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With a municipal population of , inhabitants , Pristina is the second-largest city in the world with a predominantly Albanian-speaking population, after Albania 's capital, Tirana. It was home to several Illyrian and Roman people at the classical times.
King Bardyllis brought various tribes together in the area of Pristina in the 4th century BC, establishing the Dardanian Kingdom. Between the 5th and the 9th century the area was part of the Byzantine Empire. In the middle of the 9th century it was ceded to the First Bulgarian Empire. In the early 11th century it fell under Byzantine rule and was included into a new province called Bulgaria.
Between the late 11th and middle of the 13th century it was ceded several times to the Second Bulgarian Empire. The city was known for its trade fairs and items, such as goatskin and goat hair as well as gunpowder. Pristina is the most important transportation junction of Kosovo, for air , rail , and roads.
The international airport of Pristina is the largest airport of the country and among the largest in the region. A range of expressways and motorways, such as the R6 , R7 and R7.
Pristina is as well as the most essential economic , financial , political and trade center of Kosovo mostly due to its significant location in the center of the country.
It is the seat of power of the Government of Kosovo , the residences for work of the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo and the Parliament of Kosovo. Roman Empire c. The earliest traces of human life in the area date from the Paleolithic period [ citation needed ] , with further traces in the Mesolithic and Neolithic. The area what is now Pristina has been inhabited for nearly 10, years.
After the Roman conquest of Illyria in BC, Romans colonized and founded several cities in the region which they named Dardania. The city suffered tremendous damage from an earthquake in AD. In the middle of the 9th century the area of modern Pristina was ceded to the First Bulgarian Empire. In the early 11th century it fell under Byzantine rule and the area was included into a province called Bulgaria. Pristina was an important town in late Medieval Serbia. The first historical record mentioning Pristina by its name dates back to when the Byzantine Emperor John VI Kantakouzenos described Pristina as a 'village'.
Between the end of the 14th and the middle of the 15th century, Ottoman rule was gradually imposed in the town. In the course of the 14th and 15th centuries, Pristina developed as an important mining and trading center thanks to its proximity to the rich mining town of Novo Brdo , and due to its position of the Balkan trade routes. The old town stretching out between the Vellusha and Prishtevka rivers which are both covered over today, became an important crafts and trade center.
Pristina was famous for its annual trade fairs Panair  and its goat hide and goat hair articles. Around 50 different crafts were practiced from tanning to leather dying, belt making and silk weaving, as well as crafts related to the military — armorers, smiths, and saddle makers.
As early as , Pristina artisans also started producing gunpowder. Trade was thriving and there was a growing colony of Ragusan traders from modern day Dubrovnik providing the link between Pristina's craftsmen and the outside world.
In the early Ottoman era, Islam was an urban phenomenon and only spread slowly with increasing urbanization. The travel writer Evliya Celebi , visiting Pristina in the s was impressed with its fine gardens and vineyards. Economic life was controlled by the guild system esnafs with the tanners' and bakers' guild controlling prices, limiting unfair competition and acting as banks for their members. Religious life was dominated by religious charitable organizations often building mosques or fountains and providing charity to the poor.
He contributed a force of 6, Albanian soldiers to the Austrian army which had arrived in Pristina. A French officer traveling to Pristina noted soon afterwards that "Pristina looked impressive from a distance but close up it is a mass of muddy streets and houses made of earth". The year marked a turning point. That year the railway between Salonika and Mitrovica started operations and the seat of the vilayet of Prizren was relocated to Pristina.
This privileged position as capital of the Ottoman vilayet lasted only for a short while. However, Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the first Balkan War, occupied Kosovo in and took Pristina under Bulgarian occupation.
On 17 April , Yugoslavia surrendered unconditionally to axis forces. There ensued mass killings of Serbs, in particular colonists, and an exodus of tens of thousands of Serbs. The Jews were later deported to Germany, where many were killed. The communist decision to make Pristina the capital of Kosovo in ushered a period of rapid development and outright destruction.
In a misguided effort to modernize the town, communists set out to destroy the Ottoman bazaar and large parts of the historic center, including mosques, catholic churches and Ottoman houses. They left behind their homes, properties and businesses. Few of the Ottoman town houses survived the communists' modernization drive, with the exception of those that were nationalized like today's Emin Gjiku Museum or the building of the Institute for the Protection of Monuments.
As capital city and seat of the government, Pristina creamed off a large share of Yugoslav development funds channeled into Kosovo.
As a result, the city's population and its economy changed rapidly. In , Pristina had few paved roads, the old town houses had running water and cholera was still a problem. Prizren continued to be the largest town in Kosovo.
Massive investments in state institutions like the newly founded University of Pristina , the construction of new high-rise socialist apartment blocks and a new industrial zone on the outskirts of Pristina attracted large number of internal migrants. This ended a long period when the institution had been run as an outpost of Belgrade University and gave a major boost to Albanian-language education and culture in Kosovo. The Albanians were also allowed to use the Albanian flag. Within a decade, Pristina nearly doubled its population from about 69, in to , in Pristina, like the rest of Kosovo slid into a deepening economic and social crisis.
For their strategic importance, however, a number of military targets were hit in Pristina during NATO's aerial campaign, including the post office, police headquarters and army barracks today's Adem Jashari garrison on the road to Kosovo Polje. Widespread violence broke out in Pristina. Serbian and Yugoslav forces shelled several districts and, in conjunction with paramilitaries, conducted large-scale expulsions of ethnic Albanians accompanied by widespread looting and destruction of Albanian properties.
Many of those expelled were directed onto trains apparently brought to Pristina's main station for the express purpose of deporting them to the border of North Macedonia , where they were forced into exile. During the course of Operation Horseshoe , a number of people were killed. Many of those forced from their homes went directly to the train station, while others sought shelter in nearby neighbourhoods. Hundreds of ethnic Albanians, guided by Serb police at all the intersections, gathered at the train station and then were loaded onto overcrowded trains or buses after a long wait where no food or water was provided.
Those on the trains went as far as Elez Han , a village near the Macedonian border. During the train ride many people had their identification papers taken from them. The majority Albanian population fled the town in large numbers to escape Serb policy and paramilitary units. S,   although to NATO's diplomatic embarrassment Russian troops arrived first at the airport. Apartments were occupied illegally and the Roma quarters behind the city park was torched. Several strategic targets in Pristina were attacked by NATO during the war, but serious physical damage appears to have largely been restricted to a few specific neighbourhoods shelled by Yugoslav security forces.
At the end of the war the Serbs became victims of violence committed by Kosovo Albanian extremists. On numerous occasions Serbs were killed by mobs of Kosovo Albanian extremists for merely speaking Serbian in public or being identified as a Serb. As a capital city and seat of the UN administration UNMIK , Pristina has benefited greatly from a high concentration of international staff with disposable income and international organizations with sizable budgets.
The injection of reconstruction funds from donors, international organizations and the Albanian diaspora has fueled an unrivaled, yet short-lived, economic boom. A plethora of new cafes, restaurants and private businesses opened to cater for new and international demand with the beginning of a new era for Pristina. Strategically placed in the north-eastern part of Kosovo , the city is close to the Goljak mountains.
Due to its status as the capital city of Kosovo, Pristina has grown over the past years, that it has connected with Kosovo Polje. Pristina is one of the urban areas with the most severe water shortages in the nation. The water supply comes from the two main reservoirs of Batlava and Badovc.
After the war of , the city has changed dramatically. Many old buildings in front of the government building have been cleared to provide open space.
The city features warm summers and relatively cold, often snowy winters. Being the capital city of Kosovo, it influences the politic, culture and economic aspects of the country.
Pristina is the seat of the Government of Kosovo. The Mayor of Pristina is one of the most influential political figures in the nation as well as serving as an urban figure through the youth of the city. Kosovo is known for having the youngest population in Europe , with an average of 25 years old. His team and staff consisted of young people and Ahmeti delivered a more modern public image, presenting himself closer to the voters.
A lot of young people chose to volunteer in his meetings, therefore his campaign in general represented a novelty in Kosovan politics.
The city council consists of 51 members. One out of three of the members have to be women according to the Statute of the Municipality approved in The city council has seen the LDK having the most members in all elections held until now. In the census, the total population of the municipality of Pristina was estimated at , constituting the largest city of Kosovo by population. The rural area as well as the area near the center of Pristina, in terms of socio-economic processes, is under the influence of population dynamics, both in terms of demographic regime, which is more expansive, and in addition mechanical population.
This part of the municipality has a high density of population. The density of population is inhabitants per square kilometres. As an urban center with representative functions and its economic strength, has changed the population structure.
With the surrounding space has become increasingly a concentration to a large population. While the mountain area, especially more distant areas have a displacement due to depopulation, especially after the Kosovo War. The network of settlements in the territory of the Municipality of Pristina has some specifics. Such as distribution of settlements depends on the degree of economic development , natural conditions, socio-political circumstances, position.
One of the features is also uneven distribution of the settlements.
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