Bombing of Cultural Monuments
RAKOVICA MONASTERY in Belgrade, built
in the 16th century. During the bombardment of Rakovica, first on 24
March and repeatedly afterwards, the monastery was exposed to strong
detonations which have weakened the support wall and counterforts. The
church has been shaken, vertical fissures appeared, while all windows
have been broken. During the new, most severe bombardment of Rakovica
on the night of 14/15 April, lasting from 1:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m., the
monastery sustained a series of new damages: the portal door has been
blown out, no window pane remained undamaged and - most serious - the
fissures have widened.
TOPČIDER - the complex
extends along the Topčider River valley, from Rakovica to its mouth
with the Sava River. It is surrounded with urban housing projects. During
the 19th century the area around the residential complex built between
1831 and 1834 during the reign of Prince Miloš (encompassing the Residence,
the Topčider Church, the Priest’s House and service buildings) was continuously
developing according to architectural plans and included parks, fonts,
fountains, public monuments, flower and tree nurseries, orchards and
vineyards. The Church of St. Apostles Peter and Paul in Topčider has
been built upon the order of Prince Miloš. The monument complex in Topčider
has also been damaged during the bombardment of Belgrade.
ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING, NEMANJINA 9 - A monumental
building, the work of Serbian and Russian architects who participated
in the rebuilding of Serbia after World War I. On the night of 7 April
1999, during the NATO air strike on Belgrade, this building at Nemanjina
9, in the very heart of Belgrade, was also struck. The building sustained
considerable damage. The greatest damage occurred in the east wing,
where the destruction was vertical, affecting all floors, and complete.
The interior of the building was destroyed as well.
BUSINESS CENTER BUILDING - built between 1961 and 1965 according to
the design of the renowned Belgrade architect Mihailo Janković, as the
building for social and political organizations. Until the construction
of Beogra|anka Building, this glass and steel tower was the tallest
building in Belgrade and together with the Federation Palace one of
the landmarks of Novi Beograd. Given all its characteristics important
for the history of Belgrade architecture, the Ušće Business Center Building
has been granted the status of property which
enjoys preliminary protection. In the early morning hours of 21 April
the building was directly struck by four missiles which caused fire.
RESIDENCE IN UŽIČKA 15 - located
in the spatial complex Senjak, Dedinje, Topčidersko brdo, which enjoys
preliminary protection, in the close vicinity of the Topčider cultural
and historic complex, which is of great importance. Located in the residential
area of Belgrade, in the street with numerous villas designed by the
most prominent Serbian architects. It is a specific
urban area with specific historical development, natural characteristics
and residential style of its own, dominated by harmony between natural
values and architectural heritage.
Built in 1934 for engineer Acović
according to the design of architect Vladislav Vladisavljević as a moderately
sized one-storey villa in Romanticist style. After World War II it became
the residence of the head of State. It was altered and some additions
were built up first in 1948 and then three times
afterwards. The last major refurbishing was undertaken between 1970
and 1972, when the building acquired its present-day appearance. The
villa houses a valuable collection of paintings and applied plastic
art objects. The residence is surrounded with a representative park
with a large number of sculptures made by the greatest Yugoslav sculptors.
The villa was demolished in the attack of NATO warplanes on 22 April
RTS OFFICE BUILDING ON ABERDAREVA STREET - once the Students’
Boarding House, built between
1938 and 1940 as the endowment of Queen Marija to provide board and
lodging for poor students, designed by renowned Belgrade architect Ratko
Tadić. The building is an example of the quest for national values in
architecture and one of the major works of this
author. After World War II the building was converted to suit the needs
of the First Movie Company. After the founding of television, it was
adjusted to the new function, with minimum intervention on the facades.
In 1988 the new wing was built up according to the design of the Belgrade
Television’s Designing Bureau, while the original building remained
unchanged. The Serbian Radio Television building is important by its
function, both former and present, as the work of a prominent author,
as an example of the search for national style in architecture and as
an element of the complex within the Tašmajdan Park (including St. Mark’s
Church, Russian Church, RTS Building, the Pioneers’ Hall - now the Children’s
Cultural Center and Small Theater - now Theater „Duško Radović“,
which enjoys the status of preliminary protection. It was hit by NATO
warplanes on 23 April 1999.
CHILDREN’S CULTURAL CENTER, THEATER
„DUŠKO RADOVIĆ“ and SERBIAN RADIO AND TELEVISION BUILDING ON TAKOVSKA
STREET NO. 10 - Three connected buildings - originally the Pioneers’
Hall, the Small Theater and the Belgrade Radio and Television Building
- were built after the competition in 1962 won by the renowned Serbian
architect Ivan Antić. A complex urban block built between 1963 and 1967
to accommodate a variety of functions, partially
connected with the urban core and partially with the Tašmajdan Park,
it remains an example of successful blending with the surroundings.
The complex is important in various ways - by its function, as a valuable
architectural work and as the work of an architect with worldwide reputation.
Within the spatial complex „Old Belgrade" it enjoys the status
of preliminary protection. All three buildings were damaged in NATO
attacks on the night of 23 April 1999.
ST. MARK’S CHURCH in Tašmajdan
was built between 1931 and 1940 next to an old church bearing the same
name, which was built by Prince Miloš in 1835 and which was pulled down
in 1941. The new monumental church was built after the design of architects
Branko and Petar Krstić in the style of old Serbian Medieval architecture.
According to the general structural concept and spatial arrangement
it closely resembles the church of the Gračanica Monastery. Owing to
its dimensions and rich decorations on the exterior it looks impressive.
The construction method and facade polychromy
imitates the Serbian-Byzantine style. Inside the church is a sarcophagus
with the remains of King Dušan (1308-1355) brought from his foundation,
St. Archangel’s Monastery near Prizren. The tomb of Patriarch German
is situated on the northern part. Due to its architectural value and
urbanistic significance it was established as the immovable cultural
property - cultural monument in 1975.
On the night of 23 April 1999, when the Television
Building was struck, almost all glass on church windows and doors was
broken, although it was reinforced glass. Some window frames and metal
supports were twisted and blown out by the detonation. Shrapnel and
material from the nearby demolished building on Aberdareva Street hit
the church, causing minor damage on the facade (alternating rows of
stone and bricks), on the eastern side of the church and altar apse,
as well as on the copper sheeting on domes and eaves, which was damaged
in several spots. Eaves trims and vertical drain pipes on the eastern
side of the church were also damaged in several places. Broken glass
from many windows was scattered inside the church, while on the southern
side of the naos several window panes were blown out of place and remained
hanging in the naos area.
THE OLD RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH - The Russian
Church in Tašmajdan, the only Russian church in our country, was built
in dramatic years following World War I and the October Revolution,
when more than 50,000 Russian refugees came to our country. Hospitable
attitude of King Aleksandar and local population contributed to active
participation of Russian refugees in day-to-day life. Many facilities
were built, the most significant among them include the Russian Church
and the Russian Hall. The Russian Church, dedicated to St. Trinity,
was designed by architect Valery Stashevski and built in 1924 in the
traditional Russian style of church architecture. The church enjoys
the status of preliminary protection within the Old Belgrade complex.
It was shown in the exhibition „Russian Architects in Belgrade"
in October 1998 in Moscow and in February 1999 in Sankt Peterburg.
When the state television building on Aberdareva
Street was bombed on 23 April about 2:00 AM, the church walls closest
to the point of impact were shaken.
THE OLD CITY CENTER consists of an urban core
established during the 18th and 19th centuries, in specific historical
conditions and specific geopolitical position. The settlement developed
upon the foundations of the Roman Taurunum and now encompasses 59 streets,
6 squares and over 900 buildings. St. Archangel’s Quarantine Chapel,
built in 1766, one of the two remaining witnesses of the economic-sanitary
institution of quarantine, is located in the Zemun City Park. During
the air strike in the early morning hours on 5 April 1999 the windows
on the Quarantine Chapel broke and fissures appeared.
THE OLD CITY CENTER started to develop in
the late 17th century and before 1745 obtained its final spatial arrangement,
preserved until the present day. The city center encompasses 21 established
objects classified as immovable cultural property. Six among them are
classified as immovable cultural property of great importance, and one
as being of exceptional importance for the Republic of Serbia. The old
city center of Novi Sad - spatial, cultural and historic whole with
exceptionally valuable architectural heritage of the 18th-20th centuries
- has been continuously threatened since 1 April 1999 by repeated NATO
attacks on the city.
THE VARADIN BRIDGE - Built between 1921 and 1928
on the Danube. The Petrovaradin Fortress, built between 1692 and 1780
as a unique example of Austrian fortification architecture, is situated
on the right bank of the Danube, some 40-60 m from the bridge. The complex
consists of the Upper and Lower Town. On 1 April in the early morning
hours (between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m.) the Varadin Bridge was demolished.
During the attack, roofs of the buildings in the Lower Town were damaged.
The destruction of the bridge also affected the Monument to the 1942
Raid Victims, erected in 1971.
During the NATO air strike on Novi Sad, which
occurred on 1 April 1999 at 4:55 a.m., some cultural and educational
institutions also sustained damage. Thus, all glass walls on the new
wing of the Vojvodina Museum and glass showcases with over 6,000 exhibits
of the permanent exhibition were broken. Elementary School „Djordje
Natošević“ was damaged
as well. The building of the Faculty of Philosophy was left with 30
large window panes broken. Its main library and the state-of-the-art
pedagogical-didactic laboratory were damaged too. The Petrovaradin Fortress,
a historic and cultural complex under the state
protection since 1947, is located in the close vicinity of the Varadin
Bridge. The attack caused damage to the roofs of buildings in the Lower
Town of the fortification, which includes residential and public buildings,
hospitals, the Orthodox and the Catholic churches. The roof of the monastery
Church of St. Juraj (built in 1714) was heavily damaged, while the hospital
and all buildings on Beogradska Street built in the 18th and 19th centuries
remained without windows and roof tiles. Former „Gunboat" building,
which houses the collections of the Novi Sad City Museum, sustained
THE BAN’S PALACE - located in downtown
Novi Sad, on Mihaila Pupina Boulevard No. 16 was built between 1935
and 1940 according to the plans of architect Dragiša Brašovan in the
late Modern style to serve as the seat of the district government (banovina)
and the office of the ban for the Danubian Banovina. It is a representative
and monumental public building whose unique architectural composition
includes two separate buildings: the administrative building and the
Ban’s Palace. The complex ranks among the highest achievements of Serbian
architecture between two world wars and of the 20th century as a whole.
The Ban’s Palace is now the seat of the Vojvodina Executive Council.
On 19 April 1999 at 1:40 AM the Executive Council
building in downtown Novi Sad was hit by one missile. The missile struck
the left side of the building at third floor, but the detonation damaged
the whole Executive Council building. It is worth noting that due to
its high artistic value, this building is listed in all major international
architectural encyclopedias. The architect who designed the building
was awarded by the European Association of Architects.
Fruška Gora Monasteries
NOVO HOPOVO (New Hopovo) - The center of literacy
and culture, with continuity of monastery life since the mid-16th century.
The new church of St. Nicholas was built in 1576 in place of the old
one. Pursuant to the information by the nuns, a team of experts inspected
the site and found out that the church statics had been heavily damaged
as the consequence of bombardment on the night of 4/5 April. This is
evidenced by the fissures, fallen out bricks and damage of frescos on
the south-western arch.
ŠIŠATOVAC - The monastery with the church dedicated
to the Birth of the Virgin, located on the Srem (western) slopes of
Fruška Gora Mount. According to historical sources, it was founded in
1520 by the prior Teophil with the monks on the site of a small St.
Nicholas’ church. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Turkish sources
mention a series of constructional interventions on the monastery complex.
The present-day church was built in 1778 owing to the endeavours of
the Vršac bishop Vićentije
Popović. That is a triconchal structure with a dome and high bell tower
above the western facade, exhibiting elegant decorative appearance.
The frescoes dating from 1794 are the work of Grigorije Davidović Opšić.
The center of the cult of St. Stefan Štiljanović, since the mid-16th
century the place where his remains were kept until 1942, an important
cultural center in the early 19th century, Šišatovac was demolished
in the Ustashi campaign in 1941. The systematic restoration of the complex
began in 1970 and ended in 1996 with the consecration
of the church in 1996.
According to the information furnished by the
Cultural Monument Protection Authority in Sremska Mitrovica, on 17 April
at 11:30 a.m., a powerful explosion shook the village. The missile struck
about 150 meters away from the monastery, on the edge of the monastery
ground bordering the forest. The monastery walls were shaken, 5 window
panes broke on the eastern and northern sides of the church, while roof
shingles and three window panes broke on the monastery residence building.
STARO HOPOVO (Old Hopovo) - the
Fruška Gora monastery with the church dedicated to St. Pantheleimon
was founded, according to the legend, by despot Djordje Branković, while
the first written mention of the monastery dates
back to 1546. The church was erected in 1752 on the place of an older
one, as a single-nave structure with a decagonal dome. The decorative
quality of the facade and dome foundation is emphasized by an arcade
frieze. The painted decoration of the iconostasis dating from 1793 is
attributed to Jefrem Isailović,
while rich baroque woodcarving is the work of Tomas Firtler from Osijek.
Some elements of iconostasis discovered during the research and conservation
work might be the work of Janko Halkozović, one of the prominent representatives
of the so-called transition style, which incorporated
baroque elements in the late Medieval heritage.
During the bombardment of the Fruška Gora slopes
on 17 April the monastery church was damaged.
KOVILJ - the monastery with the church dedicated
to Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel is located in the village of
Kovilj, east of Novi Sad. The first written mention of the monastery
dates from the mid-17th century, while the present-day church was built
between 1741 and 1749 as the foundation of Petar Andrejević
from Sremski Karlovci. The founder ordered the builders to erect a church
after the model of the Manasija monastery. Therefore, the influence
of Medieval Morava architecture is evident on the church in Kovilj:
the foundation is designed as a combination of a three-naved basilica
and a triconch, with a polygonal tambour dome, while the facade made
of Fruška Gora stone is decorated with rows of blind arches. The old
iconostasis made by Teodor Ilić Češljar burnt in fire in 1848.
On 21 April 1999 NATO bombs exploded some 300
meters away from the monastery, causing fissures on the load-bearing
dome arches and church ceilings, while church and residence walls were
VOJLOVICA MONASTERY with the Church of St. Archangels
Michael and Gabriel was
founded by despot Stefan Lazarević in 1405. In the bombardment of the
oil refinery on the night of 3/4 April, the monastery was threatened.
Intense bombardment followed: on the night of 11/12 April four missiles
struck the Pančevo refinery, again endangering the church of the Vojlovica
Monastery. During the bombing on the night of 13/14 April, walls of
the monastery church cracked, windows broke and the roof was damaged.
The repeated bombardment of the Pančevo refinery and petrochemical installations
on the night of 15/16 April further jeopardized the monastery church.
Heavy bombardment on the night of 18 April, when the installations of
three main Pančevo industrial facilities in the southern part of the
city were struck (Oil Refinery, Petrochemical Industry
and Nitrogen Plant), posed additional threat to the Vojlovica Monastery.
THE OLD CITY CENTER - An oriental town developed into
a European city during the 19th century. THE OLD CHURCH, the endowment
of Prince Miloš, was built in 1818 in the center of the city. THE UNCLE’S
RESIDENCE (Amidžin konak),
built between 1819 and 1824, is the only preserved facility within the
Prince Miloš‘s court complex. PRINCE MIHAILO’S RESIDENCE was erected
upon the order of Prince Mihailo Obrenović around 1860. THE HIGH SCHOOL
built between 1885 and 1887 is one of the oldest
school buildings in our country. THE OLD ASSEMBLY BUILDING was built
in 1859. THE FIRST BARRACKS BUILDING was built in the old city center,
near the High School, at the end of the 19th century during the reign
of King Milan. It was built according to standard European design, with
the main horizontal and two side wings.
In the heavy bombardment of Zastava plants in
Kragujevac on the night of 8/9 April, then on 11/12 April and 12/13
April, this historic complex in the city center was damaged. During
the third attack on Zastava plants (14/15 April) the High School and
the Old Assembly buildings were also damaged. During the last bombing
of the Zastava plants on 21 April, an incendiary bomb hit the central
part of the First Barracks, so that the main part of the building was
demolished and burnt.
SAMAILA - a village in the vicinity of Kraljevo.
Particularly important for ethnological study is a large group of gravestones
known as krajputaši (roadside tombstones). Although the oldest among
them date from the latter half of the 19th century, the most significant
preserve the memory of the soldiers who laid their lives for the liberation
of Serbia between 1912 and 1918.
The village of Samaila was bombarded on three
occasions between the 10th and 15th April 1999. Due to detonations the
gravestones were shaken.
ŽIČA - A monastery with the church
dedicated to Christ's Ascension was founded in the early 13th century.
The founder was king Stefan Prvovenčani (The First Crowned). A smaller
church of St. Theodore Tiron and Theodore Stratilat, built in the 14th
century, is situated east of the main monastery church. On the night
of 7/8 April one missile struck between the village of Ribnica and Žiča,
thus jeopardizing the monastery. During the bombardment of the vicinity
of Kraljevo on the night of 19/20 April one missile struck some 2 kilometers
from the Žiča monastery. Although no visible damage occurred, experts
justly fear that the detonation might have undermined the wall stability.
THE NEW PAVLICA - The monastery church dedicated to the
Presentation of the Virgin Mary
is the endowment of Stefan and Lazar Musić. It was erected in the 1380s.
THE OLD PAVLICA church is the only surviving part of one-time monastery
from the time of the Byzantine rule in this territory. On the night
of 7/8 April the bridge near Brvenik was bombed
and the monasteries on the right bank of the Ibar are now inaccessible.
THE FORTRESS - Kruševac, the capital
of Prince Lazar Hrebeljanović’s state, was built between 1374 and 1377.
Substantial remnants of the medieval town are situated in
the center of the present-day city. LAZARICA - Prince Lazar built St.
Stephen’s Church between 1377/78 and 1380 inside the fortification to
serve as a court chapel. THE GREEK STREET is a group of residential
family houses in the center of Kruševac, erected by Tzintzars during
the 19th and early 20th centuries. THE SIMIĆ
RESIDENCE built in the early 19th century is now a museum. THE DISTRICT
GOVERNMENT BUILDING was built between 1900 and 1904.
During the bombing on the night of 11/12 April, the explosions
shook the walls of the old fortification, while windows broke on the
Simić Residence - now a museum. The old bridge built in 1926 was torn
down by bombardment on 13 April at about 3:30 a.m. Subsequent bombing
on the night of 14/15 April produced new damage. Repeated bombing on
the night of 22/23 April, when the bridge in the direction of Stalać
was demolished, further jeopardized the old city center.
One of the important centers of Danube navigation,
the city’s history spans the period of almost 600 years in continuity.
The oldest city core is the FORTRESS built by despot Djuradj in the
early 15th century. THE CHURCH OF ASSUMPTION on the Smederevo cemetery
was built in the first half of the 15th century. ST. GEORGE’S CHURCH
was built in the very center of the new town in 1854. THE DISTRICT GOVERNMENT
BUILDING, now the District Court, was built in 1886-88. Bombardment
on the night of 3/4 April endangered the city center.
The second largest city in Serbia is an old
settlement, originating in prehistoric age. The Roman town of Naissus
was the foundation for the imperial residence of Constantine the Great
in the 4th century AD. During the third heavy bombardment of Niš on
the night of 5/6 April damage was inflicted on the center of the city
and its northern part - Crveni Krst (Red Cross).
THE RED CROSS PRISON CAMP MUSEUM was affected
by repeated bombing: the roofs of ground-floor facilities were damaged.
THE TOBACCO FACTORY, protected and rehabilitated
complex of early 20th century industrial architecture, has been heavily
damaged. The fermented tobacco storage has been completely ruined, the
mechanical shop demolished, the infirmary and kindergarten damaged,
while facades, doors, windows and roofs of all facilities within the
complex have been damaged. The repeated bombardment of the northern
part of the city, on the night of 19/20 April, further affected the
Tobacco Industry complex. During this attack the rehabilitated facilities
of the restaurant and flower nursery were directly struck and demolished,
while previous damage on other facilities was further extended by the
detonations. During the bombardment of the north-western industrial
area on the night of 22/23 April other facilities of the Tobacco Industry
and Red Cross Prison Camp sustained additional damage.
THE PANČIĆ MAUSOLEUM, built in
July 1951 on the highest peak of Mt. Kopaonik, is dedicated to Josif
Pančić. During earlier NATO air strikes the monument was endangered,
and it was heavily damaged by the bombing on the night of 12/13 April.
MELENTIJA - the monastery with the church
dedicated to St. Stephen, the foundation dating from the mid-15th century.
KRIVA REKA - St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church was erected in 1618. On
the night of 13/14 April 1999 one missile struck between the mentioned
villages on Mt. Kopaonik and the monuments were put at risk from the
ST. NICHOLAS’ MONASTERY in the city, the center
of the Toplica Bishopric, is the foundation of the grand župan Stefan
Nemanja, built in the 1160s. THE CHURCH OF THE MOTHER OF GOD is an early
Byzantine church restored by Stefan Nemanja in the late 1150s and 1160s.
On the night of 1/2 April the city was bombed, and both shrines were
damaged. ST. MARK’S CHURCH - remnants of an ancient/early Byzantine
basilica (4th-7th centuries).
During the bombardment of the Toplica bridge on
the night of 14/15 April, the remains of this complex were severely
damaged. During the attack on the bridges on the confluence of the Kosanica
and Toplica rivers in the early morning hours of 18 April in the suburb
of Kastrat, for the third time since the onset of aggression, St. Nicholas’
Church and the Church of the Mother of God were again damaged.
According to the field reports, during the several
hours long bombardment of Kuršumlija on the night on 19/20 April the
city was damaged, while the medieval monasteries were again put at risk.
During the daytime bombardment on 22 April, the
old city center was again shaken.
ST. PROKOPI’S CHURCH, situated at the foot
of the medieval city of Hisar, was built during the 9th and 10th centuries.
During the bombardment of the city on the night of 13/14 April the walls
of this old church were shaken, while window panes broke.
An old town, a trade center, preserves many
buildings built in the late 17th century. During the heavy bombardment
of Vranje on 5 April the center of the town was destroyed, hence the
buildings in the old center were damaged. In addition, St. Petka’s Church,
built in 1925 on the downtown cemetery, was damaged: vertical fissures
appeared, the ceiling dropped in the altar and naos, the church and
bell tower facades were damaged, nearby gravestones were damaged as
well, while all nine windows on the dome broke.
near Vranje - an archaeological locality representing the southernmost
settlement of the Starčevo culture in our country. The stratigraphy
has been studied from the Vinča-Tordoš to the Vinča-Pločnik phase on
two localities: Gumnište and Čukor. Typical ceramic dishes, sacrificial
altars - four-legged tables with semi-circular recipients, as well as
numerous pillar-like statues relate Pavlovac with the major findings
of the Starčevo culture. In addition to movable material, other findings
studied on this locality include residential facilities
which render possible a reliable reconstruction of their original appearance
and structure, owing to their highly preserved condition.
During the last bombardment of Vranje and its
vicinity on 15 April 1999, this archaeological locality was damaged.
Loznica - a pyramid-shaped monument built after World War I as a memorial
to fallen Serbian soldiers above partially underground charnel house
- has been shaken by detonations, while the mortar between blocks cracked.
THE OLD TOWN CENTER was founded in the 19th
century. It encompasses St. Archangel’s Church (1835), the monument
to liberators 1941-45, the bridge (1906) and an old hydropower plant
with a dam on the Moravica river. During the bombardment on 1 April
the old town center was greatly shaken.
PRILIKE - the cemetery church of St. Archangels
Michael and Gabriel on a hill above the town is a single-nave temple
with a dome over square foundations and an altar apse in the width of
the nave. It was built in the first half of the 19th century. Judging
by the shape of the building and facade decoration, which repeats the
frieze of blind arches under all roof eaves, it was designed after the
model church of the Moravica bishopric and King Dragutin’s mausoleum
from the 13th century - St. Ahilije’s Church in Arilje. One of the particularly
valuable pieces among the preserved icons of the church in Prilike is
Christ’s icon dating from the mid-19th century, a mature work of Sreten
Molerović Protić, a painter
Bombing of the satellite transmitter in Prilike
on the night of 19/20 April put the church at risk, as its walls were
ST. TRINITY MONASTERY - by the shape of its foundation
and powerful dome of a 12-side tambour, elegant proportions and stone
relief decoration, the church of St. Trinity Monastery was long believed
to date back to the 13th century. However, owing to the first written
mention in 1594 and research results, it was established that the church
was built in the last decade of the 16th century. Wall surfaces over
portals were painted in the 17th century, while the church interior
has never been painted with frescos. In the 19th century the brotherhood
built a residential building north of the church with a cellar made
of crushed stone and the first floor made of wooden structure with brickwork
- a fine example of folk architecture. Richly carved iconostasis with
icons in the manner of Romanticism was made in 1868 by a Vienna student,
painter Nikola Marković.
The iconostasis underwent restoration and after the conservation works
on the church had been completed it was returned to its original position
SRETENJE MONASTERY - founded in the late 16th century,
it was first demolished as early as 1623. It
was restored as late as 1818, owing to the endeavours of the monk Nićifor
Maksimović, who subsequently became the bishop of Užice. Considerable
remains of the old church have been preserved until the present day:
lower parts of the naos, the altar apse, the altar partitions in masonry
and a decorative marble rosette. Frescos in the church dating from 1844
are the work of Živko Pavlović from Požarevac, while Nikola Janković
is the author of the painted decoration in the parvis. The monastery
complex received its present form between 1818
and 1845, when residences were built on the west and south of the church,
while the complex was surrounded with a stone wall.
According to the report of the associate of the Republican
Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments who inspected these
two monasteries at the foot of Mt. Ovčar
on 17 April, after detonations caused by bombing of the relay on Mt.
Ovčar, small fissures appeared on the walls of both churches, while
roof tiles fell off the roofs of old residences.
On the night of 22/23 April, during the second bombardment
of the transmitter on the
peak of Mt. Ovčar, the two monastery complexes were further shaken by
NIKOLJE MONASTERY, mentioned as
early as 1489, is one of the oldest monasteries on the slopes of Mt.
Kablar near Čačak. When an airplane tank dropped
in the village of Rošce in the close vicinity of the monastery on the
night of 4/5 April, the monastery and the surrounding area were faced
with an environmental hazard.
A medieval FORTIFICATION mentioned by historical sources
in the latter half of the 14th century. A HYDROPOWER PLANT near the
fortress, whose construction started in 1899, is the oldest object of
technical culture in Serbia of this kind. ST. MARK’S CHURCH, situated
in the old city center, was built in 1828 upon the foundations of an
18th century temple. KADINJAČA
hill is the site of a memorial complex dedicated to fallen warriors
of the Workers’ Battalion from Užice. The repeatedly bombed city is
endangered by detonations, while the walls of historical buildings have
been markedly loosened. Particularly threatened are parts of the fortification
and the Kadinjača memorial complex. On the night of 22 April, during
bombardment, one missile hit the post office building in downtown Užice,
shaking the old city center and St. Mark’s Church.
SIROGOJNO - This village on the slopes of Mt.
Zlatibor earned worldwide reputation owing to its OLD VILLAGE ethnic
park. The museum was founded in 1980. St. Peter and Paul’s Church (17th-19th
century) is situated in the close vicinity. On the night of 1/2 April,
a shell dropped from a damaged bomber, shaking the complex to a considerable
A medieval city, mentioned for the
first time between 1091 and 1094, encompasses the remains of St. George’s
Church. During the bombardment of Kosovska Mitrovica on 1 April the
walls were shaken. The complex was again threatened by the attack on
the night of 13/14 April.
THE GREAT BUSINESS CENTER (Velika
Čaršija) - A settlement existed here as far back as neolithic time.
At the end of the 16th century the HADIM MOSQUE was built in this location.
The urban core of the Great Business Center - the
complex with typical oriental architecture - developed during the 19th
century. The old city center was heavily damaged by the daytime bombing
on 10 April and was destroyed by bombardment on the night of 14/15 April.
THE TABAČKI BRIDGE was built in
the mid-18th century. It is significant because
the Serbian army crossed it during its retreat towards Albania in World
War I. During the bombardment of Djakovica on 14 and 15 April the bridge
was directly struck.
THE OLD CITY CENTER - though inhabited as
early as the neolithic period, the settlement gained in importance in
the late 12th century when it was incorporated into the medieval Serbian
state. THE IMPERIAL MOSQUE - the Mehmed Fatih Mosque - was built in
1460. GAZIMESTAN - historically, the central place of the confrontation
between the Serbian and the Turkish armies in Kosovo in 1389, is a unique
memorial complex dedicated to the Kosovo heroes. The Gazimestan monument
was hit during the daytime bombardment on 13 April. Earlier that day,
at 2:00 AM, the main railway station was bombed and the nearby historical
buildings were damaged.
- The Church of the Assumption in the Gračanica Monastery, the endowment
of King Milutin, was built in the second decade of the 14th century.
The monastery keeps a significant collection of icons, the oldest one
being the icon of Christ the Merciful from the
14th century, unique by its dimensions (269 x 139 cm). According to
UNESCO criteria for cultural heritage, the monastery was included in
the Preliminary List of World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1993.
On the night of 30/31 March the village of Gračanica
was bombed for the third time, while four shells fell 500 meters away
from the Gračanica monastery. With continuos unrelenting bombardment
of Priština, Gračanica is further endangered by detonations.
THE PATRIARCHATE OF PEĆ - The
complex of the Peć churches is the spiritual seat and mausoleum of Serbian
archbishops and patriarchs, built in the third decade of the 13th century.
During the bombardment on the night of 31 March/1 April the pumping
station of the city water supply system, situated 500 meters from the
monastery of the Patriarchate of Peć, was struck. The old city center
was bombed during daytime on 10 April, and after a series of repeated
bombings of Peć, on the night of 14/15 April the old city center was
DJURAKOVAC - ST.
NICHOLAS’ CHURCH - Built in 1592 on a cemetery on the outskirts of Peć,
upon the foundations of an older 14th century building. The church was
damaged during the bombardment on 3 April.
DRSNIK - The Church of St. Paraskeva is situated
in the village. The frescos suggest that it dates from the 1570s. This
church was damaged during the bombardment on the night of 14/15 April.
THE DANILOVIĆ CABIN - Built probably
in the first decade of the 18th century, it
is significant because, according to the legend, the first fire was
brought into the Dečani Monastery from the hearth in this house. The
house was burnt down on the night of
MINUTES OF THE TESTIMONY OF WITNESS
Taken on 29 April 1999, before the investigative
judge of the District Court in Belgrade, in the criminal proceedings
against an unidentified person, for the criminal act from Article 141
of the Penal Code of Yugoslavia.
||Also present at the hearing:
Started at 9.00 a.m.
The witness was warned to tell the truth
and withhold nothing and was warned of the consequences of giving false
testimony and that he was not obliged to answer questions likely to
expose him or his next of kin to disgrace, substantial material damage
or prosecution (Article 229 of the Law on Criminal Procedure). He gave
the following answers to the general questions:
1.Name and surname Radislav Trkulja
2. Father’s name Todor
3. Occupation Museum Director
4. Place of abode Belgrade, Hladne vode 65
5. Place of birth Novo Selo, Pančevo
6. Date of birth 8 April 1938
7. Relationship to the accused or
the injured party
With respect to the merits of the case,
the witness gave the following testimony.
The witness was warned to tell the truth and gave
the following answers to the questions:
On the left bank of the Sava where the river empties
into the Danube in New Belgrade, there is a building of the Musem of
Modern Art whose director I have been since 1993.
The Museum houses the most valuable 20th century
works of art from the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
The permanent exhibition and musem’s depots in
the same builidng contain around 10,000 works of art, including 2,000
sculptures and 3,000 paintings. This musem has collected the works of
the most famous artists in this century not only from the territory
of the present-day Yugoslavia but from the territory of the former Yugoslavia
as well. This is the largest art musem in the territory of the entire
Yugoslavia and the first of its kind in the Balkans.
The Musem was opened in the mid-sixties of this
century. The building was specifically designed to accommodate the Musem’s
requirements. It is almost entirely made of glass and covers an area
of more than 500 sq.m. The building received the October award as an
outstading architectural achievement of the time.
When the aggression started, the Musem was not
closed and in addition to the permanent exhibition we mounted two shows.
The Musem was opened for visitors on a daily basis.
We have not taken away the works of art and they
are still either in the Museum or in its depot which does not have special
protection. It is partially dug in, with glass covering and it is easily
In the wake of NATO bombing, our Museum was first
damaged on 21 April 1999 at 3.15 a.m. and for the second time on 27
April 1999 at 1.30 a.m. I was not in the building at the time, but I
was informed of the damage to the Musem by the guard.
The Museum is in the area of Novi Beograd where
there are no military facilities. The building of the "Ušće“
business center is 500 m away and it was directly targeted on those
days - 21 and 27 April 1999.
There were no other bombing raids
and our Museum was damaged on both occasions when the building of the
”Ušće“ business center was hit.
As a consequence, the building itself and the
Museum exhibits were substantially damaged. I cannot anticipate the
precise amount of damage at this moment.
As I said, the building is almost entirely made
of glass, including side walls and roof structure which was specifically
designed to provide more light. Around 40 per cent of outer glass surfaces
were damaged. They are 7 to 10 mm thick. The glass has broken or fell
out allowing rain to come inside on unprotected exhibits, including
According to my random assessment, around 400
sqm of outer glass surface was damaged. Last year, when we replaced
1 sqm we paid 24,000 Dinars. The value of the damaged glass surfaces
can be easily calculated on this basis.
In addition, several dozen sculptures were damaged
or destroyed. Some can be repaired while others are gone for ever. The
paintings in our collection may also suffer damage since the air conditioning
system has also been put out of work. We are therefore not in a position
to protect adequately the works of art. On the other hand, we are not
in a position to relocate the exhibits since we could not have assumed
that we shall ever face such a situation - that the building will be
substantially damaged and that invaluable works of art not destroyed
in the bombing will be directly threatened.
The first bombing had ten times lesser consequences
than the second one.
I would like to note that our collection includes
the sculptures of our most renowned sculptors (Meštrović,
Augustinčić, Vuković, etc.). They weigh about 1500 kg and were mounted
in the Museum while it was still under construction and therefore cannot
I am hereby submitting the report of our commission
for the assessment of damage that was established. This is only a rough
Therefore, it is too early to state what the final
damage will amount to. As I already said it is incalculable, since the
Museum houses the most invaluable works of art.
This is all I had to state. I was listening while
the minutes were dictated out loud. I have no further comments to make
and sign them as my own.
Concluded at 9.45 a.m.
Court Clerk, Investigative judge
(Sgd) S. Mitrić
(sgd) R. Trkulja (sgd) I. Simić