Prizren Historic Center

World Monuments Watch
Prizren, Republic of Kosovo

2002, 2004 and 2006 World Monuments Watch

The most important town in Kosovo, Prizren became the regional seat of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans in 1360, when Sultan Murad I extended the empire into Europe. Built on an Ottoman town plan, Prizren’s architecture reflects both Christian and Islamic traditions, with Orthodox monuments dating from the thirteenth century and Ottoman sites from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In 1881, Prizren became the capital of a league that loosely united Albania and southern Kosovo. Although Kosovo was later integrated into Yugoslavia, Prizren did not recover. Although the historic center had been spared during the Balkan War of 1999, a lack of maintenance had put many buildings at risk, decay that was exacerbated by the breakup of Yugoslavia. More recently, a number of structures sustained substantial damage during the riots of March 2004.

Last updated:
December 2010

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