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Central and Eastern Europe Europe Kosovo

Pristina

Stories and Photos from my travels to Pristina, the Capital city of Kosovo.

Destination 》EuropeCentral and Eastern Europe  》Kosovo

Year Visited: 2018 – September

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After a week in Serbia, my Son and I took a bus from Niš to Pristina, the capital city of Kosovo, to continue our backpacking journey through the Balkans.

Pristina is a capital and the largest city of Kosovo, as well as the most important economic, financial, political and trade center of Kosovo. The city has a majority Albanian population, alongside other smaller communities. As the youngest capital city in Europe, Pristina holds the physical remnants of the periods of old and new. After a rapid modernization campaign in the mid-20th century, much of the historic center was destroyed and, as a result, only a small portion remains.

Pristina was the capital of the Serbian state before the Turks defeated the Balkan Christian armies in 1389 at the Battle of Kosovo. The city retains an Oriental appearance, though much new building has occurred since 1945.

Southeast of the city is the Gračanica (Grachanista) Monastery, built about 1313–21 under the Serbian king Stefan Uroš II Milutin. The monastery is a fine work of Balkan architecture containing valuable frescoes; in 2006 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Photos below are from our few days stay in the capital city.

Welcome to Pristina (Prishtine)! A simple Manhole Cover with It’s name written in Albanian.
Communist Era residential buildings in Pristina.
Communist Era residential buildings, with few new high-rise buildings in Pristina.
The Newborn Monument is a typographic sculpture. It was unveiled on 17 February 2008, the day that Kosovo formally declared its independence from Serbia. It represents the birth of a new country. We visited Pristina in 2018, during Ten Years anniversary of Kosovo’s independence, the character “B” was replace by “1” to make it look like “10”.
The National Library of Kosovo. there are many controversies about the outside appearance of this building. It’s love/hate design has been called the World’s Ugliest Library. This is a must visit place in Pristina.
The Cathedral of Saint Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic cathedral constructed during 2007 -2017. The cathedral is dedicated to the Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary, Saint Teresa of Calcutta.
The Kosovars are very friendly towards the USA for its support of their independence, they have “Bill Clinton Boulevard” in Pristina, as well as a large Statue of him.
An unfinished Serbian Orthodox Church next to the university library. Construction on the church had begun before the war, but Kosovo’s predominately Muslim population had little interest in finishing the church after the war ended. Now it’s yet another eerie abandoned building to explore.

During our stay in Pristina we visited a town of Gračanica, a Serbian enclave, 10 km from the city center and home to The Gračanica (Grachanista) Monastery, built during 1313–21 under the Serbian king Stefan Uroš II Milutin. The monastery is a fine work of Balkan architecture containing valuable frescoes; in 2006 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Front view of the Gračanica (Grachanista) Monastery, built during 1313–21, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Side view of the Gračanica (Grachanista) Monastery, built during 1313–21, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The monastery is located in Gračanica, a Serbian enclave, 10 km from Pristina, the capital city.
Interior of the Gračanica (Grachanitsa) Monastery; Frescoes are from 1321. On the right, before the entrance, is the ktetor (founder) fresco with Stefan Milutin holding a model of the church, ca. 1321.
A Souvenir Shop at the Gračanica (Grachanitsa) Monastery; all monasteries sell alcoholic drinks brewed/made by monks. This shop was selling Rakija, Wine and Beer, and was allowed to drink on premise.
A Monastery beer, brewed by monks at the Serbian Monastery.
With Raul at the Gračanica Monastery (built in 1321), a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A small chapel in the village of Gračanica.

After a long day of travel, Raul and I are enjoying Grembeer, a German beer, brewed in Kosovo.
Exploring Pristina’s nightlife and having drinks with Raul, a Local Kosovar friend and Gujju-American friend, to whom I was meeting for the third time in three different countries (Romania, Bulgaria and Kosovo), will meet her again one more time in Albania.

After few days in the capital city of Kosovo, we continued our backpacking through the Balkans journey towards south, taking a bus to Peja, another ancient city of Kosovo.

By Window on The World

In May 2017, 23 days before I was going to complete 50 years, grabbed an opportunity and took an early retirement.. Picked up a backpack and traveling ever since.. Love to travel around the world, experience different culture, local cuisine & drinks .. and take pictures.. so far been to 108 countries and still counting...

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