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Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar A national monument and cemetery for almost 600 partisan

Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Mostar

Bijeli Brijeg, Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

  • CONSTRUCTION YEAR: 1965


  • SPACE TYPE: Cemetery

  • PRESERVATION STATUS: Abandoned

Tags: Bosnia- Herzegovina, cemetery, memorial, Totally Lost 2013

The Partisans’ Memorial Cemetery in Mostar is on a site known as «Biskupova glavica» alongside King Petar Krešimir IV street, where the main entrance to the complex is located. The complex of the memorial cemetery stands on the northern slope of the Biskupova glavica hillock (an artificially-created forest park) planted in the 1960s.

In the run-up to World War II, Mostar had a population of 18,000, of which almost six thousand were actively engaged in the War of National Liberation. More than 750 National Liberation combatants were killed in the war, along with more than a thousand victims of fascism.

After World War II, a great many memorials to the War of National Liberation were erected, and in early 1959, at the initiative of Džemal Bijedić, the design of a memorial cemetery in Mostar was entrusted to architect Bogdan Bogdanović. The decision to build the memorial was passed by the Municipal Assembly in 1960, and the works were carried out by Mostar’s Parks and Plantations Corporation.

The memorial was formally opened on 25 September 1965 by Josip Broz Tito on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Mostar from fascism and on the date of formation of the Mostar Battalion.

In the spring of 1992, the Partisans’ Memorial Cemetery was badly damaged by war action and dynamiting. After the war, the destruction and devastation of the memorial continued as a result of neglect and lack of maintenance. The deterioration of the memorial cemetery was brought about by both natural and human factors. Despite the devastation, the memorial has not lost its physical completeness.

By Decision of the Lord Mayor of the City of Mostar dated 31 January 2003, a Committee to support the renovation of the complex of the Partisans’ Memorial Cemetery in Mostar was formed and at the end of 2004 the Committee drew up an operational programme of measures to renovate the Memorial.

During 2005, works were carried out on the memorial to clear, make good and reconstruct various component parts of the complex and greenery. On 9 May 2005 the part-restored memorial was formally opened and from 2006 it’s national monument.

Read more about in this document of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments (BA).


Costruito nel 1965 (nel periodo di rinnovamento e ricostruzione successivo alla fine della Seconda guerra mondiale) dall’architetto belgradese Bogdan Bogdanović, in memoria dei partigiani caduti durante il conflitto. Il Cimitero accoglie quasi 600 lapidi e ogni pietra racchiude un proprio significato simbolico, come Tutto il Monumento.

Sul posto ho scoperto che le mine non erano un problema e che la reticenza per trovarlo era dovuta ad altro. Il Cimitero Partigiano si trova in condizioni di completo abbandono e in rovina e non a causa di episodi di bombardamento. Gran parte delle lapidi sono divelte e spezzate, gettate alla rinfusa nell’erba non tagliata da tempo, fra cumuli di immondizia, cocci di bottiglia, frutto di festini notturni. I muri sono imbrattati da scritte e simboli ustascha e da croci uncinate. Di recente il bosco, che lo circonda, è stato incendiato e in definitiva assomiglia ad una lugubre discarica a cielo aperto.

Dopo le devastazioni della guerra del 1992- 1995 il Cimitero Monumentale è stato bonificato e, in un paio di occasioni, se n’è tentato il recupero, ma ogni volta ha subito nuovi pesanti attacchi vandalici. Nel 2006 è stato proclamato monumento nazionale.

Il suo autore, Bogdan Bogdanović, racconta: ”In un’occasione pubblica mi si avvicina una donna relativamente giovane, che voleva assolutamente comunicarmi in totale serenità. Sa, le devo dire che i miei genitori mi hanno concepita sul suo monumento a Mostar. Ho interpretato questo fatto come il più significativo riconoscimento al mio lavoro, come la conferma della vita, che si riproduce nei luoghi della memoria. Come del resto succedeva sulle tombe nell’antichità”.  

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EXPLORATION DATE: 2013
CONTRIBUTOR: Bruno Maran