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Kosovo


 
Sharr National Park
Landscape in the Sharr National Park, one of two national parks in Kosovo. The Šar Mountains in the country's southwest is a mountain range shared by North Macedonia and Kosovo.
Image: Arben Llapashtica

 
Location map of Kosovo. Where in the world is Kosovo?
Location map of Kosovo


Flag of Kosovo
Flag of Kosovo



Kosovo in brief

Destination Kosovo, a Nations Online Project country profile on the former autonomous province of Serbia. The landlocked country in the southwestern Balkans borders Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

With an area of 10,887 km², it is somewhat larger than Cyprus (island) or slightly larger than the US State of Delaware.

Kosovo has a population of 1.8 million people; the majority are of Albanian descent (90+%). The capital and largest city is Pristina. Spoken languages are Albanian and Serbian. The main religion is Islam (more than 97%).


Kosovo | Republic of Kosovo


Background:

Kosovo's current borders were established after World War II when Kosovo became an autonomous province of Serbia, which was then one of the six socialist republics that formed the SFR of Yugoslavia. After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, Serbia and Montenegro became the rump state of the SFR Yugoslavia as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, intending to be the sole legal successor to the SFR Yugoslavia, but this was not recognized by the United Nations.
A bloody crackdown by Serbian forces on Kosovo Albanian separatists in 1998-1999 ended after NATO intervention, and Kosovo declared independence in 2008. Kosovo's independence is recognized by about half of the UN member states (97 out of 193). However, relations between Kosovo and Serbia continue to be a source of tension and regional instability in the Western Balkans.
 

 


Country Profile

Official Name:
Republic of Kosovo
short form: Kosovo
int'l long form: Republika e Kosoves
local short form: Kosove

ISO Country Code: xk, XXK

Time:
Time Zone: Central European Time (CET)
Local Time = UTC +1h
Actual Time: Fri-Dec-3  04:49
Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +2)

Country Calling Code: +383

Capital City: Pristina (pop. 145.149)

...show more



 



Official Sites of Kosovo


Kosovo's parliament building in Pristina
The Parliament building in Pristina is home to the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo.
Image: Arian Selmani

Government
Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Government of Kosovo
Official website of the Kosovo Government.

The President of Kosovo
President of Kosovo.

The Prime Minister of Kosovo
The Prime Minister Office.

Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo
The Kosovo Parliament.

Ballina - Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs website with general information about Kosovo.

Diplomatic Missions
United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo
United Nations Mission in Kosovo.
Ambasadori i Kosovës në Shteteve të Bashkuara
Embassy of Kosovo, Washington D.C.

Statistics
Agjencia e Statistikave të Kosovës
National Statistics Institute.



 


 


Maps from Kosovo



Kosovo Political Map
Map of Kosovo (click map to enlarge)
Image: © nationsonline.org


Maps


Map of Kosovo
Map of the Balkan Peninsula
Map of the Mediterranean Region
Map of Europe

 

 


News of Kosovo



Kosovo Newsstand


Television is Kosovo's most popular medium. As in many EU countries, the newspaper sector is in decline and faces strong competition from news websites.
According to RSF, the media in Kosovo, like almost everything else in the country, remains divided along ethnic lines. Access to certain information is often limited to a particular ethnic or political group, and media outlets tend to focus on issues concerning their own nationality and cover them solely from its viewpoint. [RSF]


Online News from Kosovo


KosovaPress
The independent news agency KosovaPress was Kosovo's first news agency; it was established in January 1999.

Bota Sot
('World Today') Pro-Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK). One of the few Kosovar newspapers distributed in many Western countries.

Epoka e Re
('The New Epoch') Epoka e Re is an Albanian language daily newspaper published in Pristina.

Gazeta Express
Gazeta Express is an independent online news media site with the most visits in the country.

Koha Ditore
Koha Ditore ('Daily Time') is Kosovo's leading daily newspaper. It is published by the Koha Group and was founded by the politician Veton Surroi.

Kosova Sot
Kosova Sot ('Kosovo Today') is a Kosovo daily newspaper with one of the highest circulations.


Other Kosovo related news sites
Kosovo Spectator
English language newspaper covering politics, economy and international relations of Kosovo.

Zëri i Popullit
Zëri i Popullit ('Voice of the People') is an Albanian online newspaper with a Kosovo section.

Balkan Insight
Kosovo related news by BIRN (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network).

Radio/TV
RTK
Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK) is Kosovo's public service broadcaster, with its headquarters in Pristina.



 


Arts & Culture of Kosovo


Christ the Saviour Orthodox Cathedral (in the background) and the National Library of Kosovo in Pristina
The image shows the unfinished Christ the Saviour Cathedral, an abandoned Serbian Orthodox church (in the background) and the National Library of Kosovo in Pristina, the country's highest library institution. Behind the library are the buildings of the Faculty of Education of the University of Pristina.
Image: KFOR


Arts & Culture



Kosovo Museum
Kosovo Museum is the National Museum of Kosovo, located in the city of Pristina. Founded in 1949 by Yugoslav authorities, it is the largest museum in Kosovo, located in an Austro-Hungarian-style building from 1889 that previously served as the high military command headquarters.

Front view of the National Museum of Kosovo in Pristina
The National Museum of Kosovo in Pristina is the country's largest and most important museum.
Image: Aljabakphoto

Wikipedia W Ethnological Museum
The Ethnological Treasure of Kosovo is an ethnographic museum in Pristina, Kosovo. It is located in the Emin Gjiku Complex, a monument of culture from the 18th century. The museum houses an extensive collection of traditional costumes as well as utensils, handicraft elements and other tools of daily life from the Ottoman period to the 20th century.
 
The National Gallery of Kosovo
The National Gallery of Kosovo is an art gallery located on the campus of the University of Pristina, just behind the National Library of Kosovo in Pristina, Kosovo, established in February 1979.

Encyclopædia Britannica Daily life and social customs
Encyclopædia Britannica article about Kosovo's culture.


Festivals

PriFest Pristina
Prishtina International Film Festival is an annual film festival held in Pristina. The 1st PriFilmFest took place in September 2009.

Kosovo Architecture Festival
Kosovo Architecture Festival starts in July and ends in October. It is the most famous architectural event in the country with a large program that includes exhibitions, screenings, lectures and workshops.

DokuFest Prizren
DokuFest is an international documentary and short film festival held in the Kosovo city of Prizren, held annually during August. It was founded in 2002 by a group of friends. It has since grown into a cultural event that attracts international and regional artists and audiences.

Hardh Fest
At the end of summer, when the grapes are ready for harvesting, there are fewer activities more enjoyable than heading to Rahovec, a small village near Prizren, and taking part in Hardh Fest. The festival aims to promote the regional products of Rahovec, such as wine and raki.


A traditional Bride's face painting, Donje Ljubinje village, Kosovo
A centuries-old tradition of bridal adornment, the painting on the bride's face with auspicious colors and signs in the village of Donje Ljubinje in the municipality of Prizren.
Image: KTI


 


 



Business & Economy of Kosovo



A bucket-wheel excavator in the KOSOVA mine.
A bucket-wheel excavator in the KOSOVA mine. Coal mining in the coal basin known as the Kosovo Basin began in 1922.
Image: KEK


The Economy of Kosovo
The economy of Kosovo is an economy in transition. The labor force is distributed among 4.4% in agriculture, 17.4% in industry, and 78.2% in services, but more than a quarter of the population is unemployed.
The mining sector has traditionally made an important contribution to Kosovo's economy. Natural resources are abundant in Kosovo; its diverse geology includes a number of mineable metal and mineral deposits, including gold, chromium, nickel, aluminum, copper, ferrous metals and coal. Main exports are metals and mineral products.


Banka Qendrore e Republikës së Kosovës
The Kosovo Central Bank.

Ministry of Economy
Official site of the Economy.

Ministry of Finance
Official site of the Ministry Finance.


Major companies in Kosovo
Almost all major companies in Kosovo are branches of internationally active large corporations and organizations.

KEK
Kosovo Electricity Co (KEK), the sole power corporation in Kosovo.

Kosovo Telecom
Kosovo Telecom is the postal and telecommunications authority of Kosovo. It was created in 1959, originally as "The Post, Telephone and Telegraph of Kosovo," and adopted its current name in September 1990.

Kostt
Kosovo's power supplier (aka, transmission system operator).


Transportation

Air
Kosova Airlines
Kosova Airlines was an airline based in Kosovo. However, the airline continues to cooperate with other airlines flying to Pristina.

Pristina International Airport
Official website of Pristina International Airport.

Railroad
Trainkos
Trainkos is the railroad transport company in Kosovo. It was founded in 1999 and has its headquarters in Fushë Kosova.


Evening at Pristina International Airport
Pristina International Airport (IATA: PRN). Pristina International is the only port of entry for air travelers to Kosovo.
Image: Adem Jashari
 

 


 


Tourism in Kosovo



Prizren, Kosovo's second largest city on the bank of Prizren River
Evening view of Kosovo's second largest city Prizren on the bank of Prizren River. The Sinan Pasha Mosque from the early 17th century in the foreground and Mount Pashtrik in the background.
Image: dudlajzov


Destination Kosovo - Travel and Tour Guides



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Discover Kosovo (just the highlights)
Cities: Pristina (the capital city of Kosovo); Prizren (the city in the south of Kosovo at the foot of Šar Planina not far from the main border crossing with Albania); Kamenica (Kamenica is a town in the east of Kosovo and is known for Arabian horses and as a starting point for hiking in the Šar Mountains); Mitrovica, the most ethnically divided city in Kosovo, has a Serb population majority.
Peja (Pejë) is a city in the west of Kosovo. The fourth largest city in the country is the gateway for excursions to the Bjeshkët e Nemuna National Park and the Accursed Mountains. The mountain range is the location of the Rugova Canyon, one of the longest and deepest canyons in Europe.
The Sharr Mountain National Park is situated in southwestern Kosovo on the northern Šar (Sharr) Mountain range. Within the Šar National Park is the Brezovica ski resort, the largest winter tourism center in Kosovo.



The Sleeping beauty cave in Radavc
The Sleeping Beauty Cave in Radavc, near the White Drin Waterfalls in the Peja (Pec) region, is one of Kosovo's more hidden tourist attractions.
Image: Arben Llapashtica

Be in Kosovo
The official Kosovo tourism information.

KTI Kosovo Tourist Information
Country Guide Kosovo.

Kosovo Info
More information about tourism in Kosovo.

Kosovo vacations
An online travel guide to Kosovo.

Wikivoyage Logo Wikivoyage: Kosovo
Travel guide to Kosovo with its regions, cities and attractions.

Wikipedia W Hiking in Kosovo
Wikipedia article about hiking in Kosovo.


City Guides

Pristina
The official website of Kosovo's capital city Pristina.

Prizren
Information about the city Prizren from the Offical government site.


The Šar Mountain Range seen from Pashallora mountain.
View of the Šar Mountain Range as seen from Pashallora mountain in Eastern Kosovo.
Image: Ben Njeri
 


 


 


UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Gračanica Monastery part of UNESCO's World Heritage Site Medieval Monuments in Kosovo
The Gračanica Monastery in the southeast of Pristina was built in the first decade of the 14th-century. The monastery is part of the Medieval Monuments in Kosovo, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site of the Republic of Serbia on the territory of Kosovo.
Image: Xhemail Shabani
 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kosovo

Since Kosovo is not a member of UNESCO, the country's World Heritage sites are listed under Serbia in the "UNESCO World Heritage List."

The following link lead to a detailed description of the respective World Heritage Site at UNESCO.


World Heritage Site Medieval Monuments in Kosovo
The four ecclesiastical buildings in Kosovo reflect the highlights of Byzantine-Romanesque church architecture. The Visoki Dečani Monastery was built in the mid-14th century for Serbian King Stefan Dečanski and is also his mausoleum. The Patriarchate of Peć Monastery is a group of four domed churches with a series of wall paintings. The Church of the Holy Apostles has frescoes from the 13th century in a unique monumental style. In the Church of the Holy Virgin of Ljevisa, the frescoes from the beginning of the 14th century show the new style of the Paleological Renaissance, a combination of Orthodox Byzantine and Western Romanesque traditions. This style played a decisive role in the later art of the Balkans.


A wall painting with members of the Serbian Nemanjić dynasty in the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery
A wall painting in the Patriarchate of Peć Monastery shows members of the Serbian Nemanjić dynasty.
Image: Nikostrat Saronski

 

 



Education in Kosovo



The History Institute of the University of Pristina,  Kosovo
The History Institute of the University of Pristina.
Image: Andy Mabbett


Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology
Official Website of the Ministry for Education, Science, and Technology.

The National Library of Kosovo - Pjetër Bogdani
The National Library of Kosovo "Pjetër Bogdani" is the largest library in Kosovo. It is located in the capital Pristina and is named after the Albanian Catholic author Pjetër Bogdani.

University of Pristina
The University of Pristina is a public, non-profit higher education institution located in the capital. The university was established after the dissolution of the University of Pristina due to the Kosovo war. The university is the highest-ranked Albanian-language university in Europe.

University of Prizren
The public university of Prizren was originally established in 1962 as a High Pedagogical Institute. It was re-established in 2010 under the present name. The university offers bachelor's and master's degrees in various fields, and the language of instruction is mainly Albanian.

University of Mitrovica
Universiteti i Mitrovicёs "Isa Boletini," the public university in Mitrovica was established in 2013.


 



Environment & Nature



Spring landscape with Crocuses in the Šar Mountains
Spring landscape with Crocuses in the Šar Mountains.
Image: Aljabakphoto

Government agencies

Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning, and Infrastructure
The Official Website of the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure.

Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency
KEPA is a federal executive agency protecting human health and the environment.

Kosovo Environmental Programme
The main Beneficiary Institutions and Governing Structures of the Kosovo Environmental Programme are the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (MIE) and the Inter-Ministerial Water Council (IMWC) of the Republic of Kosovo.

Non-governmental organizations

Balkan Green Foundation
The Balkan Green Foundation is a regional initiative that advocates and promotes sustainable development in the Western Balkans.
 

 



Kosovo History



Battle of Kosovo Painting
Painting of the Battle of Kosovo. Prince Lazar (Lazar of Serbia) is seen dying with his horse. Prince Lazar was killed in June 1389 while leading a Christian army to fight troops of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Murad I. The Battle of Kosovo heralded more than 500 years of Turkish Ottoman rule over most of the Balkans.
Painting: Adam Stefanović, dated 1870.


The History of Kosovo

The history of Kosovo is the history of the Balkan Peninsula, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes and the region of the former FPR/SFR Yugoslavia.

Kosovo - Historical Overview
A Guide to the United States' History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Kosovo

Kosovo: Historical Background to the Current Conflict
A CRS Report for Congress (PDF).

Constitutional history of Kosovo
Article about the constitutional history of Kosovo by International IDEA.

BBC-logo Kosovo profile - Timeline
A chronology of Kosovo's historical key events by the BBC.

Wikipedia W Quick-History of Kosovo
Timeline of Kosovo history.

Wikipedia W History of Kosovo
Wikipedia article about the history of Kosovo.

Encyclopædia Britannica History of Kosovo
Encyclopædia Britannica article about the History of Kosovo.

Encyclopædia Britannica Kosovo conflict
Encyclopædia Britannica article about the Kosovo conflict.



 


Indigenous People of Kosovo



A delegation of the League of Prizren, Kosovo
A delegation of the League of Prizren. The League was an Albanian political organization founded in 1878 in Prizren, at that time part of the Kosovo Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire. The League wanted to prevent the partition, by the Congress of Berlin, of the territories inhabited by Albanians through political and military pressure and to create an Albanian autonomy within the Ottoman Empire.
Image: Pietro Marubi (colored afterward by KK)


Ethnic groups of the Balkan Peninsula and the region of former Yugoslavia


Young Gorani bride in traditional costume,  Kosovo
Young Gorani bride in traditional costume in Kosovo.
Image: Aljabakphoto

The Balkan Peninsula and the region of the former Yugoslavia were inhabited by a number of ethnic groups, including Indo-European-speaking tribes such as the Illyrians, South Slavic ethnic groups, and Romance-speaking pastoral groups such as the Vlachs, descendants of Roman-Macedonian intermarriages. It was home to various empires such as the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarian Empire and the Croat Kingdom. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Turks began their conquest of the Balkan Peninsula. The relentless campaign of conquest of the Turks lasted more than a century, and in the course of the invasion, they brought their culture and religion to the Balkans.
Today, the main ethnic groups in the Balkans are Albanians, Greeks, Romanians and South Slavs, such as the Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Montenegrins, Serbs, and Slovenes.

The ethnic diversity of the Balkans is only slightly reflected in Kosovo's population. Kosovo-Albanians are the major ethnic group (90%), Kosovo-Serbs form the second-largest ethnic community in Kosovo (4-7%). The country is also home to some Bosniaks, Turks, Romani (Roma), Gorani, Ashkali and Balkan Egyptians.


 


Additional Information


Selected country profiles of Kosovo published by international organizations.


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Amnesty International: Kosovo
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights.

BBC Country Profile: Kosovo
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

BTI Transformation Index Kosovo
Kosovo Country Report 2020 by Bertelsmann Stiftung.

Freedom House: Kosovo
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide.

GlobalEDGE: Kosovo
Kosovo ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: Kosovo
Index of Economic Freedom by The Heritage Foundation, an American conservative think tank.

Human Rights Watch: Kosovo
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

Reporters Without Borders: Kosovo
RSF (Reporters sans frontières) is an international NGO that defends and promotes media freedom.

Wikipedia: Kosovo
Wikipedia's Kosovo page in many languages.

World Bank Data: Kosovo
World Development Indicators database.

The CIA World Factbook -- Kosovo
CIA World Factbook Kosovo Page.
 

 



 
Other countries in the Balkan region:
Albania | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Greece | North Macedonia | Montenegro | Romania | Serbia | Slovenia