Priština Priština

Priština is the largest city in Kosovo and Metohija, the southern Serbian province where ethnic Albanians, in February 2008 self proclaimed independence. Priština shares the fate of the whole Kosovo and Metohija.

Although once the area where the first Serbian state was created, today in Priština, the Albanians are majority population, while Serbs are mainly located in the village of Gracanica, a few kilometers east of Priština, where is one of the most important Serbian monasteries with the same name - Gracanica. It is estimated that the city has over half a million people while 40,000 Serbs were exiled after the NATO air strikes in 1999. In addition to the Albanians and Serbs here live the Turks, Bosnians and Roma.

Throughout the history, the city was at the crossroads of major trade and conquering routes, between Dubrovnik and Constantinople, Vienna and Athens. Near Pristina are remains of the Roman town Ulpiana, and during the 3rd and 4th century Byzantine Emperor Justinian restored the city which was then one of the most beautiful cities of the Illyrian Dardania.

In the vicinity of Pristina, on the June 28th, at the Gazimestan field, in 1389 was the famous Battle of Kosovo between Serbian and Turkish armies. Although both sides lost their military leaders, and withdrew from the battlefield, the Turks opened the way for further conquest of Europe and kept in the region the next 500 years. The city has preserved many buildings of oriental architecture such as the Carska Mosque and the Carsi Mosque from the 15th century.

One of the most difficult periods in the history of Kosovo is NATO bombing in 1999 which Albanians supported, although they also were killed by NATO bombs. The peace agreement conditioned the withdrawal of Serbian army and obtained a protectorate by KFOR. Then began the ethnic cleansing of Serbs by Albanians, the mysterious disappearances of people (suspicions of human organ trafficking), the occasional terrorist attacks on the Serbian population. One of the major persecution occurred on 17th March 2004 when during the two-day demonstrations of Albanians over 800 Serbian homes, 29 churches and monasteries were destroyed and hundreds of Serbs left their homes in fear for their lives. Today in Priština lives a small number of Serbs. After the declaration of independence that Serbia did not recognize, Prišinia with the support of the European Union began to intensively develop and build.

We recommended tourists to visit the monastery of Gracanica friom XIV century, 5 km away from Priština, Gazimestan, Museum of Kosovo, and find accommodation in the hotel "Grand" and  hotel "Kosovski Božur" in Priština.

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