Secrets under ice

Village Busnovi (near Prijedor, RS, BiH). Well preserved old church that is built in 1870. Beautiful position at the end of a village on a hill with view on a valley. Story about this church is no different then others in this series.



While I was trying to find some good spot to take picture and to make better composition because of heavy fog and some frost, a guy came and say hello to me. He introduce himself to me as Milorad Maksimović – descendant of original church builder. He told me some basic info about church that I already know and then he asked me to follow him in to graveyard next to the church.

I was amazed when I found out how big and how old that graveyard was. He showed me some old graves that nobody knows how old are they. I also saw a line of graves where 11 priests were buried – and all of them were inheritors to each other.

I wanted to see if anything is written on tombstones and we started to clean all the ice and snow.

On most of them, we couldn’t see anything because of many layers of ice and because of bad condition of the stone. But… we cleaned one… and here is what I saw

I’ve never seen this symbol before in this region. Only thing that I could link this symbol with is Flower of Life and Seed of Life (an ancient symbol that could be found in many religions and represents perfection, symbol of Creator, Seven Days of Creation…). Also, nobody gave me any explanation of this and Milorad (guy that showed me all that) said that graveyard is neglected by local community and there is no enthusiasm for uncovering the real story about those graves. I promised him that I will come in spring when snow melts down and he will show me the rest of that old tombstones.
I’m still under the influence of that strange place. Is there a truly remarkable story or is it just a simple old graveyard with no significance? Maybe some detective work will help.?!

Author: Igor Motl

Freelance photographer from Prijedor, Bosnia whos work is mainly based on portrait photography and photo stories.

9 thoughts on “Secrets under ice”

  1. You shoukd make a book, calendar, portal or write a fiction book about it. You know fiction based on historical foundation is a formula for success. Like Da Vinci’s code, or harry potter,…
    great pictures!
    that should be a spine of the story.

    1. Thx Borut. It is very intriguing story. A lot of unsolved details and a lot of silence about it. I have an urge to investigate it and I certainly will. I’m not a fan of Browns work, but Da Vinci came upon my mind while I was walking on that graveyard. I’ll try to collect all the information I can get and maybe I’ll make a photo monograph about it.

  2. Maybe I could connect you with my father’s friend who is archeologist. Maybe he could give you an answer or direct you in right direction (or left). 🙂

  3. Yes it is! I met a guy yesterday and we were just chatin’ about some religious themes and I told him about things I found. He just told me: “Don’t dig in a mud!”, and he walked away. What a strange situation. Like in a movie. crazy!!!

  4. “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”

    Albert Einstein


  5. Igor, You make wonderfull pictures! I work with wooden churches in Romania on Romanian wikipedia and I am very interested to extend the presentation to Serbia, Bosnia and Hertzegovina and other countries in Europe. I wonder if You would like to share pictures and info about churches in the region with Romanians and later even others on the English wikipedia.

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