Prishtina is the capital and the largest city of Kosovo, it and its suburbs have a total population of over 400,000. It is the administrative, economical, and cultural center of Kosovo.
Southeast of the city, the remains of Ulpiana were discovered, the center of the Illyrian province of Dardania. Ulpiana was founded in the 2nd century during the rule of Emperor Trajan, and 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 Prishtina.
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 Prishtina.
During Serbian rule, Prishtina was a major political center. Near Prishtina 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 beginning of Ottoman rule of the region.
Prishtina 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 Prishtina under the command of Pjet'r Bogdani fought aside the Austrian army against the Ottoman Turks. During Piccollominni's campaign and later Austrian campaigns, Prishtina suffered considerably, as was the case during the 1859 and 1863 fires.
A rendering of the building of the Academy of Arts and Sciences
(18th century), an example of Prishtina's traditional architecture
In the 19th century, according to the writings of A. Bue (1838), Prishtina had 7000-9000 inhabitants, and Hilferding (1857) wrote that the town had 1500 houses, one fifth of which were Serbian. In the middle of the 19th century, Prishtina 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, Prishtina (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 Prishtina 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.
Prishtina today has the following neighborhoods:
- Sunny Hill
Mayors of Prishtina
- Isa Mustafa
- Ismet Beqiri
- Shpend Ahmeti