil on his sick leg. As the oil was running out, the leg became healthier. The doctors were in awe.

Immovability In addition to all the miracles of the Čajniče Beauty, it is understandable that no plan for its relocation has been realized. In the new Čajniče church, after all turmoil through time, it has remained on the ruler’s throne, “protecting its children in heavens and on earth, keeping its eyes on them”.


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When they face miracles, those who don’t believe are very confused. – A believer knows that the God is the one who is making miracles. When he wants it, all laws of nature will be conquered – says priest Kalajdžić. The Čajniče beauty, he says, provides healing benefits to all those who come with faith before her pure image. To all those who are reluctant, grieving, ill, exhausted spiritually or mentally, sinners and penitents, those who are lonely and abandoned in difficult times. The Church of the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God, the old and new one, adorns the village of Čajniče. This picturesque little town is visited daily by numerous pilgrims, thus writing the sacral history of Čajniče. It was not by accident that St. Nicholas Lelićki said that this mountainous area, at the altitude of 816 meters above sea level, is the second place of pilgrimage based on the number of visitors in the Serbian Christian Orthodox Church (after Ostrog Monastery). FROM HOLY LAND TO HOLY LAND Preserved written history of the Čajniče Beauty is linked to the 15th century. This testimony also speaks about miraculous healings and grace. According to popular accounts, the icon was donated to the Nemanjić dynasty during their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. First it was kept at their court. When King Milutin miraculously recuperated from terminal illness, he donated this icon as a sign of gratitude to Banja Monastery near Priboj. – The icon was kept in the monastery until the Turks, after burning the relics of Saint Sava, started looting and destroying the Orthodox monasteries in this area. Banja was not spared. While the monastery was in flames, one villager came in and brought the icon out on his back. Only when the icon was taken out, the burnt monastery collapsed. In the night, over the Lim River, the villager brought the icon to an old church Čajniče, where she was kept until the consecration of the new church where it was transferred – says priest Kalajdžić. – Many would say that this is just an accident, but the believing people known that this, just like everything else, happens in accordance with God’s will and permission. First accounts on the old church in Čajniče date back in 1492. Just like most of them from the times of the Turkish occupation, it is modest in size and buried into

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 Under the first snow: Church of the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God in Čajniče, recently

the ground. (The appearance of its predecessor, destroyed in Turkish conquests, is unknown.) Construction of the new church began in 1857. The architects used all their knowledge and skills to erect it in all its beauty and leave it to be admired up to this date. In the summer of 1863, it was consecrated by the metropolitan of Bosnia, Ignjatije. With eighteen domes, it looks monumental. Underneath the vault of the sky, the bell tower with a clock was impressed in the landscape as its most dominant element. When everything was finished and arranged, the icon of Vladičica was brought to the temple, on the Day of Nativity, and

Prayers for Offspring Priest Zoran Kalajdžić says that prayers for offspring are often read before the icon of the Čajniče Beauty. – Many couples who are married fro years but have no children come here. For them we read prayers for offspring. Numerous childless women were given blessings for giving birth before this icon.


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placed on the new throne. It was moved several times, especially during World War Two. – When the Italians were withdrawing from these territories, they set fire to a warehouse of ammunition and fuel. Te southern part of the temple was heavily damaged, ceilings collapsed inside. The icon remained undamaged. Even the burning incense holders were not put out. Later, am Ustasha Division came by and robbed the treasury of the temple, desecrated the icon itself, taking one big diamond from the crown, which would later be filled with silver – the priests of Čajniče tell us. In 1903, the icon was covered with gold and silver fittings. Risto Andrić, famous gold and silversmith from Sarajevo, worked about three years on this and used seventeen kilograms of silver and gold only for the fittings. There is a story that even he was cured before this holy icon when severely ill, and he vowed to have it covered with silver and gold. According to accounts, the Čajniče icon was pained by Luke, a holy apostle end Evan-

gelist. It is made on wood, on one side there is an image of the holy Mother of God holding in her hands the young Christ, and on the other side there is an image of St. John, who is blessing her with his right hand. COME WITH FAITH This miraculous Serbian sanctity is known far and wide, not only among Christian Orthodox people, but also among Muslims, Roman Catholics and Jews. It was venerated and defended through centuries by people of all religions. Prayers are being read even today for people from all over the world. On the Day of Dormition of the Mother of God, the Saint Day of this church, many come to pray to the Holy Virgin. This encounter leaves a deep trace in us. – I am always impressed by the faith with which people come here. Many of them are motivated by a misfortune, but most of them are here to show respect, from a purely spiritual need – says Darko Đogo, Serbian priest and professor Faculty of Orthodox Theology “Sveti Vasilije Ostroški” in Foča, who says that he visits the Čajniče Mother of God often. Among the pilgrims who come to the Čajniče Beauty every day, there are also those who teach faith. – Every encounter with this sanctity has been special for me – says Nikola Kovač, an alumni and a professor of the High School

Distances and Travelers Čajniče is an area of great natural beauty, on the border between Srpska, Serbia and Montenegro. It is situated 130 kilometers from Sarajevo and Užice, 140 from Nikšić, 250 from Podgorica, 300 from Banjaluka, 320 from Belgrade. A place of great pilgrimage.

of Theology “Saint Peter of Dabar and Bosnia” in Foča. – I have an impression that it is not by accident that this magnificent temple, which dominates the area with its beauty, was built on such a harsh mountain spot. As if the miraculous icon is too heavenly to be any closer to the earth, but too connected to the people to be plucked from the hearts of the citizens of this little town and soar up! It this way, it has built its eternal nest as closer to the heavens as possible, but by remaining among preying people and protecting them. Many tell us, like Hajji Milivoje Jaraković from Užice, that impressions about the Mother of God are difficult to put into words. Many believers from abroad come to pay respect and pray, for high, the highest protection. Some call it coarsely “religious tourism”, we won’t. – Every year I come to and pay respect to the Mother of God – says Ljubica Begenišić from Stara Pazova. – She can see every time we are powerless and weak, and she heals and helps. We should rejoice for we belong to her. 

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 Queue for paying respect to the Holy Mother of God




Krajina’s Mountain



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Famous for its heroism and suffering, one of the places where freedom has the highest price, this mountain has become increasingly recognizable as a tourist destination. Last year it was visited by more than 70,000 people. Declared a national park in 1967, it is equipped with ski, hiking and biking trails, terrains for extreme sports, a hotel, motel, monument, museum, colorful ethnic heritage... And, perhaps the most beautiful, lookouts from which you so clearly see good perspectives of this area By: Sanja Marinković

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 Ethno heritage of Kozara is rich and picturesque


eroic battles on Kozara in World War Two embedded the name of this Krajina Mountain in the history books. Songs, novels, folk dances and movies testify of the suffering and heroism of the people in the resistance to the occupying forces. Skender Kulenović dedicated his famous lament “Stojanka majka Knežopoljka” to Kozara’s battles for freedom, the biggest park in Banjaluka is named after the leader of the uprising, Dr Mladen Stojanović, and the Memorial Complex erected on this mountain keeps the memory of the victims. Famous for its history, Kozara is today becoming recognizable for natural beauty, as well as increasingly numerous events

Winter Months Winter stay on Kozara is complemented by the “Winter Days”, a regional event which includes sports and gastronomic competitions, as well as entertainment programs. Those who want to spend several days here can stay in the hotel on Mrakovica, motel and bungalows, or in one of the two mountain lodges. As they say in the National Park “Kozara”, the number of visitors increases every year, and last year the Park was visited by more than people 70,000 people.


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which are slowly inscribing its name on the tourist map. Situated between high Dinaric Alps in the south and the Pannonian Plain in the north, the mountain stretches out in nine municipalities. Although the peaks do not exceed 1,000 meters above sea level, it vastness and beauty dominates this part of B&H. It is covered with dense deciduous and coniferous forests, is known for its meadows, clear streams and the rich flora and fauna. In 1967, its central part was declared a national park. – The national park stretches over 3,600 hectares and is well known fro its cultural and historical heritage, namely the Memorial Complex situated in the centre of this area, on Mrakovica. Exactly that mix of natural and cultural and historical heritage makes Kozara one of the most attractive mountains in the region – explains Nataša Pjević, PR Associate in the National Park “Kozara”. The history of this area, although the best known, is not the only value here. As Pjević explains, the National Park “Kozara” is the best preserved area of natural ecosystems in the transitional area between moderate continental and Pannonian area.

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– Authenticity of ecosystems, their biological and geographical uniqueness and attraction of the landscape make this area one of the highly valuable natural units – says Pjević. The National Park gives opportunity for holiday and recreation in preserved nature. Walking is the best way to get to know this mountain, and several hiking trails have been developed on sites within the Park. They are all marked with vertical signalization, road signs and information boards, and can be used without a tour guide. The hike is pleasant, landscape beautiful, the air is healing. Trails lead to hidden attractions of Kozara: Gumlina site (a cave and a canyon about 60 meters deep), waterfall on Zečiji kamen, Naked Mountain (the highest peak of the National Park)... BOTH PEACE AND EXCITEMENT Kozara is also ready for those who love excitement. There are developed trails for cyclists, and adapted rock for mountainclimbers. – Marked biking trail leads from Mrakovica toward Moštanica Monastery. Along the trail there are awnings for rest and two develop water springs. There are also two developed and marked biking trails for mountain biking, one 66 and the other 33 kilometers long. There is also a developed and marked recreational bicycle trail – explains Pjević. Rock for climbing has been developed in the place called Zečiji kamen and it has twenty one directions. It can be reached by a hiking trail. In the summer months, this mountain certainly offers a pleasant refuge, an escape from urban daily life and bustle. When its meadows are clothed in white, and its peaks covered with ice caps, it offers to visitors a true winter heaven and numerous possibilities for winter sports. Numerous events on Kozara include “Greeting the Spring”, “Literary Encounters”, “Ars Kozara”. Increasingly popular is the event which promotes cultural identity of this region in a creative way, marked by song called “ojkača”, old traditional customs and cuisine preserved in the villages below Kozara. Cultural-artistic ensemble from the village of Piskavica joined in

Memorial Complex The Memorial Complex on Kozara, which includes the Monument, Memorial Wall and Museum, was built in 1972, in memory of the victims of the Second World War. The Museum was restored recently, and it holds exhibitions of photographs and documents that testify about suffering of the people in this war.

2005 with the Tourist Organization of Ba Memory of the njaluka and Young Explorers, and they war drama: the monument and jointly created international festival “Komuseum exhibition zara Ethno”. on Kozara Mladen Šukalo, an associate in the Tourist Organization of Banjaluka, emphasize that the festival began modestly, and now it has great perspective. In the beginning it gathered only a few folklore dance groups and singers, and manufacturers who showed a part of the cultural heritage. Then it developed and in 2007 it gained international character. Today it gathers representatives from eight countries, with about 400 participants. By learning about other cultures, says Šukalo, we appreciate more our own. Through “Kozara Ethno” the culture of this region is presented in all its segments, The festival takes place in hot days of July and brings to this mountain two to three thousands visitors per day, at the average. – Kozara has always been a place of gathering of tourists and guests, primarily for historical events from World War Two. But in addition to this, Kozara also has numerous other values, natural and recreational, which were not exploited for a long time – says Šukalo. Some elements of Kozara’s identity are unique in the world. And it is cultural identities that determine future tourist destinations. – This is a competitive advantage that we might have in the international market as well, and we are aware of that – concludes Šukalo.  SRPSK A  No 3  2013




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Charms of Winter Sports – In the winter, people here can enjoy winter sports. There is a 600 meters long developed ski slope, equipped with ski-lift and spotlights for night skiing. For the youngest visitors there is a developed ski slope about 150 meters long, also equipped with skilift – says Nataša Pjević, from the National Park “Kozara”.

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Landscape Painted with

Memory and Sorrow About twenty years of exile, scars of war and the anger, about monks who are healing memories, about a record according to Milutin, about Krka Monastery and the old art colony, the oldest seminary and future bishops, about old and new friends, about pride and melancholy, and everything else I experienced in the corner of the world where my roots are still holding on Text and photographs: Željko Sinobad


have an acquaintance, Belgrade artist Milutin Dedić, who is originally from Šibenik. Once he confided in my colleague Miša Lazić and me sharing a piece of his family history that got wedged in my head and haunted me the whole time in the bus to Dalmatia. And he told us the following: – My good mother Jelka was born in a remote village in Dalmatian hinterland. The name of the village describes it the best: Rupe (Holes). It is situated in the upper reaches of the Krka River, fifteen kilometers

The Bell I never thought it was possible, but I saw, and recorded, this ghostly sight: above the monastery gate hung a bell – riddled with bullets! As as if someone had used it to practice sharpshooting and test their hatred? It stands like that today, reminding and warning. Immediately I realized that these were not scars of war, but of hatred! Obviously, the battle with the bell took place sometime later.


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from Skradin. Only, the landscape is magnificent: harsh but beautiful. It was given to them by God himself. The villagers of Rupe came here from Herzegovina after the Cretan War in the 17th century. They were Serbs, Christian Orthodox, and others called them Bunjevci because they were from the banks of the Buna River... My mother was from the Mišković family... But when they arrived, the government demanded that they convert to Catholicism. So, what choice did they have, God is one, they consoled themselves leaving behind their old religion. Only one family did not concede, so they were relocated to the far side of the village, so they would not draw attention when some lay or church dignitaries would come to visit. This was Nadoveza family, to which our famous football player belongs... My mother married to priest Jovan Dedić, a Serb, in 1929, so she had to convert back and become Christian Orthodox again. She died on February 19,

Serbian Monastery Krka (14th century) SRPSK A  No 3  2013



 Nikodim, the prior of Krka Painters Gula and Zdrave Fotije, Bishop of Dalmatia


1995, in the eve of the famous military-police operation “The Storm”. At that time no communication with Šibenik was possible. I did not go there since the beginning of that horror anyway, but now it was my debt to my mother, my origin. My brother Arsen told me the sad news from Zagreb, through singer Lado Leskovar. I called him immediately and cried on the phone: “Hold the burial!” It took me three days to get there, round and about... Now, in Šibenik, there are three cemeteries: one Catholic, one Orthodox and one partisan, and only the last one, about eight kilometers away from the city, has equipment for keeping the bodies of the deceased. They placed her there, although she had never liked partisans. I knew that she was a religious woman and that deep down she had remained Catholic, so I went to don Marko, to ask him to hold a funeral service for her. He had one condition: that the service take place on the partisan cemetery, and in presence of only the family members, so nobody would think that he was trying to convert us, Christian Orthodox. It was a Shakespearean scene: a partisan cemetery, Catholic priest, and us Christian Orthodox. After that we buried my mother in a tomb on the Orthodox cemetery. And the entire Catholic Šibenik came to her funeral. For this occasion someone opened a little old church and at least one hundred people came inside to light a candle for the soul of this good old woman. And here I am, in the bus, thinking that we are all some sort of colonists: some came earlier and grew their roots there, some came later and grabbed the soil only with their vines, but nobody here on the Balkans has their family tree growing at the place where they were born. I read the other day in the Magazine of North Dalmatia from 1935, which was SRPSK A  БРОЈ 3  2013

started and, at that time, edited by Vladan Desnica, that fra Lucijan Marčić and Boško Desnica, then a correspondent of daily paper Politika, were trying to persuade the readers that here, behind the Velebit, the same and equally hard working and honest people live here, and that the only thing that makes them different from one another is whether they are led by Catholic or Orthodox priests. Historical romanticism? Yes, but maybe in the 1930’s it was a truly successful formula for a “harmonious coexistence” in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia? Who can tell... REUNION I did not go to my Dalmatia for two long decades, and my heart leapt at the thought that we would meet again. One can imagine how I felt when I arrived in Knin, the city of my ancestors, and then in Kistanje and, finally in Krka Monastery, to spend entire two weeks with a small fraternity and painters who had been coming there for twenty years to continue the tradition of the local art colony. The foundation of this colony was built by the “Zadar Group”, art and other dissidents of that time – Mica Popovic, Pera Mladenovic and Mileta Andrejević, who was replaced the following year by Bata Mihailović, when three beautiful female painters (but also future wives) stayed in Zadar: Ljubinka Jovanovic Mihailović, Vera Popović Božičković and Kosara Boškan Omčikus. They were all students in the class of Professor Ivan Tabaković, which is not insignificant in this story. The group fell apart in 1947, as the result of all the troubles that befell each one in this group of defiant artists. And then, in the early 1950’s, Bata Mihailović painted a portrait of of archimandrite Nikanor Bugunović and donated it to Krka Monastery, which

was the beginning! There, in Zadar, they are long forgotten... although the sisterhood of Krupa Monastery had a close ecumenical and sisterhood connections with the nunnery in Zadar. Krka Monastery was abandoned when in 1995, before “The Storm”, it was left by the last monks – the old old abbot, whose heart snapped in Serbia, where he hid from the vengeful winners, and his younger brother and attendant, who did not want to leave him even when the others followed the people. In the beautiful valley of the Krka River, only three and a half kilometers from Kistanje, upon the wish of Princess Jelena, a sister of Emperor Dušan married to the Croatian Prince Mladen II Subić, the famous ruler of Skradin and Bribir, in 1350 a monastery was built dedicated to the holy archangel Michael. Its lay name is still in use because of the namesake river, the spring of life of the entire region... My destination and lodging. Nearby there is Krupa Monastery, built by Jelena’s grandfather Stefan Nemanja, half a century earlier, so I reckon that my roots go all the way back then, that the Sinobads might have already inhabited this area, and that instills pride. Anyway, a part of Knin still has the name Sinobad Glavica – after one of my ancestors, although he entered the history of Dalmatia only in the 17th century, by waging war against the Turks, because of which he was admitted to the Venetian Order of the Knights of St. Marco! FOURTEEN BISHOPS Krka is an old sanctuary, so the scars of time it carries, and people’s attempts to heal them, are all the more obvious. I am not a historian, but I know from accounts that the monastery was destroyed and left aban-

doned at least three times: in the early 17th century, when the fraternity with students of our oldest Seminary fled from the Turks to Zadar, in 1943, when people fled from the Ustaše, and in 1995, when the monks followed the people in the eve of “The Storm”. And it was looted every time! How did these old buildings carry the burden of time and wars, I don’t know. I guess that the One Above is still taking care of that? At the monastery I found two monks and two painters. One of the painters was my cousin Gula, the second my friend Zdrave. I met (and adopted) immediately those good monks. Abbot Nikodim, young and wise man totally dedicated to the spiritual, a postgraduate student in Rome. He is a descendant of the famous Serbian Dalmatian family which gave birth to some of the great historians and writers. A Dositej was warm, kind-hearted and always smiling. To them I owe my gratitude for not being completely overtaken by memories and possessed by the demons of sorrow. – I would have been different if it had not been the school break – abbot Nikodim consoled me. – It would have been more cheerful, but also more difficult: for young seminarians to learn, for artists to paint, for you to follow all that, but also for the two of them...

 Gathering in Krka Monastery during Transfiguration

Saint Days and Memorial Services In the early 1990’s, painters who gather in Krka chose Saint Magdalena as their Saint Day, not realizing that that day, August 4, 1995, Croats would celebrate as the Day of Liberation in the Civil War. And it is known what happened on that day and why on that same date some other Dalmatians attend memorial services! Isn’t that the same war which apparently failed to end in May of 1945? Fotije, the Bishop of Dalmatia, in order to comfort me and turn me away from gloomy thoughts, says that every storm comes and goes. Did he also refer to “The Storm” when he said that, I don’t know.

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That is how I find out that the Seminary has returned to its former place, returned from the sad exile it had to survive on Divčibare and in Foča. And also that as many as fourteen current bishops of the Serbian Christian Orthodox Church studied at the Seminary in Krka! And how many have there been since its establishment in 1625, only people at the Patriarchy might know? – Today, about thirty boys attend this school, so you must keep your eyes on each one of them, because who knows how far they can go, maybe even to the throne of the patriarch – Zdrave was teasing me. He and my cousin Gula, in Knin less known as Nebojša Sinobad, passionately surrendered themselves to graphics this year. From who knows where they brought an ancient press, maybe a few years younger than the Guttenberg’s, but it works. Why are they printing so much? Isn’t it easier to paint? – Our idea is not only to increase this monastery collection, which already contains works of our greatest painters, but also to do something we might sell – he explained to me in a conspiratorial whisper. – Because they keep us here without complaining, give us food and water, help us as much as they can even when they have more important business... It is only right to return the favor somehow. And they are located in the middle of a national park, there are tourists here from all over. In such a case graphics is the first and foremost. So, what do you think, are we going to get lucky? SURVIVED TWO WARS AND TWO PERIODS OF PEACE I was interested in the existing collection. Indirectly I led the story to my point of interest and learned that this unfortunate collection almost shared the destiny of the people but that she managed to escape by a thread. In 1995, it was relocated before “The Storm”, and during war activities it was exhibited in Sanski Most. Half an hour before entry of the Muslim troops into the city, painter Mihajlo Rakita, managed to take it out and bring it to Banjaluka. But this was not the end of the suffering! Because, in 1999, in the eve of the bombing, it was kept in Prizren. If it hadn’t been for some brave guys from Raška, who literally took it out at the very last moment, it would have remained only in our memory... And I also heard an account about an incredible destiny of the sculptural part of

the collection. Namely, this collection was especially dominated by sculptures, busts and reliefs of important personalities in the history of Dalmatian Serbs (by priest Petar Jagodić Korudža, Sava Bjelanović, Nikodim Milaš, duke Golub Babić, bishop Stefan Knežević) and those who stayed with them for a while (King Petar I, Dositej Obradović, Vuk Karadžić, British benefactor Paulina Irby). The works were exhibited on locations historically tied with these people but, unfortunately, they disappeared from their bases at the time or after “The Storm”. – Fortunately, like a part of a prophecy, they were cast in two copies – I was consoled by abbot Nikodim and Zdrave.

 Serbian church in Knin

TRANSFIGURATION There are catacombs underneath the monastery, formerly used as a crypt, just like in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome. And since it is known that Apostle Paul preached around Dalmatia and in this region, these catacombs are tied to this period. It is very obvious that archaeological explorations have commenced here, but were suddenly interrupted without explanation. Earthly remains of generations of monks, perhaps some earlier ones, are neatly stacked and are a constant target of prying tourists and their cameras, but to me it looked improper, blasphemous, even sad. I was cheered up by an unexpected event - the baptism of eight people, including two girls, two young Polish girls, and their mother married to a Dalmatian. Why are they being baptized in Krka? The reasons were personal, so I didn’t want to pry. And then, on Sunday, August 19, on the Day of Transfiguration of Christ, several thousand people gathered in the monastery and around it: They were all locals, but most of them came from a far, from places they had been exiled to by life or war. For them, this gathering is the last, but also unbreakable link with Dalmatia. Mine is in Knin, on Sinobada Glavica, near an old school where Dositej Obradović taught in the late 18th century. A plaque indicating his stay here is still standing on the façade of the building, but the stone indicating the year of construction of the school building was broken and vanished. Apparently, someone did not like the date that was a reminder of continuity of Orthodox Serbs in this area? Eh, my Dalmatia...  SRPSK A  No 3  2013








On the namesake hill of the Vučijak Mountain, above the left bank of the Bosnia River, the fortification of this formerly important city has been standing here for more than six centuries. Built two years before the Battle of Kosovo, upon approval of the Serbian king of Bosnia and the Littoral Tvrtko I Kotromanić, Dobor has often been in the centre of historical events. Armies of the rulers of Bosnia, Hungary and Turkey clashed here, Tvrtko and Sigismund held councils, emissaries from Rome and Maria Theresa used to come here... Today it is a cultural and historical monument the reconstruction of which is underway By: Damir Kljajić


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his place has been inhabited from times immemorial – discovered archaeological remains date back to prehistoric times. There are traces of baked clay from around 4500 BC, remains of settlements from Bronze and Iron Age, and there are also remains from the Roman period, with an early Slavic fortification. The fortification we are talking about was erected in 1387, in unusual circumstances. It was built by bans of Mačva and Slavonija, brothers Ivan (Ivaniš) and Pavle (Pavao) Horvat, with the approval of Serbian Bosnian King Tvrtko I Kotromanić. When Hungarian King Lajos I died in 1382, battles fro the throne erupted, and Tvrtko profoundly changes the relation toward Hungary. Brothers Horvat negotiate to put on the throne the King of Naples, Karlo Drački, and Jelisaveta, the widow of Lajos I, leads another line with her daughter. Finally, Karlo Drački was crowned as the King of Hungary, but he soon dies in mysterious circumstances, and Jelisaveta’s supporter Sigismund comes to the fore, and becomes the King of Hungary in 1387. As both Tvrtko and brothers Horvat were opponents of the new Hungarian king, they discuss a new joint defense from Hungarians. Tvrtko gives to the Horvats southern territories of Bosnia, including the estates from modern-day Jakeš to Šamac, as well as permission to build a fortification on the “Gates of Bosnia”, on Dobor Hill, which would be of mutual benefit – for Tvrtko it

Findings In explorations from the 1970’s, they found some medieval ceramics, metal objects, Hungarian money, stone cannon balls, arrows. Out of 29 coins, the oldest one is a silver dinar from Dubrovnik from 1366, and the youngest one is Austrian dinar from 1689.

would mean defense from Hungarians, and for the brothers a stronghold for further invasions in Slavonija and Mačva. Soon, two towers, a yard, armories and watchtowers were built on Dobor Hill, and they were all encircled by bulwarks. This is how Dobor-City was created, and it will have a major role in the history of this region for the following few centuries. BATTLES Complicated international relations resulted in two great battles below Dobor, between Bosnian rulers and the Hungarians, in 1394 and 1408. Bosnian king from Kotromanić dynasty, after Tvrtko’s death, was Stefan Dabiša (1391-1395), who managed to keep peace with Hungary for some time. The situation becomes complicated when, in 1392 Sigismund appoints Ivan Frankopan, an enemy of the Horvats, as the ban in Slavonija. He also establishes closer relationships with Hrvoje Vukčić, Dabiša’s sworn enemy. King Dabiša gathers around him Bosnian noblemen and Slavonia dignitaries in order to at-

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R O A D  Remains of Dobor-City, above the left bank of the Bosnia River

G U A R D I A N S tack Sigismund. The plan was that Dabiša’s troops would gather below Dobor-City, where brothers Horvat would also come with their army. However, as the result of a series of unforeseen circumstances, the king’s army remains in the residence in Trstivnica, and Ivan Horvat with his troops of only 6,000 arrives below Dobor. In June 1394, Sigismund with about 30,000 soldiers moves toward Dobor. As the army loyal to Dabiša was not able to defend against much more numerous Sigismund’s forces, it withdrew toward Vučijak. Sigismund quickly arrives below Dobor and starts a chase after scattered Dabiša’s troops. Dabiša himself arrived to the battlefield. Almost all dignitaries were captured and brought to Sigismund under Dobor-City. Dabiša was spared, but was forced to become a vassal. Sigismund destroyed Dobor-City and returned to Đakovo. Soon after Dabiša’s death, Bosnia recognized Sigismund as the king. Sigismund’s charter written on July 15, 1394 “in descensu nostro campestri sub castro Dobor vocato” (“in military camp below the city called Dobor”) is also from this period. From May to September 1408, Sigismund attacks Bosnia again several times. In late May that year, he is below Dobor again, and in early June he returns to Hungary where he gathers large army with more than 60,000 troops. Not strong enough to resist, the army of the Bosnian king is defeated Sigismund achieves his goals. He returns toward Dobor on September 30, and a new battle happens there. He defeated and punished with painful death as many as170 Bosnian dignitaries. This is how the second battle below DoborCity tragically ended, as well as Sigismund’s military campaign in Bosnia. From 1463 to 1536, Dobor was under the rule of Hungarian-Slavonic dignitaries, of whom the Berislavić family ruled for the longest time. TURKEY Soon after the wars against Sigismund, a new threat appears, this time from the

The fate of Horvat Brothers In late August 1394, when Sigismund conquered and set on fire the city of Dobor, his people captured Horvat brothers while fleeing. According to the accounts, he ordered that Ivan Horvat is tied to a horse tail, and he was drawn like that. After that they tore his flesh with red-hot pincers, and then they cut his body into four pieces. Pavle Horvat, who was a priest, apparently had his life spared, but afterwards he disappeared without a trace.


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Turks. This led to a change in political relations in Bosnia, and Dobor remains an important centre. In late 1449, Serbian Bosnian King Stefan Tomaš Ostojić (1443-1461) meets in Dobor with the Ban of Mačva, Ivan Morovićki, and signs a treaty of cooperation with Hungary. In 1457, pope sends from Rome his emissary Caravale, who is met by King Stefan Tomaš under Dobor-City. They agreed on mutual defense from the Turks. In 1460, the Turks occupied the entire Usora, but Dobor and Modriča resisted for more than seven decades. They came under Turkish rule only in 1536. Slavonic dignitary Stefan Berislavić, in addition to the title of the ban of the Hungarian part of Bosnia, was also given the title of Serbian despot, and in 1528 he approached Ferdinand of Habsburg asking him to give him

Dobor and promising to defend him from the Turks. Under Turkish attacks, Stefan defended the entire line in Slavonija, but after a misunderstanding with Ferdinand in 1529 he surrendered to the sultan, who places Dobor under his administration again. Again he tried to repair the relations with Ferdinand, but was killed by the Turks in 1536. Turks soon broke the Hungarian defense belt on the Vrbas, and in 1536 Gazi Husrefbeg conquered Dobor, which becomes the centre of the Turkish nahija under the same name, within Bosnian Sandžak. In 1716, Austrians conquered and destroyed Dobor, and two years later the fortress lost all of its significance. Only in the 1970’s Dobor will be restored, as a cultural and historical monument and a tourist attraction.

LEGENDS For centuries, the Dobor fortress has served as an inspiration for interesting stories and legends. – They say that Dobor was built in nine years and that first the road for transportation of stone from the Bosnia River was built. Since the tower was being built on an inaccessible elevation, the rock was carried from hand to hand and on ox-drawn carts. One villager sat on the cart loaded with rock to rest, the legend says, ox Mrkonja was tied to it. Then the ox turned around and said to his master: “Don’t you think it is enough that I have to pull so much weight, and now I have to pull you as well!” Of all that trouble even the ox started to speak – says historian Đorđe Nijemčević, who has been studying the history of Dobor-City for decades. SRPSK A  No 3  2013




Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk – There is also a story according to which Serbian despot Zmaj Ognjeni Vuk was building new structures in Dobor. Concurrently with the construction of the fortress, he also built a road from Dobor to Gnionica Monastery, which he visited often. Judging by some clues, the monastery most probably existed in the village with the same name – says Nijemčević.

 Remains of the city walls on Dobor Hill Archeologist Branko Belić Historian Đorđe Nijemčević


One of the stories is related to Maria Therese, who was in the Dobor tower with her entourage. – Turks were approaching the tower. As Maria Therese did not have many troops for battle, she decided to flee to Hungary, but before doing that she ordered that the horses are shoed upside down. She sneaked out through the side exit from the tower. When, in the morning, the Turks came close to the fortress and surrounded it, they followed horseshoe prints that led him to the tower. But when they came to the tower they realized that nobody was there – says Nijemčević. Another legend has been preserved by people, the one about “the running away of the church”. – According to the legend, there used to be a church on Dobor which “gloomed, but did not rise”. One night it sailed down the Bosnia River, then into Sava, and finally arrived in Đakovo and buried itself there, but

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its wet walls were testimony about its fleeing down the rivers – says Nijemčević. RECONSTRUCTION The fortress was built in phases until the mid 15th century, when it got its final appearance of the city-tower encircled by city walls. Due to its extremely important strategic location, it was destroyed and restored many times. Today, bulwarks and towers are well preserved. The city of Dobor, the experts emphasize, is one of the rare examples of defense architecture of the late Middle Ages which have preserved the shapes from the time in which they were built. – Dobor testifies on important events and personalities in the history of medieval Bosnian state. Civilizations met and clashed there, and its significance is immeasurable. Explorations of Dobor were conducted in the 1970’s, when the leaders on Modriča municipality of that time prepared the project of revitalization of Dobor – says archaeologist Branko Belić, who has spent several decades researching this medieval town. War events interrupted all plans for restoration of Dobor-City. It remained inaccessible for a long time because of the mine fields. Activities on its restoration and reconstruction have been resumed recently. – Dobor-City is a cultural and historical heritage of exceptional significance and its preservation is one of our priorities. After we resolve administrative and technical issues with Modriča municipality, we are planning to start activities on reconstruction of Dobor, within the Ljubljana Process 2 which is financed by the Council of Europe – they say at the Republic Institute for Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of Republika Srpska. Within the project “The first phase of reconstruction of Dobor-City”, which was financed by the Ministry of Trade and Tourism of Srpska, the terrain has been cleared and it was verified again that there were no unexploded devices from the last war. In the Tourist Organization of Modriča they say that this year they will apply for funds to build roads, put benches and other content for the visitors. In 2005, the architectural unit Old Town Dobor was declared a national monument of B&H. Archaeological findings from this location are today kept in museums in Doboj and Sarajevo. 

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Austro-Hungarian guards escorting Gavrilo Princip


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Gentle Young Man and Cry of Freedom

He became famous unexpectedly, yet remained almost unknown for many. Not many people today know that he was a caring son, excellent student and fine poet. That he was named after Archangel Gabriel, on whose day he was born. That he read a lot and was a newspaper reporter. He worked on paving the Karađorđeva Street in Belgrade to earn money for books. He passionately longed to become Serbian volunteer in the First Balkan War, reached all the way to Prokuplje, but was sent back due to his fragile health. His only preserved poem is the one carved with a spoon on a prison dish By: Petar Stojanović


years ago, I met Gavrilo’s cousin Bogdan Princip in Sarajevo, where he lived with his wife and daughter. He told me about the big Princip family, Montenegrin origins and the time their ancestors moved to Veliki Obljaj near Bosansko Grahovo. – We are from a peasant family – says Bogdan. – Gavrilo’s father Pero, whom we used to call Pepo, had a bit less than two hectares of land, but such that the corn picked from it wasn’t enough to feed his family. Old Pepe therefore transported goods for merchants and was the village postman, which was also the job of Gavrilo’s grandfather. Pepo had nine children with Nana, but only Jova, Gavrilo and Nikola survived (the latter became a doctor and was savagely killed by the ustashas in 1941 in the Jasenovac concentration camp). Gavrilo was born on the floor, by the fireplace, in a Bosnian house covered with shingle, continues Bogdan Princip. – Watching the women tying the child’s bellybutton, Nana had the strength to ask her cousin Janja to go to priest Ilija and tell him to register the newborn as Špira. She wanted him to be as strong as her brother with the same name. However the priest opposed. “What Špira!?” he

yelled at the terrified young woman. “Tell Nana that the child is born on the day of Holy Archangel Gabriel and that his name will be Gavrilo.” Janja told the whole story, and Nana couldn’t dispute the priest’s words. The child was baptized eleven days later, and the priest registered him as born on June 25 instead of July 25, 1894. Gavro was almost convicted to death by hanging, because this mistake made him officially adult. We read in the court documents that the judge called Gavrilo’s mother as a witness and she testified that her son was

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 Parents of Gavrilo Princip, Nana and Petar



Princip in Belgrade Expelled from the sixth grade of the Sarajevo gymnasium because of his participation in the anti-Austrian protests, Gavrilo Princip spent part of 1912 in Belgrade. He spent most of his time with his friends from Bosnia and Serbia, discussing liberation and uniting. He supported himself by working different jobs and finished two grades of the gymnasium in Belgrade. During the First Balkan War, he enrolled in the Serbian army, went all the way to Prokuplje, but wasn’t accepted due to his weakness and fragile health.

born on July 25. Thanks to that, Gavrilo wasn’t treated as an adult before the court, so he avoided the death penalty. GAVRA BUYING A HAT

 The last walk through the occupied country: Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, June 28, 1914


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This is how Bogdan Princip describes his brother Gavra: – He was a gentle and caring boy, especially towards his mother Nana. He was very happy when he started attending elementary school at the age of nine. Even before that, he liked carrying around books, although he still wasn’t a schoolboy. He went to school, but during the day took care of turkeys and helped his mother with house chores. During vacations he worked in the fields, mowed, led the horses during reaping. He wasn’t afraid of any work. Bogdan stopped to light a cigarette, when his Ljubica came and put a bowler hat on the desk, “the only memory of Gavra”. Going through archives, I came upon the memory of Svetislav Tornjanski, teacher, about buying hats with Gavra in a shop in Sarajevo. – Take this one, real Viennese goods “Wiener-vare” – said the merchant to Gavrilo. – I wanted to buy this hat, but now I won’t – said Gavrilo. – If you had told me the hat was from Kumanovo or something, I would’ve taken it regardless of the price. But Viennese goods are no longer selling in our Bosnia. Then the teacher raised another hat and told Gavra: – Take this one, it’s from Kumanovo. That day, teacher Tornjanski and Gavrilo Princip bought same hats. That Gavrilo’s hat was before me, with the re-

mark of my hosts that it’s a shame it isn’t in the “Young Bosnia” Museum, where Gavrilo’s clothes are kept. Bogdan Princip keeps the stenographic notes from the conversation Gavrilo Princip had in the prison solitary confinement with the Austrian prison doctor Dr Martin Pappenheim. He met Gavrilo three times, once in February and twice in May 1916. Princip fell seriously ill in the dark cell, in which Hadži Loja, the first prisoner from Bosnia, was confined before him. The doctor describes that Gavrilo is tired of suffering and longing for Bosnia. He tells the doctor: – I’ve been in the cell all this time. They unchained me for the first time only three days ago. He wore the chains 24 hours a day, for two entire years. He confides in the doctor that his love for a girl has not vanished, but he’s not writing her letters. He admits he has never even kissed her. He attended a private school, often was lonely, spent much of his time in libraries. He wrote poems, but only one was preserved. Drago Kalember, former prisoner, salesman, told us the famous and excellent verses Princip engraved with a spoon on a dish in the Sarajevo prison, during the trial. THREADS OF UPRISING TIGHTENING Gavrilo’s cousins say that he was an excellent student in elementary school, so his wish to continue his education in Sarajevo was fulfilled. His brother Jovo, merchant, enrolled him in the Commercial School in 1907, when he was thirteen years old.

Cyrillic Alphabet and Feeling Interestingly, the minutes of the investigating judge after the Assassination were written both in German and Serbian. Those in Serbian were in Cyrillic. The minutes were kept in the Land Museum in Sarajevo, and were shown to us 50 years ago by curator Cvetko Popović, one of the six assassinators distributed along the quay on June 28, 1914. – That day, you could easily find not only six, but twenty assassinators – told us Popović. – Such was the feeling of the people, especially the youth.

 Prison in Terezin, today Czech Republic, where Gavrilo Princip died. Vladimir Gaćinović (left), an ideologist of “Young Bosnia”. Gavrilo Princip’s arrest after the assassination. SRPSK A  No 3  2013



Will and Way – My ideal was one Yugoslav republic, generally a Slavic republic – said Nedeljko Čabrinović, typographer, on the first day of the trial, answering the question of the president of the panel of judges Aloysius Kurinaldi. – How do you think it can be achieved? – asked the judge. – Our wish is to unite Bosnia and Herzegovina with Serbia. That is also the opinion of Princip and my other colleagues from “Young Bosnia”.

 A place in Sarajevo from where the assassination of 1914 took place. Prison cell of Gavrilo Princip in Terezin


Besides literature, he was also interested in politics as a student. He immediately became involved in high school nationalliberation organizations and was soon noticed. When the Serbo-Croatian Progressive Organization was founded in Sarajevo in 1911, its president was Ivo Andrić, later Nobel prize winner, and its members Gavrilo Princip, Lazar Đukić, Trifko Grabež, Sadija Nikšić, Ivo Kranjčević, Josip Vrinjanin, Ibro Fazinović (almost all of them conspirators on St. Vid’s Day of 1914). The spirits of high school youth became turbulent. They came into conflicts with the police and school authorities. Many young people were expelled from gymnasiums and other high schools. The youngest generation openly rose against the Austro-Hungarian occupying regime. Assassinations began. Žerajić, Jukić, Dojčić, Planinščak shot occupying politicians and soldiers. On the day of Jukić’s assassination of the Croatian ban on June 8, 1912, Ivo Andrić wrote in his diary: “Jukić assassinated Cuvaj today… How beautifully the secret threads of deeds and uprising tighten. How joyfully I anticipate the days of great deeds. The hayduk blood is rising and burning. Long live those dying on the boardwalks fainting from fury and gunpowder, feeling pain from the common

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shame. Long live those shy and silent ones preparing the uprising in dark rooms.” So Princip began fighting with a book and in demonstrations already as a boy. His friends emphasize that he was one of the most militant among them. Already as a student, he was getting the shape of a national revolutionary. “He didn’t like his friends calling him Little Gavra because of his short stature, while he liked the nickname Gavroš, after the boy from Hugo’s Les Miserables who died in the barricades. We called him by this nickname until the Sarajevo assassination”, notes Drago Ljubibratić. Vladimir Gaćinović, student and revolutionary, leader of “Young Bosnia” stated Gavrilo Princip as an example: “At the meetings of our group, Princip, the youngest among us, was always reserved and humble, and always stood on the side. He avoided theoretical discussions, but he always asked for books and read them insatiably. Already at the age of fourteen, Princip entered the group of national enlightenment, and spent part of his high school days in Belgrade.” Princip soon became famous and popular. Almost all his friends mention him in their mutual correspondence, just as they do with Nedeljko Čabrinović, regardless of whether they write from Serbia, where they gathered on Zeleni Venac in Belgrade, most often in the “Moruna” tavern, which offered them cheap meals, or from abroad. THERE WAS NO TIME FOR TALENT In a letter to Borivoje Jevtić, member of “Young Bosnia” and writer, Miloš Pjanić asks: “How is Gavro? Is he yelling: ‘Long live the revolution’? Send my regards to him!”

“Although hunger and poverty were often”, writes Borivoje Jevtić, “in Belgrade, Piedmont of Yugoslavia, people lived and breathed freely: it was a kind of a resting place after the Austrian persecution.” Gavrilo had many worries. There was never enough money, not even for a small room and cheap food in Zeleni Venac. His brother Jovo regularly sent him money, but he would soon spend it helping friends who didn’t have anyone to support them. Princip used to work on paving Karađorđeva Street in Belgrade to earn money for food and books. While working on a construction site in Belgrade, he fell and seriously injured his nose, which can be noticed on later photographs from the Austrian courthouse and dungeon. Princip and Čabrinović always bought books. (Once Čabrinović spent all the money he had received from home for the return ticket to Sarajevo on books. Then he sent the books by train, in a cheap suitcase, and returned to Sarajevo on foot.) Princip’s activities, writes Gaćinović, started at the age of fourteen and continued until the assassination, when he turned nineteen. He even had time to be a newspaper reporter, which is little known. At the same time, he wrote verses and prose and privately took exams of the gymnasium he was expelled from. At the age of nineteen, he was a political reporter, which can be seen in his report written for

the Sarajevo based Narod on December 10, 1913, during the elections in Hadžići. Princip openly condemns the pressure of the police and gendarmes on voters during the elections. He doesn’t use phrases, he depicts the atmosphere, notes details. “Eight gendarmes came to the elections”, he writes. “Besides their main role to watch these ‘wild people’, so they wouldn’t make incidents, they had another, more important one – to threaten and force people to vote for the government’s candidate Vukan Kuljanin. Besides them, many officials came very early and began agitating for the government’s candidate. The election committee was entirely made of people placed by the government, except for one honorable housefather, and they were all illiterate.” These lines show a formed character, a fighter who doesn’t fear consequences. Forming of such a character – wrote his friend B. Jevtić – was influenced by him being the direct witness of the troubles our people lived in. Princip is a village child. Ever since his early childhood, he was marked by the features of his homeland: courage and persistence, tendency to clam up and long periods of silence. However, from that soil he also took the pure and immaculate instinct of the race, built into long traditions. Starved, ill, tortured in the Theresian dungeon, he died in 1918.  SRPSK A  No 3  2013

 Trial to the members of “Young Bosnia” who participated in the assassination in Sarajevo in1914.



Park and monument of ban Milosavljević, Banski Dvor and the seat of President of Srpska


From the Golden Age of Bannate

In only four and a half years (1929-1934), ban Svetislav Milosavljević created the modern face of Banjaluka and rejuvenated the Vrbas Bannate of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. More than 300 schools were built, as well as roads, hotels, hospitals, theaters... Almost all old buildings that are today the symbols of this city were built at that time. The most dominant among them is certainly the representative palace, which was then the seat of the ban himself, and which is now the cultural centre of the capital of Srpska By: Sandra Josović

Photographs: Archive of Banski Dvor, Museum of Srpska, Sandra Josović



hen Svetislav Tisa Milosavljević arrived in Banjaluka, the seat of the Vrbas Bannate, on November 8, 1929, he found a sleepy town with a population of about 20,000. The administration, placed in unsightly rooms of Hotel “Balkan”, consisted of only fourteen officers, including typists and support staff. Having taken the office of the ban, which was entrusted to him in October that year by King Aleksandar, Milosavljević also took over the task to turn Banjaluka into the capital of the Bannate, one of the metropolises of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Only four and a half years later, having SRPSK A  БРОЈ 3  2013

completed the task, he leaves the city on the Vrbas and leaves to assume new duties. He leaves behind the rejuvenated Bannate and modern Banjaluka dominated by monumental modern buildings and cultural monuments. One of the most striking edifices is certainly Banski Dvor, representative residence of the ban himself, built in 1932, today the heart of the cultural life of Banjaluka. YEARS OF THRIVING After arriving in Banjaluka, ban Milosavljević immediately initiates reorganization

of the city administration. He establishes eight departments and three inspectorates, in accordance with the Law on the Bannate Administration. Bannate administration was temporarily placed in the building of the Railway Directorate. As soon as land has been secured, they start construction of the building where the administration would move, as well as the court envisaged as residence of the ban and his family, and seven buildings with 50 apartments for bannate clerks. The situation encountered by Milosavljević require fast pace of construction, The ban had his hands full. Educated, energetic and decisive, he did not care for obstacles. He was the right person to lead the Vrbas Bannate, committed to becoming one of the most powerful in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In the following years, more than 300 schools are being built across the Bannate, roads, hospitals, hotels, theaters... The buildings that make the citizens of these municipalities proud until today. In 1930, in the Official Gazette of the Vrbas Bannate, an open call was published for preparation of preliminary design for Banski Dvor and Bannate administration. Citizens of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia were eligible to participate, and prizes were secured for the best ideas. The first prize went to a group of architects from Belgrade composed of Jovan Ranković, Anđelija Pavlović and Jovanka Katerinić–Bončić. Preparations for the construction began soon, on August 27, 1930. FOUR PACKS OF GOSSIP The construction of Banski Dvor began on March 31, 1931, and was finished on November 8, 1932, exactly four years after ban’s arrival in Banjaluka. These buildings made a harmonious unit with Christian Orthodox church in the centre. Their construction drew full attention of the press of that time, and there was no shortage of problems either, speculations and tripping. And so, the king was informed that the ban is building a luxurious castle for himself, more luxurious than his castle in Dedinje. The rumors were refuted by the ban himself. At the audience with the king, he explained that bannate cabinet,

Ban Svetislav Tisa Milosavljević was born on September 7, 1882 in Niš, where he finished elementary school and six grades of Gymnasium, and after that graduated from the Military Academy with excellent marks. He participated in World War One, then held important military offices. For his significant contribution he was decorated and promoted. In 1926, he was appointed Minister of Traffic, and on October 9, 1929, pursuant to the king’s decree, he was appointed the ban of the Vrbas Bannate.

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E D I F I C E S secretariat, bannate council, audience hall, offices of the Red Cross administration and, finally, a six bedroom apartment will be placed in the building. The king had no objections. Providing accommodation for the ban, who came to Banjaluka from Niš, was necessary. Historian Janko Vračar, senior curator of the Museum of Srpska, explains that, unlike the centers of other bannates, and there were nine of them in total in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Banjaluka did not have representational buildings that could have served for administrative, cultural or housing purposes. In the beginning, Tisa Milosavljević stayed in Villa “Božić”, and the bannate administration, as we already mentioned, in the rooms of Hotel “Balkan”. – Unlike the modern city administration, where the bannate administration sued to be placed, Banski Dvor was more of a representative building – says Vračar. – It is one of a few buildings in this region that has been preserved in almost original appearance. Wars, earthquakes, destruction of some and building of other structures, led to the situation that it is truly rare to have a building like that here. IN THE SPIRIT OF OLD ELEGANCE The original design documents for the construction of Banski Dvor Palace are kept in the Archives of Srpska in Banjaluka. On the basis of these documents it is possible to partially reconstruct the original look of the interior. The original ground floor area was intended for official and public contents, there was a council hall there for the session of the assembly of the Vrbas Bannate. The first floor included business and public areas, as well as facilities for accommodation of important guests. The second floor was intended as the residence for the ban and his family. For the construction of all interior areas, high quality materials were used, and for certain rooms very luxurious ones. Details of the interior design were elaborated in detail and with precision: from the drawing for every hinge on the door, to details of the grating for wiping of shoes. Banski Dvor suffered the greatest damages during World War Two, when German headquarters were placed in it. In this period, the Main Auditorium was used as a cereal warehouse, and for a while even as a horse barn. During the war the interiors were ruined, and a large part of precious furniture and equipment was looted. After World War Two, big investments were made in the reparation of Banski Dvor, and the tenants were also changed. In 1953, during the restoration, it was proposed that the building should be given the name and function of the Workers’ Club. From 1954, it becomes the venue for concert, ballet and theatre performances, as well as literary evenings... In the earthquake that hit Banjaluka in 1969, the building


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was severely damaged again. The restoration, in accordance with the original design documents, was completed in 1972. In 1976, the building was declared a cultural and historical heritage and was included in the Registry of Cultural Goods of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Today it is the cultural centre of Banjaluka.

The End of the Mission After exceptional performance, the true restoration he brought, Svetislav Milosavljević leaves the office of the ban of the Vrbas Bannate in 1934, and goes to Belgrade, taking the office of Minister of Traffic. He retired in 1935. He spent World War Two in the occupied Belgrade, writing his memoirs. He died peacefully, surrounded by family, on July 28, 1960. In the centre of Banjaluka, a monument was erected to ban Milosavljević, one of the symbols of this city.

CULTURAL FOCAL POINT Banski Dvor today is a venue for numerous concerts, exhibitions, literary evenings, traditional events. Every year the number of activities is increased. In recent years, as the result of numerous cultural events, even the usual summer break no longer exists. Milorad Petrić, director of this building, says that for the first time in its history Banski Dvor is fully dedicated to culture. – In the past two years, Banski Dvor has been an independent institution for the first time. Since its establishment, there have been tenants inside, even during the times of the Bannate. Today, it fully belongs to culture and its total capacity has been made available to the arts – says Petrić. The last tenant was Radio-Television of Republika Srpska, and according to the evaluation of expert committee, the area they used is now no longer usable. After restoration, says Petrić, these rooms will be used for a museum exhibition about Banski Dvor or the city of Banjaluka. – This area is now closed. We will wait some better times, when we will be able to reconstruct it. Meanwhile, next year we

will restore the façade, joinery and the roof. It is also necessary to improve technical capacities, to provide the artists with modern working conditions. – Everything that is significant in artistic life of Banjaluka is happening in Banski Dvor, because it has the necessary capacity – says Petrić. – Musicians have available an exceptional hall, one of the halls with best acoustics in Europe. For literary evenings and lectures there is the council hall, and there are also exhibition halls. Many important and exciting things have happened in the halls of Banski Dvor. It has been a host to bans, writers, musicians, politicians, even heads of states, and its doors are wide open for future generations as well. Thanks to the funds channeled by King Aleksandar into the Vrbas Bannate, Tisa Milosavljević built this palace as well as more than five hundred other buildings. It is no wonder that in 1934, when he was leaving the office of ban, on his way to Belgrade over ten thousand people from Banjaluka and the entire Bannate gathered to bid him farewell Beograd. 

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 Banski Dvor and portrait of Tisa Milosavljević




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Jovan’s Dream Came True

Without this museum, Herzegovina would not be the same country. Dučić, the great poet from Trebinje, intended to build Sokolski dom with a museum, library and art gallery. He did not manage to realize his wish, but he donated to the future Museum a valuable art collection, one of eight current permanent exhibitions. Approaching its 60th anniversary, people from this important institution believe that its golden age is yet to come By: Sonja Belić


he Museum of Herzegovina in Trebinje today has as many as eight permanent exhibitions, but not all of its treasures have seen the light of day yet. The wealth, people at the Museum say, is not based only on the number of unique artifacts, but on the complex chronology, uninterrupted from the Paleolithic Age until today. It is not known when and who came to the idea to found this museum. It is only known that Jovan Dučić had the idea to found Sokolski dom with a museum, library and art gallery, and he was buying decorative elements, reliefs and sculptures from various epochs in Italy. Unfortunately, he did not realize his wish during his lifetime, but thanks to him, the Museum today has exhibits of high value.

DECADES OF GREAT EFFORT After the end of World War Two, after several years of preparations and efforts, the County Home Museum in Trebinje, as the modern Museum of Herzegovina was called then, was officially founded on September 30, 1955, in the decision of the National Committee of the County of

The Building – The Museum of Herzegovina is situated in the Old Town, in the building of a former gymnasium, or Austro-Hungarian barracks – says Veseljka Salatić. – The building with ancillary structures (the tower, the postal building for carrier pigeons, yard encircled with medieval bulwarks) is an attractive outdoor complex. The Museum has an exhibition area, room for literary evenings and promotions, concert hall, library...

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T R E A S U R I E S  A part of historical exhibition of the Museum of Herzegovina

Trebinje. It was covering the area of Southeast Herzegovina, and its first task was to collect exhibits and complement collections, but also to employ professional staff and solve the issue of housing. Until July of the following year, the Mu­seum was managed by the Founding Board, after which the Museum Council was formed, consisting of seven members. The first full time employee of the Museum was Stevan Kijac, who started his duty in 1956 as the conservator and modeler. Until March 1, 1957, duty of the director was performed on a free-lance basis by Drago Đedović, a history teacher, and then enologist Ljubinka Kojić was appointed the director. The true museum activity began in 1957. That year, the Museum completed its first archaeological excavation in the St. Peter’s Church in Zavala. They also began to assemble the museum library. In June of 1958, the institution changes its name into Home Museum, and in 1961 it presented itself for the first time with permanent exhibition “Trebinje Region in the National Liberation War and Revolution”. The exhibition remained open for visitors until October 1969. The Museum enters a difficult period already in 1964, when it was left without a single professional employee, after departure of Ljubinka Kojić. In early 1966, Marijan Sivrić, a history professor, was appointed the curator-historian and director of this institution (he performed this duty until 1992). In October 1966, the Museum releases its first publication – Trebinje I by Vojislav Korać. In early October 1969, in the spirit of the era, new exhibition was opened, called “Development of Labor Movement in Trebinje Region by 1941.” A year later, the Archaeological Exhibition was opened, with an intention that it would be a longterm permanent exhibition. In early 1972, the Museum gets its curator-archeologist, and then new curator-historians. It launches magazine Tribunia (the first edition was published in

Historical Exhibition Permanent exhibition “Cultural and Historical Development of the Trebinje Region from the end of the 20th century until mid 21st century” is a complex exhibition, divided into five sections, by historical periods.


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1975), and is given the task to get involved in scientific and research work. The 1980’s were marked by organizational changes and wandering, again in accordance with general trends in the society. There were no many possibilities for a more serious exhibition activity. After many years and moving round, in 1989 the Museum finally solves its accommodation problem. The building of a former gymnasium in the Old Town of Trebinje was adapted for the needs of the Museum. Between 1992 and 2007, the institution is managed by Đorđo Odavić, and from then until today by Veseljka Salatić. OLD TEMPTATIONS, NEW FORGING – The most difficult period in the history of the Museum was certainly the war from 1991 to 1995. Museum exhibits were packed and transferred to a location where there were no war activities... The building itself and a part of the movable cultural heritage were damaged during the bombing at that time – says Salatić. However, even in that period, in 1993, the Museum managed to organize exhibition “Stone Plastic”, with exhibits from the legacy of Jovan Dučić. After 33 years, the art audience, critics and cultural public in general had an opportunity to see a part of Jovan Dučić’s legacy for the first time. The institution was unofficially named The Museum of Herzegovina in 1994, and officially on April 19, 2001, by the decision of the Assembly of the Municipality of Trebinje. After the end of the warm the conditions were created that the Museum achieves full affirmation in all areas of activity. The emphasis was placed on exhibition activity, and that primarily on permanent exhibitions. Today, the Museum has five experts – art historian, historian, archaeologist, enologist and biologist. THROUGH ALL TIMES – The Museum of Herzegovina has eight permanent exhibitions: Dučić’s collection, Archaeological, Ethnographic exhibition, Memorial exhibitions of paintings of Atanasije Popović, City House from the end of the 19th century and the early 20th century, Cultural and Historical Development of the Trebinje Region from the end of the 20th century until mid 21st century. There

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are also two legacies: legacy of painter Milena Šotra and legacy of Radovan Ždral “The Stone’s World” – says Veseljka Salatić. Unfortunately, due to the lack of exhibition space, the legacy of painter Milorad Ćorović and legacy of art paintings of Mirko Kujačić are not available to the public. Permanent archaeological exhibition covers periods from prehistory until Middle Ages. – Eastern Herzegovina has numerous archaeological sites from all periods. Prehistoric exhibits of the Museum includes stone knives from the Neolithic, then remains of Illyrian fortifications where parts of ceramic dishes and other portable materials were found – explains Salatić. Within this collection, a large number of exhibits from the 5th century BC are displayed, imported Greek ceramics, metal objects, bronze needles, helmets, silver buckles and fibula... – From the period of medieval Travunija, there are tombstones of prefects of Trebinje, which are some of the oldest inscriptions in Cyrillic in the Balkans. We should also mention the cultural and historical heritage from the medieval town of Mičevac, at that time the main customs point between Dubrovnik and the interior. Also exhibited are medieval epitaphs, parts of medieval war equipment and many more – says Salatić. CONTINUOUS ENRICHMENT – The collection donated by the famous poet and diplomat Jovan Dučić includes precious art exhibits of made of stone, sculptures, decorative reliefs, paintings, mosaic, tapestry... The collection also includes Dučić’s ambassador’s suit, medals he received in different parts of the world, original manuscripts, the poet’s piano. Permanent Memorial Exhibition of Atanasije Popović is a gift to Trebinje from the artist’s brother Uroš Popović. Department of Ethnology has in its permanent exhibition about 500 exhibits of traditional material culture. The exhibits were collected in the area of Eastern Herzegovina. – Legacy of Milena Šotra enriched in 1989 the museum collection, when the gallery of this benefactor was opened. Her collection consists of 24 oil paintings with motifs from Herzegovina, mostly landscapes, where the painter offers her vision

Legacy of Milena Šotra Family Gaćinović–Šotra donated to the Museum u Herzegovina a collection of paintings, graphics and sculptures. The collection consists of fifty one art works, mostly works by Milena Šotra– Gaćinović and Branko Šotra, sculptor Luka Tomanović, Marko Brežanin and others.

of Herzegovina, in warm Mediterranean colors, and 61 paintings from series “Travel essays through Russia and Ukraine”. These are vast Russian landscapes painted from the train – adds Salatić. Permanent Exhibition of Radovan Ždral is a gift from this writer and sculptor, born in Bileća. – Exhibition “The Stone’s Flower” was opened in 2006. The collection consists of 120 sculptures made of minerals and semiprecious stones found in various Serbian areas. Unique collection on the European scale, made of hard materials, unique and marvelous – explains Salatić. Collections of the Museum of Herzegovina are continuously being enriched, through purchases, field research and donations, and are occasionally displayed in different galleries. The Museum is currently planning to organize an exhibition of Ljubomir Milojević, a painter from Trebinje, exhibition on Ustasha crimes and genocide “My Jadovno”, exhibition Visconti Fine Art Kolizey from “Ljubljana” Gallery... – According to experts, the Museum of Herzegovina is one of the most significant in Srpska. We hope that the Golden Age of this institution is yet to come – says Veseljka Salatić. – If we manage to restore the interior of the building, as we did with its exterior, and if we complete the commenced permanent exhibition “Natural treasure of the Trebišnjica River Basin”, it will be new big steps forward.  SRPSK A  No 3  2013




Culture of Memory

in Images

It is one of the youngest cultural institutions, but also one of important cultural foundations of the Republic. With its roots in difficult war years, it is not a rich heiress but started from scratch, on barren land. Today it has a big collection of feature and documentary films, old and new, domestic and foreign. There are also film journals, video and audio recordings, collection supporting film materials, just like those who know how much we need all this By: Aleksandra Glišić

Photographs: Film Archive of Srpska



he Film Archive of Republika Srpska, which celebrated its 20 anniversary last year from the beginning of the works on building a film archive, has a collection of feature films on 35 mm film, a collection of documentary films, as well as over 300 negatives, various archive materials, film journals, as well as a large collection of video, digital and audio recordings. Director of the Film Archive of Srpska Milovan Pandurević says that the collection SRPSK A  БРОЈ 3  2013

of feature films consists of more than 1,500 titles, both local and foreign production. This institution is also proud of its collection of almost a thousand titles of documentary films created in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, from 1945 to 1991. The main activity of this state cultural institution film archiving – it is collecting, permanently storing and professionally processing films, film materials, and associated film documents (posters, photographs, film

publications, catalogues, brochures, advertising materials, documentation), as well as old items in the area of cinematography. The Film Archive also organizes educational film programs, lectures, exhibitions, workshops. – We want to make all the materials that we keep available to researchers, students, general public. We are also trying to cooperate with similar institutions in the country and abroad, exchanging films and film materials – says Pandurević. In order to indicate the significance of this institution, its managers created the film From “Srna Film” to Film Archive of Republika Srpska. In 20 minutes of this film, they told the story about the origins of the Film Archive. – It is not only a story about the origins of an institution, but also about great enthusiasm, huge creative energy, collective spirit, desire and willingness to create and leave a trace even in extreme conditions of war – explains Pandurević. The founders of the Film Archive, most of them already experienced and proven artists in the former Radio and Television Sarajevo, acted spontaneously in the conditions that were not conducive to culture. – At that time, culture could not be the priority of the society. However, it is important for Republika Srpska that the idea

about establishing the Film Archive crystal Film Archive as the centre: lized even then. Already during the estabBožidar Zečević lishment of “Srna film” they were thinking and Nikola about a film archive. The most important Majdak. Milovan task of the newly founded film company Pandurević was, as stated in the founding agreement, and Ljiljana to “create, collect and permanently preserve Blagojević. film material about immediate events”. And Tihomir Stanić so we embarked on that journey – remembers Pandurević. THAT SUMMER WHEN EVERYTHING BEGAN The idea about production came spontaneously. From the recorded materials they created the first documentary films in Republika Srpska. Already in 1992, they edited short documentary I Spent the Summer, which was signed by Zoran Maslić and Miodrag Tarana.

The Founders The Film Archive of Republika Srpska is the legal successor of “Srna Film”, the first production company in Srpska. – I don’t have enough words to express my gratitude to all associates who participated in the creation of the Film Archive of Srpska. Before everybody else, I must mention Miodrag Tarana, the founder and first director of “Srna Film” who, like many others, is no longer with us – says Milovan Pandurević. SRPSK A  No 3  2013



– For the history of cinematography of Srpska, this film has multifold significance: the first documentary, the first awarded documentary film from Srpska, and in this way, as newly established production company, “Srna Film” will bring the first prize in the field of culture to Republika Srpska, in 1993, from the fortieth Festival of Yugoslav Short and Documentary Film in Belgrade (for the best documentary film in video selection) – says Pandurević. Documentary films of “Srna Film” represented the cinematography of Srpska at international festival “Golden Knight” in Russia and won awards. – One of the youngest cultural institutions in Srpska the Film Archive was created and developed, without inheriting, like others, any material, infrastructural or human resources – continues Pandurević. All well known film archives around the world were established in the 1930’s. Yugoslav Film Archive in Belgrade was founded in 1949. – After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, the newly founded states were creating their own film archives, of former Yugoslav

Support Milovan Pandurević emphasized the significance of cooperation with the Film Archive of Srpska from Belgrade and its long time support. – We are especially grateful to the management of the Yugoslav Film Archive, Radoslav Zelenović and Aleksandar Erdeljanović – says Milovan Pandurević.


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republics (Croatian and Macedonian had been founded earlier), whether within the archive or as independent institutions. For the Film Archive of Srpska, the following three years were important: 1992, when “Srna Film” was founded, 1995, when the Law on Cultural Goods defined the activity of the Film Archive within “Srna Film”, 2009, when the government of Srpska decided to transform public company “Srna Film” into institution the Film Archive of Republika Srpska. Pandurević explains that in the budget of the Film Archive everything is important. – Every meter of film is valuable, every document that testifies on a certain era. For example, in the past war many were making movies everywhere, but most of these recordings, unfortunately, have never come to the Film Archive. Many individual were later making money from those materials. Numerous documents have disappeared without a trace. It happened everywhere. Of course, one never knows, maybe some important recordings show up eventually. It’s been known to happen in the area of film archiving. TOWARD WORLD STANDARDS A separate fund of the Film Archive of Srpska consists of materials created after 1992: the entire archive and documentary production of “Srna Film”. Within this production, more than thirty titles were

created: UN pro War and Bukvar bukvica by Milenko Jovanović, Return to the Southern Mountains by Slavko Milanović, My Milan by Duško Anđić, Amputirci, Souvenir, A Letter to Ivan, Crime Scene and Destroyed Temples by Milovan Pandurević, What Time of Night is This and Life by Dragan Elčić... There are also films from other producers and authors from Srpska who gave their films to the Film Archive (Rade Simović, Simo Brdar, Snježan Lalović...). The most important support to the creation and work of the Film Archive of Srpska came from the Yugoslav Film Archive in Belgrade. In addition to professional and moral support, Belgrade Film Archive is also the greatest donor: it donated to the Film Archive of Srpska several hundred feature and documentary films. – Among individual donations of film artists, we must single out the support from actress Ljiljana Blagojević and actor Tihomir Stanić, as well as playwright and director Siniša Kovačević. They recognized the Film Archive of Srpska as an institution in which their film treasury will be permanently preserved – emphasizes Pandurević. The archive in which film documents of Srpska are being preserved is located several kilometers from the centre of Pale, in a former military building given to the Film Archive for permanent use. – Although the building is perfect for the storing of film materials and spacious enough, it is located in a very attractive

place, there have been no big investments since its property-legal status has not been resolved yet. And investments are necessary for adaptation and technical furnishing of the Film Archive, in accordance with international standards. This is one of the preconditions for the Film Archive of Srpska to join the European and World Association of Film Archives. Partial adaptation and reconstruction of the building was completed with their own funds and based on the effort of a few employees, but this is not enough. – With previous effort, but mostly enthusiasm, we have created a solid foundation for further development of this institution. The Film Archive currently has several adequate depots for film materials, warehouses for technical equipment, workshops, editing rooms, projection auditorium, exhibition space, but all this is still far from the prescribed standards. Without significant financial investments, both for the building and equipment, it is difficult to define clear directions for development – concludes Pandurević. 

The Campus For several years, the Film Archive of Srpska has been organizing a special educational program intended primarily for students – several days long “Film Campus” in our archives, with participation of well known film authors, archivists, critics and film historians. The program has started as a special kind of cooperation between the Film Archive of Srpska, Academy of Arts from Banjaluka and the Faculty of Philosophy from Serbian Sarajevo.

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Time Passes, “Unity” Stays

Founded in the 19th century to act in Serbian countries in accordance with its name, it has assumed serious duties, high and noble. Saint Sava became its symbol, Aleksa Šantić in 1905 wrote a beautiful poem, generations of choir leaders raised high and maintained the scale of quality. Nurturing, interpreting and improving the heritage, stylized folklore, tradition in contemporary clothes, artistic and spiritual music – these are the foundations of this Society on which it builds itself from within By: Senka Trivić


n 1893, on the day of the Presentation of the Theotokos, the church municipality of Banjaluka founded the Serbian Orthodox Church Singing Society “Unity”. The founders united around the idea to create an ensemble which would become an important cultural and spiritual centre of Banjaluka, Krajina, and beyond. Today, it is one of the oldest and most important singing societies in Srpska, with turbulent and rich history. Not only a witness, but also a participant in events important for Serbian people. In the first Rules of the Society it is written that it has its official round seal, with the image of Saint Sava in the centre, below is the year of foundation Save, and all this is encircled with written name of the organization. The second important symbol was a flag, which was, on one side, also decorated with the image of the first Serbian archbishop, and on the other side image Marriage and Fairy. The flag was consecrated on St. Peter’s Day in 1905, on June 29, and the celebration lasted three days. This ceremony was reported in papers Politika and Bosnian Fairy. Beautiful lyrics of this choir’s anthem were written in 1905 by famous poet Aleksa Šantić. All this data was collected in monograph Many Summers by Radmila Kulundžija, published in 2002, on the occasion of tenth anniversary from the restoration of its activities. History of “Unity” is also a striking story about Banjaluka, its transformation into

a city, people and events during AustroHungarian occupation, the Annexation, the Balkan Wars and World War One, life in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, all the way until World War Two. Then “Unity” ceases its activities, just like other Serbian societies, which will last until the 1990’s. Of many conductors who led this choir, we may single out Vlado Milošević, then professor of music in the Teacher’s School in Banjaluka. This teacher, whose name the School of Music in Banjaluka carries today, was also the last conductor of the old “Unity”, for the entire decade before World War Two. (National Review wrote in more details about Vlado Milošević, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts, in its last issue.) A ROAD PAVED LONG TIME AGO Nemanja Savić, professor of music, withdrawing before the whirlwind of war, in late 1991, returns from Šibenik to Banja-

The Task – The Society was created out of desire for cultural, spiritual and other unification of Serbian people, and our name testifies to this – says Nemanja Savić, the conductor. – This founding idea places before us a great obligation to preserve and improve a great Serbian cultural heritage, to stylize it and dress it in traditional clothes, bringing it loser to new generations and presenting to other cultures, especially those where there were few opportunities to witness our musical expression. SRPSK A  No 3  2013



 “Unity”, a photograph from 1905

luka, his home town. The return of experienced conductor and his encounter with archpriest-stavrophor Ratko Radujković, marked the resumption of activities of Serbian Singing Society “Unity”. Professor Savić has been the conductor of this choir until today. – Only when I returned I found out more about the history and legacy of choir “Unity”. In the second Yugoslavia it was not talked about. Having read documents and articles from the times before World War Two, I realized that it was a great value, true wealth. This awareness made the reconstruction of the choir in 1992 a very responsible task, stimulating and de-

Jubilee This year, mixed Choir “Unity” celebrates its great anniversary, 120 years from its establishment. Among numerous activities organized on this occasion, there is a recording of a new compact disk, making of a documentary film about the Society, printing the collection of choral compositions, organizing “Choral Encounters in Banjaluka in 2013”... Central event of this jubilee, from October 15 to 20, included the ceremonial concert (with participation of old members of the mixed choir), concerts of other choirs, retrospective exhibitions of photographs...


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manding, on both human and artistic level. To snatch from oblivion, preserve and continue something that we can truly be proud of. Savić tells us that from the foundation itself, 120 years ago, the main duty of the choir and the society has not changed much: preservation and affirmation of cultural values of Serbian people. – Through its entire history, “Unity” had a multifold role. One was preservation of folk tradition, the second performance of artistic compositions, stylized dances based on the folklore of our countries and wider area where our people live, up to spiritual compositions – explains Savić. – The choir participates in all Sunday and holiday services at the Congregational Temple of Christ the Savior in Banjaluka. It has almost 9 performances per year, which means that it sings almost once in three days. In addition to liturgies, we have many concert activities in the city, the region and abroad. Zorka Aćimović, the oldest member, tells us that even in these stressful times she feels at peace when singing spiritual music during rehearsals.

– As if I am building myself spiritually. I have many friends here. I don’t “kill time” by watching shallow and banal TV series or “wasting time in the streets and cafes”. This is something that truly enriches me, I feel joy and fullness. More than that might not be possible. Her choir friend Staša Kuruzović says that, despite all the beautiful tours, most important for her are Sunday concerts at religious services in the Temple of Christ the Savior in Banjaluka: – We are all so connected through singing and spending time together, and this unity can certainly be seen and felt on stage. TO REMAIN ON THE LEVEL OF THE SOURCE In 1995, the mixed choir was joined by children’s’ choir. From the resumption of its activity, more than 1,500 singers went through both choirs. They had over 1,000 performances, of that more than 200 at their independent evening concerts. In the past period, “Unity” has been the ambassador of culture and spirituality in Greece, Italy, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Slovakia, Malta and Cyprus, but also in faraway countries such as Russia and China. This singing society was awarded three high medals: Medal of Saint Sava, Medal of Njegoš and Medal of St, Andrei. They have received numerous local, regional and international recognitions and awards, almost countless. – It is not a problem to get ready sometimes, go to a competition and win, and then announce it everywhere and make a spectacle out of it – says Savić, the conductor. – But it is really not easy to remain on the level of the entrusted duty and the idea of our founders for 120 years. To preserve

Honor “God of Justice, Thou who saved us when in deepest bondage cast, hear thy Serbian children’s voices, be our help as in the past!” broke on May 13, 1992 in the former building of the Ministry of the Interior of Srpska. As a celebration of the Day of Security, it was the first public performance of the Serbian anthem on the western side of the Drina after many decades. And the honor to sing it went to the restored Serbian Singing Society “Unity” from Banjaluka.

the necessary quality and spiritual unity, with all the blows that we are exposed to. To remain loyal to yourself and high artistic level, always reaffirming your quality and mission, with every performance, regardless of its tradition or its venue. Although “Unity” has had numerous performances around the world, last year’s tour to France made all the choir members especially proud. They had fourteen evening-long concerts in twelve French cities. In Paris they had three concerts, and on September 9, the choir sang at the liturgy in the St. Sava Temple in Paris. As special honors, they single out performances in the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral, as well as in Saint-Sulpice Church. Before that, no choir from this region had an opportunity to perform in these temples. – During that tour, we showed the breadth and richness of artistic choral expression through the works of Serbian composers, but also others, from Romanticism to modern times. We performed works created on tradition and folklore of our Krajina, the wider area of Banjaluka. We had numerous audience, and very warm reception. Even the reviews after all our concerts were very positive, and there are numerous published articles that testify to this – says Nemanja Savić. 

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 “Unity”, a photograph from 1928 Conductor Vlado Milošević, later a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts




Internal Strength of the Balkan Human

Early noticed talent, younger brother of famous Dr Mladen from Kozara, member of “Young Bosnia”. After the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914, he was imprisoned with Kosta Hakman. He worked in “Književni Jug” with Ivo Andrić and Ivo Vojinović, was taught by Zelezny and Levandovsky in Vienna, was friends in Paris with ingenious Japanese drawer Fujita and Isadora Duncan, with Sava Šumanović, Milo Milunović and Risto Stijović. Kašanin, Rastko Petrović, Gustav Krklec... wrote about him in Belgrade. His monument to Njegoš, a masterpiece recently mounted in Andrićgrad, is the occasion for this reminder By: Dejan Đorić



he life story of some artists and its richness surpasses their work, which cannot be understood without it. There are artists living the life of an office clerk, entering adventures only in their studios, while they are creating, and

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others for which Lazar Trifunović said they eat with two spoons. Sculptor, painter and critic Sreten Stojanović, whose retrospective exhibition was open the RTS Gallery in Belgrade from June 18 to September 6, is certainly among the latter ones.

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 Sreten Stojanović in his youthful days and later with his wife

He was born in Prijedor in 1898, in the family of a priest. Originating from Nevesinjsko Polje, he listened to stories about magnificent Russia from his childhood. As a boy, he drew a stag beetle and showed it to his father. The father liked the work so much that he gave him a big golden coin and told him he would become a master. It’s the well-known story about the bug and the father from his biography. He was not a good student in high school, but his talent for art was immediately noticed. With his older brother Mladen, later legendary hero from Kozara, he became member of “Young Bosnia”. After the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, still as a high school student, he was arrested and sent to prison together with Kosta Hakman, his friend and later famous painter. Talented drawer and woodcarver, he discovered his talent for art in prison. He made tobacco boxes of linden wood with figures in folk costumes, and kept one of them until the end of his life. After being released from prison, he went to Zagreb, worked different things for the Književni Jug magazine. There he met many

Books He published art critics and essays in Umetnički Pregled, the most reputable magazine between the wars, and collected his studies and articles in 1952 in the book About Art and Artists, preceded by the book Busts. In 1927, he stayed two months in Russia with Dragiša Vasić and Vladislav Ribnikar and published Impressions from Russia after his journey.


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respectable people, such as Ivo Andrić and Ivo Vojinović. In 1918, Dr Đurica Đorđević from Zagreb became his great benefactor and sent him to school to Vienna. He attended classes of professor Zelezny, virtuoso in making wooden sculptures, and professor Roman Levandovsky, Rodin’s student, who told him that his education in Vienna is completed and that he should go to Paris. SAVE THE HIGHLANDER WITHIN YOU Stojanović’s life is divided into periods before and after living in “the city of light”. Instead of the Academy, he attended the private school of Antoine Bourdelle, the greatest living sculptor at the time. He advanced rapidly in three years, so he became the master’s assistant in a way and gained many privileges. Bourdelle learned from Rodin for twelve years and directed Stojanović towards modern expression, although the young artist never became his epigonus. He told him: “I like the fact that I see a highlander in your works, I like your works because they have something wild in them. Keep it as a great treasure.” Entire Paris is a big school, says Ljiljana Porčić, expert in the artist’s life and work, writer of the introductory study in the catalogue. Museums, cafés, exhibitions, theaters and several-hours discussions in studios form an author. Stojanović was friends in Paris with ingenious Japanese writer Fujita, Isadora Duncan, sculptor Zadkin, Kis-

ling, Milo Milunović, Risto Stijović, Sava Šumanović, he attended Dadaist seances of Tristan Zara, was a dear guest in the home of Henry Bergson, made portraits of the then still unknown great artist Alberto Giacometti, but didn’t get involved in the actual extremes of avant-garde aesthetics. He visited Florence, Munich, Berlin and London, exhibited at Paris salons. He knew Maxim Gorky. IN TOUCH WITH REALITY After returning to the country, he settled in Belgrade. He exhibited with famous artists; Milan Kašanin, Rastko Petrović and Gustav Krklec wrote positive critics about him. He was also involved in art critic, as a critic of the Politika daily. He had material security, had a daughter Jovanka, later professor of history of medieval art, held popular lectures at the “Kolarac” and earned a big studio. He became professor of the Art Academy and High School of Pedagogy. He spent the war in Belgrade. After the war, his born traditionalism introduced him to socialist realism. He received numerous orders, was our representative at the Biennale of Venice, professor and rector of the Academy of Art, president of the Serbian Artists’ Association, editor of Umetnost magazine, initiated the “Painters and Sculptors” edition, which published eighteen monographs, and became member of the Serbian Academy of Science and Art. His life was interesting, at times dramatic. Based

on his experience, he created a comprehensive work, always in touch with reality. Sreten Stojanović is a sculptor of modern expression, with which he surpassed socialist realism, although he had never abandoned classic form. His sculptures are heroic and dramatic, they express the internal strength of the Balkan human, barbarogenius – the blood and the soul of a human from cruel Balkan mountains, as he used to say. While mostly dealing with the classic subject of portrait and bust in plaster, marble, bronze and wood, as well as monumental sculptures, similar to Milo Milunović and Petar Lubarda, he searched for the strongest possible expression. Stojanović’s works are most often not enhanced, but disheveled, bursting with internal energy. His favorite subjects are gusle players, ancient heroines, warriors and Karađorđe, to whom he raised a three-meter high monument. He is one of the last Serbian sculptors of the old school and comprehensive vision, who knew how to descend to the greatest silence and peace in showing the person’s character. Such a general swing and security are rarely seen today, so the exhibition completely revealed one of the forgotten classics of Serbian modern art. 

 With family, and a profile from the album

A Sculptor above All The exhibition in the RTS Gallery also presented Stojanović’s paintings. Although he was a good drawer and some of his paintings have artistic values, they cannot be compared with his sculptures. SRPSK A  No 3  2013


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Faithful to the Truth,

In Spite of Everything Deafened by circuses, turmoil and loud emptiness, a writer will find the best stronghold in literature. It is difficult to say where his past boy-narrator is today and all the things that have happened to him. If we understand the nature of the occupation we are in, the rest will just appear before us. It is not easy to save children or to call out to the brainwashed ones. The planet is heavy with banality and senile barbarism. What can a writer do in a world without justice and dignity of words, deep in tricks and plunderage, robbery and lies? Things are difficult, yet simple By: Branislav Matić


verything he touches becomes a story. A winter story, told by the fire, salted. As if engraved in stone, with mustache and masterly. His Herzegovina is a mythical land, all made of legends, language and marble. The whole world originates from it and reflects in it. You don’t have to go anywhere from there, you’ll see and hear everything. Then it’s up to you. It’s easy with Bratić, just begin a story. The only trouble is: how to shorten it when everything is worth keeping. A flower on the stone. The years after the war were very, very difficult in Herzegovina. The world of my childhood was bitter. I was only three months old when I lost my father. I was my mother’s only son. An unprotected child, pushed and attacked by everyone. My younger brother and sister died before that. The world was falling apart: without a father, without a guide, sanctuary or strongpoint. It’s hard for me to talk about my childhood. All kinds of things happened. When I was six, our house burned down under straw, so we moved from one family member to the other, and finally and unwillingly went all the way to Banat to my uncles. After enduring a year in the plain, we returned to Herzegovina and lived at my uncle’s in a deserted house. I went to elementary school in Korita, a place teeming with students,

whereas today this building (as it is the case with Serbs) is dilapidated and closed down. I mostly remember gloomy things, those with which they released me from fear. Herzegovina is a land of heavy language, heavy oaths, prophecies and mythical stories. There is lots of humor as well, though, which helped us make our way through life. The pit. You are like a close cousin to me, I dare say ancestor. Don’t mention the bottomless pits and the bunch of bones heard at night over the entire world, but obviously not sufficiently and not clearly enough. They renounced our common language to pretend they don’t understand it, that they don’t recognize the bunch either. Vuk and Daničić created the foundation for their language and literacy, but in vain.

Briefly Radoslav Bratić was born on St. Vid’s Day in 1948 in Brestice, Herzegovina. He went to elementary school in Korita and Bileća, high school in Trebinje, and studied literature in Belgrade. He was the founder and editor of “Znak” magazine, editor of “Književna Reč” and “Književnost”, editor in BIGZ, editor in chief of Relations magazine… Today he is editor in chief of Nova Zora magazine. He traveled to India, Russia, Germany, China, Hungary, England… Translated into more than ten languages. Winner of the “Mladost” magazine prize, as well as “Isidora Sekulić”, “Andrić’s Prize”, “Meša Selimović”, “Ćamil Sijarić”, “Petar Kočić” prizes... Lives in Belgrade.

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 As a boy, with mother Jovana During military service, 1974 In Belgrade, 1980’s


In time, the pit in Korita swooped down and was covered. Probably so no one could see what our tombs were like. And they were more horrible than the most terrible thoughts and horror novels, full of dreadfulness. I grew up with these stories told by older men and women. Not only have I listened to them, but day after day swallowed the voice of mourners who would, usually in the evening, sob and mourn, weaving our drama. It was equal to an antique chorus, with a horrible lamenting voice, which narrated our tragedy. Ferid Mujezinović has recently nicely said in his text “The Well of Ćamil Sijarić” that he doesn’t believe Tuđman’s story that 80.000 innocent Serbs, Jews and Romas died a horrible death in Jasenovac, since it was already clearly confirmed that there were more than 700.000. All-time narrator. Worlds made of salt, fire and stories have a strange taste, a particular aroma. A special narration is formed in that relation, around nothing, don’t ask

Works Bratić published novels “Death of the Savior” (1973), “Doubt in Biography” (1980), “Salt Square” (2002), books of stories “Picture Without Father” (1985), “Fear of Bells” (1991), “Winter in Herzegovina” (1996), essays and poetics books “Scheherazade’s Lover” (1995), “Writer and Document” (2000)... He compiled anthologies “Smile of God Ham” (stories of African-Americans), “Literature of Lusatian Serbs”, “Anthology of Short Stories of India”, “Chinese Literature Yesterday and Today”… Patriarch Pavle chose him to compile his book “Prayers and Pleas” (1996). He also compiled the capital edition “We Accuse” (resistance of writers towards the crimes of the NATO pact in Serbia and Montenegro in 1999).


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me where and when. Herzegovina is full of stories and different material, everywhere and all the time. In my childhood, I was given the role of a folk singer, the one reciting folk poems. I already spoke and wrote about it: when I read Banović Strahinja, a miracle happened. There were people who couldn’t stand the fact that Banović Strahinja forgave his wife’s infidelity and betrayal. You could hear slaps on the faces of women sitting by the fire. Departures. My first departure was to Bileća, to school. I stayed at my uncle’s and traveled several kilometers on foot. Our elementary school was in a beautiful building, but not for long. The municipality authorities took it and made offices from it. Even today I joke that once I’ll sue the municipality and request them to return my school. A sorrowful event is related to that period. The landlord threw me out of the apartment and I settled, against my will, in an abandoned prison, under the Courthouse. They discovered me only half a year later and moved me to the orphanage. I remember those days especially well. Serbia. It was my homeland and bread. Already as a student, I traveled to churches and monasteries in many parts of the country and was delighted with their beauty. I read serious books for the first time in Serbia and understood what and how great our history is. Belgrade stories. I don’t know whether I chose Belgrade or it chose me. After the Students’ Campus I changed about fifteen

apartments in almost all parts of the city. For a while my roommate was my best man M. Obradović. I love to take walks in Belgrade: in Ada, by the Danube, in front of “Jugoslavija” hotel and elsewhere. I’m attracted by water. Belgrade used to have its famous literary kafanas, some of which unforgettable Momo Kapor wrote books about. What’s left of it today? No kafanas, no literary life, no spirit of the city. We are actually under occupation. And all the questions we raise are in vain.

those great people is alive now. Telling about them isn’t easy at all, and I’m not really certain if my memory serves me well. I was editor of the selected or compiled works of most of them. I had a correspondence with some of them, and a part of the correspondence was published in posthumous books of Borislav Pekić. Especially remarkable about them was that they liked to talk, they liked humor. Today, I don’t associate with writers that much, I’m rarely someone’s first reader.

Textbooks, universities. I remember, I was given books from the school library and took them home. My mother saw a privilege, a wonder in books. I was never given the duty to watch over sheep and calves. Everything I had to do was to read books. Just that. The epic folk poems were above everything. I learned very early to recite verses and read poems by the fire. It was a great privilege indeed. Our school library was not rich in books, but we used to get books from cousins and friends. You ask me who young writers could lean on today. The same as in my time: on entire literature, anything that comes into their hands. I didn’t lean on big public libraries, because there were none nearby. The nearest one was in Bileća. When I later moved to the city, reading became even more thorough and complete.

Ćopić. I used to go to him often and had a lot to hear from him. Branko discovered and fenced his well with living water at the beginning. Then he took out water from it and watered his grandfather’s garden during summer droughts, when everything begins dying of thirst. He liberated the work of his genes, equally successful in any genre. He became the most popular writer very early, everywhere and to everyone to whom Serbian language is close and understandable. Ćopić’s main wish completely came true: “My wish is to enter as much joy, smiles, hopes, blue fairytales, pleasant lies as possible into this sorrow-

Friends, mirrors. Memories of friends are always numerous and multilayered. I like to say: I’m lucky many of them let them be near them. Pekić, Mihiz, Kiš, Raičković, Bulatović, Kapor, Sijarić, Mihailović... I really associated with them and heard many remarkable stories. Unfortunately, none of

 In Čatrnja, his home village of Brestice near Bileća With mother Jovana on the terrace of his apartment in Belgrade

Put Salt on the World, so It Doesn’t Become Bland I researched the ancient roads and traces of salt. And I wonder: how do we salt our world as it is today, at the beginning of the third millennium after Christ? Another novel should be written to answer this question. You can judge based on “Salt Square” whether I have at least made a hint of the answer. I only know that the world is widely insipid today and that it’s becoming increasingly insipid.

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ful world packed with dark anticipations. And believe me: I lie the least.” Bule. Andrić considered Bulatović his friend. When the young writer was supposed to enter the Serbian Writers’ Association, Andrić said it’s better to let him enter through the door, because otherwise he’ll come alone through the window. Critics saw greatest ideals in war and revolution, while Bulatović saw concupiscence and perversion. He didn’t tell about the time of glory, but the time of shame. Velibor Gligorić suggested kicking out Bulatović from literature, and the writer responded: “I’m a kamikaze, samurai, or in our words hayduk. Rabelais of the underground, the Slavic Bosch.” While we were roommates in Podgorica, he woke up in the morning once and said: “Writer, move your legs, move your hands, move all parts of your body! If it’s working, good!” Such was Bule. Mihiz. I heard many valuable words from Borislav Mihajlović, those you cannot read anywhere. He gave me advice for the story Secret of Herzegovina Artisans. Mihiz didn’t talk about literature much. He preferred to talk about the life literature originates from. He once complained: “What would happen if we had the luck to see the Arabs and Turks change their directions of invasions, and if we got Aristotle in the ninth and they got Ćele-Kula in the nineteenth century?” Sijarić. Ćamil once told me: “Oh, Radoslav, you placed a great burden on the back of your character. Take care of him, he’s just a child. Don’t let him stay an orphan!” Perhaps then Sijarić told the essence of his art – that we are all, in one way or another, just orphans. He gave a bit of the patriarchal warmth we’ll take with us. Ćamil Sijarić is our Scheherazade from Sandžak, from Raška; a man who truly knew that one lives until he talks and imagines. Momčilo. Certain critics considered Kapor a “pulp writer”, saw his prose as texts without depth, without shaded and psychologized characters. Perhaps because Kapor had the same fate as Hemingway and Salinger: he immediately paid for his journalism and television appearances. When he made my portrait in oil, I said that I look more like Vlah Alija than myself.

He laughed and said that it only seems so because of the mustache. Then he jokingly asked me to sell him the painting. I asked for five thousand euro and the said that I’m too expensive. Injustices are always settled at the end, and only writers whose works are really widely read survive. Momo Kapor is still one of the most widely read Serbian writers. Homeland. I can easily say that I’ve never left my homeland. In a way, wherever I traveled, I could say I traveled to Herzegovina. Homeland is a wondrous symbol, without a possibility of simplifying it. Great excitement overcomes me while I go down from Čemerno, and behind a curve, behind some bend, the Gatačko Polje breaks before my eyes. Historical and geographical pictures pass through my head, related to all those small towns I see along the way, and which I test against myself. I have nothing left in my homeland except a bit of language and humor. I might also add a bit of stone.

 With Patriarch Pavle in the Patriarchy and with poet Stevan Raičković at a literary evening Near the famous Bridge on the Drina With Marko Nedić on book promotion, with Peter Handke and near the monument of Vuk Karadžić in Vienna, May 2011

Eternal Kosovo. Someone has already said it, and great Njegoš elevated it a long time ago, that Kosovo and Metohija are the two most expensive words of the Serbian people. If it weren’t true, it would be both pathetic and too symbolic. In the lands where our early medieval history was created, where the most enduring Serbian endowments were erected, where we have accepted our faith, it seems that during the previous fifty-odd years everything was done to make the Serbian people a minority in their own country. Robbers and ruffians have seized our state before our own eyes. They say that today the most important thing are human rights, and that state borders, wherever “American interests are jeopardized”, can be changed. Terrorism is dangerous only in their countries, while they support it in small coun-

Miloš the Great I remember an interview I made as a student with Miloš Crnjanski for Radio Belgrade, in the show of Vlado Bunjac. I was so happy while he was telling me what to read and how to do it. He mostly spoke about patience. When I came to Belgrade to study, I thought that the street of Miloš the Great was named after Miloš Crnjanski, the writer who will become increasingly important in time. Everything he touched turned to gold.

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N O V E L S tries giving it an innocent face and name. Their numerous books and articles are made of lies and frauds. The Pulitzer Prize for journalism is granted for shameful lies. They killed and executed many Serbs in Kosovo to take out their organs and sell them to Western merchants. Can any good be built on this?

 Rastimir Popović Cico: Portrait of Radoslava Bratić, 1995, oil

Rush towards the abyss. What can a writer do in a world without justice, in a world of collapsed ethics, especially when he is so exposed to temptations and competition between Faustus and the Devil? Is there a chance for a writer to defend Faustus and show him the way? Or is it a futile effort? What should a writer do today when rivers of stale and destroyed taboos and myths are running around him? What can a writer do when today’s events are already confuting everything from yesterday? When there are so many charlatans, fools and ignoramuses, robbers and ruffians? When the arrogant and powerful ones want to rearrange history, to bring back fascism, to proclaim winners in wars as defeated and the defeated ones as winners, to turn criminals into victims? It seems to me that those great powers are rushing towards the third world war. It’s not important for them how many small and helpless countries they will bomb in their hurry, how many people they will kill.

Drawers and chests. The episode of renaming Serbian literature into Bosnian is sad and foolish, so Ćopić, Kočić, Dučić, Šantić Ćorović, Andrić, Selimović... all of a sudden became Bosnian, instead of Serbian writers. We made a special edition of Nova Zora with that subject. Writers and wise people laughed at such things. Then, I suppose, there came a smart Bosnian writer and said: “People, it doesn’t make sense to compel Serbs into Bosnian literature. You can’t do it by force.” Someone understood it and listened to this voice of conscience. And then all was returned to its original state. Very Montenegro. In my childhood, I was growing up with love, hope and great wish to grow up as soon as possible and put on the Montenegrin folk costume. Now the situation has changed. Montenegrins separated from Serbia, but were among the first to recognize the secession of Kosovo and Metohija. What else is there to say? With all those experts and professors, they managed to find two words of their specificity and in them two letters: sj (as sjekira, sjedi) and nz (the word bronzin). What else is there to say about it? Look at the letter Francesco Palovinetti, spy of Pope Paul VI, sent from Sarajevo on December 26, 1969 to Metropolitan Danilo. This extraordinarily important document, which you can find in the interesting book Seven Funerals of Njegoš by Slobodan Kljakić and Ratko Peković, testifies about the interest of Vatican to remove Njegoš’s chapel from Lovćen and the real background of this scandalous act. After reading it, one sees many things more clearly. My mother’s eyes. Writers, of course, as long as they live, go through papers and try to make something new. When my mother died, thirteen years ago, I told my friends about an exquisite event. I didn’t go out – I looked after my sick mother and wrote. She asked me what I was doing. I told her I’m trying to put together a story. She didn’t give up but asked: what’s the title? I replied. And she said that it’s no good and that a much better title would be “My Mother’s Eyes”. I told the story to many people and soon afterwards saw the title on another book. I have to respect my mother’s wish and finish that book. 


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Quality Can be Seen and Heard At the beginning of its third decade, Public Service of Srpska, both on technological and program level, caught up with the media houses that have a much longer tradition. Integration of all programs into Multimedia, relocation into the common RTV home in 2012, transfer to digital production and introduction of satellite TV – these are the elements of strategic developments after which nothing will be the same


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adio-television of Republika Srpska in 2013 turned 21. In all these years, it went through the phase of development, construction, improvement (program, technical personnel). In the past years, the Media Public Service of Srpska realized numerous big projects, experienced growth and expansion in operations, and united operating and technical capacities under a single roof, into the most advanced RTV Home. Today it is an example of stable and successful public RTV service in a wider region. RADIO IS ALWAYS IN TREND

Radio of Republika Srpska began broadcasting its program in 1967, at that time as Radio Banjaluka. First it was a local media, later regional radio station of Bosnian Krajina. In late 1993, Radio Banjaluka integrates with Serbian Radio on Pale and becomes a part of the single system of what was then Serbian Radio-Television, today Media Public Service Radio-Television of Republika Srpska. Radio RS is today a modern electronic media house broadcasting high quality program 24 hours per day. Covering the entire territory of Republika Srpska, with

signal, network of information-technical centers, developed network of correspondents, it reports daily on important events in Srpska, B&H and the region, following all segments of life. Under the common roof of the modern RTV Home in Banjaluka, it has capacities sufficient to produce the most complex program contents, and realize the most demanding program projects. Since 2012, together with Television and Multimedia, the Radio has been integrated into the single system of operations, which largely contributes to the speed, quality and updatedness of information. Radio of Srpska today is not only a media house for distribution of information, but also facilitator of big projects, education, sports. It wins awards in various genres, starting from radio documen-

All in One Place Integration of Radio, Television and Multimedia departments can best be seen in the example of the portal of the Public Service ( RTRS brings on its portal current events and the most relevant information from its media – Television and Radio. The portal offers live broadcast of radio and television programs, the entire archives, program schedule, information about projects, actions and events in the Public Service.

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Publishing and Festivals In addition to Television and Radio production, the Radio-Television of Republika Srpska today is recognizable for its publishing activity, music production, numerous awards and recognitions, as well as its festivals (“Đurđevdan Festival” being the most famous).

taries. And the foundation for all these achievements is quality and enthusiasm of employees. HIGH SPANS OF TELEVISION Television of Republika Srpska started its operations in 1992by broadcasting the first News program from its studio in Banjaluka. Joint system of broadcast and program transmission was created by merging the Radio in 1993 into what is today RadioTelevision of Republika Srpska. Today, RTRS is one of three equal broadcasters within the public Service of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Every media house today requires great financial resources to keep pace with modern trends in program development. Television of Republika Srpska, despite

difficult working conditions and limited technical capacities in previous years, has managed to create a program which had to satisfy the basic criteria of information, objectivity and being adapted to the viewers, which is the mission of public broadcasters. Technical and conceptual improvements of the existing programs, elimination of certain content and introduction of new shows and personalities, came from the desire to make people feel, already in the first steps, that Television of Republika Srpska keeps pace with the developed media, which have much longer history. Very significant for this step forward, obvious program improvement on the content and visual level, was relocation to the RTV Home in 2012, and implementation of digital capacities in production and broadcast. Television of Republika Srpska is today the leader in distribution of reliable information, creating programs that educate, promote cultural values of the country and society, but also nurture children’s need through the best and violence-free children program. Numerous awards won by the editorial board of documentary and religious program at prestigious festivals around the world are proof that the RTRS is also the leader in areas that measure history, creativity and progress of a country or its individuals. INTO THE ORBIT One of the big steps for Radio-Television of Republika Srpska was connecting the earth channel to the satellite. It happened in April of this year, during celebrations of the anniversary of this house. By commencing the satellite broadcast of the program of Radio and Television of Republika Srpska, the Public Service confirmed once again its leadership position in the media world. For enormous number of viewers and listeners in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, the signal of RTRS is available, which is an important driver for the development of the entire Republika Srpska. Radio-Television of Republika Srpska is the first public broadcaster in this region whose program is broadcasted on satellite platform EutelSat. 


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Power from the Drina In almost a quarter of a century of operations, they have produced about 22,000 gigawatt-hours of electric power. Today, this company participates in total production of power in Srpska with 18 to 20 percent, and it does that at the lowest production cost. They are constantly investing in production preparedness of the aggregates, technological modernization, people, and environmental protection. Plans are also focused on construction of new hydro power plants, especially on the upper Drina. And all this while caring about the community in which they operate


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n 2013, it will be twenty four years of work and successful operations of Hydro Power Plant “Višegrad”. In the entire previous period they produced, with an estimate for 2013, about 22.000 GWh of electric power, or about 915 GWh per year at the average (the basic annual plan is 909 GWh). The company has conducted its primary activity – production of electric power – in different market and other surroundings. Since 2005, it has been operating as a subsidiary – joint stock company within Mixed Holding “Electric Power Industry of Republika Srpska”, as one of five production companies. Ownership structure of the share capital is: 65 percent the Holding Company, 10 percent PIO Fund, 5 percent Fund for Restitution and 20 percent PIF’s and physical entities. It currently has 220 employees. Available capacities for the production of power have installed power of 315 MW, divided into three aggregate of 105 MW. Participation of this company in total production of power within the “Electric Power Industry of Republika Srpska” is between 18 and 20 percent. The entire production is distributed through the Holding Company, primarily for the needs of domestic consumers, and balance surplus is exported, at market prices. – Production for domestic consumption (tariff customers) is calculated at the price determined by the Regulatory Committee for Energy of RS, in our case 1.43 phenings per kWh, and is the lowest within the system and in the region – says Mile Lakić, director of Hydro Power Plant “Višegrad”. – In the system and beyond, we are recognizable for the lowest cost of a produced kWh of power, within range from 2.25 do 3.00 phenings per kWh, which means that at lowest cost we are servicing the production that the electric power balance of Srpska requires from us. TO this we might

Management Team Management of HE “Višegrad” consists of director Mile Lakić, executive technical director Milutin Baranac, executive director for investment and development Mile Perić, executive director for economic affairs Branislav Topalović and executive director for legal affairs Boro Ninković.

Awards and Recognitions For its successful operations, HE “Višegrad” has received numerous awards and recognitions. We must single out the award “The most successful electric power company in 2006,” which is awarded by the Chamber of Commerce of Srpska, award “Leader for Reputation and Quality 2008” by Spanish magazine Aktualidad, “International Gold Star for Quality 2008” awarded by the Business Initiative BID in Geneva, International Quality Award “Golden Eagle” in Istanbul, in 2010.

also add the long favorable structure of total costs: depreciation of about 40 percent, fee fir flooded land (which must be used by municipalities for infrastructural projects) about 20 percent, wages about 22 percent, remaining costs 12 percent (maintenance of equipment and plants, materials, production services...). If we observe the period from 2005, with an estimate for 2013, there is a continuity of positive operations in every year, with total generated profit of 40.57 million KM. Including 2012, the realized net profit is divided as follows: dividends for the owners of share capital 21.81 million KM (70 %), donations to sports, healthcare, education and charity 4.56 million KM (15 %), society reserves 4.91 million KM (15 %). DOZENS OF MILLIONS IN INVESTMENTS In addition to the mentioned operating and financial indicators, in the period from 2005 to 2013, the company also invested significant funds in implementation of investment projects. Total volume of these investments is estimated at about 36 million KM, of which 80 percent are own funds, and 20 percent loan funds from foreign investment banks. – We expect that our volume of annual investments in 2013 will be the highest to date, about 16 million KM. We especially single out: Conducting of works on repair of water surge underneath the body of the dam (22.64 million KM in 2013 and 2014), purchase of new administrative building (8.5 million KM), introducing new information technologies (1.19 million KM), mounting of the monitoring system for aggregates (1.61 million KM) – continues Lakić. Works on repair of the water surge is conducted by Austrian consortium “Strabag-Zublin”. They started the works on SRPSK A  No 3  2013



November 15, 2012, and the works are planned to last 18 months. They are being conducted in accordance with the plan. – Currently underway are preparatory works for the main work: injecting of located surge points. Total value of the works is 22.64 million KM. They are financed through the loan from the “European Investment Bank” (21 million KM) and own funds (1.64 million KM). This is a specific and complex work, previously unseen in this part of Europe. The most eminent experts from this field were engaged in this project and revision. Successful completion of these works will provide additional stability of the dam, increase of production of up to 35 GWh of electric power, and financial profit of about 1.5 million KM annually, at the applicable prices. – The second project that we single out is investment in the new administrative building which is located within Andrićgrad – adds director of HE “Višegrad”. – We have

Standards As of May 2010, HE “Višegrad” has been operating in accordance with requirements of ISO standard for quality of operations and environmental protection (ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004). With this, it has confirmed it continuous dedication to operating in accordance with international standards.


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signed an agreement in the amount of 8.5 million KM and purchased a modern administrative building with useful surface area of 3,140 square meters. In this way, after twenty four years of operation and almost five years from he opening of the project, the problem of accommodation of company administration has been solved permanently. PEOPLE, OPERATIONAL READINESS, ECOLOGY People in HE “Višegrad” think in terms of development. Their priority is to fulfill the production and economic segments of operations. In order to achieve this, they must invest in modernization and maintenance of the plants, namely in operational readiness of the aggregates. – The decisive factor in our previous production success was probably the experience and level of training of our teams, primarily on electrical and mechanical maintenance of the equipment and plants. Our operational readiness has always been on maximum level, which is very important for us – says director Lakić. – For example, last year, when overhaul works were completed 50 days before plan, it was directly reflected in unobstructed production during 2013. In the first five months, all three

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Social Contributions There is a wide range of contributions of HE “Višegrad” to overall development of the society. The fees for flooded land, which have been regularly paid directly to municipalities, can be used only for development projects (between 2004 and June 2013, 49.47 million KM has been paid for this). They have provided donations in the areas of healthcare, sport, culture, as well as for charity purposes (in the past eight years a total of 4.56 million KM). They have secured scholarships for students, trainees have been employed under the program of the government of Srpska, and a lot more.

aggregates were in continuous operation, without any unplanned downtime. Development plans are also directed at potential participation in creating concession companies for the construction of new hydro power plants, especially on the upper Drina. Activities on the construction of new hydro power plants are conducted on the level of the “Electric Power Industry of Republika Srpska”, with coordination from the government of Srpska and Ministry of Energy. – In the area of environmental protection, a special problem is caused by depositing of waste in accumulation HE “Višegrad” – says Lakić. – This problem


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has existed practically since the beginning of our operations. In previous years, especially after obtaining water and environmental permits, as well as introducing ISO standards in environmental protection, we have been solving it exclusively on our own. We have created a separate department for cleaning of the lake, which is materially and technically equipped for such activities. This year, another chain block has been mounted in the vicinity of the dam, in order to prevent depositing of waste on the dam itself. The project that would solve the problem of waste deposition on the confluence of the Prača River into accumulation has been ordered. We can say that t he company is doing everything, but the problem still exists, especially during the flow of the Drina River of over 800 cubic meters per second, when it is not possible to control the flow of waste. The decision is that the waste in upstream municipalities is to be disposed to landfills, and not to the river. In the previous eight months, over 2,000 cubic meters of floating waste has been taken out of accumulation HE “Višegrad”, which was acknowledged by the competent inspections. 


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To Use the Great

Power of Water This company, with its seat in Mrkonjić Grad, has average annual production of 07.5 million kWh of electric power. It keeps modernizing and restoring its capacities, and only in the past five years they have invested about 13.5 million KM. To date, only 16.2 percent of the hydro energy potential of the part of the Vrbas River flowing through Srpska has been used, and their development plans are focused primarily on significantly raising this percentage


mong the priorities of Republika Srpska are development projects in power industry and use of their potentials. This is also the direction of Subsidiary “Hydro power plants on the Vrbas”, joint stock company from Mrkonjić Grad, a member of Holding “Electric Power Industry of Republika Srpska”. “HE on the Vrbas” are the smallest production facility within the “Electric Power Industry of RS”, but a very important one from Mrkonjić Grad, being its pillar of development, and for Republika Srpska. The company, which celebrated its 30th anniversary on December 5, 2011, is today a successful enterprise with 143 employees, with the founding capital that was reported to the Directorate for Privatization of RS amounts to 102,354,487.00 KM.

PRODUCTION AND CAPACITIES The main activity of “HE on the Vrbas” is production of electric power and maintenance of hydro power plant facilities. From 1982 until the end of 2012, they produced 8,263,932,000 kWh of electricity. – Within its main activity, the company produces at the average 307.5 million kWh of electric power per year. Market share of “HE on the Vrbas” in the electric energy balance of Srpska amounts to 5.4 percent – says executive director for production and maintenance, Željko Stipanović. Production plant of “HE on the Vrbas” is hydro power plant “Bočac”. It is located in immediate vicinity of the dam, in the canyon SRPSK A  No 3  2013


E N E R G Y part of the Vrbas River, between the cities of Jajce and Banjaluka. At a distance of 7.3 kilometers downstream from hydro power plant “Bočac”, there is a compensation pool, which enables peak operation of the hydro power plant. The main role of the compensation pool is daily balancing of the flow and reducing water oscillations downstream from the plant, as a temporary solution until the construction of a new downstream facility. The company keeps modernizing and restoring its capacities, and only in the past five years they have invested about 13.5 million KM. – The most important investments in this period were construction of additional capacities of the system of hydro-meteorology monitoring, reconstruction of the administrative buildings, restoration of the right bank in a stretch 200 meters long, protection of the body of the edam, purchase and mounting of equipment (hydrometric stations in the Vrbas basin) and others – emphasizes executive director for investments and development, Goran Milanović. In 2013 and 2013, Milanović says, we commenced investment projects in total value of 12.7 million KM. These are, among others, construction of additional lateral free overflow with a tunnel in the left side of dam HE “Bočac”, development of the downstream riverbed, safety embankments and land owned by HE “Bočac”, FMIS project, the system of alarming and informing the population downstream of HE “Bočac”. PLANS Of the existing hydro power potential of the Vrbas in the part that runs through Srpska, and which amounts to 1.895 GWh, 16.2 has been used, which is accomplished by HE

The First Thirty Years HE “Bočac” was commissioned on December 5, 1981, and since then it worked as a part of “Elektrovrbas” from Mrkonjić Grad. After the disintegration of the electric power system of B&H in 1991, hydro power plant “Bočac” worked independently for a while, and since 1992 it has been operating as a state owned subsidiary “HE on the Vrbas” (the seat in Mrkonjić Grad), within “Electric Power Industry of RS”. In 2005, the company was transformed into a joint stock company, and since then it has been operating as ZP “HE on the Vrbas”. With 65 share in company capital, the government of Srpska is its majority owner, and the remaining 35 percent is owned by funds and physical entities. The government has transferred its ownership and management rights to the “Electric Power Industry of RS”.


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“Bočac”. Exactly because of this, development plans of company “HE on the Vrbas” are focused primarily on hydro-power exploitation of the Vrbas basin, downstream from HE “Bočac”. In 2014, the company is planning to continue its activities related to construction of a new small hydro power plant “Bočac 2”. – Plans for 2014 include preparation of the main design, activities related to the study of environmental impact and environmental permits, as well as obtaining documentation necessary for construction – announced the company director Nedeljko Kesić. Project HE “Bočac 2”, Kesić added, is individually the most profitable and the most feasible investment, and there are no major dilemmas with respect to it, and it is recommended that this project is completed as quickly as possible. – HE “Bočac 2” practically has no negative influences, and it is an excellent candidate for the first phase of realization of the hydro power system. We must emphasize that the construction of HE “Bočac 2”, as well as of other hydro power plants on the Vrbas, is a development project with positive economic effects from several additional aspects – says Kesić. He explains that in the phase of construction of the hydro power plant they expect significant engagement of the local construction operating resources, as well as the supporting industry of construction materials, metal industry, food and similar industries. – In the phase of exploitation, on activities of system maintenance, a big number of people will be employed. After the completion of the construction of hydro power system, the municipality will also generate income from the so-called resource rent, as a part of the fee for water use – says Kesić. The planned production in 2014 is 273,880,000 kWh, and they are also planning to realize significant investments, such as a system for data management and acquisition – SCADA and FMIS project. The function of a hydro power plant is primarily to generate electric power but, they say in this company, also very significant is its role in regulating the flow of the Vrbas River for the conducting of construction works in the riverbed, organizing sports and tourist events, decreasing damages from high waters, garbage deposits and the like. They proudly emphasize that they are one of the leading companies in the region that continues positive trend of investments in environmental protection and improvement. 

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ZP „ELEKTRO DOBOJ“ a.d. DOBOJ Nikole Pašića 77, 74000 Doboj, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina Phone: +387 53 209 700; Fax: +387 53 241 344;,