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Archaeological Site

Radimlja - necropolis with stećak tombstones

Archaeological Site · Western Balkans · 60 m · open today
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  • Nekropola
    Photo: Adnan BUbalo, Via Dinarica

Inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site


The Radimlja necropolis  is one of the most important mediaeval monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina on account of the number of stećak tombstones, the diversity and representativity of the basic shapes of these tombstones, their relatively high artistic quality of workmanship, their wealth of carved decoration, scenes in relief and epitaphs referring to known historical figures, and the unusual location and ease of access of the necropolis.The origins of the necropolis date back to the late 14th century, when three large chest-shaped tombstones were cut, two of which are elaborately decorated and feature figural scenes in bas-relief. 

The next stage is represented by simple chest-shaped and gabled (sarcophagus-shaped) tombstones, their ends decorated with floriated crosses and with borders of acanthus leaves.  A separate group of some twenty stećak tombstones  dates from the final stage in the expansion of the necropolis, at the turn of the mediaeval and Ottoman periods - roughly the 15th to 16th century - of fine workmanship and of various shapes, which epitaphs reveal beyond doubt as the burial ground of the Orthodox Miloradović-Stjepanović feudal family.

The necropolis has 133 tombstones: 36 slabs, one slab on a plinth, 27 chests, 24 chests on plinths, four tall chests, five tall chests on plinths, two gabled, 31 gabled on plinths, and three cruciform tombstones.

Sixty-three of the 133 tombstones are decorated.  The decorations are in bas-relief, incised, or a combination of the two.  Among the most common decorative motifs, also standing out on account of their workmanship, are scrolling trefoil vines and cable twists, and motifs with a symbolic meaning, such as the sun (a circle), stars and crescent moon.  There are also numerous crosses, often highly stylized, and shield, sword and bow-and-arrow motifs.  A number of the tombstones bear animal figures, and the necropolis is also rich in figural scenes.  Of particular note are "ducal figures" and the figures of men with arms raised; there are also battle scenes and scenes of hunting and dancing.

Five of tombstones bear epitaphs in Bosnian Cyrillic, relating to one Radoje of the Miloradović-Stjepanović family, and to Radoje Vuković, Vukac Napetović, Vlačo (Vlađo) Vlahović and a certain Stipan.  The scribes' or stonemasons' signatures of Bolašin Bogačič, Miogost and Ratko Brativo(-)nič /Brativojevič are also to be seen on the tombstones.

Source: Unesco World Heritage List

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open today


Per person 2€.

In groups, 1€ per person.

Profile picture of Džana  Bordanić
Džana Bordanić
Update: December 02, 2019

By road

The Radimlja necropolis, located at the western entrance to the town of Stolac.


43.092154, 17.923937
43°05'31.8"N 17°55'26.2"E
33T 737976 4775198
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Radimlja - necropolis with stećak tombstones

Radimlja bb
88360 Stolac

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