Travel to Kosovo: Prishtina
How much of Prishtina/Pristina survived the NATO bombing of 1999? See for yourself.
The first of five pictures scanning the city from the hilly western district of Arberia ("Albania").
Turning to the right. The 1991 census gives a figure of about 150,000 for the city, but surrounding villages may about double that.
The sports stadium; behind it, the town center.
To the right of the stadium, the not-so-grand Grand Hotel.
All in all, much more survived than you're likely to imagine from the television images you saw of explosions and ruins.
Typical house construction: concrete beams with hollow-brick infill.
Pay as you go housing is inhabited long before it's finished.
Ne plus ultra.
Surgical strike: the former telecom building.
Monument to the Albanian fighter.
The tradition of Albanian fighters goes back to the Albanian Ur-hero, Skenderbeg (1405-68). His image is everywhere as an icon of Albanian independence. Still, there are ironies here: his name is a corruption of Iskender Bey, or Lord Alexander, and was given to him by the Ottomans, among whom he lived as the hostage son of an Albanian leader. He served as an Ottoman general before turning back to his homeland, turning against the Ottomans, and keeping them at bay for decades. At the time, Albania was Christian, and Skenderbeg was helped by popes and others. That changed after 1480, when the Ottomans conquered Albania and converted its people, who forget or overlook that their hero led a Christian nation. The bottom line: ethnicity trumps religion.
A remaining bit of pre-Socialist Prishtina. Deep history lives in place names like Prishtina's Ulpiana and Dardania districts. Ulpiana was a Roman town in the province of Dardania.
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