Boljuni, Stolac, FBiH

2017-12-20T12:52:55+02:00November 19th, 2017|Categories: BIH|Tags: |

About

Boljuni, Stolac

The necropolis with tombstones is located in the hamlet of Boljuni, 15 km south-west of Stolac. It is situated in the lowland below the village houses. It is arranged in two groups about 400 meters apart. The tombstones are laid in rows, all oriented west-east with only minor deviations in some cases. The necropolis Boljuni I and II has in total 274 tombstones: 82 slabs, 176 chests, 12 gabled roof  tombstones and 4 huge cross-shaped monuments, of which  92 are decorated: 29 slabs, 57 chests and 6 gabled roof tombstones.

The most common relief motifs are scrolling vines with trefoils used as edging on the horizontal sides of the slabs or as a frieze on the vertical sides of chests. There are also shields with swords, and rosettes in a variety of representations: as heraldic symbols on shields, combined with crescent moons or alone. They also appear as stylized rosettes with twisted circular garlands or as cross-rosettes. They are followed in number by plastic bands, various types of edging, crosses (plain or stylized), crescent moons, lilies, stylized floral motifs with spirals and grapevine, arcades and swords. There are numerous figural scenes and compositions: deer hunting scenes, jousting and wheel-dance. Fantastic animals,  the figures of a lion and a horseman also appear.  The original motives are:  a lion, a woman with a child in her arms, stylized rosettes,  fantastic lizard-like animals and a wheel-dance with the dance leader riding a deer.

There is a total of 19 inscriptions relating to the names of the deceased: Bogavac Tarah Boljunović, died before 1477; Radić Vladisalić, Herak and Radoslav Heraković, Petar Vukić and his brother, and others. Some of these personalities are also historically documented. Members of the Boljuni – Vladisalić group that belonged to Donji Vlasi (Lower Vlachs) were also buried there. Some of the tombstones are signed by master craftsman Grubač, recognizable for his artistic style and motifs, dijak (scribe) Semorad and other master craftsmen (Milić, Zelija and Dragiša and the two scribes Radoje and Vuk). Boljuni is considered to have been a major stonemasonry and artistic centre.

The necropolis is located in the hamlet of Boljuni, near the historic site of Stolac, in an area with a lot of traces from the Illyrian period (fort and tumuli). In the vicinity of the necropolis, there is the site of Crkvina from the Late Antique period as well as the remains of an early medieval cemetery.

Thanks to a large number of inscriptions – 20 in total – the necropolis can be dated to the second half of the 15th century. The necropolis includes a burial place of the members of the group Boljuni – Vladisalić, who belonged to Donji Vlasi (Lower Vlachs). Some of them are historically documented. Several tombstones contain the signatures of stonemason Grubač, known for his artistic expression and motifs, of dijak (scribe) Semorad and others (masters Milić, Zelija and Dragiša as well as two dijaks Radoje and Vuk). It is believed that Boljuni were an important stonemasonry and art centre, and one of the main centres of epigraphic literacy.

According to the number of tombstones, it is assumed that the burials began in the second half of the 14th century and lasted until early 16th century.

There were two quarries near the necropolis from where the stone used to carve tombstones was transported. Next to the necropolis, there is the Neveš well, called ‘Greek well’ by local residents. In May 1957 and July and August 1958, archaeological excavations were carried out and the necropolis was landscaped in 1959.

The necropolis with tombstones is located in the hamlet of Boljuni, which is part of the village of Bjelojevići, 15 km south-west of Stolac, along the Stolac – Hutovo Blato road. The national monument lies on cadastral parcels no. 510 (Grčko groblje (Greek cemetery) 270 m2), state ownership and 518/5 (pasture Grčko groblje, 800 m2), private co-ownership, cadastral municipality of Bjelojevići, in the area of the Municipality of Stolac.

Location

The necropolis with tombstones is located in the hamlet of Boljuni. It is situated in the valley below the village houses and arranged into two groups, at a distance of about 400 meters. Its boundaries to the west and north are plots of plough land while the southern and eastern boundaries are lined with trees and low vegetation.

Boljuni, Stolac, FBiH
Boljuni, Stolac, FBiH

State of the location

The site is in satisfactory condition. It can be confirmed with certainty that both necropolises preserved their original state and environment. Owing to the stipulated protection measures, the environment of the necropolis is not jeopardised and is used properly.

The tombstones show evident stone damages, caused by environmental factors; one stećak was damaged when a branch fell of a nearby century-old oak tree. The tombstones are largely covered by plant organisms (moss and lichen), some of which negatively affect the stone structure. Sinking or leaning of the tombstones has not been noted.

The site has not been neglected – there are traces of recent maintenance or arrangement of green areas and a fence was built around the necropolis. In 2011 the entire site underwent geodetic survey supported with photographs of individual tombstones thus enabling for implementation of a monitoring process.

FAQ

Facilities for visitors and infrastructure:

The current tourist offer for visitors does not meet the standard requirements, i.e. apart from sightseeing there is nothing else available. Access to the site is regulated and there is a parking lot for buses and cars. The construction of a sanitary facility next to the necropolis, reconstruction of a road communication to the necropolis and installation of info boards and road signs are underway. In the future it is planned to establish an info centre and a museum within the necropolis as well as to install the lighting in the necropolis area. Last year the Municipality was visited by approximately 50,000 tourists.