Priština is the capital of the province of Kosovo and Metohija. The Serbian capital until falling under Ottoman rule from the fourteenth to the early-twentieth century, relations between ethnic Serbs and Albanians have long been strained in the city. This culminated with Serbian ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Albanian population during the Kosovan crisis of 1999. The city fabric was also badly hit by bombing.
There is evidence of human habitation in the region around Priština dating to the early Neolithic era. The city of Ulpiana, capital of the Illyrian province of Dardania, was established in the second century just southeast of modern Priština but was destroyed during the middle ages.
Priština was under Serbian rule until the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 when invading Ottoman forces defeated Prince Lazar and seized control. Over the next two centuries the city prospered as a centre of trade and mining centre (centred on the nearby Mount Kopaonik). From the seventeenth...