Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. In antiquity, the Dardanian kingdom, and later Roman province of Dardania was located in the region. It was part of Serbia in the Middle Ages, during which time many important Serbian Orthodox Christian monasteries, some of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites, were built. Many consider the Battle of Kosovo of 1389 to be a defining moment in Serbian medieval history and identity. In the 15th century, the region was conquered by the Muslim Ottoman Empire and remained under Ottoman rule for almost five centuries.
Kosovo again found itself within the Serbian state when it was incorporated into theKingdom of Serbia as a result of Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War (1912–13)
During antiquity, the area which now makes up Kosovo was inhabited by various tribal ethnic groups, who were liable to move, enlarge, fuse and fissure with neighbouring groups. As such, it is difficult to locate any such group with precision. The Dardani, whose exact ethno-linguistic affiliation is difficult to determine, were a prominent group in the region during the late Hellenistic and early Roman eras. The area was then conquered by Rome in the 160s BC, and incorporated into the Roman province of Illyricum in 59 BC. Subsequently, it became part of Moesia Superior in AD 87.
Ottoman Kosovo (1455 - 1912)
Kosovo was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1455 to 1912, at first as part of the eyalet of Rumelia, and from 1864 as a separateprovince (vilayet). During this time, Islam was introduced to the population. The Vilayet of Kosovo was an area much larger than today’s Kosovo; it included all today’s Kosovo territory, sections of the Sandžak region cutting into present-day Šumadija and Western Serbia and Montenegro along with the Kukës municipality, the surrounding region in present-day northern Albania and also parts of north-western Macedonia with the city of Skopje (then Üsküp), as its capital. The Serbian position is that archives reveal an overwhelming Serbian demographic majority in Kosovo, which was reversed by the end of Ottoman rule, as Banac summarised: “Ottoman raids, plunder, slaving forays, as well as the general devastation caused by constant wars uprooted large numbers of Serbs even before the Great Serb Migration”. This was followed by the transplantation of Albanian pastoralists from the highlands of Albania to the fertile valleys of Kosovo.
The Young Turk movement took control of the Ottoman Empire after a coup in 1912 which disposed of Sultan Abdul Hamid II. The movement supported a centralised form of government and opposed any sort of autonomy desired by the various nationalities of the Ottoman Empire. An allegiance to Ottomanism was promoted instead. An Albanian uprising in 1912 exposed the empire’s northern territories in Kosovo and Novi Pazar, which led to an invasion by the Kingdom of Montenegro. The Ottomans suffered a serious defeat at the hands of Albanians in 1912, culminating in the Ottoman loss of most of its Albanian-inhabited lands.
First World War
In the winter of 1915–16, during World War I, Kosovo saw the retreat of the Serbian army as Kosovo was occupied by Bulgaria andAustria-Hungary. In 1918, the Allied Powers pushed the Central Powers out of Kosovo. After the end of World War I, the Kingdom of Serbia was transformed into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians on 1 December 1918. Kosovo was split into four counties, three being a part of Serbia and one of Montenegro (northern Metohija). However, the new administration system since 26 April 1922 split Kosovo among three Areas of the Kingdom: Kosovo, Raška and Zeta. In 1929, the Kingdom was transformed into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and the territories of Kosovo were reorganised among the Banate of Zeta, the Banate of Morava and the Banate of Vardar.
Second World War
After the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in 1941, most of Kosovo was assigned to Italian-controlled Albania, with the rest being controlled by Germany and Bulgaria. A three-dimensional conflict ensued, involving inter-ethnic, ideological, and international affiliations, with the first being most important. Nonetheless, these conflicts were relatively low-level compared with other areas of Yugoslavia during the war years, with one Serb historian estimating that 3,000 Albanians and 4,000 Serbs and Montenegrins were killed, and two others estimating war dead at 12,000 Albanians and 10,000 Serbs and Montenegrins
Kosovo in Yugoslavia
The province as in its outline today first took shape in 1945 as the Autonomous Kosovo-Metohian Area. Until World War II, the only entity bearing the name of Kosovo had been a political unit carved from the former vilayetwhich bore no special significance to its internal population. In the Ottoman Empire (which previously controlled the territory), it had been a vilayet with its borders having been revised on several occasions. When the Ottoman province had last existed, it included areas which were by now either ceded to Albania, or found themselves within the newly created Yugoslav republics of Montenegro, or Macedonia(including its previous capital, Skopje) with another part in the Sandžak region of Šumadija and Western Serbia.
Inter-ethnic tensions continued to worsen in Kosovo throughout the 1980s.
The 1986 Memorandum of the Serbian Academy warned that Yugoslavia was suffering from ethnic strife and the disintegration of the economy into separate economic sectors and territories, which was transforming the federal state into a loose confederation. In February 1989 in protest, the Trepca miners began a hunger strike before the official abolition of the autonomy of Kosovo.
The conflict had been going on since the early 1990s, when Slobodan Milošević, the former Yugoslav President, reduced Kosovo’s autonomy, which the province has had since 1969. Kosovo Albanians protested and proclaimed the independent Republic of Kosovo, which, however, was only recognized by neighboring Albania, and refused to cooperate with authorities. Milosevic responded with the dismissal of all Kosovo Albanians in the local area and other harassment, which led to violence between Serbian military and Albanian inhabitants of Kosovo in the mid-1990s.
Declaration of independence
The Republic of Kosovo declared independence on 17 February 2008 and over the following days, a number of states (the United States, Turkey, Albania, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Australia, Poland and others) announced their recognition, despite protests by Russia and others in the UN. As of 25 September 2013, 106 UN states recognise the independence of Kosovo and it has become a member country of the IMF and World Bank as the Republic of Kosovo.
Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence In Respect of Kosovo was a request for an advisory opinion referred to the International Court of Justice by the UN General Assembly regarding the 2008 unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo. This was the first case regarding a unilateral declaration of independence to be brought before the court.
Republic of Kosovo
The Republic of Kosovo set up after the 2008 Declaration of Independence continued to operate under international supervision by theEuropean Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX). The Constitution of Kosovo came into effect on 15 June 2008. It provides for an elected Assembly of Kosovo. Parliamentary elections were held on 12 December 2010. They were won by incumbent Hashim Thaçi’sDemocratic Party of Kosovo (DPK). The first post-independence local elections were held in 2009 and again in 2013. The Serb-inhabited parts of Kosovo that do not recognize the 2008 Declaration of Independence style themselves as the Community of Municipalities of the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija.
The Albanians are considered descendants of ancient Illyrian or Thracian tribes of Indo-European origin that may have come to the Balkan Peninsula even before the Greeks.
Today Kosovo has seven active museums all over its territory. The museums are the:
The roman site of Çifllak is situated near the Drin river stream, respectively on the left side not far from the river shore. Archaeological researches carried at the Çifllak area during the first decade of the first millennium, resulted with the discovery of the remains of a roman bath complex, with wide dimensions, whereas a pool has been unearthed and documented. Rich and abundant archaeological material discovered at this site informs us about the local earthenware production and the imported terra sigillata. Besides, metal tools, coins, glass jars and architectonic structures various artifacts for everyday use have been unearthed at this site. When looked from the chronological aspect, the roman bath is dated between the 2nd and 4th century AD.
In 1988, at the village of Lower Nerodime, situated west from the city of Uroševac, several archaeological trenches were investigated at this location, close to the orthodox cemetery. The trial trenches resulted with a discovery of a villa complex that most likely is constructed during the Late Antique period. The villa was built with an atrium and polychrome floor mosaic, with geometrical and figural motives.
The village of Nikadin, nowadays a suburban part of the town of Ferizaj, is situated only 2 kilometers south from the town, sited in a spacious and fertile countryside. During the 60s of the last century, superficial traces of a roman villa complex have been recorded here. Nevertheless, during gardening carried out in front of a house, accidentally a remarkable sarcophagus lid was unearthed, a rare and unique for the region of Kosovo.
Recorded traces of the Vërban archaeological site, inform us a lot about site selection for the settlement building during the roman times. The site is set close to Klokot, in an alluvial terrace stretched along the Morava river flow, an area known for the fertile land and near the warm thermal mineral waters spring. One of the most interesting accidental archaeological discoveries is a sculpture found near the Banja e Kllokotit, a masterpiece of the Dardanianart, presenting an example of the distinguished autochthonous sculpturing art, of advanced artistic creation. It is sculptured in qualitative marble, and reflects a figure of a high-toned Dardanian lady.
Paldenica is situated around 150 m on the left side of the Pristina-Skopje road, at the entrance of the village of Paldenica, above a hill which lays west from the village, on a terrain configuration of a shape of a horse, that has a broader overview of wider area of Lepencgorge and the town of Hani i Elezit, an amount of surface visible remains of roman pottery and bricks/tiles has been recorded in the past. Nevertheless, in 1967, at the area situated in the vicinity of the left river shore of Lepenc, couple of meters along the river bank stretched toward the Hani i Elezit, a roman period necropolis was recorded.
Pestova village is located in the municipality of Vučitrn, on the left side, stretched along thePristina-Kosovska Mitrovica road, more or less 4 km from Vučitrn. The area is known for a very fertile agricultural land, productive even in present days. During the work carried out in 2005 in Pestova, accidentally some wall contours where discovered. Therefore, a rescue excavation was initiated, which resulted with interesting archaeological findings. On this occasion, remains of a building, ruins of a villae rusticae were partially unearthed. The villas are typical roman houses set in the countryside and far from the urban centres. As a general rule, villa’s are usually one floor house’s, with atrium or central garden.
An archaeological site at Poslište was discovered during the construction of the highway segment between Prizren and Vrmica in 2010, approximately one kilometre south of the multilayer archaeological site at Vlašnja, on the left side of this road segment, respectively, 150 m from the road that leads toward the Poslište village. Rescue excavations were carried out at this location in an earlier known unidentified site of Roman era.
The Sar Mountains
The Sar Mountains National Park is in the territory of Kosovo and spreads on 380 km2 (147 sq mi), on the northern slopes of the Šar Mountains as well as the mountains of Ošljak and Jezerce mountains. The National Park “Sar-Planina Mt.” was proclaimed in 1993 within the temporary boundaries of 39,000 ha and began activity in 1995.
Bjeshkët e Nemuna
National Park “Bjeshkët e Nemuna” includes an area of 62.488 ha and is located in the territory of Gjakova, Junik, Peja, Deçan and Istog municipalities.
The territory decrated National Park, is known with rare nature values, large number of important forest ecosystem, important habitats of rare species, and reach characteristic of hydrology, geomorphology and landscape which have an science, educative – educational and tourism-recreational importance.
Germia Park is a large beautiful park located in the east part of the city of Prishtina. Its endless forests, well maintained paths, fresh air, and the spitting distance from the city make it an attractive place to spend a nice quiet afternoon or weekend. In addition, a large swimming pool is situated in the entrance of the park. Skiing is another activity that can be performed there during winter, though there are no ski lifts or other facilities.
Rugova Canyon is a 25 km (16 mi) long canyon in Kosovo. It is located in the Prokletije close to the border with Montenegro. The city of Peć is located at the entrance of the canyon. Rugova Canyon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kosovo.
Brezovica is a settlement in the municipality in Kosovo. It is inhabited by ethnic Serbs, according to the 1991 census, it had 442 inhabitants. It is famous for its ski resort.
It is situated in the northeastern part of the Sar Mountains, and in the drainage basin of the Lepenac river. The Brezovica ski resort is situated between 900 m and 2,500 m above sea level. There is a combination of mild valley climate[clarification needed] in the lower parts and Alpine climate in the higher regions.
Air currents around the area have caused trees to bend in many interesting shapes, like the Pisha e Flamurit.
An underground marmoreal cave in the village of lower Gadime near Lipljan that was discovered in 1969 by Ahmet Diti. It is famous for its Stalagmites and Stalactites.