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Serbs migrated to the territories of modern Kosovo in the 7th
century, but did not fully incorporate them into the Serbian realm until the early 13th
Kosovo Attractions, Kosovo Background Information, Map
of Kosovo, Travel to Kosovo.
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Countries neighbouring Kosovo are: Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and FYRO Macedonia.
The capital of Kosovo is Pristina.
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The Serbian defeat at the Battle of Kosovo, in 1389, led to five
centuries of Ottoman rule; during which large numbers of Turks and Albanians moved to
By the end of the 19th century, Albanians replaced the Serbs as the
dominant ethnic group in Kosovo.
Serbia reacquired control over Kosovo from the Ottoman Empire during
the First Balkan War (1912), and after World War II (1945) the government of the Socialist
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, led by Josip Broz Tito, reorganised Kosovo as an
autonomous province within the constituent republic of Serbia.
Over the next four decades, Kosovo Albanians lobbied for greater
autonomy and Kosovo was granted the status almost equal to that of a republic in the 1974
Despite the legislative concessions, Albanian nationalism increased in
the 1980s leading to nationalist riots and calls for Kosovo's independence.
Serbs in Kosovo complained of mistreatment and Serb nationalist
leaders, such as Slobodan Milosevic, exploited those charges to win support among Serbian
voters; many of whom viewed Kosovo as their cultural heartland.
Under Milosevic's leadership, Serbia instituted a new constitution in
1989 that drastically curtailed Kosovo's autonomy and Kosovo Albanian leaders responded in
1991 by organising a referendum that declared Kosovo independent from Serbia.
The Milosevic regime carried out repressive measures against the
Albanians in the early 1990s as the unofficial government of Kosovo, led by Ibrahim
Rugova, tried to use passive resistance to gain international assistance and recognition
of its demands for independence.
In 1995, Albanians dissatisfied with Rugova's non-violent strategy
created the Kosovo Liberation Army and launched an insurgency. In 1998, Milosevic
authorised a counterinsurgency campaign that resulted in massacres and massive expulsions
of ethnic Albanians by Serbian military, police, and paramilitary forces.
The international community tried to resolve the conflict peacefully,
but Milosevic rejected the proposed international settlement - the Rambouillet Accords -
leading to a three-month NATO bombing of Serbia, beginning in March 1999; which forced
Serbia to withdraw its military and police forces from Kosovo in June 1999.
UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999) placed Kosovo under a
transitional administration, the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK),
pending a determination of Kosovo's future status.
Under the resolution, Serbia's territorial integrity was protected,
but it was UNMIK who assumed responsibility for governing Kosovo.
In 2001, UNMIK promulgated a Constitutional Framework, which
established Kosovo's Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG), and in succeeding
years UNMIK increasingly devolved responsibilities to the PISG.
On 17th February 2008, the Kosovo Assembly declared its
independence from Serbia.
(komunat, singular - komuna in Albanian; opstine, singular - opstina in Serbian)
Decan (Decani); Dragash (Dragas); Ferizaj (Urosevac); Fushe Kosove
(Kosovo Polje); Gjakove (Dakovica); Gllogoc/Drenas (Glogovac); Gjilan (Gnjilane); Istog
(Istok); Kacanik, Kline (Klina); Kamenice/Dardana (Kamenica); Leposaviq (Leposavic);
Lipjan (Lipljan); Malisheve (Malisevo); Mitrovice (Mitrovica); Novoberde (Novo Brdo);
Obiliq (Obilic); Peje (Pec); Podujeve (Podujevo); Prishtine (Pristina); Prizren; Rahovec
(Orahovac); Shtime (Stimlje); Shterpce (Strpce); Skenderaj (Srbica); Suhareke (Suva Reka);
Viti (Vitina); Vushtrri (Vucitrn); Zubin Potok; Zvecan.
Kosovo by Road
While it is possible to drive into Kosovo from Serbia, tensions
can still run high in the area and a foreign number plate might attract some attention.
Buses run from Belgrade and Nis (Serbia) to Pristina and Prizren.
You can also enter Kosovo from Montenegro, through Rozaje to Peja/Pec;
from Macedonia there's a bus to Pristina; and the really adventurous could travel from
Albania on the Tirana-Prizren bus, along a mountainous road.
There are also international buses from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany,
Switzerland and Turkey.
Kosovo by Train
Trains cross into Kosovo from Kraljevo, in Serbia; and from Skopje, in
Macedonia. Trains are very slow but you will get to see a lot of the country.
Kosovo by Air
With the large number of Kosovo Albanians working in Germany and
Switzerland these countries do offer the possibilities of charter flights to Pristina.
Flights to Kosovo from Budapest, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, Hannover,
Istanbul, Ljubljana, London, Milan, Munich, Stuttgart, Tirana, Verona, Vienna and Zurich.
The old bazaar from 17th century was burned down by the Serbian Army,
in 1999, but has been reconstructed. There's also an old mosque here, dating from the 15th
Considered the dividing line between the Mitrovice Serbs and Mitrovica
Albanians things have been known to get heated around here.
A beautiful monastery with many spectacular paintings, just two
kilometres north-west of Pec, this was the seat of the Patriarchy of the Serbian Orthodox
Church, from 1302; and is considered to be of extreme national importance to the Serbs.
With most of the Serbs gone, the Patriarchy has to be guarded by NATO
In the south of Kosovo, this historical city has plenty of Islamic
architecture; with the Sinan Pasha Mosque dominating the town centre.
The Rugova gorge is a little further out of Pec than the Pec
Patriachy; along the same road.
Volunteer organisation founded in 1999 to aid the Kosovar refugees.
United Nations Mission in Kosovo.
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