Kosovo is land-locked and mostly mountainous. It borders Serbia to the north and east, Montenegro to the northwest, Albania to the west, and Macedonia to the south. Kosovo is roughly the size of Connecticut.
Republic. Kosovo, a former territory of Serbia, declared independence in February 2008.
The first inhabitants on the Balkan Peninsula were the ancient people known as the Illyrians. The Slavs followed in the 6th and 7th centuries. Albanian speakers began moving into Kosovo from the Adriatic in the 8th century. Kosovo was ruled by Bulgaria from the 9th century until Serbs gained control of Kosovo in the 12th century. Kosovo was the site of the Serbs’ defeat by the Ottoman Turks in 1389. Kosovo was then absorbed by the Ottoman Empire. The battle at Kosovo Field figures prominently in Serbian poetry and has great national significance as the cradle of Serbian civilization.
The Ottoman Empire ruled Kosovo for centuries, until 1913, when Serbia resumed control over the region. Under Ottoman rule, the region grew increasingly more populated by Albanian speakers as a large number of Christian Serbs emigrated. (Albanians are largely Muslim.) In 1918, Kosovo became part of the Yugoslav Federation.Republic. Kosovo, a former territory of Serbia, declared independence in February 2008
The largest city and the capital of Kosovo is Prishtina with a total population of more than 500,000. Prishtina is the cultural, economical and administrative center of the country with a long history on its locality. Archeological discoveries that have been originated are believed to date back as long ago as the Neolithic ages. The Ulpiana area of Prishtina is located in the southeastern part of the city and is believed to have been the center of the Illyrian province of Dardania. The Ulpiana area has been founded in the 2nd century while Emperor Trajan was in rule and it was renewed when Justinian was in rule in the 6th century. In accordance with the captions regarding the monuments from Ulpiana, it is evident to have been considered among the Illyrian Dardania’s most beautiful cities. Various articles including, weapons, coins, jewelry, ceramics and such have been discovered; many of such articles are exhibited in Prishtina’s own Museum of History of Kosova. Up until World War II, Prishtina simply appeared as an oriental town before becoming the capital city. The oriental appearance, however, was entirely changed as the intensive modernization of the city of Prishtina in the period of socialist Yugoslavia had wholly altered the city’s structure including the destroying of the city’s “Old Çarshia” or shopping street along with most of the 18th and 19th century city buildings being replaced with new ones. The old and narrow cobble stone streets along with houses that were made of mud existing at the time were replaced with wide streets, attractive tall buildings, and new modern complexes including the Radio Station, the Press and Publishing Hall, the Television of Prishtina, the Assembly Building, the University Library, various Banking centers and more. Prishtina is the main high education center for the country of Kosovo while it is home of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the country where the most important intellectuals are gathered. Prishtina is also home to the Institute of History and the Institute of Albanology as well. The NEWBORN sculpture is too located in Prishtina, along with the Mother Theresa Statue, and numerous other historical momentums such as mosques, churches, museums and such. The trendiest areas of Prishtina include the Qafa locality (the neck) which is near the city center, Sheshi-Mother Theresa Boulevard, and Kurrizi (the spine) which include various cafés and other hangout centers, shops, which are open in tunnels that are built among buildings that are residential. The beautiful city of Prishtina exposes and endures all four dissimilar seasons of the year. The summer season is the most entertaining and thriving period of the year in Kosovo where all of the city’s energy and beauty is revealed. As you walk along the streets of the city during the summer, you will find yourself among many cages, bars, shops, and other hangout centers having fun and blistering healthy laughter and joyful locals. The city of Prishtina is known to have delicious food, friendly people, fun venues, an astonishing nightlife, and an overall great lifestyle, although it can be a bit dusty and often disorganized.
The city of Prizren holds a total population of approximately 130,000. It is considered one of the most beautiful towns in the country and also a so-called open air museum as it has best preserved the architectural physiognomy of the past among s the other cities. The city is located among the Sharr Mountains and on the Bistrica river banks. This city which has residential houses built below the Kalaja(Fortress) brings out special curiosity as a result of its preserved culture. It is loaded with dwelling houses and quarters that possess balconies facing their gardens full of plant life. It also possesses many narrow and winding roads and streets that are perceived to cut the entire city up while giving it an oriental look. The city of Prizren is rich with craftsmen that are famous for their astonishing silver and gold articles, the “Prizren cloths”, embroidery, various folk handcrafts, and other trading articles which that been preserved among Prizreni people throughout centuries. Much effort has been given to preserve the ancient architecture of Prizren although it has developed into a modern city, since the end of World War II, in many aspects including textile, pharmaceuticals, the metal and food industries, and such. The city of Prizren was established as a significant trading area and suitable locality as it possessed many old roads which connected the Adriatic coast and the interior side of the Balkan Peninsula.
The city of Peja is located along the Bistrica River, the entrance of the Rugova Gorge, and at the foot of the Albanian Alps known as Bjeshket e Nemura. The city of Peja holds a total population of around 95,000 and it is one of the chief cultural and economic centers of the northern region of Kosovo known as the Dukagjini region. Peja is considered one of the best touristic regions in the country due to its outstanding position and natural attractive sights of the mountainous hinterland and its wealthy supply of historical and cultural monuments.During the medieval Serbian state, Peja was a cultural center because of the Patriarchate of Peja, which is in the immediate area of the town. With the arrival of the Ottoman Turks, Peja developed under the influence of oriental architecture which included cobble stone streets, numerous brooks in courtyards, small shops, and, of course, mosques. The urban architecture of the Turkish period is interesting, with a large number of preserved houses of Albanian feudal lords, among which is the famous Tahir Bey’s Palace, and Jashar Pasha’s House. The Sheremet Tower, although built during the Turkish rule, in fact is a true type of an Albanian Dukagjin tower, a stone house with small windows. The ceilings of these types of houses are tall, usually in carved wood, with niches. The houses are surrounded by tall walls and have well kept gardens. In the center of the town is the old Charshia (shopping street), with shops of various craftsmen (coppersmiths, goldsmiths, slipper makers, leather tanners, saddle makers, tailors, etc.). The attractive Bajrakli mosque built in the 15th century ranks among the older structures of Islamic architecture.
Gjakova, another main city, lies between the borders of Peja and Prizren. It too, is well known for its historical monuments that include the mosques, Ethnographic museum, bridges, madrasa and more. The current population in Gjakova counts to around 95,000 and most of which are Albanian. Although a little smaller than Prishtina, Peja and Prizren, Gjakova has equal importance especially when considering matters back during the Yugoslav times. In that time, Gjakova was known for producing the elite group of Albanian-Kosovar’s representing the then-autonomous Kosovo in the Yugoslav parliament. Outside of Prishtina, it was the only place that had an airport, a medical school, a district heating facility etc. It was thought of as the city that carried the basis of nationalism throughout Yugoslav times because it always had a small Serb population and was home to many Albanian activists. Disregarding the fact that the majority of Albanians are Muslim and Gjakova’s population is Albanian, it can come as a surprise to understand that it is among the diverse cities when speaking of religion, especially when considering that more than 20% of the population is Catholic. Gjakova was famous for its artisans guilds who clubbed together to build bridges and its strong leather industry.
Albanian Leaque Of Prizren
One of Kosovo’s most important historical site , the Albanian Leaque of Prizren Museum is a complex of four buildings which has seen plenty of change of the past decades as the buildings were first relocated due to road construction in the 1960s , and the destroyed by Serbian forces in 1999. Now completely reconstructed, the museum is important to ethnic Albanians, Bosniaks and Turks across the region as it is the place where patriots and intellectuals from Kosovo, Macedonia and Sanxhak region gathered on June 10, 1878, to start the political, military and cultural struggle against the Ottoman Empire in order to appeal to the Berlin Congress for an autonomous Albanian state. The history, ethnology and art collections have period pieces relating to the 1878 meething but many items are in poor condition, and there are no English captions. The curator will be happy to tell you about the collection, but you’ll need a local to translate for you. Still, the traditional wooden house within the compound is quite beautiful, whit a half open porch, and an old door and many decorative wooden elements. Upstairs, look for the wonderful and very heavy xhubleta traditional dress and the collection of patriotic painthing. At the entrance of the compound go to the first floor of the quaint and creaky library building to see evocative photos from the 19th and 20th centuries.
Admission 1euro/0.20 euro
Prishtina Ethnographic Museum
A lovely traditional 18th century house set in a walled complex with several other buildings is the only original building left in the old bazaar area. Once owned by Emin Gjiku, a nickname for Emin Gjinolli, whose family owned the house, the complex was turned into museum in 2006. Professional guides are the hand to give English-language tours, telling about the traditional architecture typical for the region, and showing the separate guest and family parts of the house that are filled with exhibits on clothing, birth and burial rituals, handicrafts and more. The museum sells traditional gifts including white eggshell plis hats. Highly recommended.
Admission 2.50 euro/0.50 euro
Prishtina Independence Museum
A small museum about Kosovo’s recent history, set in a reconstruction of the two-room house that was used by Ibrahim Rugova. Glass cases hold various object relating to the events leading up to Kosovo’s independence, such as Rugova’s glasses, typewriter and desk, and the mobile phone of media advisor Xhemalj Mustafa. The gleaming white marble floors are slightly incongruous, but the items on display and especially the grim photos of Pristina in the 1990s get the message across. Although there are English captions, it’s best visited with local who can explain the context ant personalities.There’s a modest bust of the late great Rugova outside. Find the museum beside the Tiffany’s restaurant.
Founded in 1949, the Kosovo Museum has departments of archaelogy , ethnography, and natural science, to which a department for the study of history and the National Liberation Struggle was added in 1959. It has been active in sponsoring archaeological excavations, conservation and other scientific work. Since 1956 it has published an annual journal called ` Buletin i Muzeut të Kosovës’, with articles in Albanian .
The Kosovo Museum is the earliest institution of cultural heritage in Kosovo, established with the goal of preserving, restoration-conservation and presentation of movable heritage on the territory. It is situated in a special facility, from an architectural point of view but also because of its location since it is situated at the old nucleus of the city centre. In fact, Kosovo museum has been operating since 1949. However, the building of the museum was constructed in 1889 and it was designed according to the Austro-Hungarian style of construction and its real aim was establishing the high military command of that time.
The overall museum consists of three museum parts: Kosovo Museum itself, Emin Gjiku’s Housing Complex where an ethnological exhibition has been presented, and the Museum of Independence. Museum consists of four sectors, archaeological sector, ethnological sector, historic sector and natural sector. The main museum building consists of 3 halls or galleries and one of them serves as a hall for permanent archaeological exhibitions, but various exhibits are also presented in the inner yard of the museum as well at the lapidarium, respectively in the Archaeological Park, which is located next to the museum building, or on the right side of it. In the cellars of the museum, are located the warehouses of thousands of findings, artefacts and movable fragments of archaeological material, which are systematized and kept in special conditions with particular attention and care. At the end it should be emphasized that within the building of Kosovo Museum, namely on its third floor, you can find the working environment of Kosovo Archaeological Institute, a scientific-professional institution and responsible for archaeological research.
Tiffany’s is a laid-back, 70‘s styled restaurant located in central Prishtinë (Priština). It possesses a charming and warm atmosphere, with walls partially covered with natural stones and original paintings by local Kosovar artists. Its unique garden, with scattered wooden tables, is fenced by greenery covered stone walls. The restaurant is open from very early spring to late summer. A parking lot, which is managed by the staff, is located in front of this establishment.
The restaurant operates without a menu: dishes are based according to what the chef finds in the local green market that morning. Classified as a “traditional restaurant,” Tiffany’s cuisine is based on home made dishes. Locally made cheese and grappa (an alcoholic spirit) followed by a rich mixed salad, fresh red meat boiled with vegetables in terracotta dishes or pastry with minced meat and onion-yogurt topping are but a glimpse to the variety of specialties one can always enjoy here.
Hours Open: 9:00 – 23:00 (9 a.m. – 11 p.m.)
Seasons Open: Year-round
Price Style for this Establishment: Main dish costs 7€.
Beshimi Beska is family run restoran with excelent location in the centre of the city and with big garden when you came in.They have very good food , big portions and resonable prices.