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KLA enters Prizren

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Published on Apr 2, 2008

TV report from BBC News, 17 June 1999
http://mycentury.tv/balkani/item/427-...
In the 1990s Prizren was still the only trilingual city in the Balkans. Until the end of Yugoslavia, Albanian, Serbian and Turkish were fully recognised, with newspapers and periodical published in all three languages and trilingual street name plaques.

Today's Prizren: http://www.prizren-love.co.nr/


In Ottoman times (1455-1912) Prizren was one of the largest cities in the Balkans, a centre of a sandjak and an Islamic centre of considerable importance, possessing dozens of mosques and baths, a number of medreses and dervish convents of no less than seven different orders, a library with many old Islamic manuscripts. Prizren preserved its Ottoman physiognomy of the 19th century better than other city of the Balkans, entire districts being placed under protection of the law on monuments of culture.

In 1573 the Sandjak Bey of Iskenderiye/ Shkoder/, Mehmed Pasha had a large dome erected in Prizren, which later became known as the Bayrakli Djami. For the construction of this mosque, the stones of the by now deserted huge marble Holy Archangels' Monastery were used, and these are clearly visible at the structure.

In 1613 the Sultan's vizier Sofu Sinan Pasha, a native Albanian from the Prizren area, erected the largest mosque in town. Its huge dome became one of the architectural dominant features of Prizren.

(Dr Machiel Kiel, "Encyclopaedia of Islam", London, Leiden, Paris, 1993)


In the Middle Ages, before the Ottoman conquest, the city of Prizren became known as the "Serbian Constantinople" because of its trading and industrial importance. Most notable monuments from the medieval Serbian royal capital are:

The Church of the Holy Virgin of Ljevis, on its present site since 1307, is one of the most important monuments of Orthodox Christian art of the Balkans. After the war in Kosovo 1998-1999, the Bogorodica Ljeviška Cathedral remains locked under the protection of German troops.

Just outside the town is the Holy Archangels' Monastery, with the Imperial sepulcre of King Stefan Dušan (1331-55). The monastery on the banks of river Bistrica is now under restoration and under the protection of international forces. http://www.kosovo.net/arhangels.html

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