Kučarin Hrančići Goražde

The necropolis is located in Donje polje near the village of Žilići, about 15 km west of Goražde at altitude of 730 meters. There are 325 visible tombstones, mostly in the form of slabs and chests, and a smaller number of gabled roof tombstones. Forms of recumbent monoliths  are represented: slabs, chests, and gabled roof tombstones.

Three tombstones, one being  a trough, are decorated. The edges of the trough are decorated with cannelures, the narrower lateral (western) side is adorned with a plastic cross decoration with round endings, placed inside the circle, while a deer is represented on the longer (southern) side. Another stećak contains a sickle motif in high relief on the upper panel, while the western front side of the chest bears a lily motif in high relief. One gabled roof tombstone bears an epitaph dedicated to Njegoš Vidojević.

The first known traces of a settlement in Goražde and its vicinity point, on the basis of archaeological research, to the early Stone Age (Neolithic period of 2300 B.C.). In the later period, the region was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe Autariatae. There was a settlement in the area of today’s Goražde in Roman times.

The Drina River area (Gornje Podrinje – Upper Drina Valley) was mentioned by the Priest of Duklja in mid-12th century. Since then, its great significance can be traced, whether it was within the Serbian or the Bosnian state. In 1373, the area came under the Bosnian rule, when Bosnian Ban Tvrtko I, by an agreement with Prince Lazar, defeated and divided the property of the Serbian prefect Nikola Altomanović.

Goražde was a famous medieval market town held by the feudal family of the Hranićes-Kosačas. In written sources, it was first mentioned in 1376.

The Drina River area included the counties of Bistrica, Govz, Osanica, Goražde, Pribud and Piva. The Osanica County belonged to the village Kosača, which was, according to some scholars, the home land of the powerful Kosača family. The rise of the Kosačas began during the time of Vlatko Vuković, a general of King Tvrtko I, and continued under Duke Sandalj Hranić (1392-1435).

After Duke Sandalj Hranić’s death in 1435, Stjepan-Vukčić Kosača took power and ruled over the area until his death in 1466. In 1448, he gained the title of herzeg, after which the entire area, including Hum and Primorje, was named Herzegovina. In 1454, herzeg Stjepan built a Serbian Orthodox Church temple in Donja Sopotnica dedicated to St. George.

There are a large number of necropolises with tombstones in the area. There have been no archaeological research at the necropolis in Hrančići and, as a result, there is no information about the time of its founding or its builders.

The village of Hrančići is about 15 km west of Goražde. The necropolis is located on a land plot on the Kučarin site. The national monument covers the area encompassing cadastral parcels 388/1 and 423/4, cadastral municipality of Kreča, Municipality of Goražde, Federation of BiH, Bosnia and Herzegovina; private ownership of several persons.


The necropolis is located on a plot at the Kučarin site. Tombstones are situated on a hill covered with a dense beech forest. The site is delimited by a local macadam road.

Kučarin in Hrančići, Goražde, FBiH
Kučarin in Hrančići, Goražde, FBiH

State of the location

The condition of the site is not satisfactory. A local road divided the necropolis in two parts and 30 tombstones are 40 meters away from the remainder of the necropolis (this part of the necropolis is on the southern side of the local road). The present state does not match the original state, because many of the tombstones are sunken or covered by a thick layer of humus and leaves. The tombstones are largely 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.


Facilities for visitors and infrastructure

The location of the necropolis in a forest resulted in the value of cultural landscape. In cooperation with Caritas, only some benches were put in the vicinity of the site CA „Odmor na selu“ (Civil Association) as well as signalisation to the tombstones from the M20 turn off to the monument and the info board with all necessary information. The site is located about 33 km of Goražde of which about 10 km is a macadam road. Due to the rehabilitation of the macadam road leading to the remotest local community of Orahovica some tombstones have slid, so in order to prevent further collapsing the Municipality of Goražde in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Spatial Planning constructed concrete gutters. The biggest problem for the protection of this National Monument is the road communication in very poor condition. The Municipality of Goražde maintains the road, but due to its macadam construction it gets damaged after every rainfall which makes access to the tombstones very difficult. Situated in high forest, in a natural environment with a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding area, without any harmful environmental effects, it is an ideal leisure place. In the immediate vicinity of the site Hrančići – Goršić Polje there are about 120 residents living in a dozen of hamlets. These are mainly elderly people. The Municipality of Goražde has included one of the top priority objectives – Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Municipality of Goražde, into the Strategy for Sustainable Development. This prioritized objective also involves planned projects related particularly to the protection and maintenance of the national monuments located in the municipality area, for which the amount of 13,000 BAM is allocated in the budget. So far, the only assistance regarding the funding of protection projects was received from the Federal Ministry of Spatial Planning on two occasions: for the construction of concrete gutters to prevent further collapsing of the tombstones and for the promotion of cultural and historical heritage through the creation of videos and documentaries and development of project documentation. The Municipality of Goražde in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Spatial Planning has made promotional video clips that were broadcast on the local television station. In addition, the Public company Bosnian-Podrinje Canton Goražde Radio-Television (JP RTV BPK Goražde) produced a series of documentaries on the history of this region particularly focused on the tombstones outspread on several sites. The websites of the aforementioned associations also provide information on this site, yet it is not sufficient for a more intense promotion. At this point, there are no formally employed persons to work directly on the protection of cultural heritage in the Municipality of Goražde. However, there is hope that in the future they could be in the position to hire two qualified persons to tackle protection and promotion of this site as well as other cultural sites of the Municipality. The association of citizens „Kulturna baština Bosansko-podrinjskog kantona Goražde“ (Cultural Heritage of the Bosnian-Podrinje Canton Goražde) is a civic organisation which is most involved in the preservation of the necropolis and promotion of all the tombstones and other historical sites in this area (www.kbbpk.org ). Another major promoter of the necropolis with tombstones is the association of citizens called „Odmor na selu“ (Holiday in the Countryside)(www.agroturizam.ba); since the necropolis is located in a remote rural area they are trying to bring together all the possibilities for tourism development, to include cultural and  rural tourism. The necropolises are not sufficiently presented in the sense of tourism, because in the immediate vicinity of the Hrančići site there is another site called Kosače, and many other necropolises with the tombstones are scattered across the territory of the Municipality and the Canton. Some 7 kilometres away from the site there is the mountain lodge „Ruda Glava“ which offers accommodation for 70 visitors. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, in 2011 the Municipality of Goražde was visited by 2 011 tourists with 4 549 overnights.