Radimlja Necropolis - History and Facts | History Hit

Radimlja Necropolis

Kyle Hoekstra

08 Sep 2021
Image Credit: Prisma by Dukas Presseagentur GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

About Radimlja Necropolis

Radimlja Necropolis is an important medieval monument in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which features large tombstones known as stećci.

History of Radimlja Necropolis

Radimlja’s impressive stećak necropolis dates to the 15th and 16th centuries. It features monumental tombstones carved with detailed portraits of the deceased as well as visual motifs depicting hunting scenes and grapevines. Five of these stećak tombstones likely mark the graves of members of an important Vlach (Balkan Romance-speaking) family.

Most of the tombstones at Radimlja Necropolis date from the 1480s to the 16th century. The creation of the necropolis coincides with the rise of the noble family of Miloradović-Stjepanović. During this period, the location was known as Batnoge.

The necropolis includes 133 stećci which conform to nine types. They include large slabs, chests, sarcophagi, cruciform, and variants featuring pedestals. Over a dozen were destroyed when the Čapljina-Stolac road was built through the necropolis during the Austro-Hungarian period, in 1882.

The chests and sarcophagi with pedestals are the most finely decorated tombstones at Radimlja Necropolis and were probably reserved for the social elite. The location had been used as a burial site before the necropolis was built in the 14th century. Nearby, there are several burial mounds attributed to Illyrian tribes who inhabited the western Balkans.

Radimlja Necropolis today

The Radimlja Necropolis is open most of the day during the week, with shorter hours on Saturday. Children can access the necropolis for free while adults must pay 4KM (convertible mark) each. Given its location close to the main tourist road, it’s a great place to pause for a meditation on the medieval Balkans.

Getting to Radimlja Necropolis

Radimlja Necropolis is located 3 km west of Stolac, a southern town located on a tourist road which connects Sarajevo to Dubrovnik. It’s a straightforward journey if you are nearby Stolac (3 km) or Mostar (33 km). The Radimlja Necropolis is sometimes included in tours of the region.

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