Josip Vancaš

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Josip Vancaš
Josip Vancas.png
Josip Vancaš, 1900.
Born (1859-03-22)22 March 1859
Sopron, Kingdom of Hungary, Austrian Empire

15 December 1932(1932-12-15) (aged 73)
Zagreb, Kingdom of Yugoslavia

Occupation Architect
Buildings Sarajevo Cathedral
Presidency Building

Josip Vancaš (22 March 1859 – 15 December 1932) was a Croatian architect who spent most of his life in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina where he designed over two hundred buildings. He also designed important buildings in present-day Croatia and Slovenia. He was also the first conductor of the Männergesangverein in Sarajevo, at its founding in 1887.


Born in Hungary, Vancaš completed secondary school in Zagreb. He studied architecture in Vienna under supervision of his mentor Friedrich Schmidt, expert in medieval architecture. He studied at the Technical University in Vienna from 1876 to 1881 and worked in the atelier of F. Fellner and H. Helmer. He adopted the implementation of eclecticism-historical styles from his later mentor Friedrich Schmidt.[1]

Schmidt recommended Vancaš to Benjamin Kállay to design the Sarajevo Cathedral, and Vancaš came to Sarajevo in 1884. He would remain there for thirty-seven years, becoming a leading architectural authority in Sarajevo, a member of the first Bosnian Parliament (1910), and the deputy mayor of Sarajevo.[1]

During his long career Vancaš remained devote admirer of Viennese architectural trends and often included them in his Bosnia and Herzegovina projects. However he did not limit himself to merely imitating role-models and tried to adapt Viennese models to Bosnian conditions.

Historicism and eclecticism dominate in his works but the elements of Vienna Secession occur later as well. In his projects he goes from pseudo-romantic to pseudo-oriental influences. He studied the Bosnian local architecture and attempted, by applying its characteristic elements to implement “Bosnian style”.

During his time in Bosnia (1883–1921) he constructed 102 residential houses, 70 churches, 12 schools, 10 palaces, 10 banks, 10 government municipal buildings, 6 hotels and taverns, and remodeled a series of buildings. Vancaš also produced drafts for church altars as well as drawings for the residential and ecclesiastical interiors. In 1911, as a representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina Parliament, he submitted a resolution on the protection of cultural monuments in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Josip Vancaš addressing a crowd in Sarajevo, 29 June 1914.

On 29 June 1914, he was one of the speakers addressing the crowd that later vandalized and looted Serb-owned property in Sarajevo during the unrest after Gavrilo Princip's assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria.

Vancaš also wrote several studies on Bosnian folk and urban architecture. From 1921 until his death in 1932 he lived in Zagreb.

His most significant works include Neo-Gothic Sarajevo Cathedral (1884–89), neo-Renaissance palace of what is today a Presidency Building, the Central Post Office in Sarajevo, pseudo-folklore pavilion of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Millennial Exhibition in Budapest (1896), the palace of the Zagreb's First Croatian savings bank (1898–1900), the Normann palace in Osijek, and the Hotel Union and the City savings Bank and Savings bank in Ljubljana. Josip Vancaš died in Zagreb on 15 December 1932 at the age of 73.[2]


Buildings designed by Josip Vancaš
Central Post Office in Sarajevo 
The Cooperative Union Bank in Ljubljana 
Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Donia, Robert J. (2006). Sarajevo: a biography. University of Michigan Press. pp. 68–71, 350. ISBN 0-472-11557-X. Retrieved February 9, 2014. 
  2. ^ Sarajevo City Info: Cathedral [cited February 16, 2012] Archived January 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.