Building I - 1st Floor - Room 1

 

The collection of plaster casts of stechaks
(13th to 16th century)

The permanent display of the Plaster Casts of Stechaks   Collection exhibits 29 items created in the period from the 13th to the 16th century.

Stechaks   are a unique kind of monolithic headstone created in the Middle Ages, mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Croatia (Dalmatia, Slavonia, Dalmatinska Zagora and Lika), Montenegro and Serbia.

The stechak covers the grave of the departed and serves the purpose of gravestone, and is not a stone coffin such as the Roman sarcophagus.  They differ in size, shape and manner of decoration.  The basic shapes are the coffin, the sarcophagus, the slab, obelisk and cross.  They are decorated with ornamental or figural embellishments, and the inscriptions are written in Bosančica, or Croatian Cyrillic, the text referring to the deceased.  They were created by local craftsmen who gave their own indigenous stamp to elements of the Romanesque and Gothic styles.

Most of the stechaks exhibited come from one of the richest of all the necropolises – Radimlja, by Stolac, in Bosnia and Herzegovina.