Grčka glavica, Biskup, Konjic

Biskup is a village near Glavatičevo, about 30 km south-east of Konjic. The remains of a church and of the necropolis with tombstones are located on a small hillock known as Grčka glavica. The remains of the church, dating roughly from the 12th or 13th century, are in the eastern part of the necropolis.  The ruins of the church were used by the Sanković family as their necropolis from the early 14th century to 1404. The orientation of tombstones can be determined with accuracy only in part of the ruins of the church where the tombstones lay north-east/south-west.

The necropolis consists of 172 tombstones and numerous graves without tombstones. One gabled roof tombstone stands out by its form, while all the others are slabs or chests. The necropolis covers an area of approximately 1 700 m2.

Two tombstones are decorated, one chest and one gabled roof tombstone. The decorative motifs on tombstones consist of a frieze of scrolling vines with trefoils, a frieze composed of a series of parallel diagonal lines and an arcade.

One chest has an inscription revealing that the tombstone marks the grave of Goisava, second wife of Duke Radič, lord of the Hum land and some northern Herzegovina regions, of the distinguished Sanković family.

The necropolis with tombstones is situated next to the remains of the medieval church from the 14th century. This was a family church with the cemetery of the feudal clan Sankovićes (in written sources Bogopanci, Draživojevićes, Miltenovićes and Sankovićes) that took the lead in the former land of Hum and that could be traced through the entire century, from 1306 to 1404. The necropolis is located along a busy commercial route connecting the settlements of the upper Neretva with Nevesinje and other parts of the parish of Kom. A few minor cemeteries are situated in the vicinity of this necropolis, which speaks of the importance of this area and the village Glavatičevo which exists to this day and where the remains of a stone mosque from 1658 are found.

Following the construction of a new road on the right bank of the Neretva River, the necropolis Biskup was eventually deserted. A small Roman Catholic graveyard of the Krezić family from Biskup is situated in the necropolis thus preserving continuity of burials in the area.

Archaeological research and conservation works on the remains of the church were carried out at the site from 1954 to 1955. During archaeological excavations, all the tombs inside the church and a few outside of it were explored.

Movable archaeological material was stored in the Archaeological Department of the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Historical area – the Grčka glavica necropolis with tombstones in the village of Biskup, Konjic was declared a national monument by Commission  decision no.: 05.1-02-1023/03-1 dated 7 May 2004.

In the Spatial Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina by 2000 it was listed as a category III monument.

The site includes tombstones found within a lot situated in the forest on a small hillock known as Grčka glavica. The location of the national monument is designated as cadastral parcel 1121/3 of the cadastral municipality of Glavatičevo, Municipality of Konjic, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina; state ownership.


The site includes tombstones situated inside the parcel located in a forest on high grounds known as Grčka glavica. Its south boundary is marked by the plots positioned south of the local Glavatičevo – Lađanica macadam road. The eastern, western and northern boundaries are the grassy slopes of Glavica hill and the Neretva River.

Grčka glavica in the village of Biskup, Konjic, FBiH
Grčka glavica in the village of Biskup, Konjic, FBiH

State of the location

The site is in satisfactory condition. The local community keeps the necropolis area clean from wild vegetation. Although a number of tombstones are lying down and a few are sunken, there has been no intensive movement and the present state largely reflects the condition of the necropolis at the time of its creation. The tombstones are, to a greater or lesser extent, covered by plant organisms (moss and lichen), some of which negatively affect the stone structure.

In 2011 the entire site underwent geodetic survey supported with photographs of individual tombstones thus enabling for implementation of a monitoring process.

(i) Pressure of development

Agriculture is not intensive in this area and is part of the site. The area around the site is not cultivated and is used for pasture. There are no other pressures.

(ii) Pressure of the environment

Only natural destruction is present – by water and vegetation (algae, lichens and moss) and roots of high vegetation.

(iii) Natural disasters and risk response readiness (earthquakes, floods, fires, etc.)

Fires pose an actual threat to the site, especially during the summer, when they occur most frequently, and during the spring preparatory agricultural works. The local fire-fighting association  and the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton Fire Brigade. The site is easily accessible to all available fire-fighting equipment. Other natural disasters were not recorded.

(iv) Responsible visitation at World Heritage sites

The Municipality of Konjic has a significant tourist potential presented through the rich cultural-historical and natural heritage. The municipality covers several dozens of necropolises with over 5000 tombstones which classifies it as one of the richest municipalities in terms of history and culture. The municipality records constant increase in the number of tourists which, thus far, has not caused a considerable pressure on this site, therefore it is not jeopardized. A controlled number of visitors represents an opportunity for development and further promotion of the site, especially if taken into account that it is located immediately by a road leading to notable tourist destinations – sources of the Lađanica River with the fishpond and the fishermen trail next to the Neretva River. In that case, there is certainly a need to implement measures that will preserve the site in its original form, at the same time facilitating the development of the local community and raising awareness about this but also about all other parts and aspects of the cultural and natural heritage in the immediate vicinity which should definitely be included in the visit tour by designing different itineraries. A higher number of tourists prepared and organised in a special tourist centre in Konjic would, in a way, be controlled. On this site there was no record of vandalism or unintentional damaging of the monuments since the municipality is implementing regular maintenance measures.

(v) Number of inhabitants within the property and the buffer zone

The necropolis with its buffer zone is located outside residential areas. There are a few individual residential objects in its vicinity.

Estimate of inhabitants living within the property: 0.


–        Tourist offering?

The village of Glavatičevo has over 200 inhabitants, while the hamlet in which the necropolis is located counts 57 inhabitants. In Glavatičevo there is a cottage settlement and some attractive catering facilities, hostels and fish restaurants, one of which is situated in the immediate vicinity of the necropolis. Unfortunately, despite all the efforts made by the Municipality of Konjic in terms of familiarizing its citizens and visitors of this city with the cultural and historical heritage, the fact that there is no tourism strategy or concept of touristic offer at the level of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton or at any higher level is devastating. Information points are lacking and there are no tourist guides. The Regional Museum also plays a significant role. However, over the past several years Konjic was visited by a large number of tourists from different parts of the country and the world, thanks to the completion of works on the reconstruction of  Kamena ćuprija (Stone Bridge), which has resulted in increased revenues of the hotels, hostels and restaurants, both inside and outside the town. Lack of trained tourist guides and a tourism strategy in general reflects negatively on the efficiency of touristic capacities not just of the Municipality of Konjic, but of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.

–        Protection and promotion?

The whole area is frequented by fishermen, and in the last few years, significant activity is related to rafting. There is no significant tourist pressure on the site. It has one information board of the Commission with basic information about the site. The heritage of the Municipality of Konjic is exceptionally well presented in the local media and publications and the website of the Municipality of Konjic presents all national monuments with a short description. There is also a very good cooperation with elementary and secondary schools whose students, along  with professors, take part in cleaning and maintaining the necropolis with direct financial assistance of the Municipality of Konjic and learning about the background of the monuments and their significance for future generations. Physical access to the monuments has been provided and the infrastructure and signposts built for the majority of monuments.