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Pristina
City
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Pristina (Prishtina in Albanian) is the capital and the largest city of Kosovo, it and its suburbs are estimated to have a total population of over 500,000. It is unclear how many inhabitants the city has, as the population has for decades boycotted the censuses organized in former Yugoslavia.

The area of Pristina has a long history, in its vincity archaeological discoveries have been found which date back to the early neolithical ages. 

Southeast of the city, the remains of Ulpiana were discovered, the center of the Illyrian province of Dardania. Ulpiana dates back to pre Roman times, during Roman rule Ulpiana flourished it was renewed in the 6th century during the rule of Justinian, after whom it was called Iustinana Secunda. According to inscriptions on the monuments from Ulpiana, it is apparent that it was one of the most beautiful cities of the Illyrian Dardania, as it was often reffered to as Ulpiana Splendissima. A number of articles were discovered here such as coins, ceramics, weapons, jewlery, all of which are exhibited at the Museum of History of Kosovo in Pristina.

After the incursions of Slavs and barbarians during the early Middle Ages, the destroyed town of Ulpiana was abandoned, creating the locality for the new town of Pristina.

During Serbian rule, Pristina was a major political center. Near Pristina is the site of the Battle of Kosovo (1389), in which a Balkan alliance, led by Serbian Prince Lazar, fought against the Ottoman army. The battle marked the begining of Ottoman rule of the region.

Pristina developed in the 14th and 15th century as a mining and trading center of the Novoberde and the Mount Kopaonik (Albanik) mining industry. During the Ottoman rule in the region, it was an important administrative center, seat of the ruling Pasha, and for a while it was the center of the Kosovo Vilayet.

During the Austrian-Turkish Wars of the 17th century, the Albanian population of Pristina under the command of Pjet‘r Bogdani fought aside the Austrian army against the Ottoman Turks. During Piccollominni's campaign and later Austrian campaigns, Pristina suffered considerably, as was the case during the 1859 and 1863 fires. A ren dering of the building of the Academy of Arts and Sciences (18th century), an example of Pristina's traditional architecture

In the 19th century, according to the writings of A. Bue (1838), Pristina had 7000-9000 inhabitants, and Hilferding (1857) wrote that the town had 1500 houses. In the middle of the 19th century, Pristina was famous for its fairs (panair) of various crafts and trade articles, especially goat hide and hair articles, coppersmiths, pottery, embroidery, etc.

During World War II, Pristina (with around 16,000 inhabitants), was included in the zone occupied by Italians, and was the center of the prefecture with the same name.

Historical monuments near Pristina include the Gracanica Monastery, built in 1321 on the basis of an older church, and the Mausoleum of Sultan Murat, reconstructed in 1850 by Hurshid Pasha.

Pristina became the capital of Kosovo after World War II. Up to this point, Pristina had retained its appearance as an oriental town, but the intensive modernization of Pristina in socialist Yugoslavia had managed to completely change the structure and look of the city, and had even destroyed the old ‚arshia (shopping street) and 18th and 19th century buildings to replace them with new ones. The old narrow cobble stone streets and low mostly mud made houses were replaced by new modern complexes and wide streets, and attractive public buildings: the Assembly Building, Radio Station, the Television of Pristina, Press and Publishing Hall, the University Library, several banking centers, etc.

The most popular localities of Pristina are Kurrizi (The Spine) in the Dardania quarter and Qafa (The Neck) near the center of the city, which feature many shops, cafés and hangouts, opened in tunnels built within residential buildings

A rendering of the House of Emin Gjika (18th century), located next to the Museum of Natural History, another example of the traditional architecture of Pristina.

 

During the hot summer days, the citizens of Prishtina cool themselves in the city pool. Some of them stop there, while the others proceed towards Gërmia. During the hot summer days, the citizens of Prishtina cool themselves in the city pool. Some of them stop there, while the others proceed towards Gërmia.
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Prizren
City
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Prizren is a Historic town in Kosovo. It boasts beautiful Bridges, Forts, Mosques, Churches and old urban architecture. It is one of the most Beautiful towns in Kosovo.

History

The area of the Prizren valley has been settled by Illyrians  (ancestors of modern day Kosovar Albanians) since ancient times.

In Roman times, in the 2nd century A.D. it is mentioned with the name of Theranda in Ptolemy 's Geography . [ citation needed ] In the 5th century A.D. it is mentioned with the name of Petrizên by Procopius of Caesarea in De aedificiis (Book IV, Chapter 4). Sometimes it is mentioned even in relation to the Justiniana Prima . [ citation needed ]

According to Eric Hamp , the name of Prizren comes from pri , meaning "fortress, town", and Zeranda , a modification of the name Theranda , which gives Prizeranda . From that there is myrriad of different forms of the name Priserendi, Pyrserendi, Priserend, Prizeren, Pirzerin, Prizren etc.

From 830s the city and the whole region were included in the Bulgarian Empire . In 1018, after the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire under Tsar Samuel , the Byzantines created a Theme of Bulgaria , raising a Bulgarian Episcopate in Prizren.

A Bulgarian uprising arose in 1072 under Georgi Voiteh . Constantine Bodin of the House of Vojislavljević who was also son of Duklja 's Serbian King Mihailo Vojislav was dispatched by his father and Duke Petrilo with 300 best Serb soldiers to merge with Voiteh's forces in Prizren. There, Bodin was crowned Petar III, Tsar of the Bulgarians of the House of Comitopuli . The rebellion was crushed in months in 1073 and Eastern Roman rule restored.

In a war with the Crusaders against the Byzantine Empire, Serbian Duke Stefan Nemanja conquered Prizren in 1189, but after the defeat of 1191, had to give the city back to the Byzantines . The City was taken by the Bulgarian Empire in 1204, although, it was finally seized by Grand Prince Stefan II Nemanjić of Serbia in 1208 during a period of internal instability in Bulgaria under Boril .

During the reign of Emperor Stefan Dušan throughout the 14th century, Prizren had the Imperial Court and was the political center of the Serbian Empire . Serb Emperor Dušan raised the massive Monastery of Saint Archangel near the City in 1343-1352. In the vicinity of Prizren was Ribnik - a town where the two Serbian Emperors had their Courts. The city of Prizren became known as the Serbian Constantinople because of its trading and industrial importance. It was the centre of production of silk, fine trades and a colony of merchants from Kotor and Dubrovnik . In the 14th century Prizren was the seat of the Ragusan Consule for the entire Serb monarchy.

The city became a part of the domain of the House of Mrnjavčević under Serbian King Vukašin in the 1360s. With the final disintegration of the Serbian Empire, Zeta 's ruler Đurađ I of the House of Balšić dynasty took the City with the surroundings in 1372. The House of Branković under Vuk Branković then became the City's owners, under vassalage to the House of Lazarević that managed to reunite the former Serb Lands. Lazarevićs' founder, hero Prince Lazar was educated in Prizren. The dynasty would switch allegiances to the Ottoman Empire before returning under the Serbian Despot Stefan Lazarević , son of Lazar.

The Ottoman Empire soon took the city in 1545. Later it became a part of the Ottoman province of Rumelia . It was a prosperous trade city, benefiting from its position on the north-south and east-west trade routes across the Empire. Prizren became one of the larger cities of the Ottomans' Kosovo Province ( vilayet ).

Prizren was the cultural and intellectual centre of Ottoman Kosovo. It was dominated by its Muslim population, who comprised over 70% of its population in 1857. The city became the biggest Albanian cultural centre and the coordination political and cultural Capital of the Kosovar Albanians. In 1871, a long Serbian seminary was opened in Prizren, discussing the possible joining of the old Serbia's territories with the Principality of Serbia . During the late 19th century the city became a focal point for Albanian nationalism and saw the creation in 1878 of the League of Prizren , a movement formed to seek the national unification and liberation of Albanians within the Ottoman Empire.

During the First Balkan War the City was seized by the Serbian army and incorporated into the Kingdom of Serbia . Although the troops met little resistance, the takeover was bloody. The British traveler Edith Durham attempted to visit it shortly afterwards but was barred by the authorities, as were most other foreigners, for the Montenegrin forces temporarily closed the city before full control was restored. The number of killed Albanians reached 400 to 4000. A few visitors did make it through—including Leon Trotsky , then working as a journalist—and reports eventually emerged of widespread killings of Albanians. One of the most vivid accounts was provided by the Catholic Archbishop of Skopje , who wrote an impassioned dispatch to the Pope on the dire conditions in Prizren immediately after its capture by Serbia:

The city seems like the Kingdom of Death. They knock on the doors of the Albanian houses, take away the men, and shoot them immediately. In a few days the number of men killed reached 400. As for plunder, looting and rape, all that goes without saying; henceforth, everything is permitted against the Albanians, not merely permitted but willed and commanded. (quoted in the Irish Times , 5 May 1999 [3] )

With the invasion of the Kingdom of Serbia by Austro-Hungarian forces in 1915 during the First World War , the City was occupied by the Central Powers . The Serbian Army pushed the Central Powers out of the City in October 1918, restoring Montenegro's suzerainty . By the end of 1918, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was formed - with Prizren a part of its historical territorial entity of Serbia. The Kingdom was renamed in 1929 to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Prizren became a part of its Banate of Vardar . The Axis Italian and Albanian forces conquered the City in 1941 during World War II ; it was joined to the Italian puppet state of Albania. The Communists of Yugoslavia liberated it by 1944. It was formulated as a part of Kosovo and Metohija , under Democratic Serbia as a part of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia . The Constitution defined the Autonomous Region of Kos-met within the People's Republic of Serbia , a constituent state of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia . In 9-10 July 1945 the Regional Assembly of Kosovo and Metohija held in Prizren adopted the decision of abolishing the region's autonomy and direct integration into Serbia; although Tito vetoed this decision .

The Province was renamed to Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo in 1974, remaining part of the Socialist Republic of Serbia , but having attributions similar to a Socialist Republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia . The former status was restored in 1989, and officially in 1990.

For many years after the restoration of Serbian rule, Prizren and the region of Dečani to the west remained centres of Albanian nationalism. In 1956 the Yugoslav secret police put on trial in Prizren nine Kosovo Albanians accused of having been infiltrated into the country by the (hostile) Communist Albanian regime of Enver Hoxha . The "Prizren trial" became something of a c ause célèbre after it emerged that a number of leading Yugoslav Communists had allegedly had contacts with the accused. The nine accused were all convicted and sentenced to long prison sentences, but were released and declared innocent in 1968 with Kosovo's assembly declaring that the trial had been "staged and mendacious."

Attractions

The main attractions include of course the Kalaja of Prizren dating from the 11th century and built to protect Prizren from attacks. The Bajrakli Gazi Mehmet Pasha's mosque is the oldest monument of Islamic art in Prizren. The inscription above the entrance states it was built in 1561. A hexagonal mausoleum (medresa) has been built in the courtyard of the mosque which Mehmet Pasha earmarked as his grave.

Mehmet Pasha also built a Turkish bath in the town, which is built of cut stone and large bricks, in extremely harmonious proportions. The interior is divided into two parts: the baths for men and the baths for women.

Sinan Pasha's mosque, according to inscriptions. The enormous dome is fitted harmoniously into the square mass of the building. The interior of the mosque is decorated with geometrical designs, still life, and draperies, while the other parts of the walls are painted in strong light colors.

One of the oldest standing structures in Prizren is Shen Maria Levishka ( Kisha e Shën Premtes) . This church pre dates the arrival of the Slavs to the Balkans it was built by Illyrians (ancestors of moder day Kosovar Albanians). It was a Paleochristian building from IV-VI-IX-XIV. Under the Serbian Kingdom (14th century) the church was enlarged and converted to a Serbian Orthodox church. Under the Ottoman Empire the church was again converted to a Mosque (Xhuma Xhamia). During the Yugoslave period the church was converted back into a Serbian Orthodox church which it remians to to this day. In the 2004 March riots the church the partly damaged.

The League of Prizren is a 19th century building in which the Albanian nationlist movement was held. In 1999 the front part of the complex was burnt down. Its has been reconstructed and it is now a Musuem.

ura e gurit/stone brigde ura e gurit/stone brigde
photo by: kp
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Peja
City
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At the foot of the gigantic Damned Mountains (Prokletije/Bjeshk‘t e Nemuna), on the river Bistrica (pronounced: Bis-tritza) and the entrance of the Rugova Gorge (Rugovska klisura/Gryka e Rugov‘s), lies Pec/Peja, a town with around 85,000 inhabitants, the main economic and cultural center of northern Metohija/Dukagjin region of Kosovo. The name of the town means in Serbian "a cave", a lot of which can be found in the vicinity. The Albanian name is a latter deterioation of the same. Because of its exceptional position in regards to communication, the natural attractiveness of the mountainous hinderland and richness in cultural and historical monuments, Pec is one of the best known tourist resorts of the region.  

During the medieval Serbian state, Peja was a cultural center because of the Patriarchate of Pech, which is in the immediate vincity of the town. It is still the most interesting (and oldest!) monument in the town. It consists of three churches connected together with a large narthex. The churches were built one by one from the beginning of 13th to the beginning of the 14th c. and, despite all the attacks on them, have still perserved a marvelous ensamble of fresco-paintings from 13th to 16th c.

With the arrival of the Ottoman Turks, Pech/Peja developed under the influence of oriental architecture, becoming a casbah with cobble stone streets, numerous brooks in courtyards, small shops, and mosques.

The urban architecture of the Turkish period is interesting, with a large number of preserved houses of Albanian feudal lords, among which is the famous Tahir Bey's Palace, and Jashar Pasha's House. The Sheremet Tower, although built during the Turkish rule, in fact is a true type of an Albanian Dukagjin tower, a stone house with small windows resembling rifle loopholes. The ceilings of these types of houses are tall, usually in carved wood, with niches. The houses are surrounded by tall walls and have well kept gardens.

In the center of the town is the old ‚arshia (shopping street), with shops of various craftsmen (coppersmiths, goldsmiths, slipper makers, leather tanners, saddle makers, tailors, etc.). The attractive Bajrakli mosque built in the 15th century ranks among the older structures of Islamic architecture.

www.campcaffe.com www.campcaffe.com
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Ferizaj
City
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The city of Ferizaj/Uroševac is located about 40 km south of the capital city of Kosovo-UNMIK, Pristina. One of the main characteristics of the city is its location; the city is strategically placed along a significant corridor from Pristina to Skopje and the city’s railway station is within the city centre making it very accessible. The city’s railway station has greatly influenced the city as depicted on the municipal logo.

Best bars in Ferizaj: Blla Blla & Next Blla, Roni Pub, In Pub, Mango Pub, Down Town, Amor Pub.

Best Restaurants: Ahmet Xhyla, Llamburgjini.

Best Fast Foods: Te Lepenci, OK. Te Hoxha,

Best Motels: Sofra, Dani,

Best Gaz Stations/Restaurants: HIB Petrol/Restaurant, Llamburgjini Petrol/Restaurant, Ballkan Petrol/Restaurant.

Worst Bars: Akademia, City Bar, Sport bar.

Worst Restaurants: Syri, Tortolino.

Worst fast food: King Burger, MacDonalds (Fake)....

Devic monastery Devic monastery
photo by: Anna
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Gjakova
City
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Devastated and burned mostly down, it was reconstructed after the Serbs left.
Gjakova Gjakova
photo by: Blerina
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Podujeva
City
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Podujeva is located in Notheast part of Kosova. The region of municipality of Podujeva is known with name Llap. It is ancient name of the river which start at the Bellasica village in Kopaonik mountains and ends in Sitnica river near Barileva village.

Viti
City
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The exact time of Viti's existence as a dwelling place cannot be verified, but it is believed to be sometime in the middle Ages. Viti extends in the central part of the Morava e Epërme valley, through which river Morava e Binçës passes. It is situated in a very fertile plain suitable for cultivation of all agriculture products. Following the occupation of Albanian lands (Kosova) from the ottoman invaders, Viti region became part of Morava county. Ottoman records of 1455 show that Viti at that time had 104 units (families) with 18.801 akçe (currency) of yearly income. It was governed by Çaudar Ahmedi of Guliam Begu. During the first Balkan war in 1912, same as other parts of Kosova, Viti and its surroundings were occupied by Serbia. During World War I, it was occupied by Bulgaria and in the period between the two World Wars was occupied by Yugoslavia (1918 - 1941). During World War II , it fell under the territory occupied by Bulgaria to be reoccupied in autumn 1944 by communist Yugoslavia.
 
In 1912, Viti was announced a municipality, while during Yugoslav kingdomship was a constituting part of Vardar Banoni, with its center in Shkup/Skopje. From an administrative point-of-view, Viti was a municipality in its own, falling under Gjilan district. In 1952, Gjilan district is separated in three counties: Gjilan, Viti and Dardana. Whereas, in 1959 when the counties were transformed, Viti became a municipality in itself, as it is today.
Kaqanik
City
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Kaçanik is known as an administrative town by the end of XVI century, and up to year 1891 it was a part of Sanxhak of Shkupi known as "Nahije", which again belonged to the "Vilajet" of Kosova. The first founder of this small town was Koxha Sinan Pasha, who erected dhe town mosque which exists even today, a public kitchen for the poor known as "Imaret", a school near the mosque, two "Hane" alike the motels of modern age, one Turkish bath known as "Hamam", town fortress and a few mills on Lepenci river.
 
The epitaph found during the early 80-s in one of the graves from the II century A.D. proves that the inhabited localities existed in this region even in the ancient times. This grave was discovered during the erection of the Shoping Mall in Kaçanik, now this epitaph is placed in the building of the shoping mall in Kaçanik.
 
Considering that through Kaçanik runs the main roadway that connects Prishtina and Shkup (Skopje), as well as the railway Fushë Kosova - Thesaloniki (constructed on 1879) makes Kaçanik an important place and a strategic position when it comes to economic aspect.
 
Kaçanik municipality is mainly known for production of construction materials. But there also exists very good grounds for the development of farms, apiculture, arboriculture, various craftmanship and artisan, and especially for the development of winter and summer tourism.
 
Kaçnik has an old tradition in private manufactures, especially when it comes to the production of calcareous stone, wood for construction purposes and other services and artisan skills.
Bob-Kaqanik Bob-Kaqanik
photo by: alajdin caka
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Klina
City
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In the I century (B.C.) the territory of Klina and the entire Dardania was under the rule of Roman Empire. Close to Klina a municipal center Dersniku related to Dardan tribe is mentioned. After the fall of Roman Empire, Dardania therefore and Klina with the area was populated by Slavs and this move in the Balkan Peninsula ended in the VIIIth century. After the division of the Roman Empire, Klina and the area fell under the rule of Greek-Byzantine. After the Byzantine christianism, the Slavs influenced these areas, the medieval settlements and Pre-Slavic churches and were adopted by them. In the I century (A.D.) during the Roman rule as a municipal center of Dardan tribe is a place called Dersnik. During the Byzantine rule we encounter the traces of the church of Paskalica with its belltower in the village Videja. Profirogonitus in his writings "Notes on Nations" wrote in 948-952 that among the densely inhabited towns is also the town of Dersnik- "Desstinik". An early settlement is also today's Dollc known before as Zalug in the map of the Hilandar monastery from year 1200 by Soloviev. After the fall under Turks the living of Albanians was difficult. Since this period Klina faces various religions. The population worked in Agriculture that was quite developed.
 
Klina is identified as an ancient Illyrian settlement named Chinna. This name is mentioned by Ptolomeus in 87-150 (Ptolomeus' map). This ancient Illyrian settlement spread from the left bank of the upper flow of river Drini i Bardhë that fits today's geographical reality. This date as well as the Mirusha waterfalls became the symbol of Klina. Chinna in a sense of Cin is explained as Kin between the Drini i Bardhë river and the river Klina. Inhabitants of these areas never ended their fight for freedom.
Jagoda village of Klina, this picture is taken from the big hill of the Forest Jagoda village of Klina, this picture is taken from the big hill of the Forest
photo by: Tome Nrecaj
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Vushtrri
City
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Vushtrri, or Vicianum (Area of Calves) as it was previously called by its ancient Illyrian name, is an ancient population settlement, which dates back, before the Roman Empire. At the end of the first century B.C., Viciana was conquered by the Roman Empire. During Roman occupation, Viciana developed a considerable economy and a thriving culture. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Viciana was transferred to Byzantine rule. After the Great Schism of the Church in 1054, the majority of Vushtrri’s population remained Catholic.
In the fourteenth century the Ottoman Empire began to expand into the Balkans. Ottoman presence in Vushtrri was first recorded in 1439. The establishment of Ottoman administration in Vushtrri introduced Islam to the municipality and the construction of mosques, inns, Muslim religious schools and hamams (public baths) followed. Between the 15th-18th Centuries, Vushtrri was one of the largest settlements in the Balkans and it was the center of a very important Sanxhak (administrative unit) of the Ottoman Empire.
During World War I Vushtrri was occupied by Austro-Hungary. During World War II Vushtrri was incorporated into to the German zone of occupation. In November 1944, the Yugoslav Communist administration was established.
In March 1989, Serb state authorities abolished the Constitution of 1974. This led to an armed uprising by the population of Kosova, organized by the Kosova Liberation Army (KLA), which led to the intervention by NATO forces (March-June 1999). During the conflict, more than 500 Albanian civilians were killed in Vushtrri and the surrounding area and another 100 remain missing. NATO forces entered Vushtrri on 16 June 1999.
Vushtrria 2007 Vushtrria 2007
photo by: Emin Ibishi
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Mitrovica
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One of the most interesting place to visit. There are many bars and caffee to visit in the northern and southern part of the city.

Mitrovica e Kosoves Mitrovica e Kosoves
photo by: Emin Ibishi
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Pec
City
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Home to the oldest christian civilisation and seat of the original Serbian orthodox church.

On the outskirts of town. The monastery at Pec is a designated UNESCO world heritage site for the level of art in its' 3 churches.

You have to consult the nuns/priests/clergy also KFOR: in order to get entry you must present your passport.

The site is worth seeing for the churches adorned with frescos, the placid garden setting and the byzantine ruins of the previous monastery.

The site can be found at:

lat -N42 39 40 N42 39 40 lon - E20 15 56

 

Podujeva
City
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Podyjeva travel guide information should be on this page.

If you have something to add/edit, feel free to do so right now.
Skenderaj
City
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Srbica or Skënderaj is a city and municipality in the Kosovska Mitrovica district of northern Kosovo. It is the largest city in the Drenica region of Kosovo.